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Broken 80mg Oxycontin tablets! Help!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,899
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Chronic Pain
~X( I recently had my prescription refilled, which are 80mg Oxycontin, and 3 of my pills are broken. I was filling my daily pill reminder box and came across the first one so I turned the bottle upside down and could see all of this white powder and blue bits.
I caled the pharmacy right away and told them about what I had found, they told me to go through all of them and bring in just the pills, and they would replace them. So I did. I came across 3 broken pills, I mean really broken. They are in 2 pieces all the way to 6 pieces. I am afraid to take them because I know that is how people overdose on them, by scratching the protective coating off.
I went to the pharmacy with my pills and spoke to the manager. I told him about the problem. When I told him that I didn't want to take them due to being worried about a possible OD, he asked why I would even think that? I told him, "Won't all of the medication be released at once?" and he said "Yes". He said it wouldn't hurt me and that I am being overly dramatic. I then asked him if the med's would last for 12 hours, if I would have pain relief for 12 hours, he said "No".
Long story short (LOL) he refused to replace my pills and told me that I need to check all of them before I ever leave the counter. How realistic is that? Not very! He said that there was no way 'they' would have given them to me like that. I asked him if he was accusing me of doing it, he said no, but that they didn't do it. All in all he's implying that I did it. This isn't the first run in I've had with this man, he messed up my husbands prescription also and said that was my fault also. It's always my fault, we all know that pharmacies don't make mistakes, right?
Here is my question. What should I do? Do I go ahead and take them? I need my med's and this has really screwed them up. I don't want to OD because of this, is it possible? I've been on Oxy for about 8 years so my tolerence is pretty high but I'm still worried and I trust the judgement from the people on this board more than I do anyone else. Please help! My pain is worse than ever and I can't afford to just toss my pills away.


  • Only one pill is broken in half. The other two are completely broken into many pieces. I don't even know which pieces go together. I will have zero protection from the protective coating. Will that make any difference? Will I get high? That's an important question so I will know to stay at home during this and to not do anything but lay on the sofa. I don't want to hurt myself either. Just yesterday I lost my balance, which is often due to my many problems, and almost fell through the glass coffee table. I guess it's time to get rid of that! Scared the jeebers out of me.
  • It's hard to imagine the pharmacist actually counting out pills and putting broken pills into a persons bottle.In all of my life I have never had that happen,nor heard of it happening to a person that I know.

    When you called they said to bring them in and they would replace them.I wonder why they changed their mind,but nevertheless I would not ingest them.You could save them and tell your Dr about this situation.Also you mentioned this not being the first time having a 'run in' with this pharmacist-if this is the case I have to wonder why you continue going there.I had an issue one time with a pharmacist,and because I liked the owner and the location I called and had a discussion over the phone-things have been really great ever since.

    Nobody here can advise you to take medication that is CR if it is broken,especailly when you don't even know which pieces 'go together'.If your pharmacist can't/won't help you perhaps you should talk to your Dr.?
  • If you have the extended release version of oxycontin, do not take ANY broken tablets - a much higher amount of drug will go into the bloodstream instead of gradually and it can make you quite sick or worse...if it is plain oxycontin it isn't so much of an issue - other than how did they get broken in the first place?
  • I can easily see how this would happen. They count the pills out very fast and are not looking to see if there are any defects. I figure that these 3 pills were already cracked and when thy went into the bottle they must have fallen apart. I know for a fact that I didn't do it, why would I? This has only caused me problems. As a matter of fact, my sister used to be a pharmacy tech and she told me that this does happen. We all know mistakes are made by pharmacies all of the time. We also used this pharmacy because they are open 24 hours and sometimes late at night is the only time we can pick them up. The rest of the staff is wonderful, just this one pharmicist is a horrible person who is ALWAYS right. What a shame, we will have to change pharmacies, this will present a lot of problems though as this one chain happens to be in almost every town.
  • That's why I'm so worried about them. I've watched too many programs and read too many articles on how this is the exact reason as to why young people OD on them. I plan to call my doctor but he's gone for the next two weeks. I will be calling my insurance company though and writing a letter to the company that I recieved these pills from. That pharmicist is the rudest man on earth! I feel it was very negligent on his part to tell me to take them anyway. He was so condescending to me about my concerns of an overdose, like I'm a stupid chick who doesn't know anything.
    As to how they were broken? I have to assume that they were already cracked when he counted them out and when they went into the bottle, then jiggled around with normal use, like to carry them into the house, they broke all the way. I know I didn't do it, and they weren't dropped or anything like that. I'm sure this wasn't the first time a pill has been broken, as a matter of fact I've recieved broken pills before. They were safe to take though. My prescription of Klonipin usually have about 6 broken pills in every bottle.
    At this point I still have no plans on taking them, way too chicken.
  • my blod pressure meds (mailed to me) broken before. So, yes I do know that it can happen and please never even consider taking the broken ones! I would definitely file a formal complaint though. And show them to your doc.
    Also, I would check the bottles everytime before leaving the counter or signing for them, no matter how busy they are.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,720
    any circumstances should you "Crush" or take "Crushed" tables of Oxycontin Extended Release.

