Epi pen prescriptions

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When I went to a new allergist not quite two years ago, he gave me a prescription for new epis as the ones I had would expire six months later.

I got new epis and now they expire this month.

I don't have any refills on the prescription so the pharmacist called the allergist. The allergist's office called me - and NO - they won't refill the epis without an appointment.

I've made an appointment - I really need to talk to him about my asthma - but I'm moderately irritated that I will have to see the allergist every 18 months, or thereabouts, just to get a new epi prescription.

Does your allergist do the same thing?

When I was at the pharmacy, I asked about my OLD epis... ones that expired in March of 2005. I asked the pharmacist if I shouild toss them, even though the liquid is still clear.

He told me they're still good as long as the liquid hasn't turned brown - even though they expired two years ago.

Good to know!

On Mar 8, 2007

That's a shame in my book...an adult with comfirmed LT allergies has to go into the office to get her Epi RX written again....I think they need the money from the office visit?? I could see having kids come in, touch base, if it's been awhile...but not an adult.

And thanks for the info on the Epipens...I've actually held onto our last one(we practiced with one and I kept the 2nd) because it was clear too...so I though, as a back-up, it might be worth hangin onto. They expire way to soon and are waaaay too expensive(pay out of pocket) in my opinion. Thanks!!!

------------------ Chanda(mother of 4) Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma) Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma) Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE) Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

On Mar 8, 2007

My GP prescribes the epi-pens for me and for my son. (He has allergies to insects and allergist will not test -- the allergist agreed it was best to just have GP prescribing for him as well.)

As for expired epi-pens -- I keep them as back-up, but I wouldn't want to trust them as my first-line of defense. Have you considered switching to twin-ject -- two doses for almost the same price as one epi-pen?

On Mar 8, 2007

Hi AnnaMarie, I get the duo-pen (two epis) but I still pay about $90 out of pocket. My insurance pays a pittance.

Chanda, the pharmacist was insistent that the expired epis will work just fine as long as the liquid is clear.

I said to him, 'so I can use the old ones as a last resort?' and he replied, 'you can use them as a first resort!' So I'm really glad I didn't shoot them off into an orange.

With the new prescription, I'll have 6 good epipens if I count the four old-but-still-clear epis.

On Mar 8, 2007

My GP prescribes my epi-pens. My food and latex allergies are well documented and I haven't seen an allergist for several years. My GP will also write scripts for my prescription antihistamine and asthma med.

ygg

On Mar 8, 2007

We only see my son's allergist every 2 yrs or so. When we need new epis the pharmacy call the drs office. No need to go in (we get a perscription for 4 each time.

Interesting to know about the expired pens. We hold on to ours too, but mainly for practice purposes.

On Mar 8, 2007

When we see the allergist (every 2 yrs) he writes me a Rx for 8, and then I only fill as needed. Our family doc will write Rx for them too. At one time we had 11 refills. We hold on to the exired ones as well, but prefer to give the school the current ones. I think they prefer that too!

On Mar 8, 2007

My daughter's regular doctor gave us an epipen prescription when ours ran out.

So glad to know that they are fine as long as the liquid is clear. My DD's next allergist appointment is 2 months after all six of her epi pens expire, and now that we have no prescription coverage I didn't want to shell out of pocket! (My plan is for her to outgrow all her allergies and I won't have to buy more. Nice plan eh? I can dream!)

On Mar 8, 2007

If the epis are for your child, please do not keep them at school after they are expired. If you feel it is safe to use them, keep them with you but not at school. A child died a few years ago because the school saw the expiration date and did not use the epi during anaphylaxis because it was expired.

On Mar 8, 2007

And please note! I will have two epipens that are current. I will use the new ones first and the expired ones last, but only if I need to.

Please check with your doctor or pharmacist about expired epipens!

On Mar 8, 2007

Adele have the conversation with the allergist that as long as you check in when you need to and you are a competent adult, he can give you refills.

If you are on asthma drugs too then maybe it IS a good idea to see the allergist. 18 months is not so bad really. He is prescribing drugs for you to treat your allergies and asthma and wants to see you when you are well as well as when you are in need of his services.

Especially with asthma they get baseline readings from you when you are well and can compare them to readings taken when you feel horrible, they can tell how far down you've gone and treat you appropriately instead of hit and miss.

Peg

On Mar 8, 2007

My Pharmacist told me as long as the liquid is clear they are good.

On Mar 8, 2007

This just underlines the fact that we should use our newest/unexpired epis FIRST.

If you are out in the boonies with nothing else but clear/expired epis as back up - well it is better than nothing!

But this is what we would all do anyway.

On Mar 8, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Adele: [b]...When I was at the pharmacy, I asked about my OLD epis... ones that expired in March of 2005. I asked the pharmacist if I shouild toss them, even though the liquid is still clear.

He told me they're still good as long as the liquid hasn't turned brown - even though they expired two years ago.

