Fed up with pharmacies...

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newname
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 12/23/2011 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay, first let me say that I'm on Tramadol for lower back pain.
My initial bad experience was with Walgreens. I had an online account with them and my prescriptions were set to auto refill, meaning that when they came due, they were automatically filled if there were refills and I got an email and phone call when they were ready.
Well, when the prescriptions I had ran out of refills, I got new ones from my doctor and got them filled. Walgreens then tried to fax my doctor to get refills on the tramadol and wellbutrin I also take just a few days later. Needless to say, that got me in trouble with my doctor. To him it looked as if I was attempting to get my tramadol filled twice in just a matter of days. Somehow the wellbutrin slipped by them, however, and it was indeed filled again just a few days after I'd gotten the new prescription filled. I picked it up and was able to prove to my doctor that it was Walgreens fault, not mine. He then suggested I go to a new pharmacy, which I did.
 
With the new pharmacy (a mom and pop one), I made the mistake of calling them on a Tuesday and asking them if they could make a note to fill the tramadol on Friday since I was going to be in town then and the prescription would be due. "No problem" was their response. The next time I saw my doctor he said, "It looks as if you're using a lot of tramadol". I asked what made him think this and he said that the new pharmacy had called him and asked permission to fill the tramadol five days early. There were no issues with my insurance since they generally will let you get non-controlled substances refilled several days before you'll be out. I didn't understand this because by getting it on the Friday previously mentioned, I was only two aways from being out. When I told my doctor this, he said the pharmacies record showed that it had been filled on the Tuesday of that week instead of Friday. So what happened was that when I called that Tuesday and asked them to put it into their system that the tramadol was to be refilled on Friday, they actually filled it on Tuesday instead. I hadn't bothered to look at the date on the bottle. This time, however, I have no way of proving I did nothing wrong since I didn't keep the receipt which would have shown the day I actually picked up the prescription.
 I'm scared he's going to take me off the tramadol cold turkey when I see him on the tenth of next month. I hear the withdrawls from it can be horrendous. No, he didn't say he was going to stop giving it to me the last time I saw him, but I didn't have to ask for a prescription for it then since I still had two refills left. When I see him next month, I'll have to ask for a new prescription and I'm afraid of what his response will be. My fear is that he will try to switch me to something different. The tramadol works fine for me and I don't have to take very much of it (four pills a day) but from what I've read and been told, after having been on it for such a long time, I would likely experience some painful symptoms if I suddenly stop taking it. So in essence, I've done nothing wrong but face the real possibility of getting sick because of someone elses screw up. Any suggestions on how I respond to my doctor when I see him next if he tries taking me off the tramadol?

stingray
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 12/23/2011 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Newname
Could you not go back to the drug store and ask for a copy of your records. They should be able to supply you with a record of when you picked up your meds. I had a similar problem and the pharmacy gave me 3 years worth of reccords no problem. That would be my suggestion. Anyway good luck, hope it all works out. No point in stressing yourself out over something that hasn't happened so take it one day at a time and see how it goes. Take care..have a Merry Christmas and a good New Year.
Stingray
Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, A little Depression, Left foot problems...foot growing in length and big toe growing out sideways, Osteoporosis,11 surgeries total..right foot twice, right knee 3 times, right elbow, throat/neck, spinal fusion, left elbow, left knee, currently deciding on whether to have surgery on left foot.
Meds: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Clonazapam
Birthday July 18th

newname
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 12/23/2011 6:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Would the pharmacy have records of when I picked the prescription up as well as when it was filled?
That's the real issue. They might have filled it on a Tuesday, but I didn't pick it up until Friday, and that's what I think would be important for my doctor. I'm also wondering if the pharmacy would be willing to print that out for me since they'd know I was trying to prove that it was them who had screwed up and not me.

Betsey Ross
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 12/23/2011 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Newname it is worth a try. Ask for the records and see what happens.

Let us know how you made out.

Good Luck
Betsey
crushed lower knee and vertical fx of tibia/external fixator placed/plates and screws and tried to place big pieces of cartiledge under knee cap/tremendous pain in affected leg continously without improving/allergic to metal in left leg/leg isnt straight/ metal removed in July//then total knee replacement/straighten out leg/more phsyxical therapy/take oxycontin,flexeril,cymbalta,vicadin for BT

msfroggi
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 12/25/2011 3:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Newname,
I have a similar story...I was taking Darvocet before they pulled it off the market, I'm now on Lortab 5-325, 2 tablets a day perscribed by my rheumy. I have lupus, Meinere's, COPD and lower back pain- L4 and L5.
In March of this year I had coughed so hard that I cracked my 9th rib on the right side. I went to the ER and they gave me Lortab 10, which I took to my pharmacy and had it filled. Then again in Sept, I did it again. This time I cracked 4 ribs in the back right side. Went to the ER, and again they gave me more Lortab liquid for my cough. So on top of all this I'm still having my Lortab 5-325's refilled every first of the month. My Pharmacist tells me that it looks like I'm "doctor shopping", when I try to tell him all the things that are happening to me he cuts me off and says "It doesn't matter, that's what it looks like". Then as luck would have it, I got a pinched nerve in my lower back just last month, so I call my back doctor and he calls me in some Lortab 10's. So I take those when I can't stand the pain in my lower back and the 5-325's daily for my arthritis. Well when I called my rheumy for a refill on Dec 1st, my pharmacist tells her that I already had some Lortabs filled a few weeks ago and should still have some of those left. And also tells her that I seem to be going to several different doctors and getting Lortab filled alot....WHAT!?! I never had any problems when I was taking Darvocet, which I would be happy to have back!!!! So I've really had to go round and round with this one pharmacist...the rest of them there understand my pain. I even took their own directions up there and it clearly says to "only take this medication for the current condition". Which I do, so hopefully I won't have any more problems with him...I just hate being labeled an addict, I would be glad to exchange my pain to anyone who takes medication for fun and to get "high" on. Thanks for letting me vent a lil...MsFroggi turn

NiNi53
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 12/25/2011 4:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello newname, first you might try finding a new doctor, any doctor worried about filling tramadol is really quite paranoid, tramadol is not much stronger than Extra Strength Tylenol from my experience with it, it had no effect on helping my pain at all.
 
Secondly, you must get a copy from your pharmacy, I have been going to the same pharmacy for at least 20 years, I would never go anywhere else, thats one thing that is very important, almost if not more so than your doctor.  She knows what she's doing, there have been a few times over the years, when someone else filled the script, and its been short, or a couple of times to much.  I take it right back to her (I count my pills as soon as I get home, just for that reason).  We have never had an argument, its all written down on paper.  Her paper.  I just love her, she is compassionate and caring person, I feel blessed to have found her all those years ago.
 
Anyway, go back to the pharmacy and get your paperwork, that should help straighten out your problems.
 
Good luck, take care,
 
Kathy
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 12/25/2011 8:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I pretty much have the same moral rules that I have with Dr's…."poor service"…..then I move on and find another one!

For some I know it is not that easy of they happen to be the only one around, but your Dr should have known you better than this, and made a quick phone call to your pharmacist to clear things up.

Comunication is very Key!….between Patients and their Dr's…if you do not have a good relationship with your Dr…then work on it…..if it isn't going to happen after a while, then….move on and find one that will suit up and be on your team.

Take care, and good luck!

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"I hope to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am" author unknown

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 12/26/2011 5:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Your pharmacy should have a record of when the prescription was filled and when you actully picked it up.....otherwise there would be pills still in the pharmacy waiting for pickup and they would have to account for them.

My pharmacy and several of my Dr's have been changing their computer systems lately and my meds have somehow gotten screwed up too. My ultracet is written by my PM, but they are filling it at a different time during the month. I have tons of them at home (in a safe, of course) so I could easily wait, but the "computer" is spitting out the refill date, so I just go with it.