    By doing this you run the risk of have respiratory failure.
    Dealing with chronic pain is hard enough. Using crushed oxycontin, well, you might has well play Russian roulette with a gun that has 5 bullets ready instead of 1
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com

  • My sister had a friend split an 80 with a friend at some party, no alcohol or other drugs present, just what was assumed to be 40 mg eyeballed-Scary--.It got him and was supposedly a big time abuser which from what I have read is not the case.I would consult the pharmacist, it seems really odd one would let a broken pill go through esp. considering the liability.
  • do not take broken pills. it takes a lot of force to break them especially since they are so small. i also have never heard of broken oxy pills and i have been taking them for 10 years. they just don't break. the covering is very hard and it is hard to break. this also sounds weird to me. if you have a problem with pharmacy, call better business bureau and lodge a complaint with gov't that deals with pharmacies. DO NOT TAKE BROKEN PILLS AT ALL , NEVER

    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I can't believe my pharmicist would even suggest that. I found it crazy at the time, but I'm even angrier now. I can't believe he would suggest such a thing to me. I will be filing a formal complaint. My pharmicist treated me like I was acting like a baby because I was scared to take them. His exact qoute "Why do you think they would kill you?". Well duh!, the coating is missing!
    As strange as it may sound to some of you the pills were indeed broken. This is the first time this has ever happened with Oxy, but it's happened to other pills that I've gotten before, much safer ones. I know I didn't do it, it was a brand new prescription and because of this I am now out three pills, they are useless to me.
    With the cold weather and the rain we've been having, plus the fact that our roof had a cave in in the master bedroom (so I've had to move heavy furniture before it was ruined) my pain has been through the roof. Not the best time to lose some of my pills. Oh, and the holidays which are wearing me out. I don't even have my christmas tree up yet because of the pain.
    I appreciate everyones advice, I knew I shouldn't take them but I wanted your opinions to reinforce what I already knew. I can't talk to my doctor right now since he's out of the office for awhile. My pharmicist has really let me down, they were always the ones who I thought would know the most about what they were dispensing, I guess I was wrong.
  • I know that any advice given can't be taken as medical advice, but everyone's opinions matter a great deal to me. As I mentioned above, you have reinforced what I already knew and I feel better about my choice not to take them. Thank you!
  • I stand corrected on oxycontin vs. oxycodone. Thanks Paul :)))

    Topfuelfan: Every state has a Board of Pharmacy. You need to, unpleasant as this may be, go back to the pharmacy, and get the name of the pharmacist that told you it was OK to take a broken oxycontin. You then need to file a formal complaint with your State Board of Pharmacy.

