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Needing to know how to figure out the right amount of medicine to have for a pill count?

im very new to this so forgive me if I sound a little lost! ( and I am!) but I am prescribed 6-8 oxycodone pills per day which I get 200 a month, my question is I got my refill last jan 31st and I go back on feb 28th! I know February is a short month and I'm not sure if I go by days or pills? So I need a little help because I've gotten so many different answers I'm more baffled than ever and it's my first pill count and I really need to be right With it especially with this being
my first visit back ! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! 


  • scinmyheartsscinmyheart Posts: 208
    edited 02/28/2017 - 1:26 PM
    needingtoknow, I'll take a stab at this...realize this is just how I view it...someone please correct me if I'm mistaken...now this is under the assumption that you have a 30 day Rx

    ...you filled your current Rx on 1/31
    ...for a 30 day Rx your next refill will be on 3/2
    ...it was written to take from 6 to 8 pills/day with a total of 200 given

    that leads me to think that the doctor is okay if you took 6 pills/day...7 pills/day...or 8 pills/day leaving it up to you depending upon how you feel

    so if you took 6 pills every day without deviating then your Rx will last a little over 33 days
    if you took 7 pills every day without changing then it will last 28.5 days
    if you took 8 per day every day then you will run out after day 25

    he seems to be giving you the flexibility to take a little less on good days while being able to cover bad days with a few more pills

    he will not refill you early if you take 8/day and run out after 25 days...so you will need to balance how you take them to make them last at least for 30 days...I can't see him being concerned if you go in on the 28th and have pills left over (after all, that is only 28 days into your 30 day Rx)...but I wouldn't really want to go in there at 28 days having taken them all by the 25th day even though you "technically could" 

    I'm assuming he's figuring you may have a few bad days when you need 8...a few good days when you only need 6...averaging most days in the middle with 7....and with 7/day you would not run out

    I've just never had a Rx written for me that did not just have a set amount to take per day...when I take that set amount per day then I will finish it on the 30th day and will fill a new Rx 

    as a side note...what milligram is your oxycodone? 5mg maybe?  if so, then it's just 30-40mg per day  It's my understanding that a lot of insurance companies are getting away from allowing more than 4 per day, but I may be wrong


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,419
    When scripts are written PRN (as needed) , generally the uppoer limit is used to determine the amount of pills per month.

    6 x day  x 30 days = 180
    8 x day  x 30 days = 240

    So, I am not sure where the pill count of 200 came in for you.    But whatever your script on record says that is the way the insurance company and pharmacy will look at the refill date.  In fact, any time I've asked the pharmacy, then need to check with the insurance company, they are the ones that set the rules.

    scinmyheart pretty much summed up the days for each script and when you can refill them.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,270
    hello needingtoknow!
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • 200 is a little odd from my experience. It usually goes with 3, 4, 5 or 6 a day x 30. Gotta watch out for those 31-day months. So far I have never been subjected to a pill count, but I'm always ready and have it with me or locked up in the car outside. If I have excess that month, it stays locked up at home. Nice to have a little cushion for the very bad days that come along.
    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,419
    This may sound strange, but when we have extra at the end of the month (which generally says we did have some good days) if we put them aside (for a rainy day) that can be considering stockpiling which doctors do not like to see  happen.
    I know some doctors that if you have any left over for the month, bring them in to the office for them to dispose off.

    I cant agree with that mindset.   

    I believe all doctors want us to reduce the amount of opioids we take on a daily basis.  So, when we do what we can as patients to achieve that, to us we have reached a goal!   Lets say we reduced the months worth by 5%.  Thats outstanding.   But we all know that next month might be more difficult for us.   So we get the normal amount in the refilll, lets say 100.  But we had 5 pills left over from before  I for one hold on to those for a time a may need them.   I am hesitate to give them up.   

    So do we tell our doctors we have been able to reduce the amount of opioids?   If they are going to penalize us for having extra, I am not so sure.   Its a slippery slope
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • I don't have a huge surplus by any means. Right now I'm having trouble just getting my regular refill, period. This is another reason to have some around. If I go past tomorrow, I'll be into my reserve. I've posted it before, but when the choice between withdrawal and pill-count ethics comes around, I like to take care of myself. I've blown through my modest reserve before just waiting to get my refill processed.
    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
  • Max_LeeMax_Lee New York, United StatesPosts: 388
    I kept a weeks' worth of my antidepressant (I was in the hospital for a week last year) in the cupboard in case a freak weather thing (Northern New York...absolutely LOVELY in the winter... :# ) happened and I was left stranded towards the end of my prescription. Same with my other meds I was on at the time. No longer have any tramadol and only 3 days of antidepressants.
    The CDC and all disaster preparedness programs tell us to have medication in case of a disaster like a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, earthquake, or wildfire cutting off access to the doctor/pharmacy. However, it seems nearly impossible to do the way medications are regulated and prescribed. My mom was not happy when she found out I can only refill 3 days before I am out of meds at maximum and the day before I'm out on my tramadol and ambien. Meaning when I fill them, I have that day's meds and then the next day I start the new bottle. No flexibility at all for if a nasty snowstorm comes in and everything is closed or I can't get out (meaning she out on the farm 20 minutes away can't either) and I have to get my medication.
    Pretty bad situation to be in, especially if it's a med like an antidepressant, anti-convulsant, or pain med that MUST be tapered that cannot be suddenly stopped without high risk of harm. Some rule should be there for that, especially if the government insists on regulating prescriptions - they should put in some provision on it if they insist on regulations.
     "The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the
    brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do
    not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do.''-Anonymous

    My Story: https://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/90688/pain/neck-pain-cervical/help#latest

  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,778
    edited 03/01/2017 - 10:44 PM
    I always get confused ..... Is it one pill 3X a day ..... or 3 pills - one time a day??  What happens when your pills are based on say 1 every four hours for a total of 4 a day ...... but your days is 20 hours long ..... can I stay take one every four hour a day (24 hour period) ??  If I did .... I would be following directions and my pill count would be off. 

    In President Trumps speech to Congress yesterday ..... he mentioned stopping rising healthcare costs.  Having chronic pain patients seeing their doctor to just get a monthly script is causing an insurance burden of $800 to $1200 per year times X the number of documented chronic pain patients needing monthly rx's.  Thats a BIG $ number due to DEA regulations - A lot of money could be saved by allowing "certified" "documented" "vetted" chronic pain patients to be allowed some additional flexibilities and save the poor misguided insurance world some $.  Every bad rule ..... should have a good exception.

    Soap Box Speech now ended - Thanks,

  • I finally got my refill in place but can't pick it up until 3/03. My last refill was on 2/01. I guess they really go with a strict 30-day thing even with the short month. But they cut me no slack for the months with 31 days. I used to have to show up every month for an appointment and they would give me a refill on the spot, now it has been out to 6 weeks or 2 months. This last one took me 7 calls between the doctor and pharmacy to get it straight. My label says "four times a day", no other instructions.

    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
  • I know you are not suppose to hold on to those extra pills but you are asking for trouble if you dont especially for those times when the pharmacy is out of stock. I find that happening a little more offen since the DEA has made the pharmaceutical companies to manufacture 25% less opiates then in years past.
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