Excess Medication

From time to time I need some medication, one off stuff, and seemingly I am always overdosed beyond need.

The latest example was a splinter in my finger, so deep I could feel it but not see it, so off to the local A&E and extracted with no problems but given anti-biotics, enough for 14 days, bandages, plaster, pain relief, etc.

This was after all only a splinter and had I been able to see it, I would have pulled it out with tweezers, licked my finger and carried on.

OK the doctor was doing his job but is there any system where I can give back tablets in particular rather than discard them in the local decheterrie?


Peter S

You are lucky getting too much but perhaps it's a regional thing. I am in a lot of pain at the moment and the painkillers, I've been prescribed (30mg codeine) are not strong enough even with the maximum dosage to do more than take off the edge but it still limits my sleep. The delay in getting specialist attention has produced another problem preventing surgery until it's fixed and I have been given antibiotics, which have not been as effective as I was promised.

I'm concerned about addiction to the painkillers, although I wouldn't take them if there was no pain.

always take your pharmacy for disposal - you are not meant to take them to dechetterie/flush down the loo/ put in the rubbish.

What amazes me here, as a view from a UK trained pharmacy tech, is that they donot give precise amounts for scripts - in the UK you got enough to fill the script, we counted the number of tablets or capsules to be sure you got the right amount. In France even if you only need one strip of a blister pack to complete your treatment, you are given the complete box.

Regards collecting for the Calais Jungle - yes there is a lady that collects but your safest bet is to go via your local pharmacy

Pharmacies will take anything like that, don’t throw them down the loo.

After a bad wound healed I had a full shopping bag of unused expensive-looking bandages of all sorts. The local nurses bureau was so happy to have them.

Check the prescription though - the idea that you invariably need something heavy-duty for your money is - luckily - starting to die a death. I think many practitioners here see a consultation as rather more than the 'visit to the garage approach' you perhaps have in the UK. If you haven't got anything needing allopathic zapping, you may well leave with a load of homeopathic stuff if you or your dr are that way inclined & in that case they will probably do you lots of good, but chances are if you've gone for a cold you'll leave with at most a prescription for dafalgan or the like. Any other useful kit like a sea-water spray for washing your nose out (what do you mean you don't wash your nose out when you have a cold?) will be on the prescription but you'll still have to pay for it. Or you may be lucky enough to have a local pharmacist who makes up their own things to order. Anyway this is one aspect of life which remains v difficult for people who don't speak the language really well because I think consultations are as much about what patients don't say (by choice or fear etc) & how they don't say it which is a question of cultural cues which need interpreting- & that half the time patients want attention & care & if that is made concrete for them by a bag of stuff well so be it. They tend to live longer on it.

I agree Peter, meds do seem to be handed out like sweets with all the associated cost amd waste.

I read somewhere that unused/unwanted meds were being collected by Medecins sans Frontiéres...for 'The Jungle' and other refugee camps...

Take them to any pharmacy. Some even have a box outside for hours when not open. If you cannot or will not, then incinerate them at high temperature - but not plastic packaging of course.