What's up with pharmacists?

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newname
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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 6/10/2011 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay, I know there are a lot of junkies out there who dope fiend their doctors into giving them narcotics and then try to get them refilled weeks early, but does that mean pharmacists have to treat all people on pain medications with the same brush?
My lower back hurts like a son of a..., well, you get the picture. So my doctor prescribed me tramadol for it. I can take two at a time, three times a day. Since I live in the country over twenty miles from town, I like to get as much business done on a single trip as I can, especially with gas the way it is. So yeah, if I'm in the city on Saturday to buy groceries for the week and I know I'll be out of my tramadol in a few days (and I've never asked for it more than five days before I'll be out), of course I ask to get it refilled so that I don't have to make a forty mile round trip a few days later just to pick up this prescription. But I'm afraid to ask my pharmacists to get it very early at all. I don't need them calling my doctor and making him think I'm a crackhead or something.

I got my valium and tramadol refilled on the nineteenth of last month. So I can definitely get the valium refilled this coming Saturday. But here's the problem. Though I got the tramadol refilled on the nineteenth of last month as well, the previous month I had gotten it filled on the twenty fifth. Which obviously means that on Saturday I won't be out of the tramadol yet and will in fact have four or five days of it left. But I don't want to get the valium on Saturday and then have to make another trip into town just a few days later for the tramadol. Am I wrong in feeling that way, and more importantly, should I even bother asking the pharmacist to fill the tramadol on Saturday? I already called my insurance and they said they'd actually pay for the tramadol a week early, but the pharmacists obviously doesn't have to fill it just because my insurance company is willing to pay for it on that day.

Any suggestions on how I should handle this? Should I politely ask for the tramadol to be refilled on Saturday along with the valium, freely acknowledging that I'm not actually out of the tramadol yet but would like to save a trip (and gas money) by getting them both on the same day, or should I just bite the bullet and get the tramadol filled on Monday or Tuesday of the following week? I mean, it's possible the pharmacist will simply look at the date I got it filled last month and not even bother going back further to see when I got it the month before that. It's hard to say. Advice would be greatly appreciated.





*edited for easier reading) Thanks! SE

Post Edited By Moderator (Screaming Eagle) : 6/11/2011 8:33:52 AM (GMT-6)


Jim1969
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   Posted 6/10/2011 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I think your best course of action is to talk to your doctor about this very thing and ask if getting your script filled a week early bothers him. If it doesn't then I would not worry about it.

Due to the meds I am on I have to see either the pain nurse or the doctor every month to get my scripts and those appointments can vary by as much as a week. I always stop by the pharmacy on the way home and get them filled and have never had a problem.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

newname
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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 6/10/2011 10:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I've discussed this with my doctor before after Walgreens computer system messed up and submitted my tramadol for a refill just a couple of days after I'd gotten it filled. I had an online account with walgreens and you can set your prescriptions to autofill so that when they come due, the computer automatically submits them without you having to do anything more. You just get an email and automated phone call when the medication is ready. The also refilled my wellbutrin a couple of days after I turned in a new prescription for it. I was able to show both bottles of the wellbutrin to my doctor (apparently it slipped past him when the pharmacy asked for him to authorization for a refill, but the tramadol didn't). Since I was able to prove it was Walgreens screw up and not mine, he gave me another prescription for tramadol and suggested I get it filled at another pharmacy, which I did. He doesn't seem to have a problem with people getting their meds filled a little early, but if pharmacies keep calling him about it, I'm afraid he'll cancel the prescription out of fear that a pharmacist might contact the FDA and get them looking in his direction. Seriously, a few days early isn't that much to ask, but some pharmacists are very stubborn and vigilant.

grandmaroses
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Date Joined Jan 2011
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   Posted 6/10/2011 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm learning alot about your health system this seems a little excessive. When I was on tramadol it was not considered a narcotic, is that why? I know I can not get a refill on some of my meds without seeing my dr and if I go on a Monday and the prescription is outdated by Friday which is usually payday so I have to be careful scheduling appts and paydays.
Take care
Rose



