hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Use this section to discuss your experiences with prescription drugs, iron injections, and other medical interventions that involve the introduction of a drug or medicine into the body. Discuss side effects, successes, failures, published research, information about drug trials, and information about new medications being developed.

Important: Posts and information in this section are based on personal experiences and recommendations; they should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider.
jbuck
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:11 pm

hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by jbuck »

I live in indiana and they passed a new law that physicians that prescribe opioids must follow. This includes mandatory drug test, must be seen once every 4 months, and sign a treatment agreement with your doctor as well as random pill counts (where they can randomly call you and you have to take your medication to them so they can count the pills). To me this is ridiculous. I have been on the same medication for over 10 years and my doctor knows that I do not have any abuse issues. Also, the drug test is not covered by insurance so it can be upwards of $500.00, not to mention the increase in doctor visits (I have only been seeing him once a year since no changes in medication have been made), so it will be very costly for me.

I contacted my doctor who is a specialist (pulmonary, never understood why they sent me to him after the sleep study, but that's been my doctor since this all began), and they had not heard of or were not familiar with this new law that went into effect Dec 15,2013. I was told that we will just cross that bridge when we come to it. However, I'm terribly afraid that me meds will be cut off as I view the drug test as unconstitutional (as does the ACLU which is suing the state over this), plus I know my doctor is very hard to get appointments with, so adding 3 more visits a year will be difficult not to mention costly.

Has anyone on here had to deal with this yet? What was the outcome? I've had a few pharmacists and doctor friends say that it only applies to chronic pain patients or just physicians so by me seeing a specialist it would not apply to me. The only way out of this is to only get 60 pills or less a month and not to exceed the equivalent to 15mg morphine. Does anyone know how much hydrocodone this would be? I currently take 30mg a day which is 90 pills a month, so I would have to find a way to cut down, and just deal with my RLS the best I can under these new laws. I'm doing OK with my current meds, but I never wanted to up my dosage of hydro so I've stayed at the same dosage. The stress of this situation is making my RLS worse and I don't understand why no one can give me a straight answer. I have one refill left on my prescription and if I can't get any answers, I'm going to try to cut down to just 2 pills a day just in case. I can only imagine how much worse my RLS is going to get. I really hope there is someone on here that is from Indiana that can help answer.. It just makes me so mad that the innocent get punished because of the abusers. Plus, the stigma of opioids is bad enough, that I'm sure it is going to be even worse. Before anyone mentions alternative meds, I've tried them all..this is the only thing that works for me. I did try methadone, but I just couldn't deal with the side effects, so they put me on hydro. Plus, with hydro going to get moved to schedule II, I wonder how that is going to impact everyone.

Maybe, I should just give up the battle....I don't know anymore. I feel like I have to fight just to get relief and everyone thinks you're making it up and does not understand. I'm getting tired of fighting.

ViewsAskew
Moderator
Posts: 16202
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:37 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by ViewsAskew »

Some history: http://www.pharmacist.com/hydrocodone-s ... considered and http://www.internalmedicinenews.com/ind ... &tx_ttnews[tt_news]=221105&cHash=31d8c37509005f562de54f5de2de024f

Sounds like, for now, it's still state by state, but may soon change and anyone using this substance will be subject to the rules that apply to schedule II drugs. In Illinois, Schedule II does not require drug testing, but it does require an original script and the scripts are good for only 90 days from when written. My doctor mails them to me every three months so I do not have to see him. This is what the FDA requires - states may not make the rules less stringent, but may make them more stringent if they choose. Some states, for example, do not even allow methadone to be prescribed by a regular physician. Other states do.

That is crazy. I honestly don't understand how they think this will solve the drug problems. Access isn't the issue - doctors prescribing them is. If doctors were more careful, people wouldn't have them.

I am so sorry you are going through this.

Are you close to another state? Not sure what Michigan's, Ohio, or Kentucky's rules are. It's possible that it's worth driving to get your scripts elsewhere, though.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

jbuck
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:11 pm

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by jbuck »

yes, it is crazy. I don't mind following the schedule II laws as I did this when I was taking methadone, however, I had to pick up my script from the doctors office every month. It's just the states over reaction to a problem that they think will solve, but it won't, however, it looks good for them come reelection. I just feel bad for those that have to be treated this way as well as for those that have to drive a long distance to see a doctor that will prescribe them their medication. I fear that this new indiana law will scare doctors from writing scripts. All around, it's just not good for the patients and doctors should not have to play cop for the state.

