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  • Avinza to Kadian - NOT happy!

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    Old 02-22-2009, 11:49 AM   #1
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    Angry Avinza to Kadian - NOT happy!

    Hi everyone,

    This will be pretty short (sorry!) because I'm feeling really sick and I'm trying to get other stuff done, too.

    I started PM on Christmas Eve (and what a wonderful present, indeed!), and my doc started me on Avinza, which was GREAT! I felt like it controlled my pain well for as long as it said it was supposed to (I only thought about BT pain maybe twice that whole month I was taking Avinza) with really no side-effects except some light-headedness for the first few days.

    Last month, he had to switch me to Kadian (at the same dosing and strength as the Avinza) because of insurance reasons. Oh my gosh, Kadian...*sigh* So far, I've been sick as a dog - nausea, vomiting, haven't been able to keep food down, severely dizzy, in bed 24/7, depressed/dejected, non-functional, and even changes in my (already very impaired) vision. And it's not controlling my pain. I've had lots of breakthrough (but no BT meds).

    The nurse said the Kadian was "exactly the same" as the Avinza, so I don't understand why I'm feeling so badly. I haven't changed anything else, btw, and I've tried taking it both with and without makes no difference.

    What is my major malfunction? Has anyone else had a similar experience?

    My doc would be happy to prescribe the Avinza, but my insurance won't pay for it (Kadian is their "preferred medication"), and I can't afford it at full price. I'm also inquiring about any discounts or assistance plans the pharmaceutical co. who makes Avinza (which, oddly enough, is located very close to where I live) and have yet to hear back.

    Thanks for any advice or encouragement. I just feel really frustrated about this. Darn insurance.

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    Old 02-22-2009, 12:14 PM   #2
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    Re: Avinza to Kadian - NOT happy!

    Oh, I am so sorry you're having so many problems with the Kadian. It's infuriating when the insurance company has so much power over the meds we take, isn't it? It's a shame that they can "pick & choose" what meds we are going to be able to take without paying hundreds or thousands of dollars per year out of pocket for!! I know I already pay well over a thousand dollars a month for our insurance. (We own our own business, so that's why we have to pay for it)

    It seems to me that in certain circumstances, the doctor should be able to send documentation to the insurance company that certain medications are necessary so that the insurance company will allow you to have those meds at a lower cost! It would be great for them to realize we just can't help how our bodies react to certain meds and that we also don't have a money tree growing out back for an endless supply of money to pay out-of-pocket for the expensive meds.

    I'm sorry I can't offer anything other than an ear to listen. It sounds like you are trying to get help already by looking into the financial assistance through the drug company though. I hope you can get some help so you can get back on the Avinza and start feeling better soon!

    Good Luck

    Old 02-22-2009, 07:41 PM   #3
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    Re: Avinza to Kadian - NOT happy!

    I am taking kadian (have never tried avinza). I have started two different times, and I would say it took me a while to stabilize on it. The first week I was taking was terrible for pain, even though my total dose of morphine was going up. It has gotten a little better after about 3 weeks. I had to buy a completely new and additional insurance plan this year just to get my pain meds. I am still paying a lot out of pocket for all of the name band meds, even when they are the "preferred drug."

    Interestingly, I have found that Kadian costs much less that many of the other name brand meds I have tried, so that's probably why it their preferred drug.

    Still beats the generic morphine sulfate ER though.

    Old 02-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #4
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    Re: Avinza to Kadian - NOT happy!

    Hey there, I really feel for you - this does sound like an adverse reaction. Unless kadian is made in the same factory with the same composition, the only similarity is the ACTIVE ingredient - they are not the same at all. It sounds like ur reaction is not to the active ingredient but to the inactive one. I don't know what the deal is in the US but surely if you can't tollerate one, you should have access to the other. Your dr should also be paying more attention, fatal reactions (not in your case ok ? ) to inactive ingredients are not unheard of. I hope you are ok. Take care.

    Last edited by Jema X; 02-22-2009 at 07:53 PM.

    Old 02-22-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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    Re: Avinza to Kadian - NOT happy!

    Sorry, meant to say inactive ingredient(s). Silly phone.

    Old 02-23-2009, 10:13 AM   #6
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    Re: Avinza to Kadian - NOT happy!

    Originally Posted by Juliet31 View Post

    this does sound like an adverse reaction. Unless kadian is made in the same factory with the same composition, the only similarity is the ACTIVE ingredient - they are not the same at all.
    Yes, Juliet is correct. Also, you should know that even though both are "timed release" they are different in that Avinza is marketed as once per day and Kadian is marketed as 2 x. Avinza is longer lasting.

    I would think that your Doc could "appeal" the first level insurance ruling....This is what appeals are for. He could tell the insurance company that you're having an allergic or bad reaction to other ingredients in the med....And that Avinza is longer lasting. Personally, I'd fight it on these grounds, especially the first point....Insurance companies are almost always forced to change when a patient has a bad reaction to something....They can't make you take something that is causing a problem.

    Best of luck with this.



    Old 03-05-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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    Post Re: Avinza to Kadian - NOT happy!

    I am going through the change from Avinza to a different med due to insurance as well. My insurance, a medicaid HMO, WELLCARE refuses to cover Avinza despite my doctors appeal. They will only cover either morphine sulfate (MS Contin) or methadone. So I am on the ms contin. I was on 90 mg of Avinza which handled my pain wonderfully.

    Now after one month of 2 60mg of ms contin a day, and one month of 3 a day my doctor has just increased me to 100mg twice a day as the 60mg is just not working. I jusat got the script today so don't have any feedback on it yet.

    I am living in pain again, waking up with shooting pain, and having new pains that I don't know if are new or old pains I just couldn't feel before. My quality of life has decreased incredibly since the change from Avinza but the insurance says no and I don't have $300+ a month to pay for it.

    So while the ms contin does not make me sick, I do literally feel your pain and agree that insurance companies hold us captive in our own bodies.

    I wish you well in your endeavors,


    Last edited by bettysue; 03-05-2009 at 05:33 PM. Reason: typo

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