Monday, October 11, 2021

THANK YOU CANADA

Consider this a cautionary tale.  As most of you know I have been dealing with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and AFIB (atrial fibrillation or rapid heart beatfor several years thinking I was pretty much in control. Well the COPD kept progressing but I was more or less expecting that. 

One of the inhalers I use for my lungs costs $634.00 a month here in the states or $126.00 from Canada. Not rocket science so I decided to try Canada.  I sent my prescription to Canada and for some reason the order was held up. When I called, the contact person said that the pharmacist there was concerned that the drug I wanted interacted with one of the drugs I was all ready taking for the AFIB. He said they more or less cancelled each other out. 

OK, off to Dr. Google I went and that man was so right.  Here I was thinking that the COPD drugs just weren't working anymore, that the disease was just progressing.  My doctors had changed them several times when they quit doing the job.  I was not breathing well.  So I called my cardio and told them. They didn't argue but said stop taking the drug. They gave me a different one that didn't work either so for now, I am taking nothing for the AFIB and so far, I haven't felt this good in years.  Breathing like a 60 year old and heart behaving.

The cautionary part of this tale is---don't just take a prescription blindly. Check it out on the internet to see just what other drugs it interacts with. Your doctor should have checked it out but they may not.  I had three specialists, local pharmacists and a primary doctor not catch the fact that these drugs did not play well with each other. Be your own researcher. 

If you take no meds, that is WONDERFUL and disregard this post. But if you do or know someone who does, hope this helps. 

 As for that smart and caring Canadian pharmacist, I would like  to find him and either marry him or adopt him, which ever is age appropriate.  Thank you Canada.

48 comments :

  1. It seems we are the test rats & American doctors are in it just for the money!!

    That Canadian pharmacist just may have saved your life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anni,
      I think you are right. I know for sure he improved the quality of it.

      Delete
  2. Wow. This is a very important cautionary message. We have to be our own advocates. We can't always rely on the expertise of the medical professionals. Medications have so many side effects and interactions, that it is impossible to know about all of them. Pharmacists have access to software that will identify interactions. Thank goodness! So glad you are breathing better Patti!

    Carole

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carole,
      So glad to see you here. You have been missed and just hope all is fine with you.
      I really owe that fellow for the pharmacists here haven't noticed anything wrong for years. Thank you, me too.

      Delete
  3. So glad you found that crucial information on your meds, Patti. What an important discovery! A good lesson for folk to check their prescription interactions and side effects. Thankful you now feel like your blog's Title, 'The New Sixty'!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Florence,
      You are so clever. Wish I had thought of that. When I hit eighty I thought I should change my title, now I don't have to. Thanks.

      Delete
  4. Patti I knew about the COPD but was clueless about the AFIB, I'm glad that Canadian pharmacist spoke up too. But I'm still surprised & bothered you were left to do investigating on your own, nevermind the fact you have to reach all the way from Arkansas to Canada because drug prices are so out of control in America. I've heard this is common, but wow the jump in price! Appreciate you sharing this, I feel like the older I get, the more I need a training course on aging. And I'm VERY glad you're feeling better for now, at least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doug,
      Thanks so much Doug. It is hard to describe how much better I feel. I wish you would get some answers on that edema. Very probably drug related. Keep pushing for answers my friend.

      Delete
  5. I take plenty of vitamins, but the only prescription drug is a statin for my cholesterol. I am so glad that pharmacist didn't just fill the prescription but actually has made a huge difference in your life. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Djan,
      Actually I was surprised how many vitamins can effect our drugs. I have to avoid vitamin K with my blood thinners. Most interaction sites will tell you the foods and vitamins to avoid.

      Delete
  6. Oh Patti that is such a eye-opening revelation, both the terrible drug interactions and the cost of those medications (literally and figuratively). Reminds me of when my mom was having side effects from a prescription for more than a year, and it was only through sleuthing around on the internet did we figure out what was going on. I hope you find the pharmacist in Canada and send him a thank you note. So glad you are feeling better. Yay in every way yay!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. robin,
      Thank goodness we have the Internet. What a tool it is for our health. Glad you were able to figure out your Mom's problems.
      I am definitely going to try to track him down.

      Delete
  7. Goodness, that is definitely a cautionary tale. I'm happy to hear that the pharmacist here in Canada identified the concern.

    My daughter's pharmacist here has been good with her meds too. At one point, her doctor even met with the pharmacist so the two of them could go over the choices! I'm fortunate as I don't have any meds to take (yet) beyond OTC's for headaches or back pain.

    Take care, stay well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eileen,
      Just realized that this is Canada's Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving. I picked a great day for this post.
      You definitely have some conscientious pharmacists there and glad your daughter's doctor knows how important it is to work with them.

      Delete
  8. I am so glad that you stopped taking one drug and feel better for it. Cheers! Good for Canada!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. gigi,
      It has been life changing and I am so grateful to that Canadian pharmacist.

      Delete
  9. Bless you and the Canadian pharmacist. Sad but we really need to be our own advocates in the US. I have a sister who gets her RX from a pharmacy in Vanatu, much cheaper. Stay well and feeling good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Celia,
      The difference in pricing is ridiculous. What I get from Canada is from the same pharmaceutical company. Don't know what our problem is.

