Pharmacist Arshie Larga gives tips on TikTok how to spot fake medicines

by Elle Faraon
Jan 10, 2022
Arshie Larga on spotting fake medicines
Arshie Larga, a pharmacist by profession, has 2.3 million followers on TikTok in which he answers questions about the various kinds of non-prescription medicines.
PHOTO/S: @arshiethromycin on Instagram

COVID-19 cases has climbed to 33,169 as of January 10, 2022, 4 p.m.

Flu cases appear to have been on the rise as well, based on the various posts online of netizens.

And drugstores have been reported to be running out of medicines for cough, cold, and flu because of surging demand.

In this light, TikTok contngent creator and pharmacist Arshie Larga (@arshielife) has warned of fake Paracetamol Biogesic.

Arshie, a pharmacist by profession, has 2.3 million followers on TikTok, where he answers questions about the various kinds of non-prescription medicines.

He also gives information on COVID-19 vaccine and other timely and relevant medical concerns.

On January 5, Arshie uploaded a TikTok video on how to distinguish a counterfeit medicine.

Arshie said, "Mabenta ngayon ang iba’t ibang gamot sa lagnat, ubo, at sipon. Pero kasabay nito, may mga taong nananamantala at nagbebenta ng mga pekeng gamot.

"Isa na dito yung in demand na brand ng paracetamol, ang Biogesic. So paano natin malalaman kung fake nga ba ang Biogesic mo?”

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Arshie said there are three simple ways to spot fake medicines.

The first one is that fake Biogesic has a dotted pattern.

He told his TikTok followers, "Mapapansin niyo po yung pattern sa blister pack is dotted o tuldok-tuldok."

While on original Biogesic, "Samantalang sa original na Biogesic, hugis diamond ang pattern nito."

The second difference between fake and original medicines is found in the labels.

The fake one is centered, while original is not.

Arshie said, "Mapapansin nyo po ang label sa original na Biogesic ay hindi nakagitna. Wala ito do’n sa area ng blister pack na binubutas.

"Samantalang dito sa fake na Biogesic naman po ay nakagitna ito at hindi mo mababasa nang maayos ang lot number at batch number ng gamot.

"Mapapansin niyo po yung ginamit na font sa pag-engrave ng Biogesic sa caplet ay magkaiba rin."

Take note of the following:

Blister pack pattern (front and back):

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  • Original – diamond pattern
  • Fake – dotted pattern

Label:

  • Original – label is not centered, not in the blister pack's ripping portion
  • Fake – label is centered, hard to read the Lot/Batch number of the medicine

Font:

  • Original – letters are large or expanded, easy to read
  • Fake – letters are small and compressed

Arshie said that not just Biogesic, but also other brands of fake drugs are also being produced by illegitimate manufacturers.

He reminded his TikTok followers to be extra cautious about the products that they purchase, especially if they are intended for consumption.

Only buy medicines from pharmacies that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

@arshielife MAG-INGAT PO TAYO DAHIL MARAMING KUMAKALAT NA PEKENG GAMOT???? #learnontiktok #tiktokswela #healthtokph #eduwow ? original sound - Arshie Larga

DO'S AND DON'TS

Arshie also detailed the different brands of medicine and how they may be used to cure common illnesses, such as when to take them, what should not be used at the same time, and which drugs are best for different types of cough.

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If you have flu, headache, or bodily discomfort, he recommended taking paracetamol every 4 to 6 hours if necessary. Paracetamol intake is limited to a maximum of 4,000 milligrams per day.

Decolgen, Bioflu, and Neozep should not be taken simultaneously, because they have the same pharmaceutical content. Choose one brand from the three to treat colds.

Arshie explained, "Hindi po puwedeng sabay inumin ang mga gamot tulad ng Decolgen, Bioflu, at Neozep dahil pare-parehas lang po ang laman na gamot nito.

"Lahat po ito ay puwedeng gamot sa sipon. Magkakakaibang brands lamang po sila. Kaya pumili lamang ng isa."

He does not recommend paracetamol to those experiencing colds with flu and are already taking Decolgen, Bioflu, or Neozep.

In short, those who are taking Neozep don’t need Biogesic.

Arshie reiterated, "Kung sinisipon po kayo at may kasama itong lagnat, at umiinom kayo ng mga gamot na ito, hindi niyo na po kinakailangang uminom ng paracetamol dahil may laman na po itong paracetamol.

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"Kaya kung umiinom ka na ng Neozep, hindi mo na kinakailangan uminom ng Biogesic.

"Kung masakit ang katawan at umiinom ng Alaxan, hindi mo na po kinakailangan uminom ng Biogesic dahil ang Alaxan po ay may laman nang paracetamol."

There is also an appropriate medicine for every kind of cough.

Arshie said, "Kung ang ubo niyo po ay may plema, puwede po kayo gumamit ng mga mucolytics o pantunaw ng plema tulad ng carbocisteine o ambroxol.

"O di naman kaya mga expectorants o pampalabas ng plema tulad ng Guiafenesin."

For cough with no phlegm or dry cough, "Puwede po kayo gumamit ng Antitussive tulad ng Dextromethorphan o kaya ay mga antihistamine tulad ng Cetirizine.

"Nakakatulong po ang antihistamine kung makati ang lalamunan mo. Yun nga lang medyo nakakaantok ang mga ito."

With the current shortage of Biogesic, Arshie said other brands of paracetamol, as well as generic paracetamol, can be used as substitutes.

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He also advises wearing face masks all the time, doing water therapy, and, not hoarding when buying medicines.

@arshielife Pahinga muna tayo sa Edutok, Work-Tok muna tayo today?????? #learnontiktok #tiktokswela #healthtokph #eduwow ? ????????Piano-only Version? - Jack Tan

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Arshie Larga, a pharmacist by profession, has 2.3 million followers on TikTok in which he answers questions about the various kinds of non-prescription medicines.
PHOTO/S: @arshiethromycin on Instagram
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