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To want more than one inhaler prescribed at a time

(66 Posts)
satsooma Sat 19-Mar-16 09:42:57

I have asthma. I've used the same inhalers for decades. Every three months I order my repeat prescription. That is 3 preventer inhalers and 1 or 2 relievers, if they have run out. It seems a waste of everyone's time (mine, the receptionist's, the doctor's, the pharmacist's) to be ordering these every few weeks.

I use the preventer twice a day. I use the reliever maybe a couple of times a month, so I don't carry it around in my pocket (how many outfits even have pockets anyway). I can have serious asthma attacks though, so I keep inhalers at home, in my office, in my gym bag.

My doctor won't prescribe more than one inhaler at a time. It seems to be a cost saving measure, to reduce waste for medicines that aren't used. But I use these medicines every day and will use them for the rest of my life, so they are not saving money, just creating more paperwork. I attach a note with every prescription request asking for more (they wont take orders over the phone). Every time I get just one inhaler from the pharmacy.

I get through exactly 1 preventer inhaler a month. It is dangerous for me to have just 1 preventer in the house, in case I run out before I remember to reorder. It is even more dangerous to have just 1 reliever inhaler. It means I might not have an inhaler on me when I need it.

DonkeyOaty Sat 19-Mar-16 09:47:03

You can buy salbutamol inhalers otc. I would so you have spares.

DonkeyOaty Sat 19-Mar-16 09:48:50

If you get asthma attacks when was your last review? Monteleukast tabs might be worth exploring?

DelphiniumBlue Sat 19-Mar-16 09:50:05

Donkey, since when? Are you in UK? I thought it was a prescription only medication.

CamboricumMinor Sat 19-Mar-16 09:51:20

We get two each time we order them.

satsooma Sat 19-Mar-16 09:51:59

Yes I could buy them myself, but I shouldn't have to. I pay £100 a year for an NHS prescription pre-payment plan to cover all my prescriptions (I have other health problems, so get through quite a lot of prescription items in a year).

MakeItRain Sat 19-Mar-16 09:52:10

I agree, it would worry me if we only had one inhaler in the house. My dd uses it infrequently, but when she does she tends to need it very often within the space of a few days. I always make sure we have 2 in the house in case one runs out. I always feel a bit awkward asking for extra inhalers (school need one too) but have never been refused.

ScarletBegonia1234 Sat 19-Mar-16 09:54:52

My husband had this problem. He told the doctor he was going traveling for 2 months so needed more to take work him (true ). When he got back there seemed less issue as they were happy to just keep repeat prescribing! It is ridiculous I would argue my case or try a different gp maybe? You can also buy them online from abroad. ...I bought loads back in my hand luggage from India!

satsooma Sat 19-Mar-16 09:55:23

I've had a review recently, and my asthma is under control. But I need a lot of preventer to keep it that way. Any every now and then I'll get a cold, or react badly to a gym session.

DancingDinosaur Sat 19-Mar-16 09:58:53

That's ridiculous. What you lose one or one gets damaged. I had one leak once. It would have been a costly a@e trip had I not had a spare. Have you asked why?

DonkeyOaty Sat 19-Mar-16 09:59:03

Yes since 2012 or 13. Asda were the first iirc.

satsooma Sat 19-Mar-16 10:03:56

I was given the impression it was a cost saving measure. That this is something that is being pushed on the GP surgery by someone higher up. I guess someone imagines that inhalers are not being finished before a new one is ordered, going out of date, being lost. Or maybe that asthma magically clears up/you switch to a new inhaler and then you have a stash of pre-ordered inhalers that go to waste? I've been using ventolin/salbutamol since I was three!

ChickensRideWest Sat 19-Mar-16 10:09:56

Inhalers are expensive (£40 plus each) and some don't have long expiry dates. Or it may be that because you need preventers so often they want to monitor your usage to make sure you aren't deteriorating.

Flisspaps Sat 19-Mar-16 10:10:56

It is ridiculous. We've ended up getting one preventer and two relievers given on each script, yet DS also uses the preventer daily.

