morally right but not legal? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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morally right but not legal?

So what wins out, do you do something morally right even if it is illegal?

I am thinking about drugs here.

Let's say that you have a UTI or a sinus infection. You have taken a drug before and it worked for you -- let's stick with antibiotics. You know your dosage.

To get a new prescription you must see a doctor. However, you have some that was prescribed for another person or critter. Do you take it?

Let's say that a drug did not work for a particular complaint and they switched the drug. So you have a half a bottle of these left. You cannot return them. Do you throw them in the garbage can or save them for the next complaint?

To throw them away is wasteful and would not be morally right. To give them to a friend or family member would be illegal. To use them in a manner that they were not prescribed is also illegal.

With the rising costs of health care and prescriptions, has anyone else been tempted to use antibiotics perscribed for their dogs?

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 11:13 PM
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Re: morally right but not legal?

I've thought about it, but thankfully never had to. I am very leery of taking abx for anything because I think they are over used for humans and animals. Now if I had an abscess and it was the Christmas holiday and my dentist was skiing in Vail as he does, no I would not feel any guilt over taking some Fish-mox. My mom actually did that once, she got this horrid tooth ach and infection so she immediately started taking some abx that we had leftover for some reason. The dentist said that was the right thing to do because he could not operate on the tooth before starting the abx and getting it under control. I have had staph infections with small abscesses on my scalp (luckily never been visible b/c of my hair) that have required cephlex to fully treat but I always check with the Dr. first, especially since these days cephlex is free.

I do sometimes give my dogs de-wormer or metronidazole without seeing a vet.

I have actually given another human expired prescription drugs though! Long story, but basically, before I left for Africa the school gave us a big supply of doxy because that's what you take to "prevent" malaria. I had gone to my own GP and he prescribed a different drug, so I never opened the bottle of doxy. Then, a few years later, a friend mentions to me that this guy we know was leaving for south america the next day and never bothered to get his malaria pills. I jokingly said I had a bottle of them at home somewhere. Lo and behold, the guy calls me an hour later and asks if he could have them! I checked and they had expired less than a month before, and I know expired drugs are bad b/c of half life and whatever but it was less than a month. I also checked with the CDC because there are two types of malaria and you have to take the right pills, but the region where he was going was the same as the region where I had been, so I gave him the pills (removed the label). He took them as instructed and did not get malaria or sick.

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 11:16 PM
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Re: morally right but not legal?

I, personally, just fill the bottles with water and throw them away (rather than flushing the drugs and allowing them to get into the water supply.) However, this has only happened to me once... when I had a bad reaction to a medicine and had it switched. So, obviously I would not take it again and the medicine would only be useful in its full dosage, which was not there, thus making it un-useful to anyone else.

I think that, because most medicines require an entire dosage to be effective, I would always just go to the Dr and get a prescription rather than try to self medicate. They went to school for many years for a reason! Maybe I would reuse (mild) painkillers or an antibiotic cream or something but nothing other than that.

I also believe that we probably pay well over the price it costs to actually manufacture the drugs so who cares if I decide to "waste" them by throwing them away rather than putting them to use. I guess I'll be helping the economy by getting another prescription (?)

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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 11:24 PM
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Re: morally right but not legal?

No but I can think of other cases in which I would do what I consider morally right but it would be illegal. (Think civil disobedience; think back to the days when diseminating birth control information was illegal).
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 11:30 PM
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Re: morally right but not legal?

Anytime my dogs have been on something, I have used the script up as prescribed, so no leftovers. I do have an anti-diarrhea/nausea tab left from Kacie's only illness. Just in case.
Right now I am using my daughters prescription cortizone cream for my insect bites that are multiplying alll over my body!!! I know if I went to the dr. they would give me the same thing. I went to get it refilled tonight as I(she) have 4 refills til the end of the year. Different than actual meds, but I am not being moral/legal by using someone elses Rx.

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 11:39 PM
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Re: morally right but not legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: JerzeyGSDI, personally, just fill the bottles with water and throw them away (rather than flushing the drugs and allowing them to get into the water supply.)
The bottles you fill with water with Meds in them might just as well end in the water supply. The junk goes to a land fill and land fills have been noted to contaminate the water source because of leakage in the clay liner of the cell.

To dispose of unused or outdated Meds, contact your County and see if the have a Medical collection/disposal site. Many Counties in WI have a drug round up so to speak at least once a year.

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 11:41 PM
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Re: morally right but not legal?

