Protecting our pain medications...

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Stella Marie
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 6/24/2009 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   

I have noticed that we have had quite a few postings from H-W members about the loss of their medications or about running out of medications before their next refill was due.  These shortages can have devastating effects on us.  I thought I would be a good idea if we shared ideas and techniques we are using to avoid medication shortages.

I do several things.  First, I keep only one week (exactly 7 days) of narcotics in a bottle.  The remainder is locked up in a safe in my closet.  This way, I do not have to worry about losing more than a couple of day of  pills in the bottle if it is accidently lost or someone with sticky fingers takes them  By dividing the medication in 7-day increments, I also know if I am short tablets for that one week.  If I have used more tablets then prescribed, then I have enough lead-time to either call my doctor and notify him of a possible shortage at the end of the month ….  Or….I can adjust the number of tablets I use the next week.

It is hard to keep track of meds.  Why is it that there are always extra antibiotic pills in the bottle after a 10 day course?  That never seems to happen with narcotics.

What are other members doing to safe guard the medications?

 


Stella Marie

Co-Forum Moderator for Chronic Pain

Rare neurodegenerative disease called “Multiple System Atrophy”. a very rare neurodegenrative disease ..i.e. brain rot.  Mobility issues,, O2 , intrathecal pump, neurostimulator, neuropathic pain,  spasticity, central apnea, oesteoarthritis, colitis...etc..etc.

 


Mystic_Duck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 6/24/2009 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   
i actually have a metal toolbox that had a keyed lock on it... the box is stored in my closet, and the keys are always in a different room, in a nightstand drawer; i actually couldnt find a safe, but found this toolbox instead, but its kinda lik camoflauge so it works! probably not the most secure thing in the world but it works for me! i also only keep a weeks worth of pills in the bottles, or my pill organizer depending if they are as needed or timed...

Anyway thats my method! haha
 
"In God's hands, in God's time."
 
"The scourge of life, and death's extreme disgrace, the smoke of hell, that monster called Pain."


Hello~Kitty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 6/24/2009 8:25 PM (GMT -7)   
i dont have this problem, I seem to always to have too many left over by my next appointment, like this month I'll have almost 9 days left over. But I keep a few days at a time in my purse and the rest are locked up in a black fireproof lockbox that weighs alot, then I keep that in my room with my bedroom door locked. The only pain meds I use to run out early with was the fentaynl patches cause they always fell off, so I had to reply a new one cause I felt when they didnt "stick" anymore (I used the mylan brand), even with tape, they wouldnt work very well. I guess this is why I was only on it for a short time. I guess with my suboxone because they have a half life of 37 hours, but they're prescribed for 3 times a day, but I usually only take them 2 times a day because they make me too sleepy cause they build up in your system. But if someone is taking too many, they should talk to their doctor if the meds arnt helping the pain, and if they're stolen even by loved ones, it should be reported asap to the police and doctor. Pills should never be laying around where people can easily grab them like on the kitchen counter or bathroom, they should be hidden at all times.

-hellokitty

Chronic Pain Moderator

Dx-Gallstones at age 14 that caused Fibromyalgia in 1998. Chronic Pancreatitis at age 15 from Pancreatic Divisum. Fell down cement basement stairs on my bottom in 2001. Got severe migraines after the epidural from my 2nd childbirth in 2002. Was rear-ended by a lady doing 55mph in 2004 then 2 months later rolled my car down a hill and did even more damage to my back. Depression caused by having chronic pain. Asthma from allergies.

meds- Suboxone for pain, Cymbalta for pain and depression, Lyrica for pain and migraines, Imitrex for migraines, Ibprofen for migraines, Ventolin Albuterol inhaler for asthma. Phenergan for nausea, Seroquel for sleep.

