English for PTA
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PTA: Guten Morgen. Was kann ich für Sie tun?
Female customer: Do you speak English?
Yes, I do. How may I help you?
I have a prescription for l-thyroxine. I was wondering if you could help me as I have never taken it before.
Don’t worry, it’s our job to explain things to customers who are unsure about their medication. Just a moment, I’ve put the prescription into our system and…here it is! This is your first time taking it?
I went to my GP, and she said that I could have a goitre. The radiologist who checked my thyroid gland confirmed that I have Hashimoto’s.
Don’t worry, Hashimoto’s is quite common. It’s good that your doctor was able to correctly diagnose it.
Why is that?
It often takes a long time to get a correct diagnosis. The symptoms of Hashimoto’s, such as weight gain, depression, chronic fatigue and sensitivity to cold could all be caused by other disorders.
The only reason that I went to my GP was that I gained quite a lot of weight, even though I’m physically active, and I haven’t changed my eating habits, that is, I couldn’t understand why I was getting fat!
Isn’t it good to find out what’s wrong? As you are taking levothyroxine for the first time, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Firstly, you should take it on an empty stomach, 30 minutes to one hour before breakfast. Secondly, you should take it with tap water and never mineral water, as the minerals may impair the absorption of the l-thyroxine. Thirdly, and finally, you should never take l-thyroxine at the same time as coffee.
Really? Well I can understand the mineral water, but coffee?
Coffee generally increases motility, this means that everything gets moved more quickly through the gut. Studies have shown that drinking coffee one hour before or after taking l-thyroxine can significantly lower the absorption of the medication.
Good to know!
As I said: that’s our job! Here is your medication.
You have been very helpful. Goodbye
You are more than welcome. Bye, bye.
You can find this article on page 70 in DIE PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 07/2021.
Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker
|(medical) conditions||(hier) Krankheiten, bestimmtes Leiden|
|adaptive immunity||erworbene Immunität|
|graves’ disease||Morbus Basedow|
|chronic fatigue||chronische Müdigkeit|
|keep in mind||beachten|
|empty stomach||nüchterner Magen|