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

Poll

If the pharmacy funding cuts go ahead in England, what do you believe is most likely to happen in your pharmacy?
I will lose my job
19%
I will keep my job but will look at opportunities outside community pharmacy
24%
The extra pressure will affect the services I offer patients
55%
The cuts will not affect my pharmacy
2%
Total votes: 42