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Old 08-26-2016, 12:27 AM   #31
johndallman
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Pharmacy and Poisons

The classic UK pharmacy is the "Chemist's Shop". As well as being a pharmacy, it sells cosmetics, toiletries, personal care tools in general, sometimes baby supplies and food. In the past, it usually took in photographic developing and printing before that died of digital cameras.

They don't usually sell alternative or homeopathic medicines: those are the preserve of "health food shops", along with somewhat alternative foods, bodybuilding supplies and the like.

I've never run into the idea of a compounding pharmacy here: most prescription medicines come in blister packs, rather than pills dispensed from large bottles into small ones.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:34 AM   #32
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Pharmacy and Poisons

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My mother gets some of her tablets (not gel caps) made for her at the pharmacy, since she's allergic to a whole range of dyes and binders. They have to special order the powdered form of the drug in, and then blend with the binder and whatever to get a consistent dosage, then it goes into the press to make the tablet. I don't think she needs any of hers coated, and I don't know if the pharmacy has the tools to do it.
Ah. At the hospital, stuff like that would just be an oral solution, but thats for patients, so it makes sense she gets pills - they need to stay in date longer and arent made on a per dose basis. I wonder if that's common in community compounding pharmacies in the US...
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Old 08-26-2016, 04:04 AM   #33
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Pharmacy and Poisons

If we're talking about various countries, I can actually connect the two skills!.
In France you used to (maybe 2-3 decades ago) be able to take your basket of freshly harvested wild mushrooms to the pharmacien, who would be able to tell you which ones were safe to eat. I believe this has been phased out now, or possibly the qualification/insurance is too expensive and pharmacies now refuse to accept the risks of a misidentified dinner.

Amusingly (to me anyway) a drug store-equivalent is called a 'parapharmacie'.

In Taiwan it seems to be much like the US, except in parallel you also have Traditional Chinese Medicine clinics, that will prepare various roots or powered mixes, which are usually prepared on site.
These are regulated, but it seems there's no equivalent to a 'pharmacist', so in theory only a qualified TCM doctor can prepare prescribed treatments.
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Old 08-26-2016, 07:03 AM   #34
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Pharmacy and Poisons

My pharmacy of choice (one of the dedicated types) isn't a full compounding pharmacy. They can do some of the simpler things (oral suspensions of drugs shipped pre-prepared for such purpose) but they have a postage-stamp sized store so don't have room for much equipment.

But: they have extensive access to distribution networks, and they have a standing relationship with a recompounding pharmacist (possibly one with no storefront). We've managed to order things like tincture of valarian root, which is not available off-the-shelf due to the potential for organ damage with long-term use[1]. It was recommended by my partner's doctor as a pill-free alternative, for use under doctors supervision - it would be a prescription medicine but herbal extracts aren't on that system.

[1] It actually has less risks associated with it than my two main medications, at least at the prescribed dosages. Part of the point of prescription medication is having a doctor make sure you're using it only when the benefits outweigh the penalties, and to be monitored for the penalties. I need blood tests every six months to test for liver damage, for example.
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Old 08-30-2016, 04:03 AM   #35
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Pharmacy and Poisons

One thing I always found when using the poisons skill was the shortage of written up poisons. The combination of delivery methods and damage types, the individual strengths and weaknesses of each poison. Not to mention the descriptive write ups.
It is a bit of a daunting topic to approach and I have only managed a few half hearted lists for fantasy worlds.
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:02 AM   #36
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Pharmacy and Poisons

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One thing I always found when using the poisons skill was the shortage of written up poisons.
Ditto. AS I lamented elsewhere on these boards, when I was hunting for poison spells for a spider themed Holy Warrior... there are barely any.
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:46 AM   #37
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Pharmacy and Poisons

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[1] It actually has less risks associated with it than my two main medications, at least at the prescribed dosages. Part of the point of prescription medication is having a doctor make sure you're using it only when the benefits outweigh the penalties, and to be monitored for the penalties. I need blood tests every six months to test for liver damage, for example.
That can be a serious concern even with over the counter things. My wife was told a few months ago that the ibuprofen she was taking for migraines had started to damage her liver and kidneys, and she must never take it again.
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:49 AM   #38
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Pharmacy and Poisons

I think mysteries has some good additions to the poison list ...

Part of the trick is that most of the time poisons aren't worth it. Either they are cinematic enough that other options overwhelm them (like magic), they don't kill fast enough, or they require complicated delivery over dinner.
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:18 AM   #39
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Pharmacy and Poisons

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That can be a serious concern even with over the counter things. My wife was told a few months ago that the ibuprofen she was taking for migraines had started to damage her liver and kidneys, and she must never take it again.
I haven't been able to take paracetamol since I was 17 for similar “keep doing that and you'll need a new liver” issues. I generally stick with plain ol' aspirin now (on the theory that if I've got to take painkillers anyway I may as well go with the one that chips away at the risk of cardiovascular problems).
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:50 AM   #40
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Pharmacy and Poisons

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I think mysteries has some good additions to the poison list ...

Part of the trick is that most of the time poisons aren't worth it. Either they are cinematic enough that other options overwhelm them (like magic), they don't kill fast enough, or they require complicated delivery over dinner.
High-Tech and Low-Tech had additions of real-world poisons, IIRC, and some fraction of them can be quite useful to adventurers.
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