Good to know![/b]

Adele, No, no, no! Epinephrine is not very stable. Look at the very limited temp range alone...very sensitive to heat, light, etc... This is why they must add sulfite as a preservative. [i]really wishing they didn't have to add sulfite![/i]

Remember to ask *before* you drop off your prescription what the expiration date of their stock is...you can usually shop around to find a date at least a year out, if not a little more.

Take care, Daisy

And yes, I have to see my Allergist every year or so. But I have asked my Internist for an Rx on occasion, when I've been there for some other reason and my Epi is about to expire or has gotten too hot.

On Mar 9, 2007

Hi Daisy, If the epi had been exposed to high or low temps, would that be enough to discolor the liquid?

I would never have ONLY outdated epis and would only use the outdated epis as a last resort. I spend a lot of time in the middle of nowhere so theoretically, I could find myself having to use outdated epis after using up the 'good ones'.

Another reason to be super careful about what I eat when I'm out in the boonies.

On Mar 9, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Adele: [b]Hi Daisy, If the epi had been exposed to high or low temps, would that be enough to discolor the liquid?[/b]

My understanding is that one temperature extreme could change the color, but the other temperature extreme affects the trigger mechanism and not the actual epinephrine. I think it's high temp.s could cause color changes and affect the epinephrine, and that cold temps. could affect ability to administer the epinephrine, but I forget which is which. I think I read this info. in the Epi-Pen Jr. insert, but I don't remember where I got that info.

On Mar 9, 2007

I went to GP yesterday to get new RX for Epi pens for myself and DD as ours are due to expire at the end of this month. The pharmacy I go to normally has to order them in but he had some in stock (we have been seeing this guy for about 7 years maybe he kept them for us!). Anyway I did the silly thing of not checking the dates. After reading the posts here I checked them and found the two for DD expire Nov 07, mine June 08. I rang our chemist up and he said that when I get a new RX he would fix me up ie give them to me for free (I think thats what he meant because I had mentioned to him that DH had been out of work for 6 weeks). I wanted to add,as I understand it, in Australia schools/carers are not allowed to use expired medication on children in their charge

[This message has been edited by lisa from Australia (edited March 09, 2007).]

On Mar 9, 2007

When I purchased my EpiPens, my pharmacy told me that, although I do not have a refill on my prescription - if the pens expire and have not been used, to bring them back and they will give me another refill without a new prescription.

I do not know if this is standard practice for most pharmacies, but you may wish to check into it with yours.

On Mar 11, 2007

According to my BIL, not only is this not common practice, but illegal if you are in the US. After a medicine has been dispensed it can NOT be returned, as they can not guarantee it has not been altered.

On Mar 11, 2007

My pharmacist will replace an epi if it is dispensed with less than 12 months left before expiry. This isn't issuing a refill--it's providing me with the one year on that med that I'm "entitled" to.

So . . . say I fill my 'script in May and the only pens in stock are expiring in August. My pharmacist will replace those pens if I come back in August and give me pens that last until at least May.

ygg

On Mar 11, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by 3xy1PAinNH: [b] According to my BIL, not only is this not common practice, but illegal if you are in the US. After a medicine has been dispensed it can NOT be returned, as they can not guarantee it has not been altered.

[/b]

Oh! I'm sorry - I meant that they would allow another refill if I could show that I had not used the original prescription. They do not actually take them back.

On Mar 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by krasota: [b]My pharmacist will replace an epi if it is dispensed with less than 12 months left before expiry. This isn't issuing a refill--it's providing me with the one year on that med that I'm "entitled" to.

So . . . say I fill my 'script in May and the only pens in stock are expiring in August. My pharmacist will replace those pens if I come back in August and give me pens that last until at least May.

ygg[/b]

Walgreens in the US will do this, and they have done it for me. I just brought it all back in, they took it to destroy it, and just gave me another one (no co-pay). Then epipen has to have the Rx label on it or you have to have the original box with the Rx label.

Adrienne

------------------ 30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

On Mar 12, 2007

We used to have a lot of trouble with picking up epipens from the pharmacy and finding that they expire in 6 - 9 months, but lately the expiration dates are further out, at least a year. I think now that epipens are more common and more prescriptions are being filled, they use up their stock faster and order it more.

On Mar 12, 2007

You are a consumer and if you do not want to accept an epi pen with a bad expiration date you can just hand it back to them right there in the pharmacy. I have done this many times and now the pharmacy doesn't bother to give me ones with less than a year on them. Peg

On Mar 12, 2007

I have refused epi pens at the pharmacy pick up if they are less than 1 year from expiring. Also, my school requires that all medications have non expired dates. Last year, I had to refill for school mid year. The nurse checks all medications monthly.

On Mar 18, 2007

Even though we see our allergist (occassionally) our pediatrician gives us our epipen Rx. They gives us as many refills as we request (why not, we're paying for them). A few weeks ago my husband left the epipens in the car over night when it was 0 degrees. Of course they froze solid. The peds never questioned us when we called for yet another refill. If you see your pediatrician regularly, they should be able to give you the Rx. The allerist told us we don't have to come back for a long time since nothing is going to change with my daughters peanut allergy. (class 6 and 8 yrs old).

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