Do You Trust Pharmacists?

Updated on January 22, 2013
M.B. asks from Clearwater, FL
26 answers

I sent my husband to the store to get some saline drops for my baby. She has a cold and is miserable. While there he asked the pharmacist if there was anything he could give her to help her feel better. The pharmacist said it was ok to give my 11month old baby Benadryl! He told her the baby's weight and she told him the dosing. He came home and told me to give it to her. I haven't yet I'm still waiting for the ok from her dr, i called and left a message. So would you trust this dosing and give an 11month old Benadryl? I'm just kinda in shock they said it was ok...TIA

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So What Happened?

Thanks:) her dr confirmed it was an ok dose to give her. I had just never heard of giving such a young baby Benadryl. And for the record most pharmacists I have come into contact with give me crap for the meds my son takes. So yea, not very positive in my eyes. But that's just me.
@veronica my 6 year old takes seriquil, lithium and clonidine, so I have heard from many pharms that he's to young and one even said I was poisoning him. In his case I trust his psych way more then a pharmacist.
And YES she has snot dripping out her nose, I use saline drops a few times a day and a nasal aspirator.
@jessica warning someone about meds is TOTALLY different then flat out calling them a bad parent and poisoning their child. Like I said in my sons case I trust his pysch way more then the pharms he's being doing his job and has prescribed the same meds and knows how they affect the body. And for the record he was a pharmacist before he went into pyschatry.

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answers from Tampa on

Yes trust the pharmacist!! This is what they go to school for - honestly they know more about meds than many Doctors do. This is their job to know. *Disclaimer I am the daughter of a Pediatrician*

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on sister is one. Do you realize that pharmacists have about 12 YEARS of education ABOVE AND BEYOND high school to get their degree?

They have to know chemical compounds, reactions, etc. so yeah...if a pharmacist told me what dose to give my child - i would believe them and YES, I would TRUST it.

Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Totally trust them, but I'm biased because my dad is a retired pharmacist :)

But I also really trust my favorite Target pharmacist up here in NJ too.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Redding on

I very much trust my pharmacists. I have a long standing relationship with them because I use only one for all my prescriptions unless it's after hours or an emergency.

But, I have to tell you, that several years ago, I got what I thought was the most insane advice from a pharmacist I wasn't familiar with. I got what I thought was a stye on my eye and asked him to recommend something.
He took one look at my eye, said it wasn't a stye but an infection, and told me to use Neosporin. I thought he was crazy! It says right on the tube not to put it in your eyes. I bought some stye stuff and got the heck out of there.

Well, three days later, it had spread to the other eye. My eyes were so sore, swollen, and itchy, I couldn't take it anymore. I told my son to get the first aid kit and get me the Neosporin. I was literally so miserable at that point that I didn't really care if I went blind. I couldn't see anyway.

The relief from the pain and itching was immediate. Within a day, both my eyes were cleared up. I wished I had listened to him in the first place. I could have saved myself a lot of suffering, but I thought he was a crackpot.

I understand being more concerned when it comes to your baby. For sure.
But, my little daughter got so terribly car sick that even the doctor recommended things you wouldn't necessarily think about giving a baby.
It didn't harm her.

There is such a thing as "baby" doses of things.
Confirm with your doctor if it makes you feel better, but I have come to learn that pharmacists can be trusted.

Best wishes and I hope your little one is better soon.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Without going into too much detail, based on personal past experiences - yes, I do trust the pharmacists and actually, I trust them more than the doctors when it comes to medication usage & dosages. Hope your baby feels better soon.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I have to wonder why you don't wait to get the answer from the doctor before asking this question here on the forum? If the doctor says yes, then you'll know it's okay.

I do trust pharmacists, actually. They work with medicines exclusively. Doctors have to do everything, all of the time. Some pharmacists actually look at all the medicines you buy from them and check for problems - like if you see different doctors and get different prescriptions from them. The pharmacists can actually tell, if they are filling ALL the meds, if something is going to react badly with another medicine, and can let you and the doctor know. That's an example of a good pharmacy.