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."         -Mother Teresa


SpaceButler
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 6/24/2009 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Recently I had the misfortune to live with a roommate that was rather unscrupulous. He would take my muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medication despite me telling him there was no recreational value, and that I need it (despite the small degree to which it actually modulates my pain, it is the best treatment I have been willing to try so far). I ended up having to stuff cotton in the pill bottles (so they wouldn't make a noise when shaken), then put the pill bottles in socks and old bags around my room.

I moved out, thankfully, but I am more careful with my medications now. I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt because I was negligent with the placement of them. Also, everyone remember to try to keep your pills in correctly marked pill bottles, with your own name/address/phone number. I've known people to become embroiled in legal or medical trouble without doing such

fatherjohn
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 6/24/2009 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I also use a heavy safe that is stored in a cabinet. The combination is safely stored away, (I hope I can find it some day, just kidding). I keep some meds out but even most of my non narcotic meds are also stored away. As many of you know I work with drug addicts who have been clean for at least a year and they didn't just look for narcotics when they were pill shopping. It might not make sense to non addicts but it happens.  

uniquelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 6/25/2009 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
 
WEll, this may seem like a moot point coming from me...especially under the circumstances.... But, I have always used a lock box...not that thay aren't easily broken into, but not a lot of people know that I have meds anyway.  Not anymore... I did have a so called friend steal from me a couple of years ago...and that is when I started using it.  I really like the idea of only having 7 days worth on your person at one time.  That might have saved me the trouble I am in right now.
 
HelloKitty,
I saw that you take Suboxone for pain....how well does that work?  Were you taking Methadone before?
 
Me.

 I hate Boats!!!!
 
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/15 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 10mg. 2X in the morning
Lantus 10 units at bedtime with Solostar Pen                                                                   

 


Hello~Kitty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 6/25/2009 2:49 PM (GMT -7)   
uniquelyme,

suboxone works wonderful for my pain, and yes I was taking methadone before for pain, I find the suboxone to work much better, and I love that it lasts so long. But some people dont find suboxone to work well for their pain but I think it's because as soon as they see that naloxone is in it, they freak out thinking that it will cause withdrawals, when it doesnt. The naloxone doesnt even get absorbed if taken the right way, under the tongue. And you cant build a tolerence to Suboxone which is great, and less is more with this med. I was taking almost 300mg daily of methadone, and 16mg of suboxone works the same, if not better. I use to hate that 8 hours after taking methadone I would start getting very mild withdrawals so I would have to redose, but with suboxone those effects dont happen til 24-48 hours later, even though the pain might return before, but not having those withdrawals are nice. The only drawback is that suboxone is very expensive, almost $7 a pill for the 8mg pills. My insurance covered it for 6 months as long as I was in drug rehab classes even though I wasnt a "drug addict", but it was the only way around to get my insurance to pay for it. At first I was mad, but now I've kinda enjoyed the classes cause I've learned so much and found out that a drug addict is not what I thought, that they are very normal people living very normal lifes and have great jobs, so this has made me want to get a career in helping them, but I wanna work in a inpatient rehab. I know alot of pain specialists doctors are going for suboxone for pain for so many reasons, especially cause it cant be abused, but I will always encourage people to not diss suboxone just cause it's only approved for addiction, it IS a narcotic no matter how you look at it, and buprenorphine, which is the name of the narcotic in suboxone has been used in other countries for just pain control in very small doses and patches, and right now in the united states that are doing trials on the patch just for pain control and not addiction.I hope answered some of what you where wondering about, if not then let me know.
-hellokitty

Chronic Pain Moderator

Dx-Gallstones at age 14 that caused Fibromyalgia in 1998. Chronic Pancreatitis at age 15 from Pancreatic Divisum. Fell down cement basement stairs on my bottom in 2001. Got severe migraines after the epidural from my 2nd childbirth in 2002. Was rear-ended by a lady doing 55mph in 2004 then 2 months later rolled my car down a hill and did even more damage to my back. Depression caused by having chronic pain. Asthma from allergies.

meds- Suboxone for pain, Cymbalta for pain and depression, Lyrica for pain and migraines, Imitrex for migraines, Ibprofen for migraines, Ventolin Albuterol inhaler for asthma. Phenergan for nausea, Seroquel for sleep.