Insulin Dependant Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Sleep Apnea, COPD, Spondylolistesis, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fatty Liver, High Cholesterol

newname
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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 6/10/2011 10:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I live in Indiana and tramadol is not considered a controlled substance here. Some pharmacists treat it as if it were, though.
My problem is that I really need a pain med that will relieve my symptoms without making me loopy. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, aleve...not much relief. Vicodin? Yeah, it takes away the pain...along with my intelligence. When I've been on that stuff in the past, someone could have told me the house was on fire and I probably would have laughed and turned on all the water faucets. I don't want to be high. All I want is to not be in pain. The pharmacist at Walgreens tried to get me in trouble with my doctor once, even though it was their mistake, not mine, causing him to temporarily cancel my tramadol prescription until I was able to prove to him that it was their screw up, not mine. He really is a nice guy, but I'm just scared that if the pharmacists at the new pharmacy I'm going to calls him and says I'm trying to get the tramadol filled early, this time my goose will be cooked even though I really haven't done anything wrong.

grandmaroses
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   Posted 6/10/2011 11:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow your system is so different to me, I'm in Canada and when I was on tramadol I never had any issues other than I had to keep increasing the amount because my pain is getting worse until I had maxed out the dosage and its been a ride getting another medicine that gives me the same relief without feeling high. I do not like the out of control feeling at all so I am extremely careful with any medication usually staring with half of what my Dr prescribes and carefully increasing. My Dr knows I do this and I guess in the long run its good. Sorry your having such a rough time I hope everything works out and you never have to be without meds.
Take care
Rose



Insulin Dependant Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Sleep Apnea, COPD, Spondylolistesis, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fatty Liver, High Cholesterol

CRPSpatient
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Date Joined Mar 2011
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   Posted 6/11/2011 1:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow, but your system is strict. I'm on Oxycontin and I always get my new script when I have 3-4 days supply left, just in case there are any problems with the chemist having them in stock. Admittedly we've used the same place since I was a baby (I'm now 26) and I've been a registered patient at my local clinic for almost as long, but it seems mad to me that you have to wait until your supply runs out before you can get your new lot filled. I know that tramadol has nowhere near the problems of the stronger opioids with regard to physical dependence and withdrawal, but from what I hear they can be bad enough - even before you consider yourself having to make that extra round trip.

I would certainly talk to your doctor and pharmacist and see what can be done. Good luck :)

Laura
CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bone spurs, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Somac, Cipramil. Have a spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio.

newname
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 6/11/2011 7:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I think I'm going to go ahead and ask the pharmacist next Saturday if he'll refill the tramadol. Since I got it refilled on the nineteenth of last month along with the new prescription for valium, he shouldn't have any problems. Unless, of course, he looks at when I got my tramadol filled in April and sees that it was on the 25th. If he does, he'll realize I actually have a six day supply of it left, but I'll just hope for the best. If he doesn't want to refill it then, fine. I'll tell him the simple truth about not yet being out of it but wanting to get it refilled along with the valium so that I don't have to make an extra twenty mile trip into town a mere three or four days later.

This will be on a Saturday when my doctor clearly is not in his office. Unless this pharmacist is such a jerk that he'd actually call my doctor at his home to rat on me (though I don't consider what I'll be doing to be anything wrong), he won't be able to contact my doctor until Monday. Would this pharmacist, busy with other prescriptions, even remember two days later to call my doctor? Somehow I doubt it. Tramadol is not a controlled substance here, so really there's nothing he should complain about. Besides, is there something wrong about having a few extra days worth of your medication in case something happens and you can't get into town or to the pharmacy? Maybe I'm just being paranoid after my ordeal at Walgreens, but the least thing I need is for my doctor to cut me off from my tramadol. Then I'll be screwed.



