Case Studies

AUGUST 10, 2011
Craig I. Coleman, PharmD, and Andrew A. Perugini, PharmD Candidate

Case One

TJ, a 45-year-old woman, comes to the pharmacy counter with a new prescription for atenolol 50 mg once daily. Her prescription profile shows that she is diagnosed with high blood pressure and is currently taking hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg once daily. When handing the prescription to the pharmacist, TJ remarks, “I’ve heard that certain juices interact with heart medications.” She wants to know if atenolol has such an interaction, because she is a frequent orange juice drinker.

How should the pharmacist counsel TJ?

Case Two

PD is a 40-year-old man who comes to your pharmacy with a new prescription for simvastatin 80 mg once daily. PD notes he just came from his doctor’s office after his annual physical, where his doctor informed him his current dose of simvastatin (Zocor) 40 mg was not lowering his “bad cholesterol” to the desired level. PD and his doctor decided to try a higher dose of simvastatin before switching or adding medications. The pharmacist checks PD’s medication profile and sees he is taking no other medications.

How should the pharmacist handle this prescription?




Dr. Coleman is associate professor of pharmacy practice and director of the pharmacoeconomics and outcomes studies group at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy.  Mr. Perugini is a PharmD candidate from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy.

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