EeFall
Posts: 1524
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:11 am
Location: Washington State, USA

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by EeFall »

I just was telling my wife about this post and she said "Well we would have to be moving out of that state." Someone should take these types of laws to court. People are suppose to be assumed innocent until proven guilty, you can't just go into someones house looking for something to get them on without proof of a crime, and that is what pill counts are, ridiculous. My personality on these drugs make me ticked off about a lot of things, this truly would make it too difficult for me to continue to living under the thumb of laws like this, having this terrible disease is almost too much to handle and then adding this to it is absurd.

jbuck
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:11 pm

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by jbuck »

I agree. I know the aclu has a lawsuit filed in regards to the drug testing. However, even if they win, I'll still have to do the pill count and schedule 4 apts a year. The doctors don't like it either as they feel they have to play cop. It's very distressing like you said, it's bad enough living with this to then have to jump through hoops to get some medication that helps. I'm just very depressed and feel like giving up.

Polar Bear
Moderator
Posts: 7938
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: N. Ireland

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by Polar Bear »

jbuck - All of us here, are here because we've severe symptoms. We have felt desperate and been driven to find out more, usually in the wee hours of the morning when everyone else is asleep and when things are at their blackest. And unfortunately also, depressed moods are hard to avoid when symptoms are out of control. Bearing in mind also that the very medication that can help our mood is no friend to WED/RLS.

Please come here and shout and give off, vent when you need too. We have all been there and many's the post I have made when standing/dancing/trying to be able to stay still long enough to type. At this moment I'm waving my right leg about trying to type.

It is so unfair that we are drawn into the same category as users who take drugs for pleasure, and at the same time deal with others who think we are making WED/RLS out to be a big deal !!!

Well.... Trust me, it's a big deal for me. And we know it's a big deal for you.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

jbuck
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:11 pm

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by jbuck »

thank you for all your support. it does help, at least to have someone to talk to who understands what we go through. I guess the hardest part for me is that moving forward I have to choose between having to deal with two drug tests from two different doctors, plus insurance not paying for them, plus having to add an additional 8 doctor appointments when I already have 8, so 16 doctor appointments for 1 year...and that's JUST to get my medication! I'm not made of money and I don't think I can afford all the doctor visits and time off work. I already got in trouble last year over my doctor appointments. So it's really stressing me out, making me depressed and of course that just makes my RLS worse (as I'm kicking both my legs as I 'm typing this). Then I just hate it when they say, well we can go back to this medication...which I've already tried that doesn't work.... arrrrgggg!!! I was also told to call my other doctors to see if they could write the scripts without the restrictions...so, yea, let me do that and make it look like I'm doctor shopping /s I really hate this state and if I could I would move in a heartbeat, but I can't due to taking care of my father who has Alzheimer's. I'll figure something out i'm sure, but I just wish the government would just stay the hell out of my business especially with my doctor... and they said obamacare was going to come between you and your doctor! HA!

Polar Bear
Moderator
Posts: 7938
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: N. Ireland

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by Polar Bear »

I will hope for you that the proposed schedules will differ from the actuallity.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

ViewsAskew
Moderator
Posts: 16202
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:37 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by ViewsAskew »

This isn't related to Obamacare - they've been pushing these changes for several years. There is a group of doctors who want these changes and have terrified congress and the FDA that millions are going to die if we don't do something. Well, this is the something and it sucks.

In Illinois, I can go to the doctor's office and see the nurse for some things and, with my past insurance, this only cost $10 instead of the doctor's visit cost. I wonder if that would apply? We did it for picking up other scripts. I bet this doesn't apply....

Is there any exemption doctors can fill out for patients with chronic diseases? I don't think it's the right solution, but I don't care too much about the person who is trying to just milk it and keep getting the scripts for something that he/she doesn't have need for any longer. Seems that this would solve the problem. Have the doctors sign an affidavit that this person has a chronic illness and that they don't have to be seen regularly OR can be seen by a nurse for a vitals check at a much reduced cost. Something!

As EeFall said, I'd move. I love my family, but I just can't live like that. So far, Illinois hasn't adopted anything crazy. I sure hope they do not. Maybe I'd have the courage to sue before I moved....not sure I would, though. We've long been ready to leave the cold winters, we just haven't had the funds. But, hubby has left our fledgling business and is consulting now - he can do that anywhere! He just got a job here in northern Illinois, but it's only for three months. I visit Dr B in March....I may do some house hunting....
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

jbuck
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:11 pm

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by jbuck »

I guess I should have been more clear on the Obamacare comment. What I meant was that the GOP kept using Obamacare to scare everyone that it would get between you and your doctor. Which of course it doesn't. It's now the state and FDA coming between me and my doctor. It's basically comes down to this, do I give in and give up my constitutional rights just so I can get my prescription, or do I fight the system for my constitutional right specifically the 4th amendment? However, because of this new state law, doctors are running away from prescribing anything that is schedule II or doing the same thing in requesting drug tests to get your medication that you've been taking for years. Maybe I should ask my doctor to be drug tested in order to treat me? It's just a big knee jerk to try to solve a problem and their solution isn't going to work. However, they will look good come election time and screw the patients, they don't care about them. I may just have to try to go to another doctor, but, hey, guess what? then I'll be accused of doctor shopping! It's a catch 22...