(Edited for easier reading) Thanks! SE

Post Edited By Moderator (Screaming Eagle) : 6/11/2011 8:38:17 AM (GMT-6)


Snowbunny21
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Date Joined Jan 2010
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   Posted 6/11/2011 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Newname...welcome to HW..

Just fyi ...Tramadol is now a controlled substance in some states...I am in VA and it is here starting early this year...And it's the DEA that enforces narcotic and medicine regulations , not the FDA...the FDA monitors medicines for health and safety issues..ie...when a medicine has a recall...it's the FDA investigating...

In our state...you need a Dr.s authorization to refill it each month.

I am glad that you did not attempt to get them today (this Sat.) since you should have 11 leftover of Tramadol based on what you have written with the month of April filled on the 25th...then May 19th...

I understand that you are trying to do things all in one trip into town...but with these types of medicines..the Pharmacy does have a right to call the DR. if it comes up on the screen that you are trying to refill too early..As mentioned...most insurance companies will allow a few days..even if it's not a controlled substance.

Also realize that even the Valium you are on...which unfortunately there are those that abuse that medicine as well....will alert the pharmacist and insurance if you are refilling early and they can make a note in your file and keep track of how often you do this...As well as contact your Dr. about this as well..

I know this is annoying to some people...but your Pharmacist is actually part of the 'team' of people who are treating you and care for someone's well being...Your Dr., the Pharmacist, Surgeon's, other Dr.s you see, and yourself...all work together to manage your care.

Just like with my PM, we have a signed contract which allows the Dr. to do urine tests, pill counts, we are required to only use one Pharmacy for our medicine, etc. to help monitor and weed out those who are trying to abuse the system...I am perfectly fine and comfortable with this as whatever helps my DR. do his job...great!...

So...your Pharmacist would not be a 'jerk' for contacting your Dr. In the computer...it's always doing a count of when you are picking up both the Valium and the Tramadol...month after month...this is also to prevent people from stockpiling and 'selling' their extra medication...as well as overusing it themselves..

I am NOT saying you are doing this...just explaining why they keep track...

As well as insurance companies are getting more strict on their payments...if you are getting them early every month...then they are paying more than one prescription every 30 days at the end of the year...so it's their business too if you are trying to do this..so sometimes it will be the insurance that 'blocks' the prescription from being filled early..

So just be mindful that even if Tramadol isn't controlled in your state...they can still deny it filled early and contact your Dr. since they are adding up the cumulative number of pills over the months if it's been early before...same with the Valium...

My suggestion is next visit with your Dr...speak with him about your issue with making the drive into town..(how far is it out of curiosity?)...and ask him how many days he is ok with you filling early from now on if you can't go right near the 30 day mark...That way it can be in your file with the Pharmacist...

Good luck...and again...welcome to HW...we have so many wonderful people here that have been through pretty much everything! and we understand what it's like to be in Chronic pain...

Post Edited (Snowbunny21) : 6/11/2011 8:18:59 AM (GMT-6)


newname
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 6/11/2011 9:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Snowbunny. My problem is that I don't know what's considered "too early".
 
 If I got the tramadol filled on the 25th of April and then again on the 19th of May, will trying to have it refilled on the 18th of June (I can't get it on the 19th like I did last month because my pharmacy is closed on Sundays) get me in trouble or send up a flag on the pharmacy computer system?
 
 What I'm thinking of doing is getting the valium refilled next Saturday and then asking the pharmacist if I can get the tramadol then too or if I should wait a few more days. Asking IF it can be refilled yet shouldn't get me in trouble, should it?
 
 All the guy has to do is say "no, it's too early", and I'll accept that with a smile and walk out the door, coming back a few days later to pick it up.
 
 When I made the comment about the pharmacist being a "jerk" if he called my doctor, I meant that it would be rude of him to phone the doctor at home on a Saturday instead of just waiting until my doctor is back in his office on Monday.
 
My insurance has already told me they would pay for the tramadol next Saturday (actually, they'd authorize payment on the 12th, but no way am I asking for it from my pharmacist that early), so since my insurance will pay for it on Saturday, will the pharmacy computer just go by that?
 
