Practical question

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WhaleRoad
WhaleRoad Member Posts: 32
edited 19. Oct 2016, 17:48 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi

I have a practical question. I was recently told I have some kind of inflammatory arthritis and prescribed hydroxychloroquine. My rheumatologist wrote a three-month prescription and asked for a follow-up appointment in three months.

However, the appointment-booking people and my pharmacist apparently have very different ideas about how long a month is. The upshot is, I will run out of medication more than a week before my next appointment with the rheumatologist.

This is new to me and I have no idea what to do. Do I go to my GP and ask for a prescription for the shortfall? (I haven't even seen my GP in more than a year). Do I have to make contact with the rheumatologist at the hospital (much more difficult)? I have no clue. Anyone have any ideas?

Thank you.

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Whaleroad
    Welcome to the forum so pleased you found us.You will find all forums friendly and ready to help with good advice.Just choose a forum you like living with arthritis and the Chit Chat being the most popular,and chat away.if you would like to talk to someone please phone our helpline on 0808 800 40 650
    All the best Christine
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Whaleroad. Welcome but please excuse the brevity as I'm very pushed for time.

    The time lapse is because rheumatologists are busy and often have to crowd in more patients than they expect. If your rheumatologist has written you up for hydroxychloroquine then your GP should have been informed and so should be able to write you a prescription to tide you over. GPs can't actually prescribe hydroxy unless told to by a rheumatologist but, in this case, you should be OK. I hope so.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello, I am sorry you have had a diagnosis and begun hydroxy, I have never taken it but I would advise you to keep a brief daily diary about your energy, pain and tiredness levels (plus quality of sleep) whilst taking it then when not: in my experience rheumatologists tell every patient they will see them again in three months because they are not aware of the pressures on the booking system, they don't do the admin, end of.

    In the early days it is worth keeping such a diary (I wish I'd known this!) because it gives the rheumatologist a better view of how you are being affected: we may have identical 'labels' but how we are affected varies from person to person. You may go without the hydroxy for a little while but your diary will record whether it was helping or not. I wish you well and please let us know how you get on. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi, I take hydroxychloroquine - for about 18 months now. When it was first prescribed, my rheumy would only write a script for two months, the thinking being " let's see if there are side effects." There weren't, so after that my GP prescribes two months' worth at a time. Were you given an Amler chart to check your vision? I ask because I was told it was important, and you should have had an eye test before starting it, & thence every 12 months.

    I apologise if you already know all this, only not all rheumys appear to impart all information. I would try your GP in the first instance, & then ring your rheumy nurse if you have one. Failing all that you could ring your rheumy's secretary who should be able to help.
  • WhaleRoad
    WhaleRoad Member Posts: 32
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Wow, thanks for all the advice; I don't know any of this stuff.

    I think I will speak to my GP about the prescription. It seems pharmacists treat a "month" as four weeks, to keep it consistent - so I'd be surprised if I were the first patient to encounter this problem.

    I did get my eyes checked. Actually, my optician was more helpful than my consultant.

    Thanks again guys.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    You're more than welcome. Auto-immune arthritis is a complicated malarkey but we know our stuff - please let us know how you get on. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • WhaleRoad
    WhaleRoad Member Posts: 32
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Five phone calls with three different doctors and finally found someone willing to write me a prescription for the shortfall.

    The GP thought the consultant should do it, the consultant thought the GP should do it. Total farce. Total waste of the GPs' time. Total waste of my time.

    On the plus side, I think the medication is starting to work.