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Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 2/23/2009 2:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I found an old post on here saying that VSL#3 might be available as a prescription.  However, I can't find any mention of it on my insurance company's website.  Can anyone share any info on this?

For those of you who have tried it, did it help?
For those of you who currently take it, how much do you take, where do you buy it, and how much does it cost? 
I am currently using Culturelle, which is Lactobacillus GG.  I think it might be what put me into a short-term remission in December.  Why it's not working now, though, I can't say...maybe my condition wasn't so severe at first.  Anyway, I'm considering giving the VSL#3 a try. 
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1289
   Posted 2/23/2009 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   
i got a script from my doc and took it to costco...saved me on the tax and they gave me a tiny discount but it was still expensive.
it was also very hard on my stomach...i had to stop taking it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 2/23/2009 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
The only VSL#3 that I've found was at a health food store. It was about a tablespoon of powder in the refrigerator for $3.99 a package. I mix it in with juice and it tastes pretty good. I only use a tiny bit. The owner said to try a tiny pinch at first. He said he's in good health and he tried the whole package and said he spent 2 days in the bathroom.

I've been taking the probiotic that's in my signature for the past year however.
- DXed with "left sided" UC in 1998. DXed with "proctitis" Oct. 2007
- Sulfasalazine 3 500mg tabs twice daily
- 500mg Vitamin C, 1 Multivitamin, L-Glutamine
- Max Acidophillis EC Capsules 350Mg(7 types of bacteria with over 42 billion viable cells) with 50 Mg colostrum & 50 Mg FOS(fructo-oligosaccharides)
- Experimenting with this or that on occasion. Always open to new ideas.
- Colonoscopies - 2 (Due for my next one ASAP)
- Canasa 1000mg @night. Started Oct. 23, 2008
- Niferex-150 Forte 1 capsule 2x Daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 2/23/2009 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been taking the capsules for around 6 months. At first, when I found the right amount for me (8 caps a day) it was working great. When I tried to reduce the amount I was taking, VSL#3 just doesn't seem to work as well. I have never been able to find any info about the prescription strength either, except what I read about here at HW. Since it really does exist, check with your insurance about maybe adding it, or even just okaying it for you. I heard one woman here say she told her insurance her doctor was recommending either VSL#3 or starting her on Remicade...the VSL#3 was okayed very soon after that. lol
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ UC in May '06, had symptoms since '99
Meds & supplements: VSL#3, Lialda, Allegra, multi-vitamin, buproprion, fluoxetine, and vit E, D, zinc.
Started LDN: 1.5mg for now

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 2/23/2009 5:03 PM (GMT -6)   
My insurance companies website has a search so I can look up what precsriptions it covers. They don't cover the prescription vsl3 ds so I bought the regular one. It worked great at first. I felt back to pre UC normal. The effects only lasted a few days though so I tried taking more but it didn't help. I've been trying other probiotics since then with no real improvement.
31 year old female diagnosed with UC (entire colon) Feb 2008
(4) 400mg Asacol 3x a day
Remicade 10mg/kg every 8 weeks
Omega 3 supp, calcium supp

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 2/23/2009 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I got an Rx for it and it doesn't seem to be covered. Apparently there is some slight coverage for the powder, but I do not do well on the powder whereas I tolerate the capsules well- the powder has some significant fillers in it as best as I can tell. I am buying some regularly but also relying on others for diversity. But the VSL3 with the uncovered Rx at least can be deducted from my flexible spending account, so I save on income tax for that portion.
Pancolitis >20 years, allergic to all 5ASAs
Tried everything under the sun (natural and alternative)
Some partial success with TSO but was too expensive to keep up 
Currently Remicade and lots of probiotics, tapering pred again, maybe surgery this year

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1289
   Posted 2/23/2009 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
if you take the script to costco it won't save much, BUT they will not charge you sales tax with the script and they gave me a discount for 4 bottles of capsules...i think it was still about $160 though...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 2/23/2009 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
You should call your insurance and ask. My co-pay for VSL#3 DS ended up being around $30.
Before, I was taking one capsule per day; getting it through prescription is cheaper for me and I get more of the bacteria cultures.
Can you put the VSL powder in any drink?
Female, Age 20 (formerly ComedyDork)
9 Asacol, Rowasa1000 mg Canasa, Proctofoam, Rifaximin 2/day
Digestive Advantage (Crohn's & Colitis)1 Florastor, 50 mg 6MP,1 Primadophilus reuteri, Remicade (6 infusions), 2.4 g Lialda, Forvia, 6 Colazal, 1 Anucort, Culturelle, Fish Oil, Calcium/Vit D supplement, 20 mg Prozac, VSL #3

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