How are you Prescribed your Meds? Opioids? Is this reasonable?

Well I got a new Doctor and have been taking Opioids for a couple months now. On one hand it is a great relief, because I'm not bed bound from pain anymore, and I find myself able to go out to the park and relax my mind by the water, go for a little walk and what not. (I enjoy the nature and it really helps me physically to walk and emotionally to be in a carefree environment.)
On the other hand it seems to be a huge stressor for me in this sense;  I'm not a huge fan of any drugs/medicine (but I truly need it, so I'm left with no choice. Many alternative medicines that are usually tried first had very little to no affect on my pain). I can only get exactly 30 days worth of it, and am expected to have an appointment exactly 30 days from my previous appointment. If I try to go a day or two early I get "in trouble/lectured". However it is not always possible to get an appointment 30 days from my previous appointment. (As there are a WHOLE LOT of patients registered to this clinic. You literally have to book your appointment 3 weeks ahead of time!) I was told to get an appointment 30 days or LATER (but not even a day earlier), but would that not mean that I would not longer have a prescription and forced to withdraw (from a fair [not small] dosage of somewhat longterm usage).On top of that I'm on a decent dosage now, and there have been a couple times where I've reached the office and was told the doctor had left due to x reason, leaving me without a prescription. I was told to go wait 12+ hours in the ER and hopefully they would be able to give me a couple pills (not sure it they would or not). OR rather than going on the 29th day with an appointment and being treated in a "fairly" reasonable amount of time, I am double booked on the 30th day and forced to wait 5-6+ hours, in an environment that only causes my back pain to get worse.
Is this normal practice for those taking Opioids? Are you guys also going through a similar system? Should I be worried about having to withdraw if I can not get my prescription he day I should be after these many months of continuos use? (because it is a real stressful thing on the back of my mind.) Is it bad/harmful for me to just stop taking them because they have run out and I can not get any, and then start back up on them a couple days/week later once I get a prescription? I really don't know how to go about this, I feel like my hands are tied.


  • In any pm office I have ever been in, the next appt is scheduled before I leave the current appt.
    All opiates require a new prescription every 28-30 days, depending on the office policy.
    The easy way to resolve this would be to make sure that your next appt. is set before you leave for your next visit.

  • Mine have had me come in to be seen one month, then the ensuing two months, just come by and pick up the scripts, followed by appt with the doctor in the fourth month, but that was after I was considered "stable", medication wise.
    If I needed adjustments or there was worsening of symptoms, I would just call and see the doctor during any of that time frame.
    Not all of the pm offices do that, but I was there for many years .
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 4,299
    I see my pain management Doctor monthly for refill of meds including OxyContin.
    My appointment doesn't have to be so the 30 days.

    I, too, make my next appointment before I leave the office. Often appointment may be before the 30 days, but has never been past the 30 days...and doctor gives me prescription and either I hold it for appropriate date due and then bring to pharmacy... or I give to pharmacy and they fill when due and then notify me.

    The date on script doesn't matter because pharmacy will never refill before the 30 days.
    That my experience, so far anyway.
    I don't know where you live, but I'm in the States...Illinois.
  • That seems really odd and almost sadistic.. 1. I've never had to have an appointment to get my triplicate, I could call in for it (unless it had been more than 4 months since last dr. visit) and 2. My Dr. actually told me to call it in well before I ran out. I would usually call it in 4 days before I ran out. Get the script a couple days later and fill it then just so I didn't have the hassle the day I ran out, however it was for an as needed BT med 30 day supply would last more like 6-8 weeks, so didn't have restrictions as to when I could pick up the med.

    Still even if it were a 30 day thing, you should be able to get your triplicate a couple days early b/c the pharmacy won't let you pick it up until 30 days anyway and it's less of a hassle that way - what if the pharmacy happens to be out of stock? Also, your Dr. should have access to an online database and could check and see if a patient somehow cheated the system and managed to fill a script a day or 2 early anyway, so I don't know why he's so worried.
  • Hi

    I was wondering if you have set down and discussed this with your Doctor I mean the issues you are running into? I get my meds prescriptions by calling in a week in advance per his request so they are filled on time. He never puts a date to be filled on them or do I have to come in every month it is every three months. The nurses told me once he trusts you he is comfortable it doing it that way but once a person does not follow those guidelines that is it no more meds. Just an idea to talk to the Doctor and work out the details or maybe that is who you say is giving you those terms which surprises me that they would given you cannot get an apt. at exactly 30 days and no doctor I ever ran into would risk you going through withdrawals. Try at the office like others suggested to make the apt. for 30 days before you see the doctor then if there is a problem you can bring it up and ask what he suggest. Oh also mine post dates mine when he is going to be on Vacation and you are right no one needs that stress.

    Hope you get things work out.

    Take care Sherri

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  • Much of this depends on what state you're in and the Schedule medication you are receiving.  For a Schedule 2 substance, I cannot refill my prescriptions until I'm at the 30 day point from the time they were prescribed.  I also am subject to pill counts and urinalysis.  If I go on vacation and need to refill before scheduled, I can do that, but they prefer not to.  I have to schedule my follow-up appointments before I leave the office from my current visit.  If you are taking your meds as prescribed, there shouldn't be a reason to run out early. 

    I've had to change my dates in the past based on the Dr not being available, but they make it right by prescribing the amount of meds I need before the new date comes around.  Some of the rules may seem unreasonable, but thanks to people overdosing and abusing medications, doctors find themselves getting sued and loosing their licenses because of controlled substances.

  • A lot of good responses, thanks guys! I guess I should make sure I'm booked prior to leaving from now on! That should solve the majority of the issue. Going in every 30 days is not really the problem. Getting drug tested is not really a problem. I take them exactly as prescribed, at the exact same time everyday. (it is a Schedule 2.)

    There still is the odd thought in the back of my mind (what if it happens again...), I am referring to me getting the the doctors office only to be told the doctor did not come in or the doctor left early due to x reason. Hopefully it does not occur again! I mean everyone is human, if the doctor is not well that is understandable, but should there not be some type of backup in place for situations like this? Rather than to leave the patient without a script and no other options?

    That is the exact reason I was hoping to be able to go on days28 or 29, so just incase this occurs I still have a day or two to try to resolve the issue with the doctor. But I was told to book 30 days "OR LATER" but not earlier.... :( I Guess I just have to hope for the best and consider that as a rare never to happen again occurrence? (even though it happened more than once before.)
  • Anytime my doctor was ill or an emergency has occurred, my scripts were signed and left at the desk for me to pick up, and my follow-up was scheduled when I picked up the scripts.

  • gr33zyincggr33zyinc Posts: 32
    edited 04/01/2016 - 8:02 PM
    Lucky you! ;) That is all I ask. Can't the doctor have the script in their computer/system/office so the secretary can give it to me in case of an emergency? I was left in limbo and told to go to the ER, where I could possibly (not for sure) get some more meds. An appointment was rescheduled for 20 days after that time! I had only left the ER room (16hour stay) a couple days earlier (and was not ready to do that again) so I said, ePH it I'll just see what withdrawal feels like thanks (in my mind of course). Thankfully I was able to meet the doctor a couple days later, but none the less, a couple days of unnecessary punishment.
  • gr33zyincggr33zyinc Posts: 32
    edited 04/01/2016 - 8:02 PM
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