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Drug Store Shorted Pain Medication

I don"t know if this has happened to anyone else. My doctor tried me on Oxycontin 40 mg twice a day, to see how it would work. He gave me 2 prescriptions. The first prescription was for 10 days - 20 pills, 1 pill, twice a day. I used that and had the next prescription filled. The next prescription was for 60 pills - 2 pills a day, 30 day's worth. This bottle was the only bottle of pain medication I ever received that did not have the number circled and the pharmacist initials on it. Usually, there are 2 initials on my bottles. Although the bottle said there were 60 in the bottle, after taking them for some time, I realized, it was about 18/20 pills short. I think the pharmacy (CVS) made a mistake and included the first prescription in my second prescription or something else???

My husband just returned from the pharmacy. They said the NEW pharmacist Nora, does not sign her count. They are not sure what she does??? Her inventory the night she filled my script was correct. They are willing to tell the doctor that in 6 years, I have never been short on my medications or had any evidence of drug abuse. I don't know what to think. This is a new pain doctor and I just signed the contract. The doctor had wanted to increase the medication the last visit and I said no. I called for an appointment for tomorrow for increased pain. I hate having to take medication. This sucks. This has never happened to me before. I am so depressed with having to be on medication and my pain is getting uncontrollable. I am hoping I can get some injections.

Mary Anne

Take care and God Bless,
Mary Anne


  • Unfortunately, you found out the hard way that once you leave the counter with the prescription, they will not replace nor do anything about shorted pills. I don't know how your new doctor is going to react but I would certainly not leave the pharmacy from this point on , without standing right there and counting my pills in front of the clerk.
    The new pharmacist not verifying her count would be concerning to me......
  • I've never counted my pills. My husband usually collects my prescriptions for me. This is the second thread like this I've read lately. Do you guys always count?

    Just out of interest.. Do they count everything by hand or do they have a machine that does it? I've never thought about it.

    In the UK most of my meds came in packets or factory sealed bottles. No child proof caps on some!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • JAM661JJAM661 Posts: 121
    edited 05/29/2014 - 4:01 PM
    I always check my the bottle and pills before I leave the store but I have never counted how many pills are in the bottle unless it looks short. To be short that many pills probably means1 to 3 things 1) they could not read the numbers the doctor ordered on the prescription 2) Who ever filled the prescription does not know how to count. 3) Someone is stealing the pills for themselves or selling the pills on the side. No matter what the reason is someone had to put false information into their records to cover up for the missing pills. I am sure knowingly falsify records is against the law. If it was me I would be looking for a new place to get my medications. Since the pill count was so far off this probably has happened before. I know for myself I would be thinking a lot about filing a complaint with the state and local authority's. While no one my act on the complaint it could help down the road if someone else files a similar complaint later. You also might want to tell your doctor about what is going on and to get his view on the matter.
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 05/29/2014 - 5:02 PM
    I missed the part about the inventory being correct.. Very fishy!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • then the most likely scenario is that the proper amount of pills were counted out but a portion of them did not make it to the bottle......whether it was one of the tech's , or the new pharmacist, I would most certainly be changing pharmacies.
    I always check my bottles before I leave the pharmacy, but I also use a small mom and pop pharmacy that I have used for the last 6 years or so. The pharmacist and the staff all know me, my family so I am not concerned, but when I used chain pharmacies, I always checked and counted....I stepped to the side, if the bottle didn't look right........and counted.
  • As I said in another thread, I take many prescriptions but the only ones that I have been short on are the pain meds. You can draw your own conclusions. I now have my pain meds counted out in front of me.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 05/31/2014 - 4:00 AM
    especially since we are held solely accountable for any missing or unaccounted for narcotics, it is up to us to make sure that we do our best to protect ourselves and sadly, when it comes to missing narcotics, if you leave the counter and get home or to your car to count them, and find them missing, then the pharmacist won't do anything about it......in most cases.
    And you never know, who is on the other side of the counter, unfortunately.
  • sandi
    it comes down to my repeated theme, putting the blame on others, doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, where the fault usually lies with the patient. people have to be responsible for their own problems, not blame others. people are too quick to blame others where as the fault like shakespeare says the fault dear brutus lies in ourselves not n others or to that effect. sorry for the misspells or misquotes, but they are basically correct and so is the message.
    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.
  • In this case, I have to disagree.........too often , there are pharmacy techs and pharmacists who use drugs, and often steal from the patients. It happens far more often than anyone wants to imagine and sadly, we have to be proactive and make sure that we open the bottles and count them.
    Whether someone who works in a pharmacy steals one or 100, it is the patient who thinks that they can trust their care providers to fill the amount on the prescription, that wind up on the short end of the deal when it occurs.
    Now, I am in no way saying that all pharmacists or pharmacy techs steal patients meds, but there are those that do, and it occurs more often than anyone wants to think. They are no different than any other person who is inclined to abuse meds......they just have easier access.
  • all i was saying that it is the patients responsibility to make sure he is not shortened with respect to meds. instead of leaving the pharmacy, one should have the tech or pharmacists count in front on the patient. we need to make sure it is the right prescription, the right count and from the correct doctor instead of blaming the pharmacy for shoring or miscounting us. someone might steal or short count by accident but it is our responsibility no matter whos fault it is with the incorrect count.
    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.
  • Now, I am not sure if it was the pharmacy. A son of very close friend's of our's - ( our best man 34 years ago and his wife) was helping my husband do work on the house. He has had problems with drugs in the past and is attending meetings. He spoke like he was in recovery and was very faithful about attending the meetings. He is being tested weekly for drugs in his urine. I know when he was here, I had my meds, put away and watched him very carefully. I thought there was no possible way, he could have taken my meds.