ViewsAskew
Moderator
Posts: 16202
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:37 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by ViewsAskew »

Got it! Thanks for the clarification - it's hard to hear tongue in cheek in the written word at times :-).

I feel you pain. I think it's going to take some determined people to challenge it. I wonder if I'd have the courage, conviction, and honestly, energy to do something were it me. I'd hope I would, but I couldn't fault anyone for not.

Per the 4th amendment, I don't know enough about it to know if it would work. It's often the tactic taken, from the bit I've read, but hasn't always worked. The ACLU is using that in their suit against Indiana, isn't it? There is, to my untrained eye, a decent analysis in this document.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

jakesmom
Posts: 353
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:01 am

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by jakesmom »

My doctor couldn't write Oxycodone or hydrocodone for more than 3 total months. I was referred to a pain management specialist. He put me on hydromorphone 2mg. It didn't help and he didn't believe I should need anything stronger. I had to see him every month and undergo a drug test at every visit. I quit going to him after my 3rd visit when I waited 4 hours to see a nurse practitioner and she looked at me like I was ignorant when I told her WE'D was the source of my pain. Then she started listing the usuals: mirapex, requip, Neupro, lyrics, horizant etc. I told her no, tried them, didn't work, don't bother writing the script because I won't fill it. I quit taking the hydromorphone, but kept it for emergency nights.

When I go back to my PCP I am going to see if she can increase the amitryptiline and klonopin for my really bad nights. Narcotics, for now, aren't worth the trouble. I have recently been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease in my cervical and lumbar spine, so I will likely look for a new pain mgmt doc when that gets bad.

I agree, punishing the innocent wont stop drug trafficking.

Polar Bear
Moderator
Posts: 7938
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: N. Ireland

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by Polar Bear »

jakesmom - I also take amitryptiline. The dose is 20mg to help with sleep and also because I have fibromyalgia and degenerative damage in the cervical and lumbar areas. I didn't want to try it initially because if can aggravate WED symptoms but fortunately it looks like I am lucky from that aspect.
Just to bear it in mind that it can have a negative effect on our WED symptoms.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

jbuck
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:11 pm

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by jbuck »

ViewsAskew, yes the ACLU does have a case they filed on Jan 8th. I'm hoping that this will solve the whole problem. I have no problem, going to my doctor and picking up my script and/or having to see them four times a year if necessary. While it will cost me more money, at least I'm not humiliated. Unfortunately, the doctors who are now refusing to prescribe makes you have to go look for another doctor, which guess what? labels you a drug seeker! ugh. So today I see a doctor that I use to see along while back, just to see if he will write one of my prescriptions (non opioid) without a drug test as my regular doctor will only write it if you submit to their drug test which is not required by law. So everyone, please wish me luck and keep everything you can crossed for me!!! I so far have one remaining refill on my norco that I will probably have to use up today, however, I won't see my RLS doctor until March I think. I'm hoping some of this will be all settled by then, but since they weren't even aware of it when I called and asked, I'm hoping they maybe are somehow excluded from this. I'm going to ask the doctor I'm seeing today if he knows anything about it. He is really one of the BEST doctors i've ever seen and helped me with a lot. However, he has switched to where he doesn't take any health insurance, so you have to pay upfront ($250.00 for a 1/2 hour), so it may be possible that he might be able to handle the 'problem' meds for me.

In other news, I woke up with a 6mm kidney stone at about 2am. Went to the ER and of course, they would not give me any opioid narcotics without a drug test..I was in disbelief. One nurse told me to just take a couple of Aspirin!!!! Seriously!! I told her to go rot in hell. By that point, I was reciting scenes from the Exorcist. They kept trying to tell me that a muscle relaxer would be better than any pain meds. Again, pick up jaw from floor. I've had kidney stones for over 15 years and they are the most excruciating pain you can have. I ended up just leaving and going back home....oh, along with a $2,000.00 bill. FOR NOTHING!

ViewsAskew
Moderator
Posts: 16202
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:37 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: hydrocodone and new prescription laws

Post by ViewsAskew »

OMG - that is a horrible story! That's incredible. Kidney stones hurt like the blazes!!!!!!!!!

I hate scheduling my flight every year to see Dr B in California - hundreds of dollar to fly, more to rent a car, then cash to him ($300 the first visit, I think, then $100 for ongoing visits). But, his staff mails me my scripts, 3 at a time as Illinois law allows, and I don't worry about anything else. But, if I were in Indiana, I don't think the pharmacy would fill the scripts without a drug test, would they????? Madness, just madness.

Well, fingers are crossed for you that all goes well. And, crossed that the kidney stones stop soon!
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Post Reply