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  #21  
Old 20.02.2008, 20:04
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

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I use a ventolin inhaler for a bit of light asthmaand I'm down to my last one. Does anyone know if this has to be prescribed from the doctors or can you buy it over the counter?

thanks.
I walked in to a pharmacy with my generic inhaler from the US with no prescription. They gave me a Ventolin with no problem and charged a couple francs for a consult. I did the same with Seretide. The problem is that with out a prescription the insurance will not pay for it. No big deal for something cheap like Ventolin but the good stuff like Seretide, at 136 francs a pop, is worth seeing a doctor. I now have a local doctor and can walk into his office and pick up my meds and he does the billing with the insurance.
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  #22  
Old 20.02.2008, 21:10
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

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They are the same, it's paracetamol... even to the point where you can buy 16 500mgs (no script) or 8 1gs (with script), same thing!
Paracetamol is easily overdosed. If I remember correctly, a dosage of 7g is considered lethal due to liver failure. Maybe that goes into establishing these rules.

Ponstan would be a classic example for "should be prescription but the correct sob story will get you it regardless". Same goes for the contraceptive pill if you know what to say. Of course it is not advisable to self-medicate on a grand scale but I agree that some things should be more easily obtainable. If you know you will need stuff repeatedly, get a "repetatur" prescription, they used to be valid for a year, might be down to six months now though.

As for the initial question - anything that can seriously screw you up or requires a proper diagnosis is generally prescription, easy as that. I recommend going to the same pharmacy for all your stuff, as they can warn you about otc stuff that is no good for you. This came in handy last time I had a really bad cold bordering on flu, I wanted to buy my usual combo of stuff (aka get a big bucket, add horse medicine, drink through straw, hallucinate, go back to work the next day), but the pharmacist remembered that I am asthmatic and explained that I was quite likely to risk suffocating if I proceeded as planned (which explained some unpleasant incidents with past colds). The alternative solution was a) cheaper and b) faster in getting me better.
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  #23  
Old 20.02.2008, 22:36
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

thanks for the feedback on albuterol, i had the same question.

op, this is also a bit of a mystery to me as i've been able to get prilosec (omeprazole) without a prescription, but it came with a free scolding about how i really need a script for it. oh well, got me through the alcoholidays!
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  #24  
Old 20.02.2008, 23:14
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

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Paracetamol is easily overdosed. If I remember correctly, a dosage of 7g is considered lethal due to liver failure. Maybe that goes into establishing these rules.
This is understandable, however, as it's listed, you can buy over the counter the exact total amount of mgs with or without a script.
Personally I think it sort of defeats the purpose of the script.

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- Of course it is not advisable to self-medicate on a grand scale
- I recommend going to the same pharmacy for all your stuff, as they can warn you about otc stuff that is no good for you.
I totally agree with these statements.
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  #25  
Old 20.02.2008, 23:32
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

Speaking of pharmacies... I recently heard that the drug Adderall, available in the US with a prescription from pharmacies, is the same as speed (or amphetamines) which is a class A drug in the UK!

I was quite shocked to find out that one of my room mates in the US did speed on a regular basis and in front of my face

Would anyone know the legal status of Adderall in CH? Purely out of curiosity
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  #26  
Old 21.02.2008, 10:15
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

Your friend was "doing" it in the ill-guided hope of enhancing his study abilities, unless he was properly diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, in which case he would have a hard time studying without the stuff.

The newspapers are being very irresponsible by repeatedly publishing articles about how students are fighting tooth and nail to get their hands on the various drugs used for ADHD patients or those with narcolepsy, thus alerting those not yet in the know of something they may want to try. Even if there are undeniably short-term benefits with many people (while others feel pretty much nothing at all), it is definitely not a good idea in the long run. Ritaline, for one, has been linked to a higher incidence of Parkinson, though I sadly have not seen the original study, only saw it mentioned in a journal.

How desperate some people are was made apparent to me when someone actually stole the blister of Ritaline I keep in my pencil case while I was away from my "study spot" in the library. Unlike them, I was correctly prescribed it after taking a barrage of tests...

Summing up, all the amphetamine-type drugs not only need a prescription but have to be prescribed by someone with a special kind of prescription sheet (they are numbered and two copies are made). At least that's what my psych tells me, although some med students are getting the stuff regardless.
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  #27  
Old 21.02.2008, 13:38
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

Thanks for your concern, though I wasn't going to try it, I only have two exams left

Every time someone issues a warning on drugs, god kills a bunny. (and then rolls one)
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  #28  
Old 21.02.2008, 14:11
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

So, Ritalin is legal and prescribed here in Switzerland. Do you know if adderall is as well?

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Your friend was "doing" it in the ill-guided hope of enhancing his study abilities, unless he was properly diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, in which case he would have a hard time studying without the stuff.

The newspapers are being very irresponsible by repeatedly publishing articles about how students are fighting tooth and nail to get their hands on the various drugs used for ADHD patients or those with narcolepsy, thus alerting those not yet in the know of something they may want to try. Even if there are undeniably short-term benefits with many people (while others feel pretty much nothing at all), it is definitely not a good idea in the long run. Ritaline, for one, has been linked to a higher incidence of Parkinson, though I sadly have not seen the original study, only saw it mentioned in a journal.

How desperate some people are was made apparent to me when someone actually stole the blister of Ritaline I keep in my pencil case while I was away from my "study spot" in the library. Unlike them, I was correctly prescribed it after taking a barrage of tests...

