If you have the opportunity of serving the public as a community pharmacist, then chances are that you on, regular bases have dispense bromazepam(lexotan) to your patients.
Bromazepam is a prescription only medicine, which I feel is most abused of all POM, especially by The elderly.
WHY THE ABUSE?
In my years as a community pharmacist, I have come to realise that many health professionals like doctors, nurses (most especially) and even pharmacists use this drug to treat hypertension, and of course, we know anti-hypertensive are generally drugs that one might need to take for a lifetime. But lexotan is not an anti-hypertensive but rather a drug used to manage anxiety
WHAT SUSTAINS THE ABUSE?
Once these drugs are prescribed or recommended, most patients do not go back to their doctors for follow up, but would rather carry the prescription around to purchase the drug, the pharmacists knew that most of those drugs have been dispensed, as most of them carry dates that dates back to as far back as five years, but they still rely on such obsolete paper to dispense the drug. The reasons pharmacist do this is best known to them. Many carefree doctors also do online, phone and even Facebook and WhatsApp prescriptions to friends, family members, church members and so on, without actually clacking these people to ascertain the necessity of such prescriptions. This unprofessional attitude by physicians should be looked into.
WHY DO PATIENTS EAGERLY SEEK FOR IT. The reason is simple…DEPENDENCE!!!
Most patients addicted to these drugs do not even know they are addicted. For instance, if a prescription of say 1.5mg lexotan was made, the patient uses it and sleeps “well” (a sedative property of the drug), they will now rely on it to help them get more sleep, as time goes on, tolerance would set in and 1.5mg would no longer be enough, then the person has to move to a higher dose to obtain initial result that was hitherto obtainable with 1.5mg, therefore, he/she goes for 3mg, and as time goes on, 3mg would no longer suffice and the dose is increased further.
Compare this to when you tasted your first bottle of beer, you’ll recall that one bottle got you tipsy or intoxicated. As time passes and you continue to drink, one bottle won’t “shak’’ you anymore, then you take two bottles then three then four and so on. Someone that takes 10 bottles of beer and goes home fine didn’t start drinking today, same goes for lexotan, etc.
HOW TO NIP THIS TIDE IN THE BUD
- Close all open drugs markets, to reduce unfettered access to drugs
- Doctors should stop training people in their hospital and call them nurses, and while in training, they should be told that lexotan,diazepam and other benzodiazepines are not antihypertensive
- Pharmacist should not allow sales assistant to dispense POM
- Physicians and even pharmacist should stop online and phone prescriptions of anything beyond OTC.
Please avoid drug and substance abuse.