Prenatal Vitamins & Bat Shit Crazyness

There is one prescription that I know makes every pharmacist get a little bout of acid reflux in their lives:
An Rx for some new funky-sounding prenatal vitamin with the big DAW-1 box checked. You know their insurance company isnt going to pay for it. Plus if they do, the’ll only cover a month supply so you’ll be stuck with the other 70 tablets making your prenatal section look like the warfarin /levoxyl sections (tons of bottles, all different strengths/colors).
Are OB-Gyn’s retarded? Does sticking your fingers into vaginas for a living rot your brain? Do they realize that there is NO significant difference between the bazillion of prenatal vitamins out there, and the drug companies are just exploiting pregant womens drive to have a healthy baby? With the exception of Folic Acid, there is really no research showing that one brand of prenatal vitamin is better than any other one. Its such an inexact science (since women can take nothing and 99.9% of the time have a healthy baby) that it boarderlines voodoo!
However to the uninformed: most prenatal vitamins have one of the following that make them “special”.

  • 1 mg of folic acid vs the 220mcg (or something) that the OTC ones have (folic acid has been shown to prevent spinal defects, so this one has some merit)
  • Some voodoo magical iron prep thats supposed to be gentle on the stomach of the pregnant woman who spends all day consuming dirt, pickles, and other wierd ass cravings.
  • Little hearts on the pills that make you feel all squishy as you pay $4/tablet
  • A bullshit name
  • 10000000% of your daily allowance of the B+C vitamins, knowing full well your body will just pee out 99.999% of it
  • 3.457mg difference in every other ingrediant thats present in all prenatal vitamins
    One woman claimed that she tried out 20 different brands of prenatal vitamins before she found one that “worked”. Now what the fuck is that supposed to mean? They all have the same shit in them! How can a prenatal vitamin “work” and more importantly, how can you tell its “working?” Does the fetus say “Yup, i feel it working better! Thanks mom! *thumbs up*”.
    Now dont make a mistake and bring up logic and reasoning in front of the poor pregnant gal. She’ll give you both barrels of hormone induced insanity all over your front counter in front of your entire staff (because its HER body and she knows exactly what the baby needs). Heaven forbid you’re a male, because you “dont know how it feels to be pregnant and taking inferior prenatal vitamins”. Reasoning with a pregnant woman is like reasoning with a turd, it just makes you feel stupid for wasting the time. Bad turd!
    OB-Gyn’s are partially to blame. The’ll write for whatever hot blonde walks in the front door with a low cut blouse and a bag full of samples. I can just see their fingers twiching wanting to give her a pelvic exam. They have been so brainwashed that they dont realize that an Rx for Folic Acid 1mg plus a super econo-size barrel of cheap generic centrum will do the exact same thing than StuartNatal.
    Just thinking about it gives me heartburn, must be those generic prenatal vitamins I take. :)

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  • 14 Comments

    1. GabonpharmD says:

      I have not laugh like that in a decade!!!
      Bravo..continue the nice work.

    2. Goofy says:

      I totally agree with this…when my wife was just pregnant with our second…her midwife…because the ob/gyn never sees patients..only does surgery (chaching)…wanted to give her some chromagen because she had low iron. Since i am a pharmacist, i said…lets try plain ol’ iron tabs first…since it is my money we’re spending here. Low and behold…it worked…and no constipation….MIRACLE do happen!!!

    3. MLO says:

      Um… Perhaps the woman is allergic to a filler in the generics? There are differences in manufacturing – if you can get the info – and for that small percentage of us with very real IgE mediated allergies it is a constant concern.
      Pax,
      MLO

      • PhilthePharmacist says:

        I realize this is kind of late but I have to say that he would probably realize (being a pharmacist and whatnot) that she is allergic to something in the other vitamin and probably didn’t include those special cases in this rant.

    4. Melissa says:

      When I was pregnant with my first child I saw and OBGYN and he prescribed me a pre-natal. Being the good patient of course I began taking it. The pharmacy switched me to a generic though and it tasted horrible. I had a bad taste in my mouth all the time after taking it. I insisted that the pharmacy give me the name brand which didn’t give me those problems. With my second child I saw a midwife. She did not prescribe any type of pre-natal and said that as long as I was taking a quality multi then I was fine. I did the research and found out that my multivitamin met the minimums and did not exceed the maximums on what a pregnant women needed. I compared that to the prescribed prenatal and found that my vitamin was better.
      So much for the idea that because it comes with a prescription then it is better.

    5. hiptocode says:

      i work for an ob/gyn office and we do give ob patients a prescription for folic acid and tell her to pick up an otc multivitamin. we hand out the samples like candy and the reps keep bringing them even though we hardly ever write prescriptions for them. the only time we will give a scrip for prenatal vitamins is for a patient with sever nausea . . . it helps.

    6. rph3664 says:

      Veering OT: One of my technicians, who is in her late 40s, told me that when she was in high school, some girls were taking OTC prenatal vitamins for their nails, and their parents were finding them and totally freaking out.
      I once found an old stock bottle of prenatal vitamins, probably from the 1960s, at a flea market, and folic acid was conspicuously missing! WEIRD.

