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To think it shouldn't be this hard to obtain antibiotics..

(53 Posts)
PixieBob28 Sun 10-Mar-19 21:15:57

I'm at wits end. I NEED a certain antibiotic called cefelexin. My son is only 7 months old so he needs it in oral form. He's been on it for a month now and after speaking to the consultant he needs to continue to take it for another 4 months.

I can get a repeat prescription from he GP fine.. but can I find it any local pharmacies? Hell no. I have only got the last month's lot from calling round 15 local pharmacies and I've taken all their stock now.

Apparently Brexit has stopped the manufacturers distributing it to us in the UK. This is what a pharmacist told me the other day, so what is in the stores at the moment is all they have. Apparently we are having a pharmaceutical crisis!

He can't have triamethraprin because the bacteria he keeps producing in his urine has built some sort of immunity to it. He can't have amoxicillin because he is allergic to it. Cefelexin is our only hope.

He is on it because he keeps getting UTI's and nearly died in January after getting sepsis. I'm so scared I won't be able to get any. No one is helping me either, I constantly get told to keep trying and call round.

Tomorrow I'm going to write a list of every pharmacy in 20 miles from where I live and call round and cross them off as I go. Surely it shouldn't be this hard.

My son has to take this antibiotic every single night and once the powder has been mixed the antibiotic liquid only lasts 10 days. I still have PTSD from nearly losing him so this is just an added stress.

Does anyone know how else I can obtain prescribed antibiotic? I'm only asking as I'm desperate. AIBU to think it shouldn't be this hard and worried for our future in the pharmaceutical industry.

Sorry if this isn't the place to post, I'm just a stressed out mummy to a poorly baby sad

nightshiftsaremynemisis Sun 10-Mar-19 21:21:55

Have you spoken to the consultant who originally prescribed the 5 month course and explained the issue? They may be able to dispense it from the hospital for you?

TheInvestigator Sun 10-Mar-19 21:23:28

That's awful. We were told before the brexit vote that this would happen so it was expected, but pharmacies can't stock up on everything. But that doesn't help you.

Have you spoken with the GP to discuss the plan for when this becomes unavailable? There are other antibiotics, so they should be putting a plan in place!

Wolfiefan Sun 10-Mar-19 21:25:29

Go back to the consultant. They can advise you the best. Do you have a number for their secretary?

moreismore Sun 10-Mar-19 21:26:25

Have you tried any online pharmacies (no idea if this is possible for prescriptions?)

Reluctantme Sun 10-Mar-19 21:26:45

How awful for you. You sound very organised and methodical though, well done. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

AyoadesChinDimple Sun 10-Mar-19 21:26:54

I'd suggest hospital pharmacy too

SpotlessMind Sun 10-Mar-19 21:27:02

I would see if you can speak to the consultant again to see if there are alternative options or, if there aren’t, they can speak to a senior pharmacist to see what can be arranged. Hope you get sorted soon

itssoooofluffy Sun 10-Mar-19 21:30:37

Speak to your consultant (or GP) and explain none of the pharmacies have it, they should either liaise with the hospital or local pharmacy (and maybe the microbiology team) to find a suitable alternative if there is no available supply. And don’t worry, they are there to help, don’t put this burden all on yourself!

TwistinMyMelon Sun 10-Mar-19 21:33:26

I am a GP and there have been shortages recently of epipens would you believe, also diamorphine which is an essential palliative care medication, and obtaining the flu jabs recommended by public health England was farcical.

I don't know how much brexit has had to do with it, but I have never known things be quite this bad and I suspect things will only get worse. But hey ho we've got blue passports right?

PixieBob28 Sun 10-Mar-19 21:33:30

Thanks everyone, I did actually on Friday call the consultants secretary but apparently she is away until mid next week so fingers crossed they do get back to me.

I so try to be organised, I have to be. Im just frustrated that I'm spending all my time and maternity leave trying worrying instead of enjoying it with my son.

I have enough to last until next Sunday so fingers crossed I manage to get some even if it's from the hospital like others have mentioned. I did go there the other week to see if they could sneakily accept the prescription I got from the GP but he lady said they couldn't accept community prescriptions.

I knew we would have problems when we left the EU but not this soon..

MrsJayy Sun 10-Mar-19 21:35:12

Go back to his Dr they can prescribe something else or give it to you from hospital pharmancy don't be traipsing about it really shouldn't be this difficult for you.

Wolfiefan Sun 10-Mar-19 21:36:55

If she is away can someone contact the consultant for you as a matter of urgency? GP or through hospital?

trexismyfriend Sun 10-Mar-19 21:38:28

Do you have the manufacturers details inside the medication?

If you call them and explain, they should be able to give you a list of places they distribute too, and I would assume if you gave them your postcode, they would be able to narrow it down?

JuniperBeer Sun 10-Mar-19 21:39:26

Can you mix it up with water yourself? Is that an option? That way you could get more stock ASAP and keep?

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sun 10-Mar-19 21:41:00

Unfortunately this is only the start of it, I fear. But this is what Brexiteers voted for, so I'm hoping they have a solution...

