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I'm in a Catch 22, Urgent Help Needed!

I just had two back surgeries and spent September and on my birthday I lost my insurance. When I saw my surgeon last week he asked me if I needed anything for pain and I stupidly said no because I thought I would be covered to go to see my pain management doctor. I called the pain management doctor who told me that because I'm a cash patient it's going to cost $150 to see him and then he will write me out enough medications to get through until December 1st. I looked up my medications which would be Fentanyl 50mcg/hr which cost between $92.00-$114.00 and the Oxycodone 10mg costs between $30-$50. So that adds up to about $272-$304. I told the PM doctor that I would be willing to go cold turkey off the Fentanyl if he could up the Oxycodone from 20 to 30 for a few weeks and he said absolutely not and that if I cut the Fentanyl out cold turkey I can or will die.

Then I called my actual surgeon, the one who had asked me if needed anything for pain and I stupidly said no and said that I was more than willing to bring the bottle in if he asked or needed it and I didn't mention the Fentanyl at all. I have not received a call back so I'm not sure what is going on. He probably said forget it. The worst part about this is that I live at home and my mom is a medication *azi...and I was able to hide the Fentanyl from her but she wants to go to every appointment, look at every bottle and shake them for some reason and she would flip out ( I mean put herself into a self induced anxiety/yelling attack) if she knew I was on the Fentanyl. On top of that I'm a broke student who can't work due to my injuries so she would be helping me foot the bill. I can't find anything worth the money that I could sell tomorrow to come up with the cash to pay for the Fentanyl so I don't know. This sounds like a soap opera.

If you have any good plausible advice please let me know.

Thank you ahead of time.
Fall 7 times, stand up 8...


  • is no picnic but it is not life threatening. Why not simply talk to your doctors about a proper tapering plan using a different medication? If these are too expensive, they can convert the medications to something else, and simply reduce the dosage of the changed to medication.
    No doctor is going to hand over that much oxycodone to a new patient, without knowing them.
    If you want off the fentanyl, your best option is to talk to your doctors about changing you over to oral medications and working with them on tapering off the fentanyl .
  • ThanksKarmaTThanksKarma Posts: 17
    edited 10/22/2014 - 7:03 AM
    This doctor that I am seeing for pain isn't a new doctor for me. I have been seeing him for two months now and it has taken us a while to find something that works for pain. I can afford the Oxycodone but to add the Fentanyl on top is just too expensive on top of his doctor visit. I had bariatric surgery and so I wasn't feeling any relief and I really wasn't absorbing the Oxycontin. I may be able to ask him if he can change me back to Oxycontin but price wise that is even worse for something that doesn't help. I guess the big problem here is that the person who is helping me pay for the Oxycodone and Fentanyl will be EDITED about it and not help me pay for the fentanyl that has pretty much help saved my life with the pain I'm in. I will be continually tapering down to hopefully a 12 of fentanyl but that will take a while but she will not understand. I wasn't given enough Oxycodone to last through the month and she always swipes like 15 pills off the top of any RX so I asked for them back and she told me to get my own help so I'm thinking of saying that I had no choice but to start the patches then. Anyways, since there may be no option to taper off of the fentanyl will I die from just going cold turkey and only using the Oxy?
    Fall 7 times, stand up 8...
  • I'm really sorry. As you can tell by my user name I'm not really knowledgable when it comes to 'systems' in the USA even though I live here. Isn't there a government agency you can explain this to to get some money for meds? A charity? This seems so wrong to me!! Have you tried phoning the company that makes your fentanyl? I take Opana & I get a 'credit card' type thing that says "Pay no-more than $25". I've had promotions on other meds in the past very similar. I hear on TV adds "If you can't afford your meds call us!". It could be worth a try.
    I'd really sit down & explain your financial situation to your PM. He might know of a solution. I wouldn't ask for specific meds. Handing over that volume of Oxycodone isn't likely but there are some cheap ER meds. I know morphine is much cheaper than the 'newer' meds because it's not a brand name...it was for me anyway. My PM has patients without insurance & knows prices, deals etc to help them.
    Your relationship with your mum sounds incredibly stressful. Is there a family member you could discuss this with? Her taking your meds is illegal & could open a big can of worms if your docs find out. Ugh! I'm sorry. You're in such a hard place at the moment. I'm sorry.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • That is a crime that can get both of you in trouble, serious legal trouble.
    No, you wouldn't die without the fentanyl, but you will probably experience some withdrawal symptoms if you stop it suddenly. The oxycodone would help with that, but you need professional guidance in how much oxycodone to use and when......we can not offer you that information.
    You also need to find some other person to help you afford your medications and put them under lock and key so that your mother is not getting access to them, for ANY reason.
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