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Can someone explain repeat prescriptions to me because I just do not get it.....

(35 Posts)
foxinsocks Wed 10-Feb-10 08:20:22

and it might just be where I live because they are very cost conscious...

so I have reflux (as have both children)...I go through periods when it's very bad and periods when I'm not bothered by it at all

the whole of the last 12 months, it's been very bad. Doctor, rather than blanket prescribing me omeprazole, wanted an endoscopy done this time which they duly did and found inflammation in the oesophagus, gastritis etc.etc. (basically just inflammation everywhere). Gastro bloke prescribed me 6 weeks of 40mg omeprazole. I took it but I said to him, I know what this is like, I've had outbreaks of this before, I suspect it will come back at the end of 6 weeks, can I just have 6 months of 20mg as this will sort it out.

He gave me 6 weeks and told me to go back to the GP as they don't like giving such long prescriptions (from the hospital). I go back to the GP who will only give me a month.

Now, every time I don't take the omeprazole for a period of a couple of days, the acid is so bad it's burning my larynx and making it spasm (meaning I'm struggling to breathe) and I'm getting laryngitis. Today I have NO voice as it's my sixth bout of laryngitis in the last year, this all because they won't let me take a running dose of omeprazole.

Now what is winding me up is that 2 people in the office have similar reflux (just coincidentally mentioned this to them) and both have been on omeprazole for over 5 years (with a running repeat prescription) so why are they making my life so f'ing difficult?

I work full time and can't book appointments in advance so if I have to keep going back to the docs to get a prescription, I have to take a day off work and hope I get an appointment. I have explained this to them and no-one seems bothered.

Who can I complain about this to? I don't mind going back after 6 months but 1 month is too short. It means I often can't get an appointment until I've had a few days without the omeprazole = laryngitis.

I feel shite today but am sat at work because I can't take another day off and want some time off in half term with the kids

Bonsoir Wed 10-Feb-10 08:28:24

Maybe you should try changing GP/surgery for one that is more sympathetic and/or has more convenient appointments? Can you ask around among your local friends and neighbours for a recommendation?

Seona1973 Wed 10-Feb-10 08:32:36

do you have it on repeat or not? Dh has a monthly repeat of his anti-histamines but doesnt have to see the doctor each month as you can just phone and order the repeat prescription. In fact the chemist now has a service where they order the repeat for you and I just have to go in and collect it direct from the chemist without contacting the doctor at all.

foxinsocks Wed 10-Feb-10 08:32:55

ah the joys of London Bonsoir. 2 doctors' surgeries in my immediate area, both with similar reputations.

I'm just wondering if they aren't allowed to give such long repeats or something. Just seems barmy to me.

I think part of it is my fault as I really cannot be bothered to go back that often to get another prescription because it takes too much of my time up (and I feel I'm wasting their time too) but because of that (and this ridiculous system), I'm getting worse grrrr.

Am on the verge of going to a private doctor but it was cost £££ and then I'll have to pay for the omeprazole but tbh, perhaps that's the best way.

foxinsocks Wed 10-Feb-10 08:33:26

no, they prescribe a month but won't put it on repeat iyswim

foxinsocks Wed 10-Feb-10 08:33:52

will cost not was cost

Bonsoir Wed 10-Feb-10 08:38:31

Does your surgery not allow you to ring up for repeat prescriptions, rather than having a full appointment?

psychomum5 Wed 10-Feb-10 08:41:44

ask for it to be put on the system as repeat.

my meds are, as are my DD3s, and what happens is....

I get a prescription. it comes in two halves. on the one half is the script I give to the chemist, he fills, I have my drugs.

the other half has a list of the meds I need on repeat (7 now[consfused]), with a little box by each to tick, along with my name and GP number.

as I pop into the surgery to pick up my script, so I then rip the half of with the repeats, tick what I will need, and drop it into the internal mail box......to be collected in 4 days, and then I do the same thing......all I need to do is literally go to the desk and collect the script, or now, my chemist has a system set up where I can order the repeats thru him and he collects the scripts, for me to collect the drugs from him!!

on the bottom of each script it tells me whne my next review is, so that the GP can check me over, ensure I don;t need to be referred etc, and set up the next lot of repeats. Each reveiw is about 6-9mthly, and I get 1mth warning and the receptionist will book it in

see if your GP can offer the same....it works well, and yes, I do still only get a monthly amount each time, but I don;t need an appointment each month.

foxinsocks Wed 10-Feb-10 08:43:19

No, I think there's a reason why they won't give me one but I don't know what it is. I didn't spend my formative years in this country so I'm not sure if I'm missing something.

I've asked them and they have said they will only prescribe a month at a time and then I have to go back and get some more. I actually think they are bargaining on me not going back!

They did say, initially, that because I don't have an underlying disease that causes this (or they haven't found one yet wink), there is no reason to be on omeprazole for a long period. But I have had reflux for years and years (probably since birth like the kids) so know, from experience, that I do need a long prescription before it rights itself iyswim.

foxinsocks Wed 10-Feb-10 08:46:27

Thanks psycho, that sounds ideal. I think I'm going to write the doctor a letter and explain my problem with the way it's working. I feel it's a waste of their time as well as mine that they won't give me a repeat prescription and ultimately, it's damaging my health!

