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Is this from my doctor or from the DEA!!!???
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Is this from my doctor or from the DEA!!!???

Dear Pain Management Group,

As always I turn to you for advice.  I've had a great physician how is an expert on fibromyalgia.  I have fibromyalgia, lupus (SLE), severe osteoporosis, and degenerative disc disease.  Ok, now that being said, I have been seeing this doctor for almost 8-9 months or so and have of course had to have an office visit every three (3) months because she precribes opiates to me.

Ok, here's the skinny.  I called in one of my opiates to be refilled yesterday.  Later on I got a call from the prescribing nurse who was quite nice, always is, and she told me she was sending out my prescription as requested and as usual, but that from now on I must make an appointment to see the doctor once a month from now on.  I asked her if this pertained to every patient being prescribed opoids and she said yes, certainly.

Does anyone out there know if this is a new standard procedure?  I live in Houston, Texas and I do know that the DEA has chosen this city, among a few others to delve into pain medicine abuses.

I suppose my fear is that I have been red flagged as they say.  I've never called in any prescriptions too early, so I don't think that's it, but then again, I must say it's a bit of a shock to hear I must go in for an office visit once every month now.  It may even end up being more than once per month because the nurse said I must have appts. whenever it's time to refill my opiate prescriptions and I take two types, one long-acting, the other for break through pain.  Therefore, we may be talking two (2)  office visits within 30 days.

Please, please, please, can anyone help me shed some light on this?  I'd call and ask the prescribing nurse, except that she did answer my question yesterday.

What's up with this?  Is the DEA behind this caca?  I actually assume they are, yet I really hope it's not just me.

Thank you in advance for reading my diatribe.  Any help and/or any opions will be of great use to my paranoia.

Sincerely,

Suda
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My doctor is in NW Houston and I experienced the same changes as you are.  She went from every 3 months (or longer) to requiring monthly visits.  It's all due to federal regs.  Just have a talk with your doctor about how to get your meds on a monthly schedule so as to avoid having to go in twice a month.  Royal PITA isn't it?
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Dear Jaybay,

Thank you so very much for your response.  I was totally flummoxed when I was told I'd have to come into the office each time one of my opiates was ready to be refilled.

I can only hope that once a month will cover both my opiate prescriptions since they were orginally prescribed and still stand to be refilled two (2) weeks apart.  

If this means I have to go for an office visit twice per month then I shall start trying to figure out exactly the best way to wean myself to a lower amount taken so that I can eventually have it set up where I get them both filled at the same time.

Brother, the DEA is a huge pain in the patootie when it comes to people like us who have serious and legitimate chronic pain.  I know they are trying to weed out the people who abuse these meds, i.e. selling them, or just taking them for fun.

Again, thank you for responding because I was wracking my brain trying to figure out if I'd inadvertently done something untoward to make my doctor think that I was abusing my pain meds.

So, Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you once again.

Sincerely,

Suda
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Dear Suda / Jaybay,
It's the Texas Medical Board.  Check out the regulations at the following website:

http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/rules/docs/Board_Rules_Effective_01.17.2011.pdf
Page 50 Section 170.3 Guidelines.
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Hi Suda,

Jaybay IS correct about the Federal Regulations.  The DEA is being SURE that the patients are being seen and NOT just handed out meds without being reaccessed monthly.  That is what My PM Doctor has ALWAYS done.  Now I'm on Schedule II Opiates so I don't know if that makes any difference PLUS I live in AZ and NOT in TX.  

Your Doctor SHOULD be able to give you your Medications in EITHER amounts that will allow you to fill them together OR give you one that is filled at a DIFFERENT time on the Prescription so that you DON'T have to come in twice a month.  My 2 prescriptions are filled at different times BUT I receive them on the SAME day and just fill them at different times during the month.  :)  You WON'T have a problem.

Let us know how it goes and just KNOW that we are thinking of you!!!....Sherry :)
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Hi There,

I live in Oregon and I have to go in once a month to get my scripts. State law here if you are under a pain contract...

Kat
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Dear Group,

Once again, you have come through, as always!  It figures it is the government.  Now of course I probably will have to wean myself off of the break-through pain meds so that I can even the prescribing up to once a month for both prescriptions.

It has always been noted by my doctor's office that she does not write prescriptions in advance.

