Day & Night Pharmacy -Two Years On…

Opening a chemist at Cross Gates…This was uncharted territory… We had hope. We had the experience. But we never knew how it would turn out. We’ve grown and we keep growing. Are there better words to say ‘Thank you’ to the people of East Leeds? I keep searching….
Back in Harare after leaving Uni (1993) I had some poignant experiences of how health professionals interacted with patients. At a government hospital, where I underwent pre-registration training, the civil servants were in fact local chiefs who nonchalantly presided over their lowly peasants- the patients. The chiefs had their priorities set in stone; chit-chat among themselves, multiple lunch breaks and pursuit of personal errands interrupted by an occasional dispensing episode while the queue of waiting patients meandered. No worry. No hurry.
I switched to community pharmacy. It didn’t work out for long, high testosterone of the early twenties propelled me into an argument with a customer and when the report was considered there was only one looser.
Then there was the stint in pharmaceutical industry and the excitement of manufacturing real batches of tablets, capsules, creams and syrups. But the repetitive factory regimes were unsustainable; I was never meant for the cage. Another go at customer interaction in community pharmacy was irresistible. This time I was much wiser: Customers had the choice to turn their backs and success had little to do with backsides.
Meanwhile around 1997 old Bob’s mobs callously invaded commercial farms along a racial line only to loot and uproot irrigation pipes, flogging them to house builders and plunging the country’s economy into an abyss. When overseas recruiters came, I showed the country my back.
Back to business, did you know the following?
Film coated or sugar coated tablets are made as such to mask a bad taste, smell or look ( much like using make up, if you like) and they are often easier to swallow as they glide down the throat with less resistance. The tablet still bursts and disperses in the stomach much like a standard tablet or capsule.
Slow release (also known as ‘modified’, ‘prolonged’, ‘extended’, ‘retard’) are more complex preparations designed to release the drug in a particular profile throughout the gut or certain parts of it. Depending on how critical the condition being treated is, sticking to the same make may be required because different makes do not necessarily have the same release pattern.
Enteric coated tablets and capsules, aka ‘gastro-resistant’, have a coating which is insoluble in an acidic environment (stomach) but will dissolve in ‘caustic’ (alkaline) juices of the small intestine. This coating is thus used to bypass the stomach for drugs that may irritate the stomach but mainly to protect drugs that are degraded by gastric acid such as omeprazole. (Spot the paradox).
Nowadays not all enteric coating makes sense though; there is aspirin 75mg gastro-resistant. Aspirin 75mg is taken to stop blood from clotting. Aspirin is slightly acidic. When I left Uni, the rule of thumb was that slightly acidic drugs are better absorbed in an acidic environment (stomach) and similarly, slightly caustic drugs in a caustic environment (small intestine). Can you spot the enigma? Please keep taking whatever form of aspirin you are taking, it still reduces clots anyhow!
Anyway just remember that drugs with an anti-inflammatory action such as aspirin, diclofenac and ibuprofen may cause some direct stomach irritation but the main cause of upset stomach and gastric bleeding is that these drugs confuse the production of mucus lining the gut for inflammation, reducing it and exposing the gut wall to one’s own highly corrosive gastric acid.
Yours Medicinally

Abel Kubare

Superintendent Pharmacist Day & Night Pharmacy

Shannon is introducing a comprehensive selection of perfumes to Day and Night. Her price promise: we will sell at the same price or lower than any UK outlet.

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One Comment

  1. I’m a regular customer of Abels, may I say how great it is to have someone like him in Crossgates. We are blessed.

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