ArcticFox Wed 10-Feb-10 08:50:21

For some drugs where the side effects mean that long term use is not recommended they wont put it on repeat.

I dont think it's a cost thing as most people dont bother filling in a repeat for drugs they wont use as they'd still have to pay the prescription charge.

Why dont you ask your GP what his reasons are next time you see him?

it could be that it's on review?

DS is on hyper expensive formula, and it gets reviewed every 6 months. As he's still under the care of a dietician, it isn't a problem.

May be their way of monitoring the drugs prescribed?

moocowme Wed 10-Feb-10 11:50:57

you can buy a small amount of omeprazole over the counter.

i do think you have a long term problem. i think you should change doctors.

i have had omeprazole on repeat since since 1996 no probs.

psychomum5 Wed 10-Feb-10 12:44:25

hope they listen and it works out for you

MimsyStarr Wed 10-Feb-10 13:13:06

I think it might just be that they doubled your dose and want to see how you go with that higher dose. Are you still on 40? Do you have asthma as well?

Did they say anything about a repeat endoscopy.

My husband has this, it's not nice, you poor thing.

cordonbleugh Wed 10-Feb-10 13:21:27

have you got a boots pharmacy near you? If so, sign up to their free repeat prescription service.....they do al the running around for you, which means you won't have to keep making appointments to get scripts.

alypaly Wed 10-Feb-10 16:15:10

go to gp and ask him to review medicines that you have been on recently. Get him to put the ones you need regularly on a repeat prescription which will come attached to the one you are getting that day.(bear in mind ,it is not a copy of the script you have got on that day unless it is you only item.

Itwill have a date in brackets that you use to see when the last issue of those meds were. Some surgeries will not reissue your repeat until you only have 5 days left of current meds. It is done to keep prescribing costs down so that medicines dont get wasted.

You can then either leave it with your pharmacist and then phone up to request that they order a repeat (give a weeks notice). Or the other thing is, if you have been on it for a while your gp can prescribe 6 x i monthly precriptions which have a Repeat Authority(RA) and 6 repeat dspensings (RD) and you local pharmacy can keep these for you and you just go in when you need them. If you medication changes then the RA and RD is not for you and cannot be used.

activate Wed 10-Feb-10 16:18:51

argue with them

tell them you can't afford the time and money to continually go back

ask for a 2 month prescription

if they refuse, demand the reasons

take it to practice manager etc

trixymalixy Wed 10-Feb-10 17:22:44

DH has omeprazole on repeat and he doesn't have anywhere near as bad symptoms as you have.

Do you really need a full appointment to get another prescription?

DS, DD and DH have those tick sheets that others have described and you just pop them in a box at the surgery and the prescription is waiting for you. I keep meaning to look into the prescription service that my chemist offers for when I went back to work, they request the prescription, collect it and your medicine is waiting for you at the chemist.

They normally don't prescribe too much as so much medication is never actually taken wasting the NHS millions of pounds every year.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Wed 10-Feb-10 19:44:31

Most PCTs will only allow GPs to prescribe a month at a time. Budgeting basically. My dd is on lifelong meds - we have the tick sheet thing as others describe but only get a month's supply.

WeNeedToLeaveInFiveMinutes Wed 10-Feb-10 20:48:47

Does your surgery do telephone appointments? I have some things on repeat so I don't need to see the GP. Sometimes I need more of something I've had before but isn't on my repeat list so I speak to my GP on the phone rather than going in. They then send the prescription to the local chemist and I just pick it up half a day later.

Omeprazole is on my repeats too, and I have nothing like the severity of your symptoms. I just need it when I need to take NSAIDs. It's cheaper and more effective for the surgery to allow me to order it when I need it rather than use up an appointment.

emma1977 Wed 10-Feb-10 22:27:49

Now that you've had an endoscopy to exclude a serious underlying problem, putting omeprazole on repeat really shouldn't be a problem.

Omeprazole doesn't cost the practice much to prescribe, so that shouldn't be an issue. Giving 1 or 2 month's supply on repeat is pretty standard practice, and batching up 6 months' or 12 months' prescriptions to give to the chemist is also easy.

Seems a big waste of your and GP's time to see you every month. Try and book a telephone consultation to discuss it if you can't get there in person.

You can also buy a pre-payment card for prescriptions which can sometimes save you money if you need several items/year.

jalopy Thu 11-Feb-10 06:51:50

Foxy, sorry to hear you are suffering. I fully understand your problem, as you know.

I think writing a letter is definitely worth doing. They will hopefully review your records and will see that your gastritis is a long term problem.

Interestingly, I've had a rough time. My gastritis spiralled out of control and I was at an all time low. I had the misfortune of having, for the first time, black stools. Had to be admitted straight from GP to hosp. Gastric bloke did endoscopy. Two areas of mod. gastritis and small bleed found. No ulcer though. Tested me for h.pylori but neg. Now on omeprazole 40mg for 3 months.

