Weekend before last I came down with gastroenteritis often called the stomach flu. Ruben was concerned when my temperature shot up to 102.5ºF (39,2ºC). He insisted that we have a doctor come over to check me out. At first I resisted and then relented and he called my insurance company, Adeslas. Even though this was after-hours on a Saturday, the doctor showed up at my door within two hours. This is the first time that I have had a “house call” in more than 40 years. Ruben said that here it es normal.
The doctor asked me a number of questions and recommended paracetamol for fever (known in the US as acetaminophen) and an antibiotic, Septrin Forte, brand-name not generic,
The doctor asked me a number of questions and recommended paracetamol for fever (known in the US as acetaminophen) and an antibiotic, Septrin Forte, brand-name not generic, sulfamethoxazole. The pills were manufactured in Germany by Glaxo and repackaged here in Spain. I believe that Glaxo has a presence in the US.
Ruben walked to the pharmacy 20 m from my place and was in luck as they were open for night service on Saturday. The cost was 3 € for 20 tablets (or 0,15 € for each). I found an on-line Canadian pharmacy that offered the same product for $1.10 USD per tablet in lots of 100. There were also what appeared as less reputable firms offering generics at roughly the same price as here in Spain, but in lots of 300. My co-pay for prescriptions is 3 €, so no help there.
In case you are wondering, the Spanish government negotiates with manufacturers the price for a number of drugs, something that is not done in the US. So everyone can take advantage of the prices whether you have public or private healthcare or just a tourist on vacation.
Another curious thing was that the doctor recommended what to eat and what to avoid (lácteos). I already knew about white rice, but was surprised about baked apples using stick cinnamon, but not powdered. And of course bananas and isotonic “sports” drinks.
Each day last week I was getting better and by Wednesday resumed my normal schedule.