I think the only thing you can do is go back to the consultant and ask for an alternative.

It's all very well saying that it shouldn't be this difficult for the OP - this is how difficult it is going to be as Brexit begins to bite so eventually we will all have to get used to it.

Petalflowers Sun 10-Mar-19 21:43:36

Try some independent pharmacies, rather than the larger chains. They sometimes have different sources of drugs. One local to us is good at getting stock when the local bootsor Lloyd’s can’t.

HennyPennyHorror Sun 10-Mar-19 21:47:22

Make sure you call the consultant back...did you explain to the secretary what it was about? Leave a message?

Kummerspeck Sun 10-Mar-19 21:47:53

I work in pharmacy and agree with @TwistinMyMelon, there have been numerous medicines shortages recently but I think it's a bit of a stretch for your pharmacist to blame Brexit, the explanations I've heard are far more tedious.

There are other antibiotics in the cephalosporin family so your consultant may be able to recommend another of those or a different broad spectrum antibiotic. Please don't panic, there are lots of alternatives

m0therofdragons Sun 10-Mar-19 21:48:56

Pharmacies can order medicines. There are no reports of Brexit having an impact yet (I would know if there were due to my job) but it's an easy excuse for a pharmacist to blame.

There will be a lot of scaremongering in coming weeks so readers, please don't believe everything you read.

I'm sorry you can't get the medicine and really hope it's sorted soon. If you can't get the consultant then ask to speak to the clinical site manager at the hospital.

nocoolnamesleft Sun 10-Mar-19 21:49:12

Off the top of my head, apart from trimethoprim or cephalexin, the only UTI prophylaxis antibiotic you can use in this age group is nitrofurantoin. Don't suppose the bugs were sensitive to that? If not, really not as easy as prescribing an alternative.

I've never had a problem getting my own prescription meds until the last couple of times. Impending Brexit would seem to be a major factor.

But hey, blue passports.

dadshere Sun 10-Mar-19 21:57:42

Blaming Brexit for this is just false, Brexit has had zero impact on medicinal supplies. It may, if we have a hard brexit, but it has not at the moment. Someone is telling porkies.

Chlobo89 Sun 10-Mar-19 22:02:51

Hi i have just signed up to reply to this, i’m normally just a lurker but can see how worried you are.
I work in pharmacy and have just been through the most recent out of stock bulletin and there is nothing to say that it is unavailable so your local pharmacy should be able to order this in for you especially if they are supplied by alliance (boots stores are) so im not sure if there has just been a misunderstanding somewhere along the way or if it has been unavailable and is now back in stock, i know we have it in my store.
Also it is nothing to do with Brexit, not yet anyway, there are hundreds of items that are on manufacturing issues at any one time including life saving medications unfortunately its just the way it is and we have to find alternatives.
Let me know if there is anything i can do to help.

AFistfulofDolores1 Sun 10-Mar-19 22:13:25

I have had trimethroprim-resistant UTI's, and one became a kidney infection. My GP prescribed me ciprofloxacin. Would this be an alternative?

I'm not a doctor, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to offer my 2c just in case, given the circumstances.

PixieBob28 Sun 10-Mar-19 22:35:00

Hi thank you again for the replies. I will try my hardest to reply to comments and questions.

I can easily add the water at home that's not the issue so it is just the powder I need but that's still unavailable. I always ask for it to not be made up for me at the risk of wasting any (I honestly feel like I'm handling gold dust!).

If it is obtainable I'm wondering why so many (I've counted 12 in total local pharamcies) that have told me they can't order it in? I've tried Lloyds, Kamsons, Boots, All the supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsbury's etc) just to name a few, but will definitely try and zoom in on the independent stores when calling round tomorrow.

I called the GP on Friday and she is the one who told me to contact the consultants secretary. I did explain the importance of the matter to the secretary and she did promise she would get back to me on weds. Again fingers crossed.

My son has a history of continuous UTI's since birth and has unfortunately been treated incorrectly into the past so GP's don't like to prescribe differently and leave it up to the consultant to make the decisions (it's a long story but we have a very serious complaint going on due to negligence).

I have asked if anyone or any stores can locate some for me but apparently they don't have a database like that. I will take the advice to try contact the manufacturers tomorrow as I haven't got anything to lose see if they know any more than I do.

It is really scary to think we are running low on other medication too which we as a society are dependable on. Interesting to see it's apparently not to do with Brexit I wouldn't know, just reiterating what was said to me.

And as another poster said, unfortunately because of the type of bacteria it is there aren't that many alternative antibiotics as others have mentioned (sorry I'm not a doctor but just remembering what the consultant said). She mentioned one other antibiotic that would work (this was when we were having a discussion about him not being able to take triamethraprin or amoxcillin) but was reluctant for him to have it for some reason (will ask again if I get to speak to her on weds) hence why she chose the cefelexin.

I will keep on trying anyways. I have asked a pharmacy friend to check her store in London with the idea of sending up the prescription big she has it and getting it shipped to me. I won't let this defeat me.

Can't wait for this to all clear up so we can investigate and sort this out for my son.

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