I'm wondering, too, if I will have problems getting repeat prescriptions. I'm not happy about being on it longterm but I can't control my stomach problems in any other way.

Let me know how you get on.

foxinsocks Thu 11-Feb-10 08:06:56

Hi saggar, yes I think ours is the same as yours (re costs).

Well my larynx is so bad today you can hear the air whistling down my throat so I am going to book an appointment and wheeze loudly in the waiting room. I sound like Darth Vader!

Oh poor you Jalopy. I was wondering how you got on after we spoke. Sorry to hear you've had such a bad time of it . It's not nice this tummy stuff. I hope you are on the mend soon.

Yes, I agree with all of you re the wasting costs and time because that's how I feel. I cannot see, especially how bad I am now, that they can refuse a repeat prescription. I'm quite happy to go back after 6 months but I cannot put up with this constant laryngitis. I just need to give my poor larynx a long break from the reflux so it gets a chance to heal otherwise I'm constantly suffering and it's such a pain.

Thanks for all your advice. I didn't think I was being particularly unreasonable but I wasn't sure how repeat prescriptions worked for everyone else so at least I can see that it really shouldn't be this much of a hassle.

psychomum5 Thu 11-Feb-10 19:00:55

good luck.

at how bad you are, and how bad you feeling. I feel for you......three of mine have suffered severe reflux as babies, and the pain they were in was horrendous. I too also have heartburn issues, and some reflux. I was apparently bad as a baby, but grew out of it, as have my children, but it does raise its head and mine is playing up again now with all the meds I am on.

luckily, mine is at the moment being helped with peptac liquid, but I do have a script for omprazole in the medicine cupboard and have been told that I can have it again if these meds make me worse.

let us know how things go with your GP tomorrow.

foxinsocks Fri 12-Feb-10 08:48:08

thanks psycho

I called yesterday and they told me I couldn't make an advance appointment because there weren't any left grr

so I called this morning, ranting and raving at dh convinced that I wouldn't get an appointment arrghh but I've just managed to get through and there was one left so I'm popping in this morning!

will let you know how it goes

foxinsocks Fri 12-Feb-10 10:53:16

ok well I have 3 months (1 month with 2 repeats)

they aren't allowed to prescribe more than a month at a time and 3 months is all they could give me (better than nothing)

he said 'this isn't caused by reflux' and I said 'well it is for me'! So he said 'it's viral laryngitis' - so I said but I don't have a cold or anything. So he begrudgingly agreed to give me the prescription and sent me on my way! ARRGHH

anyway, at least I have it now. Thanks for your encouragement. Had it not been for that, I probably wouldn't have bothered and would be sat here seething still!

psychomum5 Fri 12-Feb-10 11:24:38

hey, fabulous

ok, he still is not believing you on the reflux DX (<argh>angry for you), but you got the result you wanted, and it does mean that you will have time to make another appointment for the next lot (or are you allowed to just order a repeat rather than see him again??)

foxinsocks Fri 12-Feb-10 15:32:47

I know, silly isn't it. I even have a report from the gastroenterologist there (though I didn't think the report was that great - even gastros don't really think that much of reflux/gastritis it seems!).

I can get a repeat from the surgery for 3 months - so I have to tick the box but don't have to make an appointment. After that, I have to go back again. It might clear up in 3 months though I suspect it will take 6 (have had this before) but we will see.

At least I have the prescription which is what I wanted!

He told me I have a virus (but I have no runny nose, no temperature, no aches/pains, nothing. Just a hoarse throat with stridor!). Never mind .

jalopy Fri 12-Feb-10 16:59:38

Oh well, Foxy. At least you got 3 months worth. I'm surprised he doesn't think it's GERD laryngitis.
Anyway, hope you improve rapidly.

psychomum5 Fri 12-Feb-10 17:12:12

what IS it with some docs and their 'everything is a virus' obsessionhmm.

still, it went in your favour even if he cannot admit defeat, so not knocking it too muchwink

foxinsocks Fri 12-Feb-10 17:19:02

lol true psycho

I even have GERD laryngitis in my notes somewhere (from years ago!)

foxinsocks Fri 12-Feb-10 17:19:45

hope you are starting to feel better now jalopy (and you pyscho! I know you've been through hell recently!)

I am on a prescription that I will have to take every day for the rest of my life. The dosage may change, but only when I get a blood test, which under normal circumstances (i.e. not pg) I am likely to only get done once a year, yet they still only give me 2 months worth, and I am really bad at remembering to reorder it.

My GP now only do repeat prescriptions online (and I never remember my details) or by writing in. Instead, my local chemist has this scheme where I just ring them up and tell them I need a new script and they contact the dr's, fill it for me, and if I didn't live in a flat with a communal letter box, they would deliver it to me do.

Do you need to physically see your dr to get a new script?

psychomum5 Fri 12-Feb-10 18:20:52

thanks foxi......am getting there, all-be-it very slowly<<frustrated>>.

speaking is better than it was, altho the shaking and shuddering arm and leg are no fun still. That said, the recuperating is fun.....gotta have s silver lining somewherewinkgrin

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