I wouldn't use my dog meds becuase they don't have health insurance -their meds cost me more money!

I'll admit to switching meds with 3 kids. If say my oldest comes down with a sinus infection and gets meds from his doctor. His younger brother has the same exact symptoms 2 days later, I'll give the younger brother some of the medicine and call the doctor. Give my oldest his sister's benedril to make him shaddup and go to sleep - UH, NO!

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 11:54 PM
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Re: morally right but not legal?

There are some drugs I keep, like metronidazole, for the occasional runny poop situation. But I know the exact dose each dog takes, and I always call my vet (who knows I do this) and run it by her. She says "yeah, proceed," and she charts it.

If my dog were to have a bad reaction, I could bring him in and it wouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

I once had bronchitis, and my doctor suggested using an inhaler. I told her that my husband, (who has asthma) had a 3 month supply of them (we use a mail order pharmacy because it's cheaper, and he very rarely uses a rescue inhaler.). She told me that she would write the prescription for that particular brand, and if I chose to "fill" my prescription at my medicine cabinet rather than at the local drug store, she had no qualms with that. But she did make sure that the prescription matched what I wanted to use because the computer automatically cross-checks contraindications with the meds I already take and with my allergies and such.

There are too many risks inherent in self medicating. Even with OTC drugs, it's not a good idea to self-medicate for anything more than the simplest of issues. For example, approx 60% of "yeast" infections that women self-treat (often repeatedly) are actually bacterial infections, STD, other infections, etc. So these poor women are spending quite a bit of money and are miserable for days or weeks or longer using products that will NEVER cure what's wrong with them. Sure, the folks at Monistat that got their product approved to go over the counter not too many years ago love this. But it's not good for women's health (or their sanity).

So you could end up dropping a lot of money then still needing to go in to the doctor's office anyhow in that case.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/19/health...html?sec=health

That's just an example.

In the case of using someone else's drugs, contraindications can and do occur. Google is not a substitute for a medical degree. It's just not. There is a lot of info available on the web, but there is a lot of bad information on the web too. So you can't trust that.

I've sat around the office or other places and listened to people talk about what they're "sure" they have wrong with them. I just shake my head. I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty conversant on medicine, enough to know crazy diagnoses when I hear them. There are some things I can pretty easily self-diagnose, and most things, I make an appointment for. I can be 98% certain, but I still go in.

If something goes wrong when you self medicate, you need to go to the doctor. You want the doctor to know exactly what you took, to know it was a fresh prescription, and what it could have interacted with. If you're pulling stuff off the shelf, you can't say for sure. Some meds lose their efficacy in light or heat, for starters. Dosage may change as you age, or if you have additional health issues, like your blood pressure has gone from normal to elevated.

It's just not worth it. For me, it's not even a moral issue. It's just a practical matter.

So, as a practical matter, do I save some prescriptions? Yes, cough syrup with codeine, I save for the next cold. But at the end of cold and flu season, I pitch it. Metronidazole for the dogs, I save (but I store it properly and ditch it long before the expiration date). For dogs that have recurring issues (or a drug that may be vital in an emergency), I may save something else, if the vet and I think it's a reasonable thing to do. Or

Of all drugs, antibiotics should never be used as a partial prescription. They are prescribed as a treatment course and should be used that way. So if you don't finish them (if you need a different abx), toss what you have and finish the new ones. Don't use the partial Rx another time. Otherwise, you really risk creating resistance, which can be a big problem down the road.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 12:14 AM
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Re: morally right but not legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
Of all drugs, antibiotics should never be used as a partial prescription. They are prescribed as a treatment course and should be used that way. So if you don't finish them (if you need a different abx), toss what you have and finish the new ones. Don't use the partial Rx another time. Otherwise, you really risk creating resistance, which can be a big problem down the road.
So true. I actually know someone who's condition went on longer, if not worsened because he stopped taking them when it started looking better. Then he had to switch drugs and start over.

In the case of my mom taking them, she did a full round when the dentist saw her, but somehow she had some that she started taking right away to speed up the process and got a refill once she got ahold of him. Same for the kid I gave mine too, I had never opened the pill bottle, there was two month's worth in there (start taking a few days before leaving, and continue taking when you get back until they are *gone*).

I actually have a full round of (animal) cephlex somewhere b/c a vet prescribed it for a hot spot (?) and I never gave Coke a single pill. I didn't know what to do with it, I think it's in the fridge.

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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 12:16 AM
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Re: morally right but not legal?

Lies, sending you a PM.


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