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."         -Mother Teresa


Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 6/25/2009 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Great topic, Stella!!

I too have gone to extra storage for medications but mine was for a different reason. I have small grandchildren around most every day of the week and the thought of a 2 year old possibly getting narcotic pain meds or other pills terrified me. So, I bought a small lock box with a number dial lock on it plus another one for hubby's pills that has a turn type of opening that you have to squeeze and turn....child proof thingie...lol And the little guys tried and can't do it. Most of the time I can't either.

Here are links to the ones I bought. I don't have any financial interest in either of these products, just that they work for me.

http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Guard-Vita-Medicine-Safe/dp/B0018BTBRS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1245981625&sr=8-1

http://www.lockmed.com/lockable-medicine-box.html

Chutz
Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums ~~~
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, PTSD, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteoarthritis, collapsed disk, and a few other side dishes.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it.
George Burns


skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/26/2009 5:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I use a heavy fire-proof lockbox, that I keep someplace inconspicuous (it depends, depending on where I am living, since I am in college & change dorm rooms often). I keep the key to it with me at all times (it's attached to my college ID, which I have to carry everywhere). I take out only what I need for the next day, the night before. The meds for the coming day go into a pill organizer, which I keep with me. I've been keeping even my non-narcotic meds in there, because I find it easier, plus, when I do live with roommates, or people coming in & out of my room, I prefer that they don't know what I am taking at all. At home, I'm a little more lenient with my meds, since we don't often have company, or anyone foreign in the home & we live in a very tiny town in a rural area. However, lately, I have been thinking about getting another lockbox for here too. But I guess it doesn't matter as much anymore, since we have finally determined that opioids are worthless to me & that I will be off of them within a week or two.

Skeye

Hound-Dog
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 6/26/2009 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I take nine different drugs in a day.I use a seven day,segregated morning/evening pill box that I refill once a week.It's handy because I can tell at a glance if I've taken my pill or not.It's always out of sight until needed and the other three weeks worth of pills get stored in my gun safe.That's the big steel box over by where my Pit-Bull likes to lay down.

LLPLUV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 6/27/2009 9:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Isn't it sad that we have to treat our pain meds like money!!??!!

I have a lock box and the pills I hold are for one day at a time. I have my 1 days worth on me at all times. Then I know when they are gone Thats all I get. So that helps me keep my pill counts in order. I hate having to count my pills to see of I can have another. My pain BT's alot. I'm so busy most the time I forget if I have taken one or not.

The reason I lock mine up is because I have 2 teenagers and a 20 yr old. Teens might expeirment, my 20 yr old is know to do recreational drugs. (sigh) It always in my mind with the two younger one is "What If".

Laurie
39 yr young female with,
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension, Urological RSD
Also CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and Sleep Apnea
Hopefully NO MORE........ I think I have it all


Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 6/28/2009 10:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I too have taken precautions to keep my meds safe. I have a gun safe that protects all of my meds safe and sound. I have a 7 day pill box that I fill once a week. The possibility of someone knowing what meds I take just scares the heck out of me. So I also shred my tags and papers that come with my bags of meds.

It's a good idea to keep ALL your info safe friends. Can't be to careful.

Hugssssssssssssssss

Scarred
What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P


Piercings
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 6/28/2009 5:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I divide mine up and they are stored in different places around the house. Money has been really tight lately and I'm not willing to part with a minimum of $35 for a lockbox. When I have them filled the other 3 weeks are literally in strange places in the house. I have roommates right now that are not the most "upright" citizens, but they pay the bills and they don't bring the police to my house so I can't sqawk too much. sometimes the pills are in other bottles in my bathroom under the sink, and sometimes they're in things like a glasses case. You just never know where I'm gonna put them. The only bad thing is that I have to remember where it is that I put them. lol
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