As far as the baby is concerned, wait for the doctor. He or she may say that technically, your baby can have it, but that he or she would like to actually SEE your baby in the office before agreeing to the medicine. If you already took the baby in and he didn't mention benedryl, than that's something else too to consider.

Your hubby DID ask the pharmacist if there was something else. The pharmacist was trying to help by answering the question.

Btw, the saline drops are a great idea. So is letting her sleep in her car seat so that she isn't laying down.

Hope your baby feels better soon!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

My ped told me it was ok to give Benadryl at that age. I wouldn't take a pharmacist's word for whether I needed surgery or not, but as for drug recommendations, sure. That's what they spent all that time in pharmacy school learning.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

We give our kids Benadryl and my husband is an M.D. All our M.D. friends also give their children Benedryl. It really helps dry them up. Especially when they are too little to know how to blow their noses. As an added benefit it helps them sleep better.
FYI pharmacists have a Doctorate degree.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

Yes, I trust them more than I do most doctors!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Pharmacists are MUCH more knowledgeable about medications than doctors are. It's their job. I've had a couple of instances where my pharmacists were so on the ball that they knew about interactions that would be negative that my doctor didn't realize, so they called to notify the doctor for a medication change. They knew this off the top of their heads, double checked their medication information files and were right.

They're also much more knowledgeable about dosages than doctors are. I recently had an issue where our pediatrician wrote out a dosage for a medication that didn't even exist for my daughter... and was far too high for her to boot. The pharmacist knew just looking at the script.

I don't know why you would be in "shock" over a pharmacist knowing their job. If a pharmacist commented over the medications your young child was being given it's because they're very serious medications that aren't given to young children very often due to what they are. You've got to be aware of that. And they would be remiss in their job if they didn't say something to you about the safety of those medications. Black box meds are serious, serious business. They were right to question and warn you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I do trust pharmacists for my family. There was a time when my doctor actually prescribed me something that could've killed me when taken in the dosage and in combination with the other medications he had me on. Pharmacists know more about medications and proper dosages than doctors typically do. Don't let a doctor fool you into thinking they know more than you even do regarding medications as often they go to their computers and google search just as we parents do.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

In all my years of life, I have not yet had a bad experience with pharmacists. I do typically trust them, since I've not been steered in the wrong direction. With that said, I always trust my gut.

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answers from San Francisco on

Yes, some pharmacists give better advice (without charging you an arm and a leg), them some docs.

Hope your doc calls back soon so your baby can get some relief.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

Yes, I trust our pharmacist! We have a nephrologist friend who has told us that Benadryl is one of the safest medications you can take. Used properly, it will give your baby relief and rest. I know children's cold medicines were given a bad rap a few years ago, but you describe your dgtr as being "miserable". The pharmacist wouldn't advise you to give your baby something harmful, trust the advice.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

DO NOT GIVE THAT BABY Benadryl unless you want her to be so dried up that you'll have to use tweezers to pull the boogers out of her sinuses.

Benadryl is for allergy's, runny eyes that are red and itchy, whelps from touching something you're allergic to, a violent rash or reaction to an allergen. It is NOT FOR A COLD.

A runny nose is because there is a virus that is making the nose produce mucus. It's trying to wash the virus out. It needs to make mucus.

So if you have already given it to her please watch her. If she starts wheezing and having trouble breathing you might want to try and get moisture into her lungs. A humidifier or a hot steamy shower will help.

What you sent your hubby to the store for is to make her snot come out easier. Saline drops is to make her mucus easier to suction out. Now that you're introducing Benadryl to her system you'll have the same problem but about 50 times worse.

A pharmacist can only tell you what to do with what you say.

Hubby probably told her that the baby had a runny nose or something saying the baby needed to have a drier nose. That's what the pharmacist treated.

I'd call the pharmacist and specifically ask them about specific symptoms. A clogged up stuffy nose needs a decongestant not something to dry it up even more which is what benadryl is for.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm curious about why you would be 'in shock' about giving benadryl to your baby, but you're perfectly fine giving meds to your son that the pharmacists have told you specifically are not safe. Pharmacists are specially trained in drug interactions (ya know, chemistry and all), and are much more knowledgeable than doctors about such things, being that it's their job and all. If more than one pharmacist has warned you about your sons meds, you should be concerned.