Summing up, all the amphetamine-type drugs not only need a prescription but have to be prescribed by someone with a special kind of prescription sheet (they are numbered and two copies are made). At least that's what my psych tells me, although some med students are getting the stuff regardless.
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  #29  
Old 21.02.2008, 14:35
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

I'm not sure, there is a preference for prescribing Ritaline and Concerta here. There are some countries, such as Canada, that are considering a ban on Adderall, may have already implemented it, not up to date on that I'm afraid, was a while since I read up on it.

You best ask a doctor, they can look it up in the "Arzneimittelkompendium".
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  #30  
Old 27.02.2008, 17:48
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

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Apparently, this was a `C` because the first pharmacist would not give it to me without a prescription. However, I went back to the same pharmacy the next day and spoke with a different pharmacist and-presto change-o, I had the med in two blinks (still without a prescription).
Sonnyk, that is the best advice i find for Europe. if you dont like the answer you get, just go back another time and to another employee.

it sucks that there is no direct policies, and that we have to waste our time running around for no reason... When i first applied for my permit, the permit control office told me they could not processes it because their was a mistake on the procedures. then they told me that i had to go and turn myself into the police and get deported. i went back the next day, to another employee and they processed my permit with absolutely no problems...
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  #31  
Old 27.02.2008, 17:51
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

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It's easy to determine if your medicament requires prescription or not. There is a Swissmedic logo somewhere on the box, with a big letter.
  • A: prescription required for every sale
  • B: prescription required, prescriptions for several sales allowed
  • C: over the counter, counseling required, sold in pharmacies
  • D: over the counter, counseling required, sold in pharmacies and drugstores
  • E: over the counter, no counseling required, can be sold everywhere
ok my medication is "B" how come they gave it to me without a prescription?
is it because im a foreigner?
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  #32  
Old 27.02.2008, 17:51
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

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When i first applied for my permit, the permit control office told me they could not processes it because their was a mistake on the procedures. then they told me that i had to go and turn myself into the police and get deported. i went back the next day, to another employee and they processed my permit with absolutely no problems...
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  #33  
Old 27.02.2008, 18:20
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

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ok my medication is "B" how come they gave it to me without a prescription?
is it because im a foreigner?
The labels are universally valid. Maybe the pharmacist thought that you need the medication urgently. But if this happens repeatedly this doesn't put the pharmacy in a positive light.

I for one get usually asked when buying a C rated medication if I use it for the first time and if I wish to get some advice.
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  #34  
Old 15.07.2008, 21:38
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

"Summing up, all the amphetamine-type drugs not only need a prescription but have to be prescribed by someone with a special kind of prescription sheet (they are numbered and two copies are made)."

So if a college student who takes Adderall for ADHD were going to Switzerland for a semester, should he/she bring in a supply of Adderall; bring prescriptions from his/her doctor; or see a doctor there upon arrival to get one of those triplicate prescriptions? Will doctors there prescribe Adderall or will they insist that he/she switch to something else?
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  #35  
Old 20.12.2008, 20:44
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

I have discovered that our health insurance company doesn't want to refund us for our non-prescription diabetes supplies (insulin syringes) but it appears they will reimburse if they are prescribed ???

Also, there may be a price variation depending on whether the product is being supplied OTC (over the counter = without prescription) or with script...

Shop around for your OTC's and also try for different dosages/generics...

I also discovered that the Paediatrician's prescription for 'Tylenol' would be covered under our 'supplementary' but the generic only would be covered under the 'compulsory'...

Smile sweetly - the pharmacist will be plenty aware of generics, cheaper alternatives, smaller or larger packages...and I'm finding them most helpful! - and plenty speak decent English too!
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  #36  
Old 10.06.2010, 16:37
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

I have been on Aderall XR for adhd for years. When I came to Switzerland I ran out of my medicine and so I quit taking it. After a few months of being completely worthless I realized how much adderall has helped me through the years but I was told by a doctor that it is not perscibed here. I soon became ill (not related to the adderall, as it has been out of my system for over 6 months) so I went to the er because I was having chest pains among other symptoms. I told the dr my history and also mentioned that I had been on adderall xr for years but had run out and was not able to get it filled here.The doctor was shocked that I had taken adderall. She looked at me and said in a very accusing tone "where did you get this?" I said my doctor in the states perscribed it to me. She said that it is a drug like extacy and the only people who take it are junkies. I was shocked and she made me feel very bad. She told me that there was no way I would get adderall in Switzerland. I told her how I never feel "high from it" and she just laughed and said "ya right, it gives you euphoria or energy just like all the ravers and partiers get when the take it to stay up all night and party." I said actually no it doesnt, it just helps me stay organized, focused and able to function and she cut me off and just walked out of the room. I was left there to wait for hours. When she finally came back seriously hours later she said my labs and ekg were normal so she believes the chest pain is all in my head and probaly from withdrawling from adderall. She said I need to go see a psychiatrist and then she left the room. Can you believe that?!!! I left the hospital thinking I was crazy and the chest pain was all in my head. Well a week later I had an appt with a gynocologist here for other issues and they did some blood work. It turns out I have hypothyroid and they started me on eltroxin. Well, the chest pain was not all in my head, nor was it from withdrawls from adderall because I actually never had any withdrawl effects noticed other than my adhd symptoms returned and I have just had to deal with them. I am still just as add even with the thyroid med and I am just pretty miserable. I still cant believe how awful that er dr treated me.
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  #37  
Old 26.12.2012, 13:48
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

good info, thanks!
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  #38  
Old 26.12.2012, 13:56
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

was trying to say thanks to Javo for the A,B,C, D info.

Is there anywhere on this site that explains how to thank for a post, or how to post a direct reply, or if editing my post is possible?
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  #39  
Old 26.12.2012, 14:04
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Re: Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland?

Yes.
Please check this Thread. Your question may already have been covered.

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