Medicine availability in South Florida

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wolftrades
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 301
   Posted 4/4/2009 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
First, the background. I ghave 3 levels of disc herniations, 2 levels of spinal stenosis, facet hypertrophy and a whole mess more of problems with my back and spine. For the last few years, I have been able to be a productive member of society thanks to the meds that help relieve my pain...100 ugh Fentanyl Patch changed 72 hours and 30 mg of Roxycodone for BT. 2 months agom there was some rumblings of an Oxy shortage. I called my pharmacy and they were out. My Doctor called a pharmacy near him and they had it in stock. The nxt month, my regular pharmacy did have it and I was told that this would be the last month for the Roxy as the Dr. was getting scripts returned because of the lack of availability. Last Thursday, I went to my appointment expecting to change meds and sure enough, I was back on morphine for the first time in years. I went to my pharmacy and was stunned when they said that MSIR had not been in stock for 2 weeks! But, they did have the oxy. So, I drove back to the Doctor and exchanged the MSIR script for the Roxy and we decided that we woud call ahead before each months appointment and he would write for whatever was in stock.

What is going on here? Us Cp'ers are the lowest form of life on this planet, apparently. It is not our fault that others ruin it for us by abusing narcotics. What do you think would happen if this was insulin instead of pain meds? Where is our outrage? We need to contact the proper governmental authorities and be heard from for once in our lives. All we are trying to do is to be productive members of society and through no fault of our own, we have chronic pain. I truly appreciate the way my Doctor understood the situation-many would not have.

The problem is that the average American says "Wow, thse guys are on narcotics...they are lucky." Lucky? Being in pain 24/7 is lucky? These people don't understand the stares, the comments, the looks we get from health care people and the average joe on the street when they hear what meds we take.And then there are the S.O's who think that withdrawal symptoms mean addiction. Withdrawal is a physical situation that means that meds that we are dependent on were stopped abruptly...it has nothing to do wirh addiction. Addiction is a psychological event. Withdrawal happens with steroids, bp meds, etc, Addiction is when you Dr. shop, fail to follow directions, buy more on the street. Here is a simple test. If a person cannot function with the meds, addiction is a possibility. If a person functions because of the meds, addiction is unlikely.

Anyway, let me hear some stories from you guys on what is happening with these meds acrooss the USA.

angel8
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 4/5/2009 3:13 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi I am new here sort of as I use to visit this forum a year or so ago and then went away due to nothing anyone here did! Just life as we know it took me out of the game for a bit. Anyway wanted to get that in here first but to reply to your question I wonder if it has anything to do with Hello-kitty's post about not making certain unapproved meds?

I have heard and read many many problems pertaining to the availability of any of the oxy's lately. I remember seeing at a quickk glance on another pain forum someone wanting to be alerted when Oxy was back in the pharms.

As if we dont get put thru enough each month getting dressed,riding hours for some to get to a Doc and sitting in those all to comfy office chairs 4 sometimes hours and then having to return to get a script rewritten?


LLPLUV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 4/5/2009 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   

I know for most of us this is one of the scariest times.  I just got accepted as a patient in a PM clinic.  I was on 10/650 hydrocodone 4 times a day.  For my first new script he did one change.  He changed it to Percocet 10/325 says they match gram for gram but seems to at stonger on his patents.

WIth being new at the PM clinic he says this is just the first step of evaulation.  The next appt he will adjust as nessesary.  Hopefully up, meds now don't cut it.  I don't want to be pain free thats wishful thinking I just want to be able to feel some relief.  I just hope all these doctors are being well read on the issues with the shortages.  For all our sakes.

I have heard from one person at work (who doesn't know I have CP) his opinion was "Well I guess people who get hurt have to  take stronger replacement drugs"  if you can believe it he laughed.  I'm sitting in the background thinking this boy is so ignorant!  I don't want stronger drugs I need to work, clean my house, drive and be a mother and wife.  He seemed to feel like its a way to get a free high.

This issues can drive most of us CP'er to the breaking point.


Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension


Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 4/5/2009 8:15 AM (GMT -7)   
wolftrades said...

We need to contact the proper governmental authorities and be heard from for once in our lives.


When the info was posted about those companies being tagged by the FDA for marketing/selling medications illegally, that is exactly what I did. I mailed a letter to the Safety Officer listed in the 'Warning' letters to those drug manufacturers as the return contact person at the FDA. I asked to find out how we could ensure that we could get our medications, what with the supplies drying up for various medications on a constant basis.

While I doubt I'll hear anything back, I'll post to the group if I hear anything productive.

.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp


Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 4/5/2009 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
wolftrades said...

Here is a simple test. If a person cannot function with the meds, addiction is a possibility. If a person functions because of the meds, addiction is unlikely.


I take medications, but get no 'high' at all. I get side effects that cause me to lose balance, coordination and memory, and cause me to have dizziness, confusion and several other things that I would classify as 'not being able to function'. Give me a day, and I can do all of it; require it in a work environment and I am now totally lost. (I use backspace for about every 20 characters I type unless I slow to 30 chars/minute or less, and I was a programmer who relied on typing abilities.) And I haven't even gotten to the side effects from the main medications and opioids that I take.

It concerns me that I am a candidate for addiction. The problem is, if I don't take those medications I am a screaming meemie who curls into a ball and screams all day because of the pain, and is even less likely able to be any kind of productive.