    I spoke with his mother. She said she still does not trust him. He is attending the meetings, only to obtain house arrest in a criminal case. She said, she has to hide her meds ( she also has back problems) in the air duct of her house. She said he has stolen drugs from her several times.She also said a few years ago, he stole drugs from her Aunt with cancer. She also said, he has broken into her house to take her pain medicine. . She was crying when I told her I was missing the medication. My son told me there are all sorts of things advertised on the internet to help someone pass urine tests, as did the son's mother. About 2 weeks ago, this son called our cell phone, while we were out.. He was supposed to help my husband with the gutters. He was there on Wednesday and we were not home. He was supposed to come on Thursday and my husband said you have the wrong day. My husband told him we could not come home. I found our shed door open the next day. I am inclined to think, he may have taken a step ladder out of the shed and climbed through an open window. He had stopped over this week 3 days to "visit" and that is unusual. Thursday, when I was upset about, "the pharmacy" shorting my Oxycontin, I said - "It doesn't even last 12 hours, anyway. I don't like the way I feel on it." He responded, very innocently, "Is it time released?' Then, his mother told me that Oxycontin is his drug of choice.

    So, my husband and I have no proof who took the medication. We have a lock box for my meds now. When we go out, we will have to lock all our windows. We will have to count the pills at the pharmacy. I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I am so sick of taking pain meds. I hate having to rely on them. I hate taking them. I just dream and wish that I could be normal like everyone else. My son says I should be thankful for them, what if we were living 300 years ago? But, I just wish I could take a Tylenol. I don't know why anyone would want to take these meds who did not have pain.

    Thank God, my doctor visit went great. My back is terrible. So he gave me a couple of SI injections in the office and is sending me for more complicated injections to an excellent doctor. We think it is the facets L3/4, so, I may even be able to have radio frequency down the line. He said no pools, or PT until I get these injections, just rest. He put me back on the Morphine ER 30 mg tid. I had been on that for 2 years without an increase. He said, if it works, don"t change it. And he changed my break though to Morphine IR. But, I am hoping with the shots, I don't need it and I can even cut down on the Morphine.

    I never thought about counting my pain meds, worrying about them, etc. Our son lives in China and our daughter lives in Little Rock. It is just my husband, me and the dogs. And most of our activities revolve around our parish Church and the pups. We have a little yorki-poo and an 8 month old goofy Airedale puppy. They both would kiss someone breaking in. .I am 62. My husband and I are so unsettled about this whole thing.
    Take care and God Bless,
    Mary Anne
  • Unfortunately, the idea that someone you know would come into your home and steal from you is disheartening and it throws your sense of security off.
    Your ideas about securing your home when you go out, and making sure that the lock box isn't accessible is a good idea........if it is small enough, I would even suggest putting it in your trunk when you do go out.....that way, it's not even in the house for someone to take.
    Desperate people do desperate things, and stealing from family, friends, and even strangers is something that doesn't seem to cause any real discomfort for someone addicted.
    I'm sorry that this has caused you so much pain, emotionally and mentally.......it is not a nice thing to have to feel unsafe in your own home.
    Whether the shortage occurred at the pharmacy or someone in your home, the violation of your personal space is difficult to handle.
    I have never understood why someone would choose to abuse medications either, but there are those that do........and sometimes we become their victims.
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