 Oh, and since you asked, I live over twenty miles from town, which makes each trip there and back 40 miles. The van I drive (which I purchased before gas prices went through the roof) drinks about eight bucks worth of gas each time I go to town and back.
 
When It comes to the possibility of someone stockpiling and selling tramadol, I doubt there is much of a market for it around here. Vicodin or any hydrocodone based medication? Oh yeah, people will pay big time for those. I've read several instances of people in town being arrested for it. But tramadol, as far as I know, isn't exactly the drug of choice for most people who abuse pain medications to get high.

Post Edited (newname) : 6/11/2011 9:00:49 AM (GMT-6)


Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 4974
   Posted 6/11/2011 9:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning newname!

I just wanted to quickly pop in here and welcome you to the CP forum!
As you can see, the members are warm, friendly, and very helpful!, so please feel free to ask all the questions you want! Whenever you get a little extra time, we ask that you please read the forum rules, and there is also a link at the top of our forum page titled "Chronic Pain 101"...lots of helpful articles there to read!

We were glad you found this wonderful Chronic Pain support forum....so "Enjoy" yourself. As suggested, we ask members to keep their paragraphs to around 4-5 lines, if possible, as we have many members with tracking problems and poor eyesight.

Again!..."Welcome"....and take care!

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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Snowbunny21
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Date Joined Jan 2010
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   Posted 6/11/2011 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for more information..and thanks for putting your post into paragraphs:)

To answer your first question...it also depends on if you were on the Tramadol for awhile...then when you picked it up in Jan, Feb, and March..

When you picked it up in June on the 19th...you should have had about 5 leftover from May...so if you were early on the other months...that would add another 2-4 each month...

That is why I said if you were trying to fill today...which you changed your mind and said next Saturday....but today you would have had another 6 (that's where I said 11 in two months early)....

They have a running count of it from when you started taking the medicine and when you fill it each month....same with the insurance...that's why I said it 'could' be insurance that kicks it back at anytime in the future as they decide to review your account and realize after 6 months or so that they are paying more than 30 day prescriptions..

Next Saturday will be day 31 so it should be absolutely fine if you filled it on May 19th...but I just wanted to say that they monitor not only each month...but all the months.

So as an example...
say you've been on a medicine for 9 months...if you are early each month..with an average of 3 days ....you would have close to 27 extra pills...

I think most Dr.s don't have an issue with holding on to a few pills set aside for an emergency...maybe one or two days worth....

This is why we also said that the Pharmacy can decide at any time if they see that you are consistently coming more than a day or two early...they can call the Dr. and let them know...On the other side...your Dr. can decide at any time to call the Pharmacy and get a print out of all the months you have been taking the medicines and when you get them filled..

Just like lots of states have prescription monitoring now...which also alerts them if someone is trying to get medicine from an ER one week...another DR. the next...and then another DR...etc....that would be "'Dr. shopping"

And even if you don't think Tramadol is a big deal...it is heavily sold everywhere...especially by teenagers/young adults....as I said..it will be a controlled substance in all States in the next year. As well as I mentioned that Valium is also a medicine that is abused and sold on the street...so they are looking at how often you are filling this and how many pills you have accumulated over the months you have been on it.

My dog is actually on Tramadol for his hip dysplasia...and I have to drive up to the Vet each month to have a Dr. ok his montly presciption which is filled there as I said it is controlled in VA...

I really think you shouldn't even bring it up next Sat. with the Pharmacist since you will be on time. I would just talk with your Dr. at your next appt. and discuss this issue with your travel difficulties and have him ok the medicine being picked up 'up to x days' early....then it can be on file with both him and the Pharmacist and you won't have anything to worry about...

I always encourage people to speak with their Dr.s...this way you have covered all of your bases...