Just to be clear, I take Lyrica and Cymbalta which I *believe*, and my Pain Dr stated last week, are most likely to be cause the majority of the side effects. The opioids I take are methadone and morphine, from which I get ZERO 'high'. I even 'overdosed' on accident a few weeks ago, taking 3 doses of each, and all I got was very sick and very sleepy with a POUNDING headache. My PM dr's response when I told her was "It's a good thing you are so resistant to opioids; you're lucky you aren't dead".

I guess my point is, I would actually rather be addicted to these drugs that run out of them and be left without anything but pain.

As I think is what many here are left with if they can't get THEIR meds.
I wonder how many would prefer lifetime addiction to lifetime pain?


.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp


LLPLUV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 4/5/2009 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   
"I wonder how many would prefer lifetime addiction to lifetime pain?" Tony that is so profound of a thought.. Makes you wonder. Wonderful insight
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension, Urological RSD


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/5/2009 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Wolftrades,
That really not how addiction is defined. I say this with some professional background, as I'm sure fatherjohn would also. It's more complex. And there are categories of addiction. The medical diagnosis needs to be assessed by someone trained to do so.

What most of us are is physically dependent. Only a small percent of pain patients become addicts and one of the strongest factors may be genetics, which none of us can control for. So if you have a family history of addiction to substances - alcohol, legal or illegal drugs, etc. - you may be more likely to move from physical dependence into addiction. Still, not everyone will do so. It needs to be discussed and monitored with a doctor who knows about both pain and addiction. If you're closely monitored by your PM, and take your meds as prescribed, even with an addiction history you may be able to treat your pain. But Tony what you are describing is not addiction.

PaLady

wolftrades
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 301
   Posted 4/5/2009 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Never said it was the definition...what I said was that it was a simple test and while it is more complex and has varying degrees and stages...and a diagnosis should not be made using it...t is a quick and dirty way to see which way your wind blows.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/5/2009 2:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Wolftrades,
I just believe it is dangerous for us to throw out quick ways to assess addiction. For those of us with CP, that is already too often done - and incorrectly. So I strongly believe we should only support knowledgeable assessments of what defines addiction, as distinct from dependence. There's already too much ignorance out there, and even as Tony's response illustrated, your "quick and dirty way" is inaccurate in itself, IMHO.

PaLady

Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 4/5/2009 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
TonyMcGuire said...

I guess my point is, I would actually rather be dependent on these drugs that run out of them and be left without anything but pain.


Does the above change cover it, PaLady?

Although, I was working off of 'wolftrades' definition at that point, I think. Hard to say, really, since 9:15am I would be a candidate for being excused for everything I did based on the time I woulda taken my first meds of the day. But sloughing off responsibility like that would be something an addict would try, so I had better not go there.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp

Post Edited (TonyMcGuire) : 4/5/2009 4:32:00 PM (GMT-6)


wolftrades
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 301
   Posted 4/5/2009 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
You don't need to stand on your soap box. I have had CP for decades so there is no reason to preach. And I have had
all the same things thrown in my face that have been thrown in yours. Me thinks you should save your energy to fight those that we need to fight.

kttn251977
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 4/5/2009 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I head a heads up (i'm in tampa) before this mess about roxi/oxy happened. i have had to go back on dilaudid (which dosen't seem to work as well for me as oxy even though i am on the highest dosage) i have tried msir, and i actually had an allergic reaction. i have heard in april the roxi/oxy should begin to be produced again.... i think i read it on here as a post.
tony- when i first began lyrica i went through the above symptoms, i was so tired, memory loss, swelling feet/hands. after about 2-3 weeks i adjusted and i am on a high dosage now, its the only thing i can get to help the nerve pain/rls in my legs. just have to ask yourself is this medicine worth the side effects, but for me they got a lot better. i still get the swelling but my PCP prescribed water pills & potassium pills to bring the swelling down in my legs when it happens. there is neurontin which is the lower level of lyrica, but i had no results from it. maybe mention it if you decide to come off of it. i usually only take 1 pill a day vs. the 3 i am prescribed so i don't look like a balloon in my legs/feet. maybe as needed would be something to try? i know when i started my hubby was constantly saying we discussed things i could never remember us talking about. and i never get a buzz from my meds.... so thats not it. i think when you take the narcotics as directed there is no buzz. at least i haven't had one since i began taking all this stuff.
hope this helps, i know we are all looking forward to being on our regular medications again!
RX's: Oxycontin 80mg 2x's daily; Oxycodone 30mg 5xs daily; Zanaflex 4mg 3x's daily; Restoril 15mg 1x; Soma 3x's daily; Lyrica 100mg 3x's daily (pain & fibro.); Phenergan 25mg (as needed); Amitriptyline 25mg 1x (chronic pain); Cymbalta 60mg 2x's daily (pain from fibro); Abilify 5mgs at bedtime (depression); Metoclopram (as needed) & Senokot (as needed).
"The most critical choice you'll ever make is the one you make about what you're going to do with this. The past is over. The future hasn't happened yet. The only time is now."
- Dr. Phil


Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 4/5/2009 8:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Is that for me, wolf?

Yes, I am on your side. No, we don't need to quibble.

In my defense, I really am on the outside edge 24/7 with the meds I am taking. Quite confused much of the time, between moments of complete normalcy. And yes, I 've told the doctors (both pain and primary). But then they just tell me maybe a head doctor might be able to help/change things.

Basically, what they told me plain up was the plain truth. Increase in meds when the pain gets worse is my option when it presents itself.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/5/2009 10:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Tony,
Just wanted to say I wasn't addressing your post.

PaLady
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