I also have a prescription or xanax cr and ambien that I get from a different Dr. He ALWAYS sends his together and now, for some bizarre reason, the pharmacy keeps telling me they can fill one, but not the other because there are refills on one and not the other. I've had to talk to the Dr a couple of times lately because of problems filling meds. First was his error on the new computer and second was the pharmacy's error. I have no idea what he is going to say tomorrow, since it happened again this month. I really wish they would get together and fix the problem and I'm actually going to ask him to call personally and see if he can find out what is going on. I DON'T ever Dr shop or use more than one pharmacy (except for my shots that have to come from a special pharmacy). I even print out a medication sheet with everything that I take, allergies, and notification of PM Contract to take to EVERY Dr's apt.

I hope you will find a solution soon and not have any more problems. You have had your fair share recently :)
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, Vision Issues & much more.....

newname
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 12/28/2011 1:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I want to ask the pharmacy for my records showing both when the prescription has been filled and when I picked it up, but I'm afraid of rocking the boat. They've got the power here, not me. If they decide to put me in my place by calling my doctor every time I ask for the tramadol to be filled a few days before I'll be out, he'll get sick of it and take me off the medication. Sure, I could prevent that by just waiting until I'm completely out before asking for a refill, so perhaps that's what I should do from now on. If he takes me off the tramadol when I see him next month, then I will definitely be going to that pharmacy and getting my records. At that point, I'd have nothing to lose.
 
But here's my secret "weapon" if he questions my tramadol usage the next time I see my doctor. Last month I got the tramadol filled on the sixth. I see my doctor next on January tenth, at which time I will have to ask for a new prescription for the tramadol. That means that I will have gone five days past the day I got them on the previous month. Not exactly a sign of overusage, eh? I'll be more than happy to point that out to him.
 
Wish me luck.

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 12/28/2011 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   
You really need to clear the air with your Dr on this, and make sure both you and Him have a no frills understanding. I always ask for my script a day or two before the script is to be filled. You are going to fall on a weekend (Sunday) or a holiday that the pharmacy will be closed, so your Dr should be realistic here on this as well.

If your Pharmacy is playing games with you, then go to another one….. end of story! Having your Dr post date the script may help as well…but Insurance should be the one that will refuse to fill before it is time to do so.

I had a small problem with one of the pharmacist whispering and in a way badgering me when ever i filled my Oxycontin….so I reported it to my Dr. He was aware of other complaints, and referred us to a more user friendly pharmacy. A lot of this has to do with the type of relationship you have with your Dr. If he is not willing to go to bat for you, and there is a trust issue, then it may be time to look elsewhere….however it is not always that easy to switch. Work on the Dr patient relationship first.

Get your records regardless, and show him the proof….if he can't understand that…then you have bad apples throughout the whole cart. Again, if I have a Dr unwilling to listen to reason….and is a control freak, and you cannot get so much as a question in….then I usually will be quite pointed….(not disrespectful)….and let them I'm not to be treated that way... period! I do have a rather good Dr…and believe me he is not a push over by any means, but at the same time…I have earned his respect….and done all that he has asked of me and more. Some of these things you can do on your own…such as bring in all your pain med's to your appointments….I do this every time….although he has never counted them.

I do a lot of research on med's and so forth…and the chronic condition that is causing my pain….and will chat with him about it. He can see that I have done,... and am looking for everything possible to find pain relief….even to the point of Homeopathic remedies. My wife always goes with me, and can confirm what I share with him about my quality of life….such as the fact that I'm in bed most all of my home hours. It is not something that happens over night….and you will have to be smart about it….but a good relationship will go a long ways to take care of problems like you are experiencing with your pharmacy.



Good luck!

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"I hope to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am" author unknown

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 12/28/2011 2:31:47 PM (GMT-7)

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