Ethical dilemma: A delay starting antibiotics

Ethical Dilemma A young man hands you a dental prescription for 21 metronidazole 200mg tabs i tds. You counsel him to avoid alcohol, but he's going on a stag do and proposes to start taking them after the weekend. How would you reply and what are the consequences of your choice?

A young man hands you a dental prescription for 21 metronidazole 200mg tabs i tds. You dispense the medicine and counsel him to avoid alcohol – and he looks worried.

"I'm going on a stag do this weekend – of course I'm going to drink!"

You explain the consequences of drinking on the medicine, and the man grins.

"Well, I can just not start taking it until after the weekend, can't I? That won't be a problem, will it? How long do I need to wait before I start it?"

How would you reply and what are the consequences of your choice? Post your comments at chemistanddruggist.co.uk/practice and we will publish the best responses in C+D next month

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Pharmacist

Wombwell, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

Competitive salary

Poll

During an MUR how often do you recommend an alternative formulation for a patient’s prescribed medication?
During most MURs
1%
In one in every two MURs
2%
In one in four MURs
5%
In one in 10 MURs
21%
In one in 20 MURs or less
51%
Never
20%
Total votes: 194