    The broken pill thing just sounds weird to me too- I have never seen a broken pill or tablet!
  • I have no idea how these pills were broken. I can only assume. What I figure is that they were already 'cracked' when they were put into the bottle and then fell apart once they landed and were jiggled about in a normal manner of carrying the package home. All I do know is that I had nothing to do with it. Why would I? This has only caused me problems, which I don't need. And I certainly don't need to lose pills, as we all know they are way to hard to come by. I don't carry them with me, as a matter of fact I only bring them out once a week to fill my daily reminder box. Otherwise they are kept hidden. Most importantly, this was a brand new prescription and I had just pisked them up earlier that day and brought them straight home. I do imagine that there are 'hard' pills that are cracked in different lots every day of every type. So although it may sound weird, how do you think I feel? The pharmicist said it was my fault, I would like to know how? What could I have possibly done and why would I do it? Again, I'm the only person who this is going to hurt.
  • hi
    i live in the UK
    i get 40mg oxycontin and 20mg oxynorm..what i can't understand is this...my medication is in a pop out pack in strips and then they are in a sealed box .i ALWAYS check that the pharmacist have given me the correct tablets and that the medication has not been tampered with {REMEMBER THE TYLNOL THINGY IN THE US!!??}.my oxy are the BRAND name because i can't take the generic because of the bulking agents that they put in them {they make me sick} i am fine on the original tablets.i don't know that you can get loose oxycontin in the UK.even my neighbour who has cancer is taking the generic version and that is in pop out packs like mine too.you must have an idiot for a pharmacists because if there has been a problem with my medication ...my pharmacist goes out of her way to make sure that the customer is always right !!.as you say you can't afford to throw money away and you would be short for your next script as well.
    good luck my friend
  • Yes, now I will be short on my pills, that means I will have to use a smaller dosage on some days instead of waiting until the end of my prescription because I couldn't handle missing a full dosage. It will make those days pretty bad though! Here in the US they give the pills loose. I've seen other med's in the pop out packs before though like Valium. It's too bad you can't take generic, I assume that would be cheaper for you. I usually take generic unless they happen to be out then I take the brand name but I have to pay a higher copay with my insurance. I wish I had a pharmisct like yours, one who actually cares and won't try to kill me by over dosing. It seems funny, in the 'olden days' the customer was always right no matter where you were, shpping, dinner, etc., now it's no longer like that. It's more like "If you don't like it thenm don't come back". Gee, I miss those 'old days'.
    Take care and have a great weekend!
  • hi all
    i pay 10 pounds a month to get my medication {its a very good deal} as i also have 20mg tamazapam ans movicol tablets/powders and i think that my doctor is going to start me on statins too.
    i could not afford to pay for all my medication as i am only on basic incapacity benefit and because my wife is a good earner we don't qualify for any top up benefits .so 10 pound s a month is a good deal.
    if any of my CD type medications were damaged this would happen
    i would have to get a NEW script for the damaged meds so in your case my doctor would have given me a script for 3 x80mg oxycontin ..i would have then taken it to the chemist where i would have received replacement meds.it would not have been a problem here.as far as i know the UK dose not have loose oxycodone .
    they are all called patient packs
    .take care
  • I've had different pharmacists over the years,and the one I'm with now I've been with for 6 years.I've never had such a problem,nor would I contemplate one.If I had broken pills that were ER and I took them in to my pharmacist,there is no doubt in my mind that they would erradicate the problem.If for some reason they would not-I would contact my Dr.,if it meant taking smaller dosages or missing dosages.

