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Hasn't everyone at some point ran out or short on their medication?



  • I have never run out of meds. I take the LA meds exactly as prescribed, which is every 8 hours/3 a day. My BT meds, I can take up to 2 a day, but usually take none, maybe 2 a week. So I have quite a stock pile of those.

    I have been drug tested 3 times in the last year and never know when I will be again. I will NOT put myself at risk of getting "fired".

    I really encourage you to get on a LA med - you will be very surprised at how well your pain is controlled and on more "watching the clock" because the pain control runs out.
  • Joining the chorus of "never"..

    My relationship with my doctor is based on trust and that trust includes taking my medications exactly as prescribed. Taking fewer pills one day doesn't entitle me to take extra on a another, so the only variation I'll ever have is extra medication.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,562
    as you can see, as a whole, those that know what chronic pain is all about NEVER run out of medications
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Hi! I'm going to break up the monotony and let you all know that I frequently have issues with my ER and IR pain meds; sorry to break the rhythm team! Here's the deal: My PM writes me two months at a time, with each script written for 28-29 days after the last one. Technically, I should have at least one to three days left at each refill, and over time, a week or two+ of surplus. I love my PM.

    The problems? Huge recent incremental increases in pain, coupled with a good, but frustrating mix of meds, and some self discipline issues.

    I've re-injured/worsened my condition about once every month or so for the last 6 months, trampling my previous pain levels, and making me re-evaluate my "1-10 pain scale". I'm clumsy at times and keep doing things I shouldn't, having blowouts if you will.

    I take methadone as my 'er' med, 4 times daily. This is a perfect dosing schedule to keep my med levels very even. However, when you are taking methadone, it's akin to 'building a dam' against taking any other opiates. When BT pain hits, I take 1-2 pills and sigh in disappointment when it doesn't do the job. I'm allowed 2 at a time, 4 a day(120/month), but frequently hit 10 a day which obviously dwindles my supplies to nothing quite rapidly. I attribute this to the 'dam' effect previously noted, as it takes a few of them to break through, and once that occurs, pain reduction sets in. Taking 1-2 is a waste, as even after 2-3 hours my pain levels do not change. I only mention the self discipline issue, as I view my choice to take more than I am allowed or have agreed to as a sort of lie to myself, and frown, well, upon me =P

    This has not always been the case. When my Methadone dosage was about 1/2 of what it is now, my BT meds worked great, but with ER increases came decreased BT med effectiveness. So now I get about 15 days of pain relief after a refill, and then the other half of the month I limp along (literally) and look forward to refills. Sometimes, I take an extra ER pill as a sort of BT substitute, which works, but wrecks my daily dosages. Yes, I know, not good.

    The point to my sharing? Just to break the ice a little and keep it clear that some of us DO have problems with our meds and self control, despite our best intentions. Well, a desire for pain relief is actually a pretty strong one..

    Plus, a little lesson on Methadone..

    And lastly, yes, I know I need to talk to my PM. It's all honesty between us, and when I bring it up it will be addressed appropriately. Honesty has taken me a long way w/my doc.


  • Really?
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  • I ran out early once, because of my own stupidity. Sometimes I would forget if I took a dose or not (I am absent minded and do most of my activities on instinct without realizing). Then, about a year later, I ran out due to appointment conflicts.

    So, in about 6 or 7 years, I've ran out twice. It was horrible. I never ever want to go through that again.

    And Mouse, Blitz looks like a Gem. I think horses are one of the most beautiful creatures. I love the relationship you two have. I think it's wonderful. So sorry you are no longer able to enjoy each other's company as much as you used to. But you do still have each other.

    So, yeah - like Ron said - the main thought pattern is to NOT run out. I just can't spend my days filling out spread sheets, or pain charts. I wouldn't have time to do anything else, and in MY OWN OPINION, for me - it would cause me to focus way too much on my pain. I refuse to give it that much thought. Also, if you do have that loopy sensation, it goes away once your body becomes acclimated. The medication only attacks the pain. And, as JWM mentioned, we are human and make mistakes. For me, I made one, my doc's office made one... That's enough for me.

    Good luck in your quest.
  • Think of it from the perspective of your physician. Your physician will probably be nice and polite, but really have no idea who the person that walked into their examining room is really like. They may ask you about your "social history", about your alcohol, tobacco, recreation drug use history, psychiatric history etc, but they really can't predict who will become addicted to opioid pain medicines.

    They carry a large burden in wanting to treat their patients' pain, but risk ruining people's lives with addiction.

    So what do they do? They usually verbally or in written form create some type of "opioid agreement" or "opioid contract". Usually they will have rules about not running out early or calling in with excuses of lost medication.

    If you say you ran out early (for whatever reason) even if it's 100% legitimate, they have no idea at all if you are becoming addicted or genuinely had some unique circumstance.

    They are strict, to PROTECT YOU!

    So, it's best to make their jobs easier which makes in turn makes your treatment better, by not running out early. Always consult with your physician BEFORE changing the agreed upon dosing schedule of your opioids or other meds like benzodiazepines.

    If you're confused about the "rules", because they are not in writing, have a candid discussion with your physician. I'm willing to bet that they will be pleased that you even asked!
  • Although it is rare for me to run our of ER meds (although I have once, which is posted on here) I run out of my IR pills early every time.

    My ER pain meds keep everything fairly under control most of the time, but every time the pain seems to be so bad that I need to take something for BT 1 or 2 5 mg norco is not nearly enough, and its consistant for 3-10 days at a time after it flares up so when i do actually use BT meds its around 10-15 a day till my pain calms down.

    My doctor knows this but since its not every day that it is this bad she is alright with me taking many one day and none the next, but i still only get 120.

    anyway, just thought i would throw it in
  • I think a big problem is that people don't read their prescription in its entirety. Suppose, for ease of math, your physician prescribes 1 pill every 6 hours, with a quantity of 90. That means you can have 4 pills in a 24 hour period, but doesn't mean you can have 4 pills in every 24-hour period. By writing the quantity of 90, the doctor is indicating that s/he expects you to control your usage and maintain at an average of 3 pills per day. That means, for each of the days you take 4 pills, you're going to have to find an equal number of days in the month when you only take 2 pills.

    If the prescription isn't adequate to control the pain, then it's time to discuss it with the doctor. If the doctor won't change it, you have 2 options - 1) find a new doctor whose philosophy more closely matches your treatment goals or 2) live with the under-treated pain.

    Taking more than the doctor prescribes and running out early is not a valid option and only serves to perpetuate the problems that leave so many people struggling to obtain any reasonable treatment.

    I used to believe that the drug abusers were the biggest reason so many of us struggle to get adequate treatment. Sadly, I think pain patients deserve a lot more credit for the problems than I had previously believed. :(
  • I am not saying that you are wrong but I think that a large problem with me not getting as many pills as I feel I need to control my pain is that I am only 20 years old.

    Although I do have many diagnostic tests showing that I am probably in a lot of pain I really feel that older people (no offense!) are treated a bit differently as pain patients.
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