Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dear Big Pharma

Dear Big Pharma,

If you spend any time at all on the Internet, you are well aware of the legions of people who take issue with your Big Profits and your Big Conspiracies. I, however, want to take issue with a different Big issue: your Big Pills.

I first encountered Big Pills when I was about four months pregnant with my first child. See, I became anemic, and my doctor prescribed iron tablets. I trotted off to the pharmacy, filled the script, and began to laugh out loud when I took a gander at the pill I was expected to swallow.

No way!

Look, I was nearing the twenty-week mark, about thirteen weeks into nearly-incapacitating nausea. I could barely choke down my favorite foods, and I was going to swallow a really wretched tablet half the size of my finger?

I don't think so.

(I would be remiss if here I didn't pause to point out that it was you, Big Pharma, who produced Zofran, AKA Ambrosia, AKA The Nectar of the Gods, for women with debilitating morning, noon, and night sickness. Some bright chemist in your ranks tinkered with compounds long enough to produce Zofran, that blessed substance that elevated me from a miserable lump in the fetal position to one of the walking wounded. While the rest of this piece is tongue-in-cheek, this bit is not. I am grateful).

Now for the rest of my rant.

A year or so ago, my doctor encouraged me to start taking heavy doses of calcium and vitamin D. It took a little doing to find the right combo, but eventually I located a bottle with the recommended strength, brought it home, and began to laugh out loud when I took a gander at the pill I was expected to swallow.

No way!

Just a trifle smaller than the iron tablets, just as horrible to the taste buds, and these bad boys were chalky to boot. I turned to a pill splitter  for assistance.  And the result? The split pills were just as nasty, just as chalky, and, on top of that, sharp!

For the past few years I have taken Lysine to stave off fever blisters and mouth ulcers. It works like a charm. (So, again, thanks, Big Pharma!) I ran out of Lysine the other day and scoured the medicine cabinet for another bottle. I found one, but the pills were enormous, chalky, and foul tasting. I zipped over to Target yesterday and picked up a new bottle. I returned home to find the new tablets were infinitesimally smaller than the other horse pills. Maybe. I halfway choked one down today and then spent the rest of the afternoon feeling as though I had an enormous lump in my throat because I'm fairly certain that I did.


People, Big Pharma, are supposed to swallow these pills. Not elephants. Not the camel in the Geico commercial. People. Can't we coat these bad boys? Instruct us to take two smaller tablets? Make them chewable?


A Concerned Customer with a Lump in her Throat

P.S. I had never heard the term Big Pharma until I watched Stuff Crunchy Mamas Say.  Are you going to the Chicken Pox party? Best line ever.


Kris said...

I have solved some of this problem by taking my kids' gummy vitamins and gummy calcium chews. It's the only way.

Kelly Dolin said...

Kris, The chewy things are the only reason I've been able to start doing what my doctor told me to do. HT: Megan, the awesome PA!