If you 'ask' the phramicst if you are early or not...this will raise a red flag that you, the patient aren't paying attention to your own medicine....You should absolutely keep track every single month of exactly when you are filling your medicine...and how many pills you have...it could make them skittish that you don't know..

I just believe...no matter what type of medicine you are on...I am on both narcotics, a muscle relaxer, and a sleep medicine...I have a running calendar as well as I keep track of exactly how many meds I take per day...it's important in case there is every a question..I can answer it with certainty...just like if there was ever a mistake on someone's part...you can absolutely know what your numbers are with every single medicine you take..
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006
 
 

Snowbunny21
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 6/11/2011 10:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Just my lil 'ol opinions and thoughts:)
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006
 
 

newname
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 6/11/2011 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the information.
The truth is, I always try to get my medications filled a few days early. And by "early" I mean a few days before I'll be out. To me, that just makes sense.

If I lived in town, it would be no big deal to just wait until I'm completely out or maybe a day from being so.

I just started the valium and my insurance doesn't pay for it anyway, but next Saturday (and to clarify things, I meant next Saturday from the beginning of my posting about this) will have been thirty days since getting it filled, so no issues there.

It gets trickier with the tramadol, however. Since I've been on it for over half a year, I'm not sure what their records show for the last several months in terms of how early I get it filled.

I do know that by next weekend, I should have around five days of it left...maybe. What I need to do is count the pills left in my bottle, I guess.

But the thing is, I just called my insurance again to get more clarification, and asked them to check their records to see if getting the tramadol next Saturday should cause any problems with my pharmacist.

The kind lady simply told me that since it will have been thirty days since my last refill on it, there should be no problem.

Is she right, or am I risking trouble by asking for it to be refilled?

And please allow me a moment to vent here. I do no abuse drugs (and I know you didn't accuse me of that) and in fact am VERY careful about how I take my prescriptions.

I'm well aware of the potential for seizures if you take too much tramadol, and that the risk is even higher if you're also on Wellbutrin (which I am).

Believe me, I have no desire to have seizures or any other kind of problem that can arise from abusing medications.

That's why it frustrates me so much that I have to even ponder whether to try to get my tramadol refilled next Saturday. Even if I had a thousand of them stocked up, I wouldn't take more than prescribed and I would never sell them. Given their relatively weak narcotic-like effect, I'm amazed that even kids are buying them off the street.

Now that I do know that, I have a better understanding of why a pharmacist would have a problem with someone getting them very early.

So I guess I'll ask for both the valium and tramadol to be refilled next Saturday and let the chips fall where they may. I know I'm not doing anything wrong, but I can see your point about how asking the pharmacist if he can fill them early might cause him to be suspicious. If I'd known him longer (and I only switched to this pharmacy back in March, I would have a better grasp on what his attitude about it might be.

Snowbunny21
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Date Joined Jan 2010
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   Posted 6/11/2011 11:31 AM (GMT -6)   
I think your first post was very confusing then because you posted it on Friday...and kept saying 'this' Saturday...which would have been today...so you were asking if they would be upset or deny your filling it early...

There is obviously no issue at all and it's not early next Sat. You filled on May 19th...it will be June 18th...but 31 days in May...so it's perfectly fine and not early at all..there shouldn't be even a concern on anyone's end.

So...it's really about going forward from here..so now you know that since you have been on the Tramadol for about 6 months...they have it on record every month when you had it filled and how many meds you would have left...

I made a mistake before...you should have 5 DAYS worth of pills from the previous month..not 5 pills... Because you take 6 a day...correct?....So you should have 30 pills leftover from last month...

Same thing for any previous months...every day it's early...that is an extra 6 pills you should have...

Your prescription is for 180 pills every 30 days if my math is correct...

I don't think you will have any problem filling it next Saturday...you are perfectly on time...I am just trying to make you aware that IF the Dr. every decides to get a print out from them...they will add up all the days early...or IF the Pharmacy at any time does a check over the 6 months...and as I mentioned...lots of States have the monitoring system so the other Pharmacy's records where you were before March can be accessed easily.

