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    Old 10-26-2003, 04:11 PM   #1
    pain research
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    Exclamation Need a fast answer! re: emergency rations

    Hi folks

    I have been lurking about for months now, like a shy girl at a loud party. I've been reading all your posts and admiring your strength and courage. I've been so grateful for the kindness you extend to all, because it has lifted my spirits more times than you will ever know.

    Now I have a little problem and I need your advice. I have had DDD in both my cervical and lumbar spine for several years now, with multiple slipped disks, never-ending muscle spasms, constant severe pain, etc. I've tried 'everything' and ended up on narcotics as the only solution to the pain (at this time). My question is sort of a touchy area, and I apologize profusely to those of you who are having problems with getting your meds.

    When I started with my new pain doctor, I told him that I had a little medication left over from the last doctor, and he said it was OK to 'save it' for emergencies. I have had enough experience with getting to the pharmacy late in the day with my prescription and finding that the med I need is on order and won't be in for days. So I have been very very careful to never go over my monthly quota.

    Now the pharmacy has been out of the brand name of the medication I need (Oxy IR) for the past two weeks. I prefer the brand name (capsules), not the generic (tablets). Funny how you get superstitious when you are in constant pain, huh? I have Meniere's disease, and I have had vertigo while taking the tablets. I think I'm allergic to something in the filler. They also definitely upset my stomach. The pharmacist had one-third of the amount of the capsules I needed, and he gave me that and said the rest should be in soon.

    So I told the pharmacist I would wait until the capsules came in, instead of taking the rest in generic. It has been two weeks, and although I am out of what he gave me, and almost out of my emergency rations, I still have enough left for a few days. On Friday I had told the pharmacist to go ahead and fill the prescription on Monday (tomorrow). But I just hate to end up with a pile of generic when my Meniere's is so bad lately. My emergency rations are in the generic form (that's why I have them left over). I've been taking them for the past few days, and this morning I had vertigo again. Haven't had it in ages, until took the generic... That's surely not the only reason I had vertigo, but I think it was the last straw.

    I'm embarrassed to let the pharmacist know that I have extra of the pain medication (small town right?). Remember, he did give me some, but now that is obviously gone, and he must be wondering why I need such a high amount of meds if I can go 'without' it for so long.

    Should I go ahead and get the generic on Monday or tell the pharmacy to wait a few days more? My receipt says that I received the full amount on the day I filled it two weeks ago, and I paid for the full amount. I get the feeling that the pharmacist isn't supposed to fill partial prescriptions but that he did it as a favor to me, because I'm a regular customer. Anyway, could the FDA find out? How much does the FDA really know about us?

    My worry is that I'm going to get this prescription after over two weeks of waiting, and then show up in less than two weeks with my new prescription, and it will look I took the whole amount in one week. I'm one of those who is in a high dose of meds, and the whole thing is embarrassing, as it is. Even with the new privacy laws, it's still pretty obvious when the pharmacist hands you a shopping bag full of pill bottles.... ;-)

    Yes I could go to a different pharmacy next month (that's actually in two weeks), but I have enough
    problems as it is. Might my doctor know somehow? He knew I had extra, but he might question my pain level if he knew how much extra. I'm right at the point where he might raise my dose, and I'm nervous because I really am in pain.

    I'm getting tired of calling every day and asking if the "NARCOTICS" came in, because now everybody definitely knows my name! Should I stay tough and take care of myself, no matter how it looks? Or should I play it safe and just take what they give me?

    Thanks for your advice. And please, don't attack me about the fact that I've got extra meds. I can't tell you how many days I've been literally sick with pain and muscle spasms, but didn't allow myself to dip into the emergency rations. I guess I am a real girl scout. I know several people who say that their doctor told them to keep some extra, that being in so much pain is stressful enough as it is. Anybody who is in pain for years knows how fragile we are, how much we depend on these darn controversial meds for our very life. Personally, if I ended up on 'empty' every thirty days, I'd have a nervous breakdown. What if my doctor gets sick or in an accident? What if there is a flood or a terrorist attack, and the pharmacies all close? You get my point. Thanks again.

    [This message has been edited by pain research (edited 10-26-2003).]

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    Old 10-26-2003, 05:06 PM   #2
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    First off, no one is going to attack you for having "emergency rations." If you are able to do that, then go for it. I've found that on days that my pain is not that bad and I don't feel it absolutely necessary to take the prescribed dosage (and this was a tip I got off the board), I put that pill or extra pills in another that when I do need them...I have them. No biggie. It's actually done all the time.

    With regard to generic vs. brand name - I prefer brand name to generic always. I'm like you, I think that some of the buffers used in the generic are awful and cause off the wall side effects that I don't get with the brand name meds. If I were you, I'd hold off for the brand name to come in. But only if you have enough of your extra stash to last you. If you don't then get the have to do what you have to do.

    I would let the pharmacy know, though, for my next prescription that they should go ahead and order the brand name now--so that it is in when you fill your next prescriptionn and you won't have to wait.

    I hope that helps. Good luck to you. Please let us know what happens.


    Old 10-26-2003, 05:29 PM   #3
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    Keeping emergency rations is absolutly fine and as a matter of fact should be a part of anyones emergency kit, if they take a prescription med, just in case of any kind of disaster or family emergency, etc. The only thing i would advise is that occasionally, maybe every 9 months to a year, "update" your stockpile by taking them until they are gone as part of your regular schedule and replacing them with the prescription you just got filled and normally would be taking for the month, so as to make sure you don't keep expired meds in your stockpile. Expired medications can lose some or all of their potency.