      Delete
  10. My mother in law had drug interactions ... by chance she was complaining about a symptom and he let her know which two things might be causing it. Now I ASK my pharmacist any time I get a new prescription. THANK YOU for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awkward Widow,
      We do have to be our own advocates don't we? Glad yo are doing that now.

      Delete
  11. That's awful! I'm glad you found out, though. Better days ahead!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rita,
      Thank you so much. I am thinking there will be now.

      Delete
  12. Medication interactions nearly killed my mom twice, so I'm glad you discovered it in time. Many pharmacists are better than doctors at the drug conflicts--but obviously not all. Thank you to the Canadian pharmacist!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret,
      That Canadian pharmacist was doing the job I wish ours would do. Sorry about your Mom and I am glad the error was caught eventually.

      Delete
  13. Patti, I am so happy to hear this good news!! I am going to read this to my husband. When we pick up meds I always read the inserts. What counteracts what he is taking or doesn't mix well or the side effects. He laughs at me. But if I lived with you I'd have said, "Hey don't you take xyz? it says you shouldn't combine these types of drugs" Just like the nice canadian did for you. But as you said your pharmacist sure should have!! This saved Rick once when I read it and you'd think he'd listen, but you know, he's a man so....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peg,
      So good he has you to do the heavy lifting for him by checking the drugs out. I just wish our guys were as conscientious as that Canadian guy was and not just leave us to our own devices.

      Delete
  14. Hi, Besides the internet, I always ask my Pharmacist about any drug reactions... The pharmacist always reminds me of ANY side effects. Can I ask what heart med you got off of for your A fib. I've been on so many since 2018 --and the ONLY one that keeps my heart regulated is Amiodarone... BUT --that thing really has the side effects... Kinda scary --but I'm still on it since my heart is doing GREAT --even through the car accident... Yeah!!!
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Betsy,
      So glad it is working for you. Sotalol is the antiarrhythmic that I got off of. I am sending you an email that might be of interest. Do take care and be well.

      Delete
  15. I'm jazzed to read that you haven't felt so well in forever. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mage,
      Thank you so much. Sometimes it is a blessing to feel bad so you can really appreciate feeling good.

      Delete
  16. I'm outraged all over again. I can't stand that people in these United States have to worry about affording their necessary medications. It is unbelievable, unthinkable, and everything else appropriate that begins with un-----

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inger,
      It really is all the "uns". There is no reason for the differences in what we pay here for the same drug, same manufacturer. That needs to change.

      Delete
  17. Well, yes, thank you, Canada, for finding something important that your own team of docs missed because they don't talk to each other?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda,
      I am so grateful to that man across the boarder who did his job the way it should be done. We sure need to do better on this side.

      Delete
  18. Our pharmacists here are pretty good at catching stuff like that, I recently had one tell me the anti-inflammatory pills I wanted shouldn't be taken with blood pressure medication, so I thanked her and sat around for a few days resting and using hot water bottles to ease the muscles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River,
      So glad she was doing her job. Here they just seem content to trust the doctor's prescription and just collect the dollars.

      Delete
  19. Yeah, we really have to become our own doctors today, sometimes even in diagnosing our own ailments. Glad you're feeling so much better.

    The difference in med costs is ridiculous. I'm really angry that our Congress has neglected correcting that problem for us for so many years

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joared,
      I know, we get promises at each election to make drug price changes but none seem forthcoming.
      I feel so badly for those without the Internet or basic knowledge to do their own research.

      Delete
  20. That Canadian pharmacists wife (or girl friend .. or maybe even boyfriend) may not be overjoyed to hear of your marriage or adoption wishes !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ginnie,
      Ha ha, that is why I threw in adoption as marriage could just be out--either by previous commitment or age:)

      Delete
  21. Wow. That is interesting and a good reminder we should all follow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara,
      It is one of those things we assume the other person is doing but often they are not. We need to watch our own back.

      Delete
  22. Dear Patti, per usual, you both instruct (through sharing your own life experiences) and bring us laughter--in that last paragraph. I wonder whether marriage or adoption is in the future! This truly is a cautionary tale and one I needed to read as I take a number of medications and I doubt strongly that the doctors check one against another. I know that from a recent eye drop that I have to take after the third eye surgery this year. I read the small print and discovered that it wasn't wise for asthmatics to take it! (I was born with asthma and have learned to read small print--with a magnifying glass!) I'm grateful to that Canadian pharmacist because I hate to think of you feeling so unwell. Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dee,
      Your experience is why I posted this. Drugs are so complex that I can sometimes see why doctors don't always catch it and why we have to do some of our own leg work checking out the interactions. That print really is small isn't it?
      Glad you enjoyed the humor.

      Delete
  23. Glad you found this out and are now feeling better. Well done to the pharmacist that spotted this!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow! That really is a cautionary tale. It reminded me of my friend who was taking tablets for high blood pressure for years. He then got a new doctor who said he didn't think he needed them and his blood pressure reduced to normal levels. You're right - always check.

    ReplyDelete

Comments moderated. No spam will be published nor comments with links