Jan 20 2010

Over The Counter With A Script

Category: KazakhstanChrisM @ 1:09 pm

Anna is still a little bit poorly (is that term used by Americans/non-native English speakers as well? If not, substitute “ill”). We don’t know if it was just random timing or not, but she has just had her hepatitis immunization, and a few days after she started to get high temperatures and a sore throat. The doctor said it was a case of Angina (the Russian term). This wasn’t (logically, but given she is still very young, I still worried for a moment) anything to do with her heart, but translates as a sore throat, or strep throat, or something or other-itis. The doctor said not to worry, just ensure she has plenty of rest, liquids and to keep an eye on her over the coming days. Some medical treatments are the same the world over 🙂
One of the things that struck me about medicine in Kazakhstan is that most antibiotics are available over the counter here, which although convenient as you don’t need to take time off work for a doctor’s appointment, did worry me a little. The reason? If you take anti-biotics when your body doesn’t actually need them, then bacteria are a lot more likely to build up a resistance to the medication, and the whole country can end up with stronger strains of diseases simply because the normal course of medication recommended are no longer capable of destroying the bacteria.
On the other hand, strong pain medication does require a prescription over here – when I have had serious dental problems, I had sort of hoped that living in this part of the world would mean I could balance out the pain of my teeth with something other than ibuprofen or paracetamol with low doses of codeine. It is probably for the best that strong pain killers aren’t available over the counter, but when you are in pain, logic doesn’t always apply 😉

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