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Need to renew script 3 times a week.

thigh-grippertthigh-gripper Posts: 21
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Pain Medications
I've been taking Tramadol, Oxycodone, Valium, Nurofen (otc) and Amitriptyline so far for my ruptured disc and I'm in week 4 now. I'm waiting on a quote for surgery and am also still not completely decided on if it's to go ahead. I've set a mark for the 6 week point to have my decision made about the surgery, and if I'm going ahead with it get everything in order financially and set a date at that point.

My meds have been worked out for me by the hospital I was admitted to when I had big problems at the start of this bout, as well as by the spinal surgeon I've been consulting with. I've had no issues getting scripts because I've been seeing doctors so frequently over the past 3 weeks. Now though I have hit a point where for awhile it's a waiting game where I just need to rest and keep the meds up until everything is sorted out. I don't know how long the wait will be from when I confirm I want the surgery but imagine I could be waiting for awhile. ..and if I don't opt for surgery I could need meds still for a fair while too.

I've been to a GP today because I had run out of a couple of meds (oxy and tramadol). I'd survived sort of ok without the Tramadol for a couple of days so I worked out changing some things around with the GP. I've cut out the Tramadol and opted if the pain gets bad to just take normal Paracetamol in addition to the Oxycodone. I've also replaced the otc Nurofen for a better prescription only anti-inflamatory which should help overall. The Valium and Amitriptyline stays the same. I'm fine with all of this...

...BUT, I've now discovered a big problem for me with the Oxycodone. I'm now on two 5mg tablets every 6 hours (8 tablets a day), that's working ok for me and doctor agrees that's what I need. The law here though (QLD, Australia) will only allow a GP to prescribe a maximum of 1 box of 20 5mg tablets. I hadn't realized this because the amounts I was being given overlapped with doctors visits with all the MRI, follow ups and everything going on. 20 tablets is only going to last me 2 and a half days?!? I can't legally phone through scripts or have anyone else collect a script for me so now I have to travel to a doctor 3 times a week purely for a peice of paper. The doctor fully agrees this is completely ridiculous and unreasonable but her hands are tied.

I have trouble just moving around the house to do the basics like going to the toilet and a trip to the doctors although achievable is a very painful experience. I have managed it so far to sort out the MRI and everything but I thought it would now slow down. I'm not even really meant to be sitting, only lying down and moving around every few hours for a few minutes so I can allow the nerve to settle down (under advice of the surgeon and hospital). Siting in a car and a doctors waiting room is really a fair ordeal for me and I don't know if I can keep doing it over and over.

Is the slow release form something that's likely to work just as well for me?

I didn't even think to ask about that while I was there as I'm tied, not thinking strait and I was in shock hearing I'd need to go 3 times a week. I'm sure if it would work ok the doctor surely would have to be able to prescribe a script that will last longer then 2 and a half days. The GP is fully understanding of my situation and knows I require strong pain medication.

I have friends who had a very serious motorcycle accident that both take Oxycodone also and they have theirs prescribed by the month, but they are confirmed as having chronic pain for life (shattered pelvis' etc etc) and I don't think I can do the same in my situation. I don't have a pain management doctor or anything like that here I only see GP's and the surgeon. The surgeon was also only prescribing me boxes of 20 so I imagine he's bound under the same law, even if he's not I couldn't get or afford appointments with him purely to get scripts.

Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas on what I might be able to look at doing, or anything I could suggest/discuss with my GP? Three car trips a week is just craziness.

Thanks in advance for any replies,



  • I am from the US so I am not real familiar with aussy drug rules but I would ask the doctor about getting oxycontin (or the Australian equiv.). Its the same thing just time released for 12hrs.

    If they wont do that but are willing to keep writing scripts maybe see if they can write your a weeks worth at one time. Which would be what.... 3 scripts? As long as they are post dated it shouldn't make much difference as you are getting them anyway...

    So what I am saying is like if you get one on the 1st you would also get the one for the 3rd and 5th at the same time until you go back.

    My PM will write scripts 3 months in advance for my oxy or any other medicine but just have them dated on when i would normally be getting them from her.

    best of luck
  • Thanks for the reply Bobby,

    I think I will try and get swapped to the 12 hour one, I know they can prescribe that for me I just didn't know if it will do the same thing in terms on relief.Only problem I might have with it is that it doesn't really leave me anything to take for breakthrough pain apart from paracetamol. But if it's effective enough that shouldn't matter too much I guess.

    I don't think they can write the scripts ahead of time here, I think it works differently and a script is just a script regardless of date unfortunately. I could be wrong though. The GP seemed keen to try and get around the problem so I think if she could of done that she would of told me. I asked if maybe she could have the scripts ready and I could have my wife collect them on the dates needed but she said she wasn't allowed to do that I have to actually turn up myself because it's a controlled drug. The packaging has a warning "controlled drug, possession without authorization illegal".

    I've got to go back in the morning after tomorrow so I will ask about the 12 hour one. If I can get that I'll update on how it goes in comparison to the one I'm taking now in case it's beneficial to anyone else dealing with the same issue in the future.

    Thanks again mate,

  • I also agree that the ER version would do you some good. Maybe the GP can write the scripts for 20, and then you just pick them up at the front desk. A nurse can hand it to you and note on your chart that you personally picked up the scripts and you can sign for them. This way everybody is covered and you're good to go.

    I'm from the US however, but I don't get the point about getting only a 2.5 day supply at a time. Is there a problem with Oxy abuse there like in the US? It makes things very inconvenient for those of us who suffer chronic pain. And also going to the clinic for an appt just to get a script adds up and gets expensive. I hope you doctors will work with with you so that you won't have to be so inconvenienced. Take care
  • Thanks for the replies,

    That might be a good option using the IR for break though, I didn't know if you could do that I thought it might be a case of one or the other. I'll ask if that's an option.

    If I do have to keep going I will see if I can collect the scripts from front desk and save wasting mine and the doctors time. Thanks for that suggestion. I'm guessing there would be no fee to pay that way too. Some of my appointments are subsidized by the government but there's still a portion of each I need to pay each time so it does add up (particularly when I'm off work at the moment).

    There is a problem with Oxy abuse here like in the US so that's why they've made it like this. I think it can be gotten around if you are deemed as having pain for life or your condition has continued for a certain amount of time, but in my situation the issue is sort of open ended due to the option of surgery etc.

    Thanks again,

  • I know you said they can only write a prescription for a box of 20 5mg pills but do u not have 10mg pills over there? If nothing else, can they not write it for a box of 20 10mg and then you can break them in half if you need to? I know with all my meds, the copays can add up really fast. Good luck to you.

  • yeah, I was wondering why you don't take 1 10mg dose instead of 2 5 mg, too? Or if they have them in 20 mg, get those and a pill cutter and take a half pill dose of that, at least then your script would last a full week instead of going 3X a week!
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