CONVERSATION AT A PHARMACY
the expressions below can be helpful.
What do you recommend for ( ...a
You could try these COLD BE GONE
tablets. They work wonders.
Do you have anything for a ( ... sore
Yes, these throat lozenges should work.
What do you suggest for ( ... an upset
You could try these antacid tablets.
I need something for a
( ... headache)?
Why don’t you try aspirin?
What are over-the-counter medications?
Over-the-counter medication is medication that does not require a doctor's prescription in order to be
purchased. In many countries prescription drugs require a doctor’s orders before they can be
purchased at a pharmacy. These drugs are usually very potent, may be addictive if not used properly,
and may have numerous adverse side effects. Over-the-counter drugs, however, do not need a
doctor’s orders to be purchased.
There are a multitude of over-the-counter drugs that are used for the treatment of a
wide variety of ailments and illnesses, including the following:
upset stomachs headaches
muscle aches and pain allergies
stuffy noses persistent itching
minor burns and scalds runny noses
disinfectants (for cleaning cuts and other minor wounds),
ointments or liquids (to remove warts and corns)
It is also helpful to know over-the-counter medication comes in variety of packages and forms. Look at the examples below.
Cough drop lozenges
Tube of muscle relaxant ointment
Bottle of cough syrup
Students should work together in pairs and read the following dialogue, one student reading one part, the other student reading the other. Note the expressions used in the dialogue and the progression of the conversation. The dialogue can be used as a model to have similar conversations.
Pharmacist: Good morning, may I help you?
Customer: Yes, I need this prescription filled.
Pharmacist: OK, it’ll be ready in a few minutes.
Customer: I’ve also had a runny nose for a couple of days, can you recommend something?
Pharmacist: This decongestant is very effective, but be careful using it. It causes drowsiness and you shouldn’t drink any alcohol when taking this it.
Customer: OK, I’ll try it. I also need some band-aides and sun screen. Where are those?
Pharmacist: The band-aides are on aisle 3, on the left and the sun screen is on aisle 2, on the top shelf.
Pharmacist: Will that be all?
Customer: That should do it.
Pharmacist: That comes to $34.56.
Customer: That expensive! Why so much?
Pharmacist: The prescription medication is expensive. It cost $25.99. I may be able to get you a generic drug for about half that price, but I would have to consult your doctor first.
Customer: No, that’s OK. Don’t bother.
Pharmacist: Here’s your change. Have a good day.
After reading, close your book and tell your partner a summary of the dialogue. Then switch and have your partner tell his or her summary. Start like this: This dialogue is about a man at a pharmacy. He is ...This may seem silly, since you both already know what the dialogue is about, but the purpose is to practice using your English, not to give information or test your reading skills.
1. Pair work- discussion
When was the last time you when to a pharmacy? Tell your partner about it using some of the ideas for
discussion below. Your partner should ask questions to get more information.
· when did you go
· what was the problem
· what medication did you get
· did you talk to the pharmacists
· did the medication help
2. Pair work- Role Play
The situation: At a pharmacy
Working with a partner, role play the situations, using the information below
The roles: pharmacist, customer
The customer should ask for a recommendation for the problems below.
The pharmacist should ask the following:
how long the symptoms have been present
if the customer is allergic to any medicines
why they have the symptoms (if known)
the severity of the problem
Stuffy/runny nose Fever
Sore muscles Headache
Insomnia Severe Itching
Upset stomach Dandruff