This may be very difficult for me because I, of course, have built up a tolerance for both of these meds, which are both opoids.  It is very, very difficult to not take a pain med when I am in horrible pain when they are here.  I have a very low threshold for pain, and a very high tolerance for pain meds.  Go figure!!!

Either way, I'm going to have to change my mind set and just have days where I am in way more pain than usual.  My usual is at the level of 5-7 each day so this is not going to be easy, in fact it is most likely going to be very, very difficult to me.  

Alas, this is the price one pays what with all the notarity that the over-abuse of opoids is receiving in the news almost every day.

I am going to research the best way to wean down so that I can have both meds needing to be refilled at the same time.

Wish me luck, please?  I really am going to need it.

I also must apologize for not responding to all of your thoughtful responses, as I've been having a major flare and not been on the internet to check for anything in quite a while.

Again, Thank You!!!  Thank You!!!  Thank You!!!

Sincerely,

Suda
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I think that is pretty strict, I get why they want to do this, but every month?  I live in Ohio and it has been my experience to go in once every other month.  With each visit I get two prescriptions two months worth on each one.  The pharmacy usually holds the second one until the date on the script is up and can do a refill on it.  I do what is called a med review mostly with the Dr's nurse and don't even see the Dr to much unless I have some issues or complaints.

I hope everything goes okay for you.  I'm sorry you have to deal with this on top of the pain you are in.  Take Care.
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Suda,

I would talk to your pm doctor about that before deciding to wean off meds. One visit per month should suffice, you just may have to call in for re-fills at different times. OR, perhaps they can give you one of the scrips early so you are on the same schedule. There HAS to be a way around this withouy you being in pain and I'd bed they will help you with it if you talk to them about it. They are just following the "rules".

Blessings,

Kat
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Dear Bedotson4,

Thank you so much for your reply.  Yes, it ***** the big one that I will now have to go for an office visit once each month.  I'm on disability and money is very, very, tight, therefore; one office visit every three months was stretching my budget, and now I must budget for twice per month.

In the very beginning I was informed that my doctor does not write prescriptions in advance, and that is why I'm going to have to wean down so that I can get both prescriptions to coincide all at once.

I've often wondered if things went badly, say, my doctor who is really, really great decided to retire, or something untoward happened to her, what would I do?  Very selfish way to think of it, but it tis the truth.  I'd probably have to into some serious withdrawals then, so I've quite often thought that maybe I should try and wean myself.  One reason being just to prove to myself that I can do it, and the second reason would be so that I could find out exactly how much pain I would be in without these meds.  

Oh, I'm quite sure that the pain would be off the charts, but then again, I've read alot about these opiates and I've read that sometimes, with certain people they can make the pain worse.  Also, as I'd mentioned in an earlier post, I have a very, very low threshold for pain, and a very, very high tolerance for pain medicine.  

Some days, it's as if I've taken nothing at all, when I've taken my regular amount of medicine.  I asked my doctor once if she thought I may be one of those freak people who absorb medicine, or don't absorb medicine properly that is.  She said, no, your not a "freak", your body just metabalizes (spell?) medicines differently than a lot of other people.

So, since I've already been forwarned that she never write a prescription unless it is due, I'm going to have to either pay for two office visits, not to mention two seperate days of total exhaustion, since getting ready to go for an office visit is totally exhausting to both my mind and body.

Alas, to me the only way I can see out of this is to wean myself as low as I can possibly go, be in servere pain and bite the bullet, so to speak.

Thank you for listening to my latest diatribe.  And thank you for responding earlier.  It helps so much knowing one is not totally alone our here on "Chronic Pain Lane", and that I have neighbors who are knowledgeable and care as well.

Again, thank you!!!

Sincerely,

Suda

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Dear KittyKat,

Thank you for your kind response.  One would like to think that there was something to be done about this, and there just may be.  But I'm still going to try to see just how low I can go without making myself feel sicker than usual, and that's not going to be so very easy, as I feel very ill most days.

As "Rosanna, Rosannadanna" used to say:  "It it's not one thing it's another!"  And that girl was right on.......

I must wait until I go into the the next, earlier office visit, which will be later next week and find out what new things will be in store for me from now on.

I've already got an appointment with my urologist on Tuesday of next week, and so my body will be screaming for some rest by the end of this upcoming week.  Keep you fingers crossed for me, please.

Again, thanks for taking the time out from you day to respond.  I shall do my best to keep all you thoughtful people up on exactly what my new regime will entail.

Sincerely,

Suda
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