He also gets Montelukast sachets - 28 days at a time. We cannot get more than 28 in one go, and the chemists here are frequently out of stock when we take the script in. We've visited 4 chemists in one night before to get his medication before it runs out. We've ended up putting his repeat request in WAY before we need to so that we don't run low but it's a lot of messing about each month - 48 hour turnaround on the repeat request then a tour of chemists to pick up the meds every 28 days.

satsooma Sat 19-Mar-16 10:16:51

It just seems like it will cost the NHS more in the end. I'm going to use however much medicine I need. I won't order less over all, just put in orders more frequently.

GPs are pretty busy. Surely it is a waste of time and money for them to process more prescriptions than is necessary?

Gizlotsmum Sat 19-Mar-16 10:26:14

I wonder if it is a health issue rather than cost? To check the preventer isn't being over used? I have spare relievers for my son, one for home, one for childminders and one that goes out with us. Realistically you could probably have one for the gym bag and one for home that you stick in whichever bag you are carrying with you. Maybe at your next check up ask and explain why you want an additional one

maresedotes Sat 19-Mar-16 10:26:17

I asked my gp to let me have 2 at a time because they can sometimes jam.

satsooma Sat 19-Mar-16 10:31:07

I have asked in person. They say they are only allowed to prescribe one at a time for cost reasons. Nothing to do with my health.

BettyBusStop Sat 19-Mar-16 10:34:00

I totally agree. I use a daily preventer. I used to be allowed to order up to three, now it's one. If I'm ill I've been told to increase the preventer dose (as well as use ventolin). The fucking stupid online system won't allow me to order another until a couple of days before the preventer runs out, which means I have to hope I can get the prescription in time - often I can't. I can ring and reorder early, but you're not supposed to and sometimes they won't. I've have complained, but it's 'the system'. Having an extra preventer in the house would give me a little breathing space (literally) to get my medication.

On the other hand, they don't seem fussed about how much ventolin I order. I always have at least two as I know how quickly they can go from seemingly full to empty.

writingonthewall Sat 19-Mar-16 10:38:45

Perfectly reasonable to have two months worth of preventer at a time. But if you're well controlled you should only need 2 salbutamol a year, 1 a month would raise a alarm bells.

coffeeinaredmug Sat 19-Mar-16 10:49:34

I get two inhalers on my repeat prescription. When i open the second one i order more. It makes sense really and means you don't have to clog up GP appointments if you run out accidentally.

goldensquirrel Sat 19-Mar-16 10:49:55

Yes, my DD has asthma but hadn't had an attack for 18 months until we visited my MUM in half term who lives 4 hours away from me and she started to be wheezy, no attack but we only had the one inhaler as they won't prescribe anymore, it ran out and I needed to get another one. I had to go to a walking centre that said she wouldn't be seen for at least 10 hrs, my MUM'S GP said they would see her but it would be another 4 hrs wait. I couldn't believe they didn't see it as an emergency appointment, she was wheezy and 4 years old! I said I'd have to go the hospital and they said I'd be wasting their time. I wasn't happy about this as she's had to have stays at hospital with oxygen in the past, so I took matters in to my own hands and went to the pharmacy to see if I could buy one. To my surprise they would let me buy one for my DD without seeing a GP. They are £5 in Lloyds. The pharmacist was really shocked that the medical centre had given me an appointment 4 hrs later for a wheezing four year old!

Needless to say, this wouldn't have happened if I'd originally been prescribed two inhalers, plus if I had to have taken her to A&E- what a waste of resources all around, much more waste than prescribing two inhalers!

Mistigri Sat 19-Mar-16 10:51:27

We live abroad and it's the same here - it's not just an NHS thing.

It drives me nuts because it's not just me - both my kids also go through phases when they need to use ventolin, so they have to carry an inhaler in their school and sport bags (both tend to get post-viral wheezing and DS the odd bout of exercise and allergen induced asthma when bike training). Inhalers also get lost/ go missing, however careful you are.

Fortunately GP will happily write three repeat prescriptions at once (one for each of us) and I make sure I renew them regularly even when no one needs them, so we have a stock. In summer, when I'm travelling for work and both kids are away at summer camp, we need six inhalers so that we can all travel with a spare.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 19-Mar-16 10:55:27

It is to do with wasted medicines one recent example of medicine stockpiling by one individual lead to £40,000 of desmopressin being thrown away.

satsooma Sat 19-Mar-16 10:56:00

writingonthewall, I don't think I was clear. I usually just order preventers. Sometimes two reliever inhalers will run out within the same three month period, then I would order two replacements. I get through around two a year though.

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