Guide Medicinal Product

Self-medication: pharmacist's advice

Alain Delgutte, President of the Central Council of Pharmacists holding pharmacies, gives his advice on self-medication.

What is the pharmacist's role in self-medication?

Alain Delgutte : Always ask your pharmacist. It is up to him to make sure that the patient takes the right medicine, for the right pathology, at the right dosage. And above all he must be vigilant about the contraindications. The pharmacist can also open a pharmaceutical file for a better follow-up of your prescriptions. It will also judge whether or not it is necessary to consult a doctor and will invite you to do so if the symptoms require prescription drugs, if - among others - the symptoms persist beyond 3 days.

Why do you think more and more people are turning to self-medication?

AD : There is a change of state of mind. People want to be treated quickly and sometimes have problems accessing their doctor. Moreover, with the internet, people are more and more informed and know that they can count on a competent professional, the pharmacist.

The IGF (General Inspectorate of Finance) wanted to allow supermarkets and other distributors to market certain medicines, what do you think?

A. D. : The drug must stay in the pharmacy. The drug is not a consumer good like any other. One example is Sweden, which has authorized the free sale of paracetamol and over 600 other medicines, by setting up a telephone call for pharmacists. Sweden has backed down ... following several cases of intoxication.

The pharmacist has the patient's pharmaceutical file available. He can therefore know the treatments taken by the patient recently and thus prescribe drugs knowingly.

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