    Old 10-26-2003, 05:57 PM   #4
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    hI will second the opinion that no one should attack you for having "emergency rations"! Trust me, if I ever somehow ended up with "extras", I would do the EXACT same thing! I am sure, that at one time or another, we have all found ourselves out of meds on a Saturday afternoon!

    I hope that you can let your pharmacy know that this is a medication which you will be filling on a regular basis and that they should keep it stocked for you. If you have a bad reaction to the generic and can make it until they have the brand-name in stock, I would go that way. Otherwise, you are going to get stuck with 2 weeks of meds with which you have bad side effects.

    I hope your pharmacist is understanding and you do not have to deal with feeling bad or continually explaining yourself or having to worry about the pharmacy's reaction to your prescriptions!

    Good luck to you and let us know how it goes!


    Oh...and FYI - I would NOT go to another pharmacy! That is (from my experience) a big "No-No" in the pain management world. I would fear that if the doctor found out, regardless of the reason, you could just be asking for trouble! One time, my "regular" pharmacy had my Duragesic patches but they were all expired. They called it into another branch (of the SAME PHARMACY - just a different location). When I went to pick it up, there was a note from the doctor and given to the pharmacist, to give me, telling me to call the office and explain why I had gone to a "new" pharmacy! And, they were both Minyard's... just different stores.... in the same town!

    [This message has been edited by avogadro (edited 10-26-2003).]

    Old 10-27-2003, 07:21 PM   #5
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    Thank you Christina, Wirry, and AV for your fast replies, and for the good advice. I tried the generic again this morning and had the same reaction. So I am very grateful to each of you. I would have taken what they gave me, and ended up uncomfortable when I didn't need to be. Guess this pain thing is going to teach me assertiveness whether I'm ready for it or not. Thanks again!

    Old 10-27-2003, 11:00 PM   #6
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    Thank you Christina, Wirry, and AV for your fast replies, and for the good advice. I tried the generic again this morning and had the same reaction. So I am very grateful to each of you. I would have taken what they gave me, and ended up uncomfortable when I didn't need to be. Guess this pain thing is going to teach me assertiveness whether I'm ready for it or not. Thanks again!

    Old 10-28-2003, 11:11 AM   #7
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    Hello Painresearch and welcome!!

    It's absolutely a good thing to have emergency reserves of meds. I posted a while ago about problems with my RX insurance co. and getting a full months supply of oxycontin. Turns out they said I couldn't get it until 10/ I had my doc switch me to ms contin in early October.

    Well, turns out....the stupid ins. company has another issue....they say it's all thier fault mind you, but if not for my emergency stockpile (a few days worth) I would be in SERIOUS trouble right now. As of last night they said they'd have it fixed today (I told them I was OUT of meds completely and would be checking into the hospital for w/d's if they didn't do something today). I've been fighting with them for four months and threatened to get legal help....

    Anyway, thank god I did have my "stash"

    Hope this helps.

    Everyone have as pain free a day as possible!!!!

    Old 10-28-2003, 10:41 PM   #8
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    Hi everyone,

    I too would be a basket case if not for having extras. I have to mete out my husbands meds to him. Up til about a month ago, he was sneaking an extra Oxycontin here and there and at the end of 30 days we came up short and I thought I was losing them! See, I will take one or two and stick them in a different pocket in my purse, a drawer, etc, to show him that he needs to stick to the prescribed dosage. So I thought I was misplacing them, when in fact he had taken extra.

    And not only is it hell to get a triplicate, so many times I've called for refill and the dr. is out for the day, out til next week, etc. I have even called it in 6 days in advance, only to be begging for the script on the last day because I don't want him to be OUT of meds and IN pain. (I'm going to call for refill 10 days ahead next time!)

    So, ABSOLUTELY, we have a few extra now. My husband doesn't even know how much extra I have for him, but if the SHTF, he will be covered for a few days. So, if you have the opportunity to get extra, get it while you can.

    I hope all of you can save extras - and have someone to help you save them up. My prayers are with you.


    Old 10-29-2003, 03:56 AM   #9
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    Pain Research,

    It is obvious your pharmacist is fond of you and I wouldnt worry in the least about the DEA at all. No, the pharmacist is not suppose to give you a partial rx for schedule II narcotics. Since he did give you part of your rx your fortunate to have a caring and understanding pharmacist

    I would probably hold off and wait for the name brand if you can. Also, I would mention to him that you can only take the name brand and to keep them on order for the future.

    You are smart to always keep an emergency supply of your pain medication. As others have posted, most of us do keep some put away in the event you need them.

    I really feel for you since you live in a small town. I cant imagine living in a small town with all the media coverage of oxy, mscontin, etc.

    I was glad to read this thread and know I am not alone in worrying about being on narcotic pain medication and the "stigma" which goes along with it. It's bad enough being a chronic pain sufferer and then on top of that being 'judged' for taking the medication for cp.

    Now, with the recent overkill of the media regarding Mr. Limbaugh, it's made the stigma even worse. I am curious how the rest of you feel regarding being on strong pain meds and the negative views/media?


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