My long time pharmacy switched generics on my last refill, which I didn't notice at first. I am a chronic pain patient who's taken this medicine for years, and this particular brand is no where near as effective, leaving me in much more pain than normal. Do I have any options before I see my Dr in 3 weeks? I'm trying to save myself the embarrassment of approaching my pharmacist--i find it difficult enough being a chronic opioid user. Thank you.
I think your only option is to talk to your doctor but run the risk of having your doctor think you're trying something that you aren't because other people try all sorts of things to get more or stronger meds. The pharmacy certainly won't swap them. My advice is to take some ibuprofen with them for the next few weeks and hang in there. If it were me I would visit some different pharmacies in the area to see what they carry and if they will order your preferred brand but be prepared for the possibility of people thinking that you're an abuser. There are so many abusers here now that you have to show your picture ID both when you drop off and pick up. People started to drop off then get someone else to pick up, then they would come and say that they didn't authorize the pickup and demand their meds.
It is a sad state of affairs but it is best to suck it up for a month, don't mention it to the doctor, and try to find another pharmacy that can take care of you. Also be aware that next month the new pharmacy My have switched. Mine switched to some new pharm company and the meds were different but I got used to them, I still don't think they are as effective but really... unless you've been with your doctor for years with no problems, I wouldn't even think about bringing it up with them, with the doctor. Your pain level might go up in a month or two and you'd surely be suspected because of all the abusers. Think it through.
Unfortunately there's nothing you, or your pharmacy, can do at this point. I'm afraid you're just going to have to stick it out until see the Dr. You might call the office and see if they could give you an earlier appt, but that's about it. This situation happens much more than you'd think. The pharmacy is going to order from whichever drug company gives them the best price. You can call some of the pharmacies and find out which brand they order from. That way if you find another pharmacy that carries the one that works best for you, you just have to explain the problem to your Dr so they can change the pharmacy on your narcotic contract. That way when they run a kasper report on you, and I can assure you they do this before your appt, there won't be anything that's wrong or looks suspicious on your part. Then just tell your Dr exactly what you've told us.
Explain that you're not trying to raise your dosage, but just attempting to find an alternative that works best for you. That will leave him the option of approving the pharmacy change or giving you another medication entirely. Don't argue with either option or that will appear suspicious to him. As with all chronic pain sufferers, we know how to power thru and make do with what we have. So just do the best with what you have until your next appt.
Too late this time, but it's nonsense being afraid to ask the Pharmacy for a specific brand. All you have to do is about a few days before you get your next prescription filled, after the pharmacy to have the brand you prefer in stock. If you're not able to order it until if they have the prescription in hand, that has happened before, but once you get your first prescription filled, they will usually keep it in stock just for you from that point forward. I know this from experience because of filling my migraine medication. Filling my medication with the generic is almost as though I'm taking a sugar pill, so I have to take the brand name. My local pharmacy didn't carry the brand name, but all I had to do was ask. My insurance covered it and I didn't have to pay a higher co-pay for it. I'm sorry you're in pain.
The only thing I can think to do is for you to go to your doctor's office and give them the existing bottle of pills that you have right now and surrender them to get a new prescription, but the problem you running into with that is that your insurance might not cover the prescription from the pharmacy end because they've already done so for the first prescription. Anyway, that's how I would handle it going forward though that doesn't help you very much for the next 3 weeks I'm sorry to say.
- Hydrocodone Information for Consumers
- Hydrocodone Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Hydrocodone (detailed)
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