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Old 12-23-2002, 09:18 AM   #1
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Thumbs down Dilantin manufacturer shortage

I live in Canada, and I'm not sure where the drug is manufactured, but I have been hearing from pharmacies that there is a shortage of Dilantin. Wal-Mart in my city hasn't had any for a couple of weeks. I went to a local pharmacy and they told me they had a month's supply only.

Anyone know anything more about this? Is this an ongoing problem? One pharmacist thought there may be a shortage of the raw materials (i.e. the actual material, be it a plant or whatever, that the drug is made from.)

 
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Old 12-23-2002, 11:48 AM   #2
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Hi Linda,
It's funny you should mention this, because I heard a brief blurb on our local TV station. The announcer mentioned something about a seizure drug, and said that some people were unable to get it...and said to tune in tonight to see why. He never mentioned the name of the drug, but now I am assuming that it may be Dilantin. I don't take Dilantin, so it doesn't matter to me personally. BUT, I'd hate to have a shortage of either of MY drugs. My heart goes out to anyone that can't have access to their medication! I'll try to watch the news, and will post the information. Good luck everyone! Kathy
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Old 12-29-2002, 06:42 PM   #3
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Hi Linda,
I never heard another thing about a Dilantin shortage.....even on the news, and I could swear they mentioned it as a lead-in! I even asked my pharmacist....he looked at me as if I was nuts. Maybe I am. Anyhow, I had decided that, if the Dilantin shortage is real, and people get desperate, I'd gladly give them the rest of the pills in my old prescription bottle from when I took it. LOL :0 Kathy
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Old 12-29-2002, 06:42 PM   #4
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Hi Linda,
I never heard another thing about a Dilantin shortage.....even on the news, and I could swear they mentioned it as a lead-in! I even asked my pharmacist....he looked at me as if I was nuts. Maybe I am. Anyhow, I had decided that, if the Dilantin shortage is real, and people get desperate, I'd gladly give them the rest of the pills in my old prescription bottle from when I took it. LOL :0 Kathy
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:43 PM   #5
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The Wal-Mart here still doesn't have any. I'm going to look around on the net and see if I can find any info. Kind of frustrating...

 
Old 12-31-2002, 01:13 PM   #6
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It is a problem in Canada only, where they have to approve a different type of Dilantin (which from what I understand is what is being sold in the U.S., and releases the drug into your system differently.)

[This message has been edited by moderator2 (edited 12-31-2002).]

 
Old 01-05-2003, 08:25 AM   #7
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Unhappy

Yes, a definte problem. I called for a refill this morning, Zayres pharmacy in Guelph Ontario Canada. The clerk said that they had no 100 mg capsules, and that there were none available in the whole city.

He is calling other pharmacies in an attempt to get me some until this SNAFU can be cleared up with my doctor. But I really don't understand what a doctor can do if the drug just isn't available.
I've been on this stuff since I was 13, I turn 33 in Feb. I'm not about to change now!!! This is all bad!!!

 
Old 01-05-2003, 09:04 AM   #8
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Alrighty.. I found this at pfizer canada's website...
I don't get it...is the Dilantin 2 available yet??

Quote:
As you may be aware, Pfizer Canada has been recently experiencing a backorder situation, due to manufacturing difficulties, of its epileptic seizure medication, DILANTIN (extended phenytoin sodium capsules U.S.P.) 100 mg formulation.

In order to remedy this situation and to find a long-term supply solution for DILANTIN patients, Pfizer has worked to make DILANTIN 100 mg extended release capsules distributed in Canada meet a new U.S.P. (United States Pharmacopeia) dissolution specification known as Test 2. A dissolution specification refers to the rate at which a medication should dissolve in the body. This change in dissolution specifications is not expected to have a significant clinical impact on patients. However, as DILANTIN is a complex product and epilepsy is a delicate condition to treat, patients need to be advised of this change. As usual, any change in condition should be brought to the attention of your health care professional.

Health care professionals will be able to identify DILANTIN Test 2 product bottles by a bright yellow sticker stating “U.S.P. TEST 2”. Product labels will be changed to reflect this information as soon as possible.

The next time you have your prescription filled at the pharmacy you may be given DILANTIN Test 2 product. Even though there is a change in U.S.P. dissolution specifications, dosing recommendations for DILANTIN 100 mg extended release capsules remain the same. It is important that you continue to take your DILANTIN as prescribed by your health care professional.

Please note that this change only applies to DILANTIN 100 mg extended release capsules and does not affect any other DILANTIN formulations such as DILANTIN extended release 30 mg capsules, DILANTIN suspension or DILANTIN Infatabs.

Pfizer is confident that this change in dissolution specification will result in a stable manufacturing solution for DILANTIN, and therefore, in a long-term stable supply situation for Canadian patients.

