Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do we over medicate our children?

When Beli got sick a few weeks ago with a minor cold and was having a runny nose I thought I would run to the pharmacy and purchase Benadryl. I have a degree in pharmacy so I knew what I was talking about when I tried asking the pharmacist for an antihistamine. But in spite of hand charades as I pointed to MY nose and performed loud snorting was useless..we were literally Lost in return she sold me a natural cough syrup..all natural she said with limited english. "We don't sell antihistamines or any medication for such a young age." I very well know homeopathy is the same as sugar water. All right I accept that: No medicine for your child.

Do you remember when the FDA ordered all OTC cold and cough products to be removed from the shelves of pharmacies and grocery stores? and parents felt helpless? Yeah, does how I felt: helpless and lost in translation.

The following week it was time for Beli's last series of the DTaP vaccine and I thought might as well and also request the seasonal flu shot. Imagine my dismay when the pediatrician told my husband and I that "he does not recommend the flu shot because there are so many different strains that one don't even know for sure if the flu shot will even be effective, plus your daughter is healthy". While this is partially true, I still believe it is the right of the parent to request it. So you don't recommend the flu shot I repeated back, "No" he said, "plus I don't even stock it." By now I am biting my tongue as to not to say anything rude or disrespectful. That was his opinion, I had mine. He was a nice person but I won't be coming back to see him again.

That night or the next morning, Beli developed a minor rash on her body and where is the benadryl when you need it???She also had a mild fever throughout the night and we ran out of infant's tylenol (which I brought with me from the states). I asked hubby if he could go to the pharmacy and purchase another bottle of tylenol(I keep saying pharmacy because unlike America you can't go to the grocery store and purchase any sort of supplement or medicine, you have to go to the pharmacy.)

Do you want to know what he brought back? A bottle of children's motrin. Hubby said "I showed the pharmacist the bottle" but he said "we carry no such product here in Croatia". Really??? I am glad Beli has no problems tolerating motrin. Her rash is almost gone and fever has subsided. So does this mean that the pharmacist was right in not selling me any medication(benadryl)? That they knew that if we just waited out that her symptoms would resolve on their own?

And so I came to this conclusion, Europeans are a healthy bunch. They don't take medication for every symptom they experience. Instead they resort to home remedies and natural products. And this is a good thing. So I should accept this norm and stop harassing those poor pharmacists who are only doing their job.

But one thing is for sure, I am determined to get that Flu shot!

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