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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » IM Bicillin question, again...

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Author Topic: IM Bicillin question, again...
Melanie Reber
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Good evening,

I have a question for those of you who have used the 2.4 mu (4ml) syringes to do a 1.2 mu (2ml) dose.

How do you reuse the same syringe without compromising sterile procedure?

Do you use another needle when you shoot the second half of the next dose?

Or, do you draw it out into two doses to begin with, and if so, how do you find the correct gauge needles (21 guage)?

I do have access to a few 2.4 mu doses, but I and the pharmicist are both concerned over these questions.

I have concernes over using the same needle twice at a week interval. The med would be caught in the needle, even if you did wipe the outside with alcohol, and it seemed to both of us that this would most definitely be unsterile.

So, I thought I would ask here, before contacting the homehealth number that she provided.

Thanks in advance for any information on this.
Melanie

Posts: 7052 | From Colorado | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
micul
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I have my own syringes and needles, so I would only use the 2.4 for dispensing the Bicillin into a new syringe and needle each time. I wouldn't use it for injections at all. It was just for storing and dispensing the Bicillin. Why use that honking 18g needle that they attatch to it when you can use a 21g with your own setup.

I would draw back the plunger of the new syringe so that it would easily accept the 1.2 dose without spilling out, then I would inject the Bicillin into the syringe where the needle would be attatched. Then push out the air and attatch the needle. The dose doesn't have to be exact. It is perfectly all right if it's a little bit less or more than 1.2 cc (or ml/same thing)

I would then slip the needle cover that comes with the 2.4 back on to keep it sterile until the next shot. You can always push out a little of the Bicillin before putting it into the next syringe if you think that it might have been damaged or contaminated from being in contact with the stainless steel needle, but I am not aware that it would be a problem.

The 2.4 was the same cost for me on insurance, so it was like getting 2 for 1. I just had my Dr write the Rx for the 2.4. It was easier to get also because everyone wants the 1.2

--------------------
You're only a failure when you stop trying.

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Melanie Reber
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Oh Miss Cavers, ya know what?

LIFE is unneccessarily complicated right now! [Roll Eyes]

Would you mind terribly resending that other info again? Sorry to be so scattered.

Much love,
M

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David95928
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I would follow Micul's recommendation except for, possibly going ahead and dividing up the doses into two new syringes and the refrigerating the second one. One advantage to transfering over to new syringes is that, using 3 ml. syringes, you could draw in 1 ml. of 1% lidocaine in addition. It significantly reduces the sting.

--------------------
Dave

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timaca
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Melanie~ Why can't you get the 1.2 mu dose? My pharmacy has no problems getting it....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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Thanks to each of you for your help, really!

This is the problem...

I have contacted every pharmacy in the city where I live, and no one can get the 1.2 mu doses in for me here. I was able to purchase 4 shots of the 1.2 mu doses at a pharm in San Francisco, but that was only because it is a pharm in a medical clinic, and they just happened to have 4 left, so I took what they had.

I was put in their system, and when I returned home, I tried to get the same pharm here to order the remaining doses. I was told that they would try.

They called me back and said that the only way to get the 1.2 mu shots was to order a case of 25, BUT, they did have a few 2.4 mu on hand, and asked if I would be interested in getting those instead.

Yesterday, I went to that local pharm to ask my questions of the woman who has been helping me, and what I posted above were our concerns with me getting the 2.4 mu doses instead of the 1.2 mu.

Remember, my insurance will NOT cover this med for me, so all costs associated with it are out of pocket. Each dose is priced at $30. At one dose per week, which is my starting protocol, I can sort of handle that, or at least it buys me time to find a less expensive source.

But, when I increase to 2 to 3 shots per week, which my doc wants soon, it is out of the question at that cost.

Sooo, I have 2 shots left, 1 week to figure this out, and am trying to decide IF I need more time to do so. If I do, then, the only option is to go with the 2.4 mu dose, and figure out a way to make that work until I can get the other options in place. OR, call back up to San Francisco, to see if they have been able to get more 1.2 mu doses since my last trip there.

I do have a couple of 3 ml syringes, so I can possibly transfer half the Bicillin to those syringes and use the remaining from the 2.4 mu pre-filled syringe for now, but I do not have the correct gauge needles for those 3 ml syringes, and would have to try and find them.

I also do not know if the needles can be taken off for transferring, as I haven't really tried that with what I have, nor has my pharmacist tried it with what she has.

I was prescribed EMLA crme to help numb the area. It is a combination of lidocane and prilocane, so I do not need to add any other agent to the Bicillin before injecting.

Sorry, this seems so confusing, I was only wondering IF others faced this same issue, and you have more than helped to answer my questions. Thank you each so much!!!

My best,
Melanie

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Jill E.
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Hi Melanie,

I've been on Bicillin 1.2 m.u. for a year. My insurance won't pay either, I've run out of pulling strings with every pharmacy I know to get it, and I'm way in debt from it. So I feel your pain in terms of the financial aspect of this medication. In fact, I need to switch back to orals because I can't afford this anymore. And I'm paying way more than $30 a dose, so the price really does vary from place to place.

I did read a post once (I think on CaliforniaLyme) that a woman got a compounding pharmacy to split her Bicillin for her into two syringes under sterile conditions. Just a thought. However when I asked a local compounding pharmacy to split some capsules for me so the amounts would be accurate in each one, they wouldn't take a medication that had been purchased elsewhere.

The EMLA cream should be fine. I use lidoderm patches and ice the area. I find that the Bicillin injections themselves are no big deal.

If you have the Fall 2006 issue of Lyme Times, there is an article that several of us collaborated on and then I wrote called "Giving Bicillin a Shot" with all tips to reduce discomfort.

Take care,
Jill

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

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trueblue
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I would do as Micul recommends.

It's really easier than it sounds. Copy that post and show it to your neighbor/nurse and I'm sure they will understand it and can show you how to go about it. Once you see it done it will be easy.


All that said, I started Bicillin years ago at 300,000 (to ramp up) and had to buy 600,000 tubex' to start. I used half, capped and refridgerated the rest and then just washed off the needle and reused it a few days later. (Those were the doctor's instructions [Eek!] it was a long time ago.)

With a syringe that isn't a tubex you can easily screw a new needle on and just prime it.

Sorry to make it more confusing. IM me and I think I can help explain.

--------------------
more light, more love
more truth and more innovation

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Melanie Reber
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Thanks for the offer to help clarify, Blue...I think I am just a bit braindead right now. Perhaps we can chat later tonight?

Hey Jill, yes I do know the feeling of being in debt over meds, I am still owing for 15 months of IV, so yes, I get that all too well.

My doc actually wanted me back on IV, but I just can't afford that at all, so IM was the next best solution.

I'm not doing too hot in the oral category either...this leaves few choices, doesn't it?

I did read all I could here in the archives before doing the first injection, and I think much was contributed by you...so thank you so much for that.

I don't get the LymeTimes, but will try to look it up in the archives there.

While I am NOT endorsing one pharm over another, (you would think I would have learned my lesson just now with the Theralac craziness)...

I have found that Walgreens has the best price for Bicillin, so I would suggest trying them if you haven't as of yet.

Thanks to everyone!

Now, I think I just need to lay back down [Smile]

M

Posts: 7052 | From Colorado | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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