    7. Jamie says:

      I don’t understand why you’re so riled up in this post. Aren’t you getting paid a load of money to give people medications they don’t need?
      Furthermore, the way you feel about prenatals is the way I feel about beer… dark beer, non-alcoholic beer, domestic beer, Light beer…it’s all the same and normally has the same alcohol content in it so by your standards they’re all practically the same. The only difference is it’s a matter of preference.
      So women like the prenatals with the little hearts on them, so what? If it makes them feel good and offers them any benefit at all why worry yourself about it?
      Unless you intend to do something about all these things that piss you off quiet bitching.

    8. CAROLINE says:

      OBGYN’S DON’T WANT TO PRESCRIBE ANYTHING! THEY HATE DRUG REPS. THEY DON’T WANT TO SEE THEM OR HEAR THEIR SALES PITCH ON ANY NEW BULLSHIT DRUG.
      DOCTORS HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO THAN SEE DRUG REPS OR COUNT PILLS AS A PROFESSION. SOME DO SEE EVERY PATIENT. IT IS THE PHARMACISTS WHO GET THE KICKBACKS FROM THE GENERIC AND NAME BRAND DRUGS WHO WANT TO SELL ALL OF THEM. WHERE WILL THE PHARMACISTS BE IF THE DOCTORS QUIT WRITING SCRIPTS ALL TOGETHER. PHARMACISTS AND PHARMACY’S SEND JUST AS MUCH CRAP TO OUR OFFICE WE DON’T WANT EITHER. SO SUCK IT UP BOZO ——YOU PICKED A PROFESSION THAT SAYS YOU CAN COUNT TO 100.
      DOCTORS CAN DO SURGERY AND CURE PEOPLE –YOU PUSH PILLS FOR A LIVING.
      GET A LIFE OTHER THAN BASHING DOCTORS WHO COULD CARE LESS WHAT PRENATAL VITAMIN THEY HAVE BUT THE PATIENTS WANT WHATEVER IS ON TV——NOT THE SIMPLE SOLUTION. BLAME THE MEDIA AND PHARMA

      • PharmD says:

        Are you kidding me? I can count to 100 and I push pills for a living? I went to school for six years to learn to count to 100? Wow, you are right Caroline, we pharmacists sure are stupid. Also, sorry you are so upset, maybe you shouldn’t read things with ‘angry’ in the title, as it appears to get your blood pressure up, not to mention the CAPS LOCK button stuck!

        Lots of doctors do actually take the time to see their patients and keep up on current drug therapy (I have noticed most of these MD’s work at teaching hospital locations), BUT there are a lot who write for

        a.) whatever drug the rep has just talked about for 10 minutes over a free $$$$ take out lunch for the entire staff (BTW, we don’t allow drug reps in our pharmacy AT ALL).

        b.) whatever drug the patient has determined that they ‘need’ because of the add on TV. Ummm, don’t Dr’s have the choice anymore to decide what is right for the patient vs. what the PATIENT thinks they need?

        c.) an antibiotic because said patient has a sniffle.

        And don’t even get me started on the NARC prescribers. We had one arrested and totally shut down a couple years back. We practically had a party!

        Maybe you are one of the aforementioned Dr’s who takes the time and does a respectable job in prescribing and keeping up, but you have NO IDEA how many Dr’s DO NOT. It is these prescribers that the rant is referring to. So until YOU have a little bit of being a “pill pusher” maybe you just need to calm down and count to 100. Silently, in your head, and not by 5’s. Best wishes Caroline.

    9. SL says:

      Actually, I am quite happy that my obgyn will prescribe me a generic prenatal vitamin – my insurance covers the cost of any generic prescription.

    10. angry patient says:

      I am PISSED!! my stupid pharmacist substituted my prenatal for a generic prenatal and now I am seeing that the FDA doesn’t even moniter generic prenatals (same as OTC) and I really need the extra vitamins, they are going to be lucky if I dont sue thier asses!!!!!!!!!!!! SHitbags

      • Megan says:

        As long as your doctor signed the blank that says “May Substitute,” your “stupid” pharmacist by law has the approval to change that to a generic equivalent. If you want the brand, it is YOUR responsibility to tell the pharmacist. Do you know what “responsibility” means? And don’t get all lawsuit happy, your “shitbag” pharmacist was just doing their job, which was making sure you get the correct medication and dealing with psychotic patients such as yourself. This website is called The Angry Pharmacist, it is not called “I’m a pharmacist who gives a shit about you bitching about your pharmacist who is doing his job correctly.”

    11. Leigh says:

      Angry Pharmacist:

      I agree with you…up to a point. Pre-natals *are* a total waste of money. However you say, “folic acid has been shown to prevent spinal defects, so this one has some merit.” You are not distinguishing between folic acid and folate. Contrary to popular opinion, they are NOT the same thing. (Folate is a general term for a group of water soluble b-vitamins, and is also known as B9. Folic acid refers to the oxidized synthetic compound used in dietary supplements and food fortification, whereas folate refers to the various tetrahydrofolate derivatives naturally found in food.) I’m pregnant and make a point to get FOLATE through a healthy diet including lots of leafy greens. There are risks of taking folic acid which no one talks about. Apparently, foods are fortified with folic acid because it’s cheaper.

      Would be great if MD’s would just tell women to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, limit meat and dairy, get exercise, and skip processed foods entirely. They’d need a lot less of most medications if they followed that prescription!

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