Yes, benadryl is safe for babies. And dogs and cats too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

If it doesn't make sense to you, then you are right to double-check. Personally, I would go with the least medications possible for this age. Saline drops are great, by the way. The info I find suggests that the benadryl could suppress respiration or make baby so drowsy that baby might not adjust their position if they aren't breathing, the way most babies would. Those would be some pretty specific concerns. (by the way, the only definitive info I could find online was "ask your doctor".)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

You did not mention what kind of pharmacy you were at.

I trust pharmacists at smaller, real pharmacies. They almost always take the time to explain drugs at any level your education permits.

You will not get this sort of service say at a Wal Mart or Costco or other huge retail pharmacies.

And yes Benadryl in the proper dose is safe for your 11month old.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

NO. I have had picked up meds for my kids and saw that they gave my child the wrong medicine and the wrong dose ! It was not a pretty picture. Went through a whole grievance process etc. I don't trust them at all. So whenever I get meds, I ask my dr to tell me the prescription, the dose etc. and I calculate it out and make sure its correct. Then I double and triple check it. I am shocked for you about the benadryl!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I do trust them but same time, I'd probably have wanted to hear from a dr too. But coincidently, our pedi also recommended benadryl at a young age. He said it keeps all the mucus from going down into their lungs and causing a cough. Made sense to me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Yes I trust the pharmacist - I trust their knowledge of medications more than I trust the doctors.
Doctors often consult with pharmacist to get advise regarding medication dosing, route of delivery, contraindications etc... I know this because I work in the medical field with both doctors and pharmacist.
Pharmacist that work in hospitals cross check the orders written by the MD to make sure that they are appropriate. I can't tell you how many times the pharmacist has called to alert the MD of a problem with the medication he has ordered.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Yes, generally, I do trust pharmacists. I would probably wait for the doctor's advice on this one, but Benadryl is considered a very safe medication. However, in children under 3 it can have the opposite reaction that it usually has. Instead of making young children sleepy, it can actually make them agitated. I am surprised your husband was not told that. If used for the proper purpose and in the proper doseage, it is considered safe. I think it is generally frowned upon to use it for young children purposely to make them sleepy, but it can be helpful for allergies and even colds (not all agree about giving it for colds).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If anything I find advice from pharmacists to be overly conservative. I'm a little surprised at the advice you got today.



answers from Topeka on

Yes that is what they are educated for to help us who don't know or to make sure that it is ok & to get the dosing per age/weight.I have always rechecked with them from my first baby to my last 4th baby.I have had 2 prescriptions that were a mistake so when I called them back to verify my script from what I was told they gave me the incorrect box same medication minus the steriod it was a cream the other was mgs on pills I took them back refunded my money then gave me the correct medication free of charge.I looked before I paid but inside the pills were wrong the other it was the same but when I was reading it I recalled it didn't say something specific so I had to call to question it.So from now on I will open them in front of them verify that this is what I was prescribed the dosing & the contents inside before I pay and leave.At either time the medication was not given.


answers from Washington DC on

I would only give benadryl for an allergic reaction to something. Not for a cold. There are homeopathic cold meds that I feel are a little safer than traditional cold meds. The saline drops are good too. I hope she feels better soon!



answers from Miami on

Yes. Pharmacists have medical school training in drugs, doses, and interactions. They are probably less likely to make an error in dosage and medication than an actual doctor. Unless the dosage was extreme (meaning, he recommended the dosage you'd give to a 12-year-old, for example), I wouldn't even think twice about the recommendation. If you are worried, you can always give a smaller dosage, like a quarter less than what he recommended, and see how the baby responds to that. No offense, but I'd trust Benadryl more than I'd trust those psych medicines, which can lead to suicidal thoughts and cause more harm than good, especially at such a young age when kids are still developing and going through phases.

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