For further information, please contact your doctor and/or pharmacist.

Pfizer Canada Inc.
[url="http://www.pfizer.ca/our%20products/pfizer%20pharmaceutical%20group/dilantin/"]http://www.pfizer.ca/our%20products/pfizer%20pharmaceutical%20group/dilantin/[/url]

 
Old 01-05-2003, 03:21 PM   #9
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Hi All,

I hope this doesn't mean that you (Canadians) will end up paying the astronomical prescription prices we are forced to pay in the states!!! Many of the senior citizens here travel across the border to purchase their drugs. It is yet another reason that I find the thought of living in Canada so appealing. Oh well, for now I'll be forced to get my drugs here. It cost almost $300.00 for 90 tablets of 100mg Lamictal! Dilantin was cheaper but I can't remember how much.

Be well, and good luck! Kathy
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Old 01-05-2003, 03:55 PM   #10
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Hi Linda
The Shopper's Drug Mart that I go to get my dilantin from,has no problem with supply.
Quote:
Originally posted by Lindakatt:
The Wal-Mart here still doesn't have any. I'm going to look around on the net and see if I can find any info. Kind of frustrating...

 
Old 01-06-2003, 08:05 AM   #11
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You guys are scaring me...I need to fill my prescription this week so I'd better start calling around. The pharmacists I talked to said the Dilantin 2 isn't around yet. Can we take 3 of the 30 mg capsules to get 90 mg?

I posted a link to that Pfizer site above and the moderator deleted everything. Why? I wasn't advertising for them, just trying to inform everyone.

My 85 year old grandmother is also on the 100 mg and can die if she has a seizure...last time she went into a coma for a day. This has to be resolved!!! I'll try Shopper's here...maybe the company has stock piled at a warehouse somewhere or something.


 
Old 01-06-2003, 08:10 AM   #12
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I also hope that a new drug won't be expensive. Dilantin is so cheap...I think I pay about $13 for 110 capsules. I wonder why drugs are so expensive in the U.S. It's definitely one of the only things that is, compared to Canada. I wonder if the government supplements drug costs here.

 
Old 01-06-2003, 11:12 AM   #13
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Hi Lindakatt,
Prescription prices here (USA) are unbelievable!!! Dilantin happens to be one of the cheaper anti-seizure meds, but other prices are a huge issue. Our (Vermont's) state Congressman, Bernie Sanders, has initiated the "Bernie Bus", which takes senior citizens across the border into Canada to buy their drugs at much more reasonable prices. He does it to call attention, to the powers that be in our government, that we need to find the means to lower prices. The government gives us excuse after excuse for the reason that we pay so much more. One excuse (which caused a HUGE outcry from Canadian supporters such as myself) was that we, in the USA, have more stringent quality controls for the manufacturing of our drugs. Many of us think the truth is that big drug companies make tremendous contributions to many of our politicians, which gives them control over the prices we pay here. At any rate, I hope you will find the Dilantin you need. Are any of you close to the USA border? If we're allowed to cross the Canadian border to get drugs why can't you? Plus, you should be allowed to try some of our "better quality" http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif drugs! Good luck, Kathy
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Old 01-06-2003, 05:41 PM   #14
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On sunday when this panic hit home for me, I called my brother in Mississagua, Ont. He is epileptic as well. I was going to have to borrow some of his meds if I was really stuck.
He gets his prescription filled for 400 100mg capsules at a time. His girlfriend had called it into his pharmacy on Friday. I told him to call his pharmacy to check the status of his order.

His pharmacist told him he could give him 50 of the 400 capsules he usually gets!!

Meanwhile my pharmacist was scouring the city here trying to get my 'scrip filled. At first he had recommended subbing some 50's for the 100's but he called back and said the 50's were different from the 100's and he couldn't dispense them to me.

He called back 2 hrs later to tell me he had found some. ****, I felt like I was trying to buy something on the black market. He told me that the pharmacy that he got it from was not aware of the dilantin shortage situation and he had gotten all of that pharmacy's alloment. I was relieved to have my meds, but have some guilty feelings to deal with.

I hope by posting the link to the Pfizer Canada site, I haven't broken the Posting Policy rule...I just posted the url as a reference to the source of the text I had quoted.

 
Old 01-06-2003, 09:06 PM   #15
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I wouldn't lose sleep about posting the URL....you thought you were doing the right thing. As far as feeling guilty about getting your Dilantin, I wouldn't. Maybe when more Doctors and Pharmacists realize that this is a serious shortage they can push the drug companies to produce more. I will pray that all my Canadian friends will be able to get the Dilantin they need....it's all I can do! Be well, Kathy
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