    This problem should have been solved the very day that it happened.
  • Don't know if I missed someone suggesting this already, but on oxy I think it's a good idea to have the pharmacist count in front of you. When you pick up the bottle, request a count in front of you. You can make sure you're not shorted and lets you do a quickie inspection of the pills.
  • It is my understanding that all oxys have the color coded covering only to aid in the identification of the various strengths. It is not the element that slows the release. The inhibitor that actually does this is in the entire matrix, usually some form of wax or parafin, that is mixed right in with the active ingredient, oxycodone. That is why abusers use what they call a cold water extraction method to get all the wax out before they inject it. Even crushing it would not theoreticaly get rid of the slow release agent mixed throughout. After reading this, I could not understand how people could be overdosing from just crushing or breaking. That being said, It is never a good idea to disregard the instructions issued by the manufacturer. It usually even says right on the pill bottle NOT to take broken or crushed pills. You are right not to take them, but I would report the matter to the pharmacy manager and your doctor.
  • I have already contacted the corporate office of this pharmacy and have issued a complaint. I also plan to take this up with my doctor as soon as he gets back in his office. I can imagine he will be furious over what the pharmicist suggested I do. I'm still going to chane pharmecies though but it is sure going to be a huge inconvience. The 'open 24 hours' really came in handy as does the fact that they are in almost every town. We travel a lot and my husband is on 6 different med's. There is another pharmacy of the same name in town, we might just switch to that one if they are open 24 hours per day. I haven't checked yet. But be sure, I will go through every single bottle from now on to make sure this never happens again. There is always a HUGE line and the other customers are going to get mad at me but I don't care. I'm pretty mad that this happened, why should i always be the one who is put out. Maybe the other customers should take a cue from me and do this also! Another problem though, the line inside is so long and sometimes it can take as long as 30 minutes or so of standing in line just to pick up my prescription. I usually go through the drive thru to prevent this as it hurts too bad to stand that long. So that's another problem I will encounter by having to check every pill before I leave! What a stupid mess. And yes, if anyone can tell, I am still mad over this. But I do thank everyone for your advice.
  • Yes, it should have been resolved but I did what I could. The pharmicist wouldn't work with me, and my doctor is out of his office for a couple of weeks. So there was nothing more that I could do. It's great that you have a reasonable pharmisct but not all of us are that lucky.
  • The customer is always right. They should give you 3 back which were crumbled. They also report it to the company that makes them in case more people have cracked or crumbly pills and if so they do a recall. I can't understand the pharmacy or the Manager. I would find out the company's name and ask them to replace them because the pharmacy won't. I've had less pills given to me before and had no trouble getting them back. I also had more given that I don't give back image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" /> Do the pharmacy want to lose your business? It's outrageous. I hope you get this resolved. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Yes, you would think that how it should work. I was stunned when I was treated that way. I hope evryone can figure out which pharmacy I'm talking about by the fact that they stay open 24 hours? That should give you an idea of what their policies are.
    I'll give another example of a time when this same pharmicist got into it. I called in my husbands prescriptions, 6 of them, and the recording read back the numbers and approved them. The recorded voice even told me my phone #, so it was obvious that I had used the correst refill number. I picked up his scripts and when he got home he realized that one bottle only had half of the pills. I called the pharmacy and they told me that they had accidentally filled it off of an old prescription from over a year before. His doctor had increased the dosage a year before so there was two in the computer for some reason. They told me this was why the mistake was made and to come back and they would make it right. So I did. When I got there I had to deal with the manager, this same one I dealt with last week, and he told me that the mistake was "MY" fault. He said that "I" must have put the wrong refill number in when I phoned them in. How could that possibly be? He was trying to accuse me of doing something that is impossible. I had told him what his staff had told me and he said "No", that would never happen. This man lives in La La land where they are 'always' right and the customer, no matter what, is always wrong. Time to find a new pharmacy even though it will be a huge inconvenience. One more accusation from this man and I will probably pop him in the nose. I don't look too good in stripes so I had better make sure that never happens.
  • You want to know just how darn honest I am? 3 times in a row my PM has written my prescription for Oxy for an extra 60 pills. He never noticed it. Every time I brought it to his attention and made sure that I did not get a refill until it was appropriate. Now that's being honest! I could have gotten away with it. I will say though, if the pharmacy gave me too many I would keep them and put them away for emergency use, like now. If only I could be so lucky! LOL!
  • I had a horrible experience at this same 24 hour pharmacy, I've never been back. I used the pharmacy for the same reason, the great hours, haha. Although the moron apologized and semi-corrected the problem, I decided that I didn't want incompetent boobs to handle a part of my healthcare that I RELY ON daily!!! I know several other people who have had problems at this same store, I met them all IN THE STORE while trying to get the problem worked out. Like I need that stress. I nearly never cry in front of other people (stubborn Polish thing, I guess) but this situation was so bad that I cried as I was leaving the store for the millionth time. They had so many chances to fix the problem correctly, but somehow they still could not get it right. I've never been back to this pharmacy and haven't had too much trouble with the shorter hours of my new pharmacy. I just have to do a little extra planning ahead... I hope you get this resolved to the best of your ability, I sure know how absolutely frustrating this is...

    Much love and understanding,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,720
    I can not speak for all Oxycontin Real or Generic.
    But for the two years I was on it, the colors were never
    different, only the size and the stamp. And each one had a coating that contained the stronger release that would be slowly absorbed into the system.
    There was a paitent who almost completely OD'd for crush 3 60mg Oxycontin ER and taking it at once.
    Bottom line,regardless, when a prescription container says DO NOT CRUSH pills, there is a valid reason for that and it should always be followed
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Well, I guess you DO know how terrible this particular pharmacy can be! When this last thing happened to me I ended up crying also as I was walking back through the store to leave. It was because of the frustration, the fact that they would not correct their mistake, and the fact that the one thing that hurts me the most is when someone calls me a liar. This same man has called me a liar already once before. I don't lie, unless it's the little white kind so someones feelings don't get hurt. On top of that, why would I have lied about this or broken the pills on my own in the first place? I guess it's still obvious how upset I am. Other people have hurt me many times by saying things about me that are lies, for no good reason at all. It's just something I don't handle too well. I am definately leaving this pharmacy, they don't deserve my business or my money. I'm sure that I can handle adjusting to another wth different hours, dealing with a problem every time takes a lot of time, stress and energy so where is the convenience? I've had so much go wrong in this last month that I am under a huge amount of stress and have had every kind of flare up possible. Plus I just got through one of the worst 3 day migraines of my life. It was so bad that my right eye closed up and was swollen. My migraines always hit on the right side. It was really weird though and started to scare me. Luckily it went away. Stress is probably the biggest trigger for my migraines so I need to try and avoid it at all cost, LOL! Take care Lisa, it was really nice hearing from you.
    Merry Christmas,

