Tuesday, February 17, 2009

medications and prescriptions 101

This is going to be an exceedingly boring entry, since it's about prescription medications. If you like, just skip the whole entry and I'll sum it up like this: Pay close attention to any prescriptions your doctor might write for you or your spouse.

I don't know what it's going to be like if and when
I ever go on prescription medications. It's already confusing, just dealing with Cliff's.

Ever since his open heart surgery, he's taken three prescription meds: Lipitor, Niaspan, and Metroprolol. This combination must work well, because his blood pressure stays remarkable low, with consistant readings around 112/70.

Right after surgery, he started taking two 50 mg Metropolols daily: one in the morning, one in the evening.

About six months ago at his regular appointment, Dr. D. looked over the list of meds and said, "How would you like to take your Metropolol only once a day, with all your other pills?"

Sounded good to us, so we took the new prescription to the pharmacy and got him started on that. I didn't realize it at the time, but it's a time-release pill.

When it was time for Cliff's next appointment (he has to go every three or four months for blood work), Dr. D. was unavailable. He's had brain surgery. Cancer. I doubt he'll ever be back; he was old enough to retire anyhow (our age).

So I suggested we try the new, young doctor. I wish now I hadn't, because the nurse-practitioners there are super, and so is the other doctor, Dr. G. I don't think there would have been any mixup with them.

I asked young Dr. H. if he'd write a new prescription for Metropolol so we could get a three-month supply at one time.

From the doctor's office, I went directly to the pharmecy; that's when I noticed the "2x daily".

He must have glanced back too far on Cliff's history and given him the old 50 mg pills, right? That's what I assumed.

So, although I had the druggist file that prescription, I asked him to fill the time-release 100 mg one instead, for one month. Because one pill a day works better for us.

Yesterday, since Cliff was down to one Metropolol, we went to get a refill. Pharmicist says there's been a problem getting the timed-release ones, and they can't fill it.

"Oh well, you have another prescription on file for two a day; just give us that one, because he's totally out; he only has one left."

Seemed like a nice, simple fix. Until I got home and realized these were 100 mg, not time-release, and they were to be taken twice a day.

I've been on the phone once with the pharmacy and twice with the doctor's office, and I've finally gotten it straightened out.

Had I doled these pills out to Cliff, he would have instantly doubled the amount of Metropolol he's been taking for three years.

I can still use them, I'll just have to split them in half. And he'll be taking two doses daily again.

I sure do miss Dr. D.


SolitaryDancer said...

Yep, that's how it goes. You really have to keep an eye on things. I always double check everything.

Good thing you were on point! :-)


Joyful Days said...

Even though I love my new doctor, I have been very vigilant about the meds she has put me on. I worked to long in doctors' offices and know they are doctors not God. They can and do make mistakes.

I think most try really hard to do 100% all the time, but it's just not human.

Glad you got were so aware of what Cliff is taking.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Thankfully you caught that. I think it's good that you made an entry about it because it serves as a warning to others.

Anne said...

You always have to double or triple check everything. Jim and I now get our prescriptions from Canada. Anne

Gayla said...

So sorry that all this mix-up happened. I've had my nightmare with CVS pharmacy and I no longer get my or hubbys medications there anymore. They filled a prescription for me, not once but twice, and gave me a totally different medication! If I wouldn't have caught it, I wouldn't be typing this message right now. What did CVS do about this: offer me a $100 shopping card. Idiots.
You can just never be too careful about medicines. Now I not only check my medicines and hubbys, but I go online and check to make sure that the pills are correct.

You all take good care! :))
Huggers, Gayla

Talk..to..Grams said...

You are so right!! Nancy takes a ton of medicine and I try to watch it like a hawk!!

In 2003 when I was in the hospital they got mixed up about my blood pressue medicine and if Karen had not been in the room and caught what the Dr. was saying I could have had a stroke!!love and hugs Grams

Hollie said...

You have to keep an eye on this kind of things. Even though they are doctors & pharmacists...they are still human too & make mistakes. I'm so glad that you keep on top of things...

Anonymous said...

I have had the same doctor for over twenty years now...she is a gem...and whenever I have an appt we talk about the meds I take..I hate the metroplol (SP) and Diovan I take...twice a day...don't like the way it makes me feel..next time we will do some serious talking about these meds...your entry is great...keeps us reminded of what we chould be watching...sometimes we get set in our ways...things are fine..don't upset the apple cart so to speak..but when it comes to your meds..you have to be aware at all times...sheesh...sorry I rambled...God Bless...hugs..Ora

Anonymous said...

I take Lopressor (metoprolol) 50g, half a tablet twice a day. I didn't know they had a time release one. One thing I do know is that you have to be weaned off of it, over an 8 week period. Maybe the pills are different now than they were 15 years ago when my husband went from 2 pills a day to one. They didn't know it back then (until about 6 months later) He had a massive heart attack 10 days after they changed his prescription. So I am very careful with mine!

Celeste said...

Glad you caught that. Is there a price difference? Mama used to get the higher dose and cut them as it was cheaper that way.

Carlene Noggle said...

Just about the same thing happened to Danny...and he actually TOOK the pills that were too strong...needless to say, after that, we started lokoing very closely at the prescription label AND the pill itself.
i have went bak and caught up on your blog...i am so glad you got Clift to go to the museum. When me and danny went to Atlanta, we always left all our creit cards at home except one.. and only took one check and only enough money to get us by...We also took my 38 cal.which I have concealed weapons lic. for. You can never be too careful.
God bless,
love ya,

Paula said...

Not boring at all. Good info.

Anonymous said...

So glad you caught it donna......

cw2smom said...

He's so lucky to have you as a wife and advocate. He'd have been practically comatose if he'd doubled that Lopressor! YIKES! Imagine how low his blood pressure would go on double the dose! I take it once a day and have for years, but mine is for heart arrythmmia (sp?) not HBP. I'll tell you, my heart lets me know it if I miss my morning dose! Blessings to you and the hubs! Lisa