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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » IM Bicillin Questions, please...

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Author Topic: IM Bicillin Questions, please...
Melanie Reber
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Good morning all,

I am trying to locate a local pharmacy that will carry this newest Rx for me...and seem to be running into dead ends.

I am needing IM Bicillin LA 1.2 mu.

Costco and Target say absolutely not. Walgreens says they can only get 2.4 mu.

And Rite Aid only has information about 2ml or 4ml doses...and canot answer any other questions without actually placing an order. In other words they have no clue because they have never dealt with this Rx before.

Obviously, I am in the same boat [Roll Eyes]

So, first of all I am confused about what the 2 and 4ml doses represent. Would this be prefilled syringes or some container that one must draw from to fill your own?

Secondly, how do those numbers correlate to the 1.2 and 2.4 mu doses?

And lastly, have any of you had better luck dealing with local pharms in obtaining this Rx and will you share that info with me, please?

I am trying to avoid going out of the country to get what is needed, so want to make certain that I have uncovered all leads here first.

OK, I suppose that is all for now. Thanks so much in advance,
Melanie

Posts: 7052 | From Colorado | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jill E.
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Melanie,

Welcome to the twilight zone that we Bicillin users seem to enter.

The 1.2 m.u. is the same as 2 ml. It says so on the box of 10 syringes.

If you are to inject 1.2 m.u. each time, you will be injecting one full syringe.

However, in the strange mathematical formulas that pharmacies use, a 1.2 m.u./2 ml. syringe may be counted as two doses - but that is only for the pharmacy/billing issues - it does not mean that you are only injecting half a syringe - you are not. You inject the full syringe.

This is what happened when I finally located my first box of Bicillin through my Blue Cross mail order pharmacy. I was able to acquire it from them but had to pay the full cash price out of pocket, and call twice a day for a week to argue because they weren't used to billing a patient directly.

They kept billing me as receiving 20 doses, even though there were 10 syringes, which is 10 doses, based on my LLMD's prescription. But the pharmacist said they work based on millileters, and to them the 2 ml. equals 20 doses.

This kind of math does not help us who already have brain fog and headaches!

There have been many posts on this but here's the drill: You need to find a local retail pharmacy that will work with you. I went to the Long's Pharmacy where I have many prescriptions filled so they kind of know me.

I had to talk someone at Long's to work with a middleman distributor and with King Pharmaceuticals. I've called King Pharmaceuticals Customer Service many times.

King will drop ship a box of Bicillin to a retail pharmacy if you state that you need it on an emergency basis. King will consider Lyme patients as emergency patients, because the Dept. of Health and Human Services said they have to drop ship to syphillis patients, so we Lyme patients have been insisting on the same rights.

Different parts of the countries and pharmacies use different middleman wholesaler/distributors. So talk to your local pharmacy, tell them to order a box of Bicillin for you from the distributor. The distributor will say they can't get it. Make sure the local pharmacy tells the distributor that you are an emergency patient and that King will approve it. Call King and arrange with them, too.

I also put everything in writing, sending faxes to King pleading my case, putting everything in writing for my local pharmacy to give to the distributor, etc. Lots of calls and follow-ups were needed anyway. Others have had easier times with this than I have had, it depends.

If you have a friendly internist or nurse at a medical clinic, they have much more clout to order Bicillin to use in a clinic or hospital than we individuals have to order ourselves. If you can get the medical clinic to order it for you, and then inject it for you, it's easier to obtain and insurance is more likely to pay a portion of it.

The pediatric dose of 600,000 m.u. seems to be easier to obtain (or at least it was months ago when I was trying to find any dose). So it's a possibility to try to get the 600,000 m.u. and do two injections to add up to 1.2 million units.

If you can only get the 2.4 m.u., then you can have a nurse or compounding pharmacy split into two syringes under sterile conditions.

Feel free to PM me. I am the queen of dealing with Bicillin issues.

Also, a group of us contributed ideas to Lyme Times about how to minimize the discomfort, and then I wrote the article. I presume you have the issue of Lyme Times but I can send you the article if you need it.

Take care,
Jill

--------------------
If laughter is the best medicine, why hasn't stand-up comedy cured me?

Posts: 1773 | From San Diego | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
timaca
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Ask your pharmacy to contact the manufacturer of the bicillin. (I think it is Merck pharmaceuticals--or King). Have them tell the supplier that you are a lyme patient, and they will get the bicillin to the pharmacy.

I've been working with my local pharmacy on this, and have had no problems getting the 1.2 mu bicillin LA for the last year.

Timaca

Posts: 2872 | From above 7,000 ft in a pine forest | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Melanie Reber
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THANK YOU both Sooo much for the explanations and suggestions! Also thanks to Robi, True, Anneke and Miss Cave for helping too.

You guys are the BEST!

First, a nap, and then another shot at this. (ha, get it? another shot?)

OK, yes, I am over-tired.

Much love,
M

Posts: 7052 | From Colorado | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
gopats
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Melanie
I got the 1.2mu from Rite Aid. They can get you the cost with the prescription (assuming not covered by Insurance). My pharmacist had to do a little work to get it and ordered it from King. The cost was 649.99 for a box of 10 and came with the needles.

Posts: 298 | From Maine | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LymeLaura
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I get my Bicillin LA from Medco (BC/BS). They had a problem at first, were using the old Merck Code and said they couldn't get it, it was unavailable and not in production. We called King Pharmaceuticals, they gave us the new code. There is not a shortage(according to King). We received our shipment three days after placing the order.

Your pharmacy just has to order from King with the correct code.

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LymeLaura
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Also, if you are a member of AAA, you can get a discount on prescription drugs not covered by insurance. Just go to their website and search for prescription savings plan and print out the card. That's all there is to it!

AAA prescriptions

Posts: 132 | From Kentucky | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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