As I mentioned...getting a day or two early is usually not a big deal to insurance or the Dr....However....it's ALWAYS good to double check with your Dr. and make sure...then you can have absolutely no worries...

That's why I was saying to keep track every single month of every single medicine you take....document everything for YOUR sake....then if there is any issue...you will have things in front of you and know exactly how many pills you have leftover...or don't have....

The point is...with medicine..you can never be too safe and too organized with it all...

And to the stockpiling more than a day or two ...as I said...they can think either you are taking more than prescribed...or that you are selling it...

This is another reason that I actually talk with my Pharmacist each month...ask about his family...kids....vacations...etc...I've been going there for about 10 years....he is the head Pharmacist...he knows me...we are 'friends' in that manner....so if there is ever an issue...he would ask me directly...that's why I said it's good to find a Pharmacy and make them a part of your 'team'...

It's unfortunately a world where people abuse all sorts of medicine...from ADD meds...antidepressants...sleep medicine like Ambien...narcoitcs/pain meds...muscle relaxers...Benzo's like Valium, Xanax.....

I mean...kids get high off of spray cans like computer cleaner..it's called "huffing"...and now the new "bath salts" which are legal...and they aren't the kind you put in a bubble bath!..

There is the "choking game"....where kids attempt to choke eachother/themselves to the point right before passing out....

It's awful....but it's reality out there these days...

I study all of this having been a youth group leader for HS kids for over 13 years...as well as the medicine side of things with my PM Dr. who is my friend as well...

It seems you have nothing to worry about this month...just be mindful and organized going forward...and talk to your Dr. about it all next visit:)

Hope you can enjoy and relax some this weekend!..
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006
 
 

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 4974
   Posted 6/11/2011 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   
I think newname can make this really simple, and call is Dr office and tell them he is planning to ask the scripts to be filled at the same time. A simple fax to the Pharmacy, letting them know its ok to fill, should take care of it, as long as the Ins company allows it.

The Dr, has the option to script out a special one time count, to align everything as well, as long as no pre-approval is needed. If newname has a good relationship with his/her's Dr, then it shouldn't be a big deal.

Good luck!

SE
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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straydog
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   Posted 6/11/2011 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I will put my two cents in here, lol, not worth much but here goes. I totally understand the driving involved and the cost of gas. I think all of us are doing our best to conserve in that area because of the cost of gas being so high. My husband has a gas hog pickup and I have a Honda so most of the errands are done by me using my car for that very reason. We stay out of the truck as much as we can.

However, if this were me I would do one of two things, speak with my dr about the drive & the expense and if he is willing to fax something to the pharmacy great. Or else I would wait my normal time and go get my script refilled that way I am not raising any red flags. The way I see it I have enough to deal with and do not need anymore grief in my life and if it is something I can avoid then I am all for that. Yes, I may not want to spend $8 for the gas but which do I want possible grief or no grief. Sometimes we have to bite the bullet and do things we really don't want to but I guess that is just part of living. I also think about how hard it is for people with CP and I would never give my dr the slimmest opportunity of having to put me under the magnifying glass either.

Another thought, even with a note from the dr on the early refill, it is up to the pharmacist on whether or not he/she wants to give the medication early. It would be within their right to make you wait until the actual refill date.

Good luck in whatever road you take on this.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

newname
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 6/11/2011 12:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry for the confusion. I had my days confused and must have thought yesterday was Saturday. There's no way I would have been dumb enough to try and get the tramadol refilled THAT early.

And let me give you a better understanding of why I'm a little anxious when it comes to this situation.

A couple of months back, Walgreens got me in a pickle with my doctor.

As I stated before, I had an online account with them and had set all of my prescriptions to auto refill. When you do that, you don't have to call the pharmacy to ask for a refill. Their system just automatically submits them when they are due.

I looked at my prescriptions and noticed that some of them that were set to auto refill had no refills left on them, so when I saw my doctor on March 29th, I asked him for new prescriptions. He gave me them and I took them to Walgreens and got them filled.

