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Maggie asks…

I’ve messed up my meds by going cold turkey due to difficulties with insurance and lack of funds. Now I have to wait for the mail order prescription and I have not had any lithium for a month. This week I started noticing some of my early signs of my hypomania returning. Tonight, I’m not sleeping.

I don’t have a psychiatrist right now since my insurance wouldn’t cover his $300 office visits. I’ve just started with a new primary MD.

What are my options until I get the meds and get them to a therapeutic level? I really want to sleep! I start struggling with anxiety, agitation, and irritability that can escalate to rage. I’m more than a little nervous at this stage. Can you advise?

Dr. Fink answers…

Your best option at this point may be to contact your primary care physician and explain your situation. Your doctor may be able to provide you with samples or a short-term prescription you can have filled at your local pharmacy to carry you through until your mail-order prescription arrives along with something for the short term to help you sleep.

Mail-order prescriptions often result in delays. The best approach is to plan ahead, if possible, to avoid having to go without your medications. Before requesting a mail-order prescription from your doctor, find out from the mail-order prescription provider how long it typically takes from the time you or your doctor submits the prescription to the time you receive your medication. Plan accordingly. Your doctor may be able to provide you with samples or a short-term prescription to hold you over until your mail-order prescription arrives.

If that advice is too late to do you any good, consult your doctor, local pharmacist, or health insurance provider to explore possible short-term solutions.

Mail-order prescriptions are a great way to save a substantial amount of money on medications, but Maggie’s question really reveals the potential downside.

Mailboxes photo available from Shutterstock.

 


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    Last reviewed: 21 Jan 2012

APA Reference
Fink, C. (2012). How to Deal with Mail Order Prescription Delays. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 30, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar/2012/01/mail-order-prescription-delays/

 

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Candida Fink, M.D. and Joe Kraynak are authors of
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