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Medication: Get 2 for the Price of 1

Posted Sep 27 2009 10:13pm
The following tip may be useful for some people with a portion of your medications. Let me first put out a disclaimer that to use this method, the individual must be mentally, physically and emotionally capable of carrying out the task correctly. Always use your physician's advice in the use of any of your medications. Having said this, let me describe this potential option. It may be applicable with some of the more expensive medications that are very limited in the amount that can be received in a month time. This is the case whether you have insurance or pay out of pocket for your meds.

Many medications can safely be cut in half. These medications are generally in a pill form rather than a capsule. Never try to half a capsule or a coated tablet...these pills are designed so that the effectiveness of the drug is dependent upon the particular coating of form. Ask your doctor if any of your medications are appropriate to try this method. Never reduce your prescribed medication dose without the advice of your physician, especially in order to save money.

To explain what I am trying to convey, I will use an example...Imitrex (a common pill used to abort migraine headaches). This medication comes in packets of 9 pills...you cannot get more in one month whether it is your insurance limiting it or the pharmacy. There is a reason for this...take too much and it can cause some very serious side effects. However, there may be times when you need to vary your dosage (as prescribed by your doctor).

Lets say that you typically take 50mg Imitrex at the onset of a headache and you need to refill your prescription every month or even 2 months. This drug is expensive (somewhere around $80), especially if you look at it from the point of only getting 9 pills at a time. Imitrex also comes in a 100mg dose (a packet of 9 pills, each one = 100mg). If you must vary your dosage, ask your Dr if it would be appropriate to prescribe the 100mg tablets for you. There are many considerations they may take in making that decision.
1. Are you capable to take the responsibility to divide the pills?
2. Are you capable to know how to take it?
3. Are they willing to take that chance?

This is not an uncommon practice. Some may say that it's fraud or it's just not doing the "right thing". I am not advocating fraudulently prescribing of medication. Based on your individual situation, this may be a very sensible solution. Your doctor will know if this option is appropriate for you. If so, you may not need to fill your prescription as frequently thus spending less money for your required dosing.

Ask your doctor if it is appropriate for your situation. Always follow your doctor's recommendations and never reduce your dosage or half your pills unless directed to do so.
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