  • :H I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

    Zach, you sound like you have a pretty swell doctor!!! Wanna share him, hahaha?!?!? =))

    Topfuelfan, you're awesome! I hope that your soul remains unchanged by pain and that you remain the honest, intelligent person that you are!!! >:D<

    My pain is through the roof!!!!!!!!!! }:) I've done too much driving and sitting and everything else for about 2 weeks now, I pushed myself too far. About 4 weeks ago, I re-injured the same knee I had surgery on when I was 15, damn gymnastics. I usually lean to the right because the left side of my back is worse due to a herniated disc and its evil accomplice- nerve root compression. 8} Now I can't lean to the right because it's my right knee that's injured!!!! =(( AAAHHHH!!! :jawdrop: Combined with the extra activity during the holidays, I'm in a world of hurt! I'm guessing many of you can relate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =(( @)

    Thank you for making it through my little surprise rant, haha! :O I guess I couldn't help myself, I'm sorry!!!

    My hope for all my friends is that you are surviving with as much ease as possible, and with enough energy left over to keep your head held high! (Maybe not in the literal sense, but more figuratively :))( ) I appreciate your support and shared understanding!!!!!!!! :-C Haha, ok, I'm passing the microphone now...

    Much love,
  • Girl, you are just too cool! And sweet too! I'm sorry to hear that you re-injured your knee. I too have severe knee problems, both of them, and I'll probably need to have them replced someday, Ouch! I've already had one knee surgery to correct 2 torn miniscus, that hurt's sooooo bad. I felt immediately better after the surgery but that was about 7 years ago and it's really starting to hurt again. They both have severe arthritis. So, I can relate to what you are going through.
    I would try to keep my head but one thing after another keeps going wrong. I'm about to start another topic on my teeth, I have some broken ones because I keep them clenched at ALL times due to the severe back pain. I had to go to the ER this morning and found out that my infection was so severe (in one tooth) that it could have migrated to my heart at any moment and as the DR. put it "It hits the heart and you're dead flat in no time". I've never had so many needles stuck in me, I felt like a pin cushion. I have to go back in the morning to they can re-evaluate me and do more bloodwork to see how it's going.
    Except for the wicked toothache I did have a great Christmas. Wow, if I would have died I sure would have lost out on some really great gifts, thank God I should be OK. I hope anyway. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas also, get anything really good? The one thing I didn't get to do was eat my own cooking, and it was GOOD too. I laid out a huge spread with the works. I'm incredibly exhausted now though especially with this huge infection. Try and catch my new topic when you get the chance.
    Actually, I will keep my head up and be happy, infection, pain, and everything because I know how lucky I am to still be here. As my husband said I'm like a cat with 9 lives. He asked me this morniong how many lives I should have left and I told him I think I've used them all up. I've been through a lot in my life. But I have a smile on my face and a song in my heart, and I will go on.
    You stay strong and I hope your pain gets better very, very soon. Like you with everything I've been through lately my pain is sky high also. Maybe we should take a long deserved rest now that the holidays are over? I hope you can and I'll do my best.
    Happy New Year!

    P.S. If you send me a PM I will give you my email address so we can talk like 'normal'. >:D<
  • I want to clear something up that validates what you have written here. I went to the ER on Friday morning for another issue and I also happened to have my broken Oxy's in my purse. After I was evaluated for what was wrong with me the ER Doc told me he would give me some pain killers. I told him that I was on Oxy and didn't need them and then decided to ask him about the broken pills. I pulled them out and showed them to him.
    He told me that it was indeed safe to take them and that the outer coating dissolves in the stomache 15 seconds after they enter. He said that what makes them 'extended relief' is inside the pills, mixed with the medication itself. He did suggest that I take only 1/2 of one to start along with the other pill that I take with it and move up from there.
    It was important for me to clear this up as I don't want you to feel bad for what advice you have given me. I wanted to share this with everyone.
    Now at the same time, if this happens to anyone else it will be up to you as to what you decide to do with any broken pills that you have. I will not say what is right and what is wrong. That will be your own decision. All that I am doing here is sharing what the Doctor told me, and that he explained the process to me very well. He was really nice and seemed to really know what he was talking about. I do trust him. He went into great detail as to how it works but I really can't remember everything since I was feeling so bad at the moment, I can't repeat everything he said.
    As to my pharmicist I still do not care for him as he is an arrogant A#$. I do believe that I should be treated better than how he treated me. I still plan to report him as to his rudeness and his unprofessional behaviour, plus the fact that all mistakes are the customers fault. He's not the type of man that should be working with the public.
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