A few days later I came home with a message on my phone (actually they called twice) asking me to call my doctor. I did and his nurse told me he would no longer be giving me the tramadol. When I asked why, she was rudely said that he had given me a presciption last week and that walgreens had called them and said I'd also tried to get it filled again just a few days later. I let the nurse know that I most certainly had NOT attempted another refill so quickly and that I would be calling Walgreens myself to find out what happened.

When I called Walgreens, they said that I'd gotten the tramadol and wellbutrin filled last week and then tried to again just a few days later. I told them that was b.s. Then it hit me. When I turned in the new prescriptions, they didn't deactivate the old ones that were set to auto refill. Always in the past they had done so, but not this time. The pharmacist quickly admitted that was indeed what happened, but refused to call my doctor. She said that if he had any questions, he could call her.

Get that? It was their mistake but this pharmacist wouldn't even have the courtesey to call my doctor to fix it.

For some reason, the Wellburtrin DID go through again only a few days after having been filled previously, so my sister picked it up for me. I made an appointment with my doctor to talk about this (and having to pay him to explain why it was Walgreens fault and not mine only added to my anger).

I was able to show him the two bottles of Wellbutrin that Walgreens had filled within days of each other, and that was proof enough for him that THEY had screwed up, not me. Actually, he was amused by the situation. I'm glad at least somebody was able to get something good out of the situation because I certainly saw no humor in it.

So he wrote me another prescription for Tramadol and said I should get it filled at another pharmacy.

That's what I did. Now, a few of my prescriptions at Walgreens still have refills on them, so I'm waiting for them to run out before taking all of my business to the new pharmacy I'm using. I simply have no desire to even talk to the pharmacist at this Walgreens (and I'm not putting down all of the stores in their franchise) and I don't want her saying anything bad about me to the new pharmacist I'm going to. She and I got into a rather heated argument and I don't know what she'd say to this new pharmacists about me.

So hopefully that explains why I'm being extra careful about when I get my tramadol filled from now on. Besides, since I got the tramadol on the 19th of last month, I don't really think that getting it on the 18th of this month is actually early.

Post Edited (newname) : 6/11/2011 11:07:36 AM (GMT-6)


razzle51
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 747
   Posted 6/11/2011 12:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Quick and easy solution. If I take say 50 mg of tramadol 3 times a day , I go to my dr and say would it be ok to up my tramadol to an extra 50 at noon and bedtime and she says yes , not really needing it but thankful I have if I need it. do you see where I am going with this. solution you have extras and wont have to worry about dates of refills , just keep getting them refilled and you will always have extra . you can take up to 400 mg tramadol in a 24 hr period. Dr. Said too if I dont need them dont have to take . Its always good to have extra instead of not enough. And believe you me there has been a few nights the extra come in handy . good luck

newname
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 6/11/2011 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   

That sounds like good advice, but since I'm already taking six a day and also on wellbutrin I don't know if my doctor would up the dosage any higher.

And believe me, I wish I could settle with just taking four a day or even less.

Actually, I'd be the a very happy guy if I didn't need them at all.

I've worked in farming most of my life, not to mention wrestling from junior high through college, so my lower back has not had an easy time of it. Imagine being twelve years old and having to throw fifty pound bails of hay onto wagons.

In other words, I've had to do a lot of heavy lifting and hard manual labor for at least thirty of my forty two years on this planet. That's what I believe has led to my back pain.

I just wish there was something I could do to reverse it. Sitting on my butt all day isn't an option and I certainly am in no position to retire.

 I've been told that if I do exercises to increase my back muscles, it would reduce the stress on my bones and alleviate the pain.

I'm not sure if I buy into that one, but who knows?

If anyone here does have suggestions about how to deal with back pain other than medications, I'd greatly appreciate that advice.

I want to stop the pain for real, not just mask the symptoms of whatever is causing it.

