Travelling with methotrexate, help!

wstoves
wstoves Member Posts: 3
edited 4. Jul 2014, 07:42 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi,

I have psoriatic arthritis and currently take methotrexate and folic acid weekly. I am looking to go travelling to America for three months, followed by South America and then New Zealand.
I have been informed that it is not wise for me to come off the medication and that I can only take one months supply with me. As I'm looking to be away for up to a year I wondered if anyone had any experience of getting their bloods monitored and methotrexate prescribed in any of these places?

So far the only answers I have got is to take a letter from my GP and pay to go private out in America. Which I've been told will cost a fortune as I will have to pay to go in the emergency room, then again to see a doctor and then again for any treatment.
So my regular prescription of £8 could end up being well over a hundred dollars.

Has anyone had similar issues, know what I can do to get around this or minimise the cost as much as possible?

Thankyou!

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can't really help. I'm on meth and I go the the States every year for a month as our son lives there. My GP always gives me 2 month's supply (I'm on tablet meth) provided I have a blood test just before I go. I think the NHS makes everything so simple and cheap for us that we are inclined to forget the true cost of these meds and the monitoring that goes with them.

    I know that there are some charity hospitals in the USA but I they are quite few and far between and, even if they could supply you with meth, you would have to stand in line and queue and it might not be a pleasant experience :oops: . I doubt you could get free blood tests.

    All I can suggest is that you ask advice from a US pharmacist. I think Rite Aid are a national chain (though they might only be a Californian one). Maybe email them for advice. Whatever you do please don't buy meth off the internet.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I too have PsA but take more meds than you and struggle with going into town let alone the world! :wink: Is your meth injected or tablet form? Either way if you are limited in how much you can take abroad then I think you will just have to stump up the costs; I doubt that travel insurance will cover you for these expenses because this a pre-existing condition. I have no idea how one goes about organising blood tests and results etc. in other countries, sometimes it's hard enough here. The NHS doesn't prepare us for the real world of paying for our meds. DD

    PS The blue is pretty but hard to read.
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • DebraKelly
    DebraKelly Member Posts: 398
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would ask your GP if he can provide you with your medication for the period of time that you are away.
    This might be the only option.
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm also on injections of Methotrexate and have just been to Spain but only for two weeks. My rheumatology nurse have me a letter for customs etc so did the company that deliver the drugs.
    I don't know what to suggest for traveling over a year.
    Speak to the rheumy first.. They might have encountered this before. It will also depend on how regular your bloods are done I suppose. Especially if you have to pay abroad.
    Let us know if you manage to figure things out. Could help others in the future. Sorry I can't help any more.
    Best wishes
    e050.gifMe-Tony
    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    k040.gif
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • As5567
    As5567 Member Posts: 665
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    wstoves wrote:
    Hi,

    I have psoriatic arthritis and currently take methotrexate and folic acid weekly. I am looking to go travelling to America for three months, followed by South America and then New Zealand.
    I have been informed that it is not wise for me to come off the medication and that I can only take one months supply with me. As I'm looking to be away for up to a year I wondered if anyone had any experience of getting their bloods monitored and methotrexate prescribed in any of these places?

    So far the only answers I have got is to take a letter from my GP and pay to go private out in America. Which I've been told will cost a fortune as I will have to pay to go in the emergency room, then again to see a doctor and then again for any treatment.
    So my regular prescription of £8 could end up being well over a hundred dollars.

    Has anyone had similar issues, know what I can do to get around this or minimise the cost as much as possible?

    Thankyou!

    The only thing I can think of is to pay to go private here and pay for 1 years supply worth of tablets which may be possible. You will find that having blood tests done private is very expensive. I also think it would be much harder than you think to get the medication in America with just a GP letter, they dont just give this drug out to anyone because of the risks it poses and you would have no medical diagnosis or anything on file in America for them to prescribe to you, I think your only option is to do this type of trip in sections rather than one go.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry I cant help,but I do wish you well and really hope you can get to go for the year, it sounds fantastic and there might come a time when you cant do it.. :) you enjoy and good luck
    Love
    Barbara
  • Cariad71
    Cariad71 Member Posts: 99
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry I'm not sure of the answer to this one either. I'm pretty sure no responsible dr will give you a big supply of mtx though, as you know a condition of being on it is blood monitoring and private or not, a dr would be negligent if they prescribed you a large amount without ensuring you'd get monitored.

    Have you discussed it with your rheum team? It might be worth ringing the helpline on here or other arthritis organisations? They might well have dealt with this before. The longest I've travelled whilst on it was 5 weeks. Also bear in mind you can't have any live vaccines like yellow fever so check what you need for where.

    I hope it doesn't stop you going travelling
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would also ring the American embassy to see what advice they can offer. :D
    e050.gifMe-Tony
    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    k040.gif
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • wstoves
    wstoves Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thankyou everyone for your responses.

    Unfortunately everyone I've asked has no idea. I called the US embassy in London and the woman was unhelpful and quite rude!
    I will keep trying as I'm determined not to let it stop me and I will keep you posted on what happens.

    Will
  • tenbury
    tenbury Member Posts: 52
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm from the US. My suggestion is to try and take prescriptions with you and get them filled in the US. You would need a prescription for the methotrexate as well as needles. Rite aid as someone suggested is fine but I would probably say CVS and Walgreens are more popular. You can also fill them at Walmart. Getting the right size needles can sometimes be a hassle. You might google search a CVS in the states and ask one of the pharmacists. You would also need to google where you can get blood drawn and bring a prescrition for that as well. Might be worth asking your doc if you can do every other month if you are feeling well as I can't imagine they will be cheap

    Good luck
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think tenbury's is the best advice yet and from someone far more au fait with the situation than we Brits. I think, unless you're staying in some out-of-the-way places, a letter from your rheumatologist would probably ensure that you would be able to buy the meth en route. The blood tests might be more problematic, especially as they are of no use unless you are subsequently able to get the results and advice needed on how to deal with any problems arising. If you know when you will be staying where, and for how long, I can see this might be arranged but I can't see anyone other than yourself picking up the bill for it all.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran