A Bitter and Expensive Pill to Swallow

I am not one to take medication unless it is absolutely necessary or unavoidable. Actually I am very lucky insomuch as it is rare that I am ill, but when I am, I AM!
Before I moved back to Dorset (pre Hubby days), I had worked for a company for over 5 years and never had a day off sick. In short succession I went down with chickenpox (I was 32) and then a bout of depression put me off work for 6 weeks.
The latter and the year following it were not a good time for me, but I had a brilliant GP and a boss who stood by me. I was on a variety of medication, all different colours and shapes, so many that if you cut me open, I would have resembled the assembly line in a Smarties factory.
pillsSince then, I have been loath to take so much as paracetamol, and it was with great relief and pride when Hubby and I flushed all my pills down the loo (staining the porcelain in the process) on January 1st 1990 after I had weaned myself off them.

Over the past few months, I have been suffering not only with my hands and feet, but my knee, hip and back. I have tried to keep active and mobile by walking the dog and to the shops, and the locks on our trip to Stratford Upon Avon provided one of the best workouts ever.
pershore lockHowever, things were getting worse and I had no choice but to go and see the doc.

She confirmed that I definitely have arthritis in my hands (the joints are swelling and I have trouble gripping things) and I already knew I had it in my back thanks to a couple of X-rays a few years ago.
From what I described and the way my hip and knee felt when she manipulated them, she believes that it is indeed arthritis to blame, and has arranged for me to have X-rays on both to see exactly what is going on.

I’m doing the right things though by exercising, and for pain relief I can take paracetamol or ibuprofen if I need to. I also have some pain relieving creams I can apply, but obviously these remedies are an either or, not all at the same time.

My gripe is cost though and I walked out of the shop in disgust.
I can buy 500mg paracetamol tablets in a supermarket at 19p for 16.
Likewise, I can buy 16 x 200mg ibuprofen tablets for 25p.
pain relief
Please explain to me why a chemist therefore wants £5.99 for 24 or £10.49 for 48 400mg ibuprofen.
Incidentally, their charge for 16 x 200mg tablets is almost a pound!

I am not daft enough to double up on dosage (1-2 tablets up to three times a day, but no more than 6 tablets in any 24 hour period), and Ibuprofen especially is only meant to be taken in the short term.
There are also purchase restrictions for such medicines here in the UK.

The higher strength can only be obtained by asking at the pharmacy counter (higher still is prescription only), and packs of the lower ones are limited to 2 per customer, though the same customer cannot purchase 2 packs of each at the same time.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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12 Responses to A Bitter and Expensive Pill to Swallow

  1. scifihammy says:

    Agh! My long comment disappeared!!
    Good luck on finding out what’s going on with your X-Rays. Hopefully not a hip replacement – but if so, I hear the results are excellent and No Pain!

  2. Concerns about arthritis is what is keeping me backing away from another sailboat – no matter the size.
    It is so annoying with all the regulations/monitoring for meds now. Luckily we take little. Guess it’s necessary, but you just feel like a criminal when purchasing cold medication or allergy medication when it used to be there on the shelf.
    Has anyone suggested alternatives? Glucosamine (1500mg) with Chondroiin (1200 mg) helps the pain in my hands a lot. My doctor said it helps some people and not others. But hopping from dock/ground to boat back and forth might give my knees and hips a workout. Living without stress, though is supposed to really slow aches and pains, so maybe the boat is the best medicine?

    • The boating life is definitely not one in the fast lane or rat race, which for us is terrific having been in a working environment for years when everything had to be done yesterday. I’ve tried oil supplements and glucosamine but that didn’t help much. Losing the weight has though (even if it took five years), and after the first day of operating the locks, I felt a lot ‘freer’. Walking also helps, and the dog is always keen to accompany me! 🙂

  3. polarflares says:

    I wish I could get off my anxiety and depression medications. It has been 10 years and I have tried but I think I would need to have someone watch me and perhaps not be working. But given that, I am otherwise healthy. It is interesting how an illness can trigger depression and also that depression can sometimes be an indication that something else is going on with the body. Good luck with your healing!

    • I truly sympathise and realise how lucky I was. My depression was due to a combination of things over several years and when it hit me, it knocked me for 12, let alone 6. My GP and boss were wonderful, and once I’d got my head on straight, I was able to see that I didn’t belong where I was, nor did I want to be there. I got out of the relationship and rebuilt my life. I was on meds for almost a year, but couldn’t get through a day without them. Meeting Hubby was a gift of friendship which developed into what we have now. He saw me at my lowest and I cannot imagine my life without him in it. He is my rock.

  4. About medications: how timely, from Behind the White Coat: How we in the US complain: Viagra was first approved by the FDA in 1998 and it is under patent in the US until 2020. There may be a generic available in the US in 2017 but that has been changed before by legal wrangling so I am not holding my breath. Incidentally the generic has been available in dozens of other countries for years. This fact has caused the price of Viagra to increase streadily to an average of $35-40 per pill in the US, a cost that is not covered by most insurance policies.

    Meanwhile, in the UK a pack of four generic sildenafil costs £1.45, about $2.26….

    • Yes, I read her post too. It’s crazy, isn’t it. When I was suffering from severe migraine headaches, the prescribed meds were in a pack of 3, so at the time over £2 a pill. Sure they worked, but I started to look at the reasons behind the migraine attacks, and found most were generated by work stress, tiredness and would you believe ORANGES!

  5. So there you have it. I can buy 150/500 mg of acetaminophen for a few dollars….

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