 

 


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11051
   Posted 6/11/2011 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
First off, I will say I would not do as Razzle has suggested, one thing you will find out on this forum is we believe honesty is the best policy when it comes to our medical providers. By not being honest there are many things that can come back and bite you bad later on down the road.

There is truth to exercising helping a great deal. When you have an area injured it becomes weakened, a good physical therapist can show many different types of core exercises that will help strengthen those muscles. it really does not take much either to lose muscles tone. Any type of exercise should be approved by your dr. One of the best forms of exercise is water therapy. You are weightless and pose no real danger of further injury. Try doing a google search for some basic strengthening exercises and run them by your dr, you may be surprised.

Good luck.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 6/11/2011 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I also agree that the issue with the pharmacy was not about running out of meds...you have plenty of those...

And other things to help with pain is excecise, yoga/stretching, aqua therapy, acupuncture, massage, injections of different kinds, cognitive behavioral therapy, a muscle relaxer, possible sleep meds, eating healthy...there is proven information that certain foods cause inflammation and others actually help to reduce it as well...not smoking if you do, and as mentioned...PT that is ok'd by your Dr...

The key is to be doing as many of these as you possibly can daily/weekly/monthly to help with your pain so that you don't rely just on medication and build up a tolerance too quickly...

And unfortunately...but those of us with chronic pain...that have done the surgeries..and it's going to be this way...then we have to tailor our work, or even give it up...as well as some of our activities that exacerbate the problem...we can't keep doing everything we used to do...

I'm not sure I know..but when was your last MRI?...What is your diagnosis and was it done by an Orthopedic or Neurosurgeon? Have they discussed injections or surgery? Sorry if I missed this....

newname
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 6/11/2011 4:17 PM (GMT -6)   
When it comes to having plenty of medication, I usually have a couple of days worth left before getting a refill.

Yes, sometimes I ask for them to be refilled a few days earlier than the previous month, but that's only if I'm in town doing other things and don't want to have to make an extra trip a few days later.

There have also been times when I didn't get the tramadol refilled for several days past the date on which I could have. I should have made that clear earlier, but 'se la vie.

So no, I don't have loads of tramadol around, because asking for it to be refilled a few days early on some occassions and not getting it filled past the date on which I could have at other times does tend to even things out.
 
My issue about the refill situation was due to my problems caused by the Walgreens pharmacy mix up.

When it comes to exercises, I will definitely look into that.

Post Edited (newname) : 6/11/2011 3:20:56 PM (GMT-6)


Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 6/11/2011 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I just meant that Razzle's suggestion is not needed in this case and it's unwise to ever lie to a Dr. to get more medication...

As we talked about before...if you have had a few days early for a few months...at 6 pills a day..that is 12 to 18 extra each month.....then we know the 5 days worth from May...that was 30 pills...so you should have plenty right now...

Glad you will seek out exercises and other ways to help your pain..
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006
 
 

newname
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 6/11/2011 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Here's something I posted previously that I hope clarifies things when it comes to how much medication I have.

"The truth is, I always try to get my medications filled a few days early. And by "early" I mean a few days before I'll be out. To me, that just makes sense."

The key part of that quote was "And by "early", I mean a few days before I'll be out".

For example, if I got it on January 5th, then again on February 7th, and then on March 4th, I'm getting it on earlier dates on some months and later dates on others.

You seem to be under the impression that I do something like get it on Jan 5th, then Feb 3rd, and then March 1st, which would mean that I'm always getting it on earlier dates each month.

Nope, that is not the case.

I can take two at a time three times a day, but as anyone who sufferes from chronic pain knows, some days (and months) are better than others. So I don't always take six a day. Sometimes I can get by with four or five.
 
The only reason I might ask for a refill next Saturday is to avoid having to make a forty mile round trip a few days later just to get the tramadol. But if I do, it's not the end of the world.

I hope this clarifies things for you.

Post Edited (newname) : 6/11/2011 3:42:12 PM (GMT-6)

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