Author Topic: A thought/rant/ramble on prescription medication preps...  (Read 1383 times)

Offline Serellan

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A thought/rant/ramble on prescription medication preps...
« on: July 25, 2009, 02:22:09 AM »
Just a thought on getting medication preps to get you through a disaster, and some thoughts on the attitude that I have heard (even from Jack) that if you are on life-maintaining drugs you are just screwed and will die in a TEOTWAWKI situation.

Both my wife and I take a lot of medications.  Most of mine are "maintenance" meds to keep me healthy long term (blood pressure, controlled type 2 diabetes, cholesterol), and same with my wife.  However, we both have one med that we NEED.  I have hypothyroidism, my thyroid just don't work right (which chances are led to my other problems, research is showing they are related).  If I lived pre-1950's, I'd be dead by now.  I have to take Levothyroxine (Synthroid), or I become lethargic, tired, in a few months my muscles break down, then my kidneys quit, then I eventually die.

Anyways, I have slowly been accumulating a prep supply of meds through early prescription refills.  Every insurance company I have had will allow you to refill a prescription 3 days before you are out.  I do this every month.  In a year, you will have a month's supply of meds, with no cost to you except to keep an eye on when to refill.  One method I found works good for this is when I get my new bottle, I take the three pills out and put them in another storage bottle.  This way, when you hit the empty bottle, you refill, no counting pills or keeping track of dates.  Research what your insurance companies tolerance is by trying a refill at 7 days, then six, then 5, etc, until they approve it.  When they do, you know how far out they will approve it.  This is one way to approach prepping with meds.

Next, looking at boosting up critical meds, look at if you can buy them yourself.  Most restrictions on getting a lot of meds are because of the insurance, not the law or your doc.  My doc knows I can't sell synthroid on the black market, it serves no other purpose :).  Can't get you high. :)  But the thing is, it is cheap as hell, it's like $15 for a month supply.  Now, some docs may still balk at handing over an extra 90 day script for it.  The solution:  tell your doc that your insurance company is making you go to a 90 day mail order.  He gives you the 90 day script.  Take it to another pharmacy, fill it AND BUY IT YOURSELF, and store it.  Continue to fill your 30 day script from your regular pharmacy.  If your doc brings it up, tell him that you called your insurance company and complained about the 90 day mail order, that it was too much of a hassle, and they relented, so you don't need it anymore.  BAM, 90 day supply.  To find out how much your meds actually cost, just ask the pharmacist next time you get a refill...you might be surprised, many maintenance meds that are not brand new are reasonably priced.

I've done this both for my synthroid and my wife's albuteral inhalers for asthma.

Next, rotate your meds just like food preps.  When you get new meds, put them in reserve and take your oldest.  I rotate mine every few months, not every month. However, RESEARCH your meds (google works good)!  You can find out if they are susceptible to heat/light/oxygen.  If so, take steps.  Vacuum pack them and put them in solid containers, the orange bottles don't do anything for light/o2.  Store them in a cool dry place.

So yes, if TEOTWAWKI, long term I might be screwed, getting a lifetime supply of synthroid will be a challenge.  All my other meds will just keep me alive until 75 isntead of 65, so I don't really worry about them.  But, theoretically, if I continue to stockpile, I could get years of supply, and post SHTF could experiment with rationing, etc, and making it a priority to go to the local pharmacies and bargain for as much synthroid as I can get in the early stages of things (again, the benifit of a drug that serves no other purpose like getting folks wasted, probably harder if you are on some kind of barbiturate or something).

Anyways, medicinal preps are important, but the key is to take control of your situation, and like Jack says, plan for the most likely.  A few weeks in a post-Katrina situation without any of my medication would have me miserable, lethargic, and in pain.  Much better to prep for that than to say "oh well, if TEOTWAWKI comes I'm screwed!"  Having a 90 day supply on hand of critical meds gets you in a much better situation to obtain further life-perpetuating meds if you really have to than not having any at all.

The other thing is, SCREW WHAT THEY TELL YOU, SAVE ALL UNUSED PRESCRIPTION MEDS.  I have two bottles of quinine that was prescribed for cramps a while ago.  Guess what quinine is also good for?  Malaria.  Guess how long it lasts?  Decades.  Keep them safely stored away from kids, but I would rather have a stockpile of old maybe useless meds then to think back in a really bad situation and realized that I threw away some antibiotics that I didn't finish because the expiration date was past (BTW, EVERY prescription bottle says to dispose of the pills after one year, regardless of the shelf life of the drug).

Just IMHO, of course.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 02:25:45 AM by Serellan »

Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: A thought/rant/ramble on prescription medication preps...
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2009, 05:51:12 AM »
We have also discovered that many times drs prescribe meds that aren't really needed. We, at one time, were on anti depressants. Now is the time to get off that crap IF you possibly can. My dr was ok with that and helped me taper off until it was no longer needed at all.  Anti depressants are not something you should just "get rid of" as you have to wean yourself off of it and the side effects, though temporary, can be nasty or at least uncomfortable.  I have realized that over time, our nation has become the "prozac nation" and if something went wrong and that wasn't available, a lot of people would be in trouble.  This is MY personal opinion, but it's worth investigating.  When living a more natural life style, especially if you are surrounded by a family support system, you may be able to go without certain meds.

I thank you for the point about vacuum sealing your stockpile of meds, I hadn't thought of that!

Offline LGM30

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Re: A thought/rant/ramble on prescription medication preps...
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2009, 07:00:16 PM »
It is possible to get an early waiver on a refill from most insurance companies if you inform them you will be away from you home on work/vacation/etc.. Do this every now and then.
It is also possible to get an early refill in the event you loose a prescription. "Damn Baggage handlers."
Finally, I believe that tetracycline becomes toxic if kept too long.  It might have been something else.  I've never researched it because I don't have any sitting around.  Be careful about storing some drugs.

Winchester32

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Re: A thought/rant/ramble on prescription medication preps...
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2009, 07:07:55 PM »
I am lucky are insurance allows a 7 day early refill, which I take full advantage of.  2 of my kids need regular meds, but one of those is a stimulant.  There isn't a lot of flex on that, but I have managed.  I keep her meds tightly adjusted and if she doesn't need them, because she is not feeling well and can't take them, I set that amount back. 

I have just been going through my excess meds and was thinking I needed to vacuum seal them.  I marked them in the order they should be used, as there are several I have lots of. 

One other thing I have done is research what holistic alternatives there are for any of the meds my family needs.  There are several natural thyroid alternatives that you could probably use in the event you couldn't get your synthroid.  I had to be on thyroid several years ago.  I actually ended up going natural and found it worked better for me.  It may not be a completely effective replacement for you, but it would probably be better than nothing. 

Cheers!