Attacking opiod crisis or attacking patients?

Jan 2012
3,597
1,666
Vacaville, CA
In the early morning of March 14, I went to the Kaiser Permanente ER with severe and crippling side and back pain. I was diagnosed with a kidney stone and sent home with a prescription for hydrocone 5mg/acetaminophen 325 mg. Dosage direction: one tablet every six hours, as needed.

When the IV pain killer from the ER wore off, I took the tablet, but it lasted for only 1.5 hours. I called to see if I could increase the number or frequency that I took the pill. I was told no because excess acetaminophen use could damage the liver. That didn’t really make sense because my over the counter version of acetaminophen had 500 mg and a recommended dosage of 2 tablets. I assume the hydrocone is the more potent part of the formula.

After persisting, I got a call back from the office of my general practitioner, which stated I could double the dosage. I did so and was satisfied with the result. However, I then discovered that the tablets would likely run out before I could request a refill on Tuesday. I requested a refill, the pharmacy dept. looked into it, but no renewal information appeared on my pharmacy web page.

In the next call to the pharmacy, I was informed that Kaiser was restricting pain killers because of the opiod crisis, even though my doctor had given me explicit permission to increase the dosage. They suggested I simply rely on the OTC version of acetaminophen when my supply ran out.

After another call, I was referred to a Vallejo physician who, after reviewing my case, said she would write a new prescription with a higher dosage. It was not filled and my website entry for that medicine no longer states it can be reordered after Monday: now, it cannot be refilled at all.

I have 3 tablets left and a phone consult with a urologist scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
 

HCProf

Council Hall
Sep 2014
29,159
18,651
USA
In the early morning of March 14, I went to the Kaiser Permanente ER with severe and crippling side and back pain. I was diagnosed with a kidney stone and sent home with a prescription for hydrocone 5mg/acetaminophen 325 mg. Dosage direction: one tablet every six hours, as needed.

When the IV pain killer from the ER wore off, I took the tablet, but it lasted for only 1.5 hours. I called to see if I could increase the number or frequency that I took the pill. I was told no because excess acetaminophen use could damage the liver. That didn’t really make sense because my over the counter version of acetaminophen had 500 mg and a recommended dosage of 2 tablets. I assume the hydrocone is the more potent part of the formula.

After persisting, I got a call back from the office of my general practitioner, which stated I could double the dosage. I did so and was satisfied with the result. However, I then discovered that the tablets would likely run out before I could request a refill on Tuesday. I requested a refill, the pharmacy dept. looked into it, but no renewal information appeared on my pharmacy web page.

In the next call to the pharmacy, I was informed that Kaiser was restricting pain killers because of the opiod crisis, even though my doctor had given me explicit permission to increase the dosage. They suggested I simply rely on the OTC version of acetaminophen when my supply ran out.

After another call, I was referred to a Vallejo physician who, after reviewing my case, said she would write a new prescription with a higher dosage. It was not filled and my website entry for that medicine no longer states it can be reordered after Monday: now, it cannot be refilled at all.

I have 3 tablets left and a phone consult with a urologist scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
Patients are suffering for the behavior of a few. The amount of pills you receive depend on the current regulation of your State. In Ohio, you are only allowed 6 pills and if you need more, you go to pain management. Not real helpful if you are suffering from a kidney stone. Your best bet...hit the ER when your pills run out. You don't know when the urologist will schedule your procedure. You are going to be in a lot of pain by Tuesday.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ian Jeffrey

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
77,247
46,603
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
This is why the whole idea of restricting pain medication based on a ridiculous formula is ... well, ridiculous. All it does is leave people in chronic pain, and "pain management" (which seems to consist primarily of physical therapy) is 90% horsehockey about just living with it without reducing it - especially in the case of kidney stones, which are not affected by "pain management" measures. The way to fix an overprescribing crisis involving people getting an addiction is to stop overprescribing, not to start underprescribing, which makes no sense. It is an overreaction, to say the least.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NightSwimmer
Jan 2012
3,597
1,666
Vacaville, CA
Last night, after waiting three hours in the ER, I was given a hospital-strength enema, a laxative prescription and a refill of my original low-dose pain medication, with the advice not to take more because it would aggravate constipation. OK, that makes more sense, but they could have told me that in the first place.

Fortunately, my back pain, for now, has abated and I haven’t taken a pain pill in about 30 hours.
 
Feb 2011
18,524
13,308
The formerly great golden state
Last night, after waiting three hours in the ER, I was given a hospital-strength enema, a laxative prescription and a refill of my original low-dose pain medication, with the advice not to take more because it would aggravate constipation. OK, that makes more sense, but they could have told me that in the first place.

Fortunately, my back pain, for now, has abated and I haven’t taken a pain pill in about 30 hours.
Ask 60 minutes, they'll tell you what happened:

Ed Thompson told us when the top selling opioid, Oxycontin, was first approved in 1995, it was based on science that only showed it safe and effective when used "short-term." But in 2001, pressured by Big Pharma and pain sufferers, the FDA made a fateful decision and, with no new science to back it up, expanded the use of Oxycontin to just about anyone with chronic ailments like arthritis and back pain.

and the result was the worst drug addiction in the history of the country. Follow the money, and it will lead you to the truth.


Glad to hear your back is better and you're not hooked.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dangermouse