I Forgot My Medication And I'm Traveling
April 28, 2016 9:31 PM   Subscribe

I have to do a presentation tomorrow night and I forgot to take my 10 mg dose of Prozac this morning and won't have any with me tomorrow morning either. Two questions: How serious is this for my brain working tomorrow night, and how can I get a prescription filled? I'm a Canadian travelling in the United States.

I've been on Prozac since October and have no experience of missing doses. Should I be freaking out about how my brain will perform tomorrow night during a presentation (I'll have to think on y feet) after missing two doses?

My plan is to call my doc in the morning and see if he can fax a prescription to the nearest pharmacy. Or should I get him to fax it to my hotel? Anyone who's ever dealt with this problem, I'd love for your suggestions on how to solve it!

Right now I'm feeling achy and tingly—not sure how much of this is psychosomatic... Thanks!
posted by Clotilde to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
PS: In case that wasn't clear... I left town on Thursday morning (forgetting to take my dose). My presentation is on Friday night (I don't have medicine with me). I'm flying home Saturday.
posted by Clotilde at 9:32 PM on April 28, 2016

Prozac has a long half-life (I think about 5 days after long-term use), so missing a couple of doses shouldn't matter too much in the scheme of things.
posted by xyzzy at 9:39 PM on April 28, 2016 [5 favorites]

Hopefully, you should be just fine. Prozac has a really long metabolic life, really really long. The half-life is measured in days, not hours like most drugs. You are very unlikely to feel any withdrawl effects in only a few days. I have done the same thing you did, and I never even noticed I forgot my pills. You have plenty of medication stored in your system.

Unfortunately, your doctor probably can't send a prescription over the border. If you are having problems before you go home, go to a walk-in urgent care clinic tomorrow and explain the problem.

It is going to be ok. You are going to give a perfectly competent and probably excellent presentation. Just breathe, and don't think too hard about it.
posted by monopas at 9:44 PM on April 28, 2016 [8 favorites]

I forgot mine (same med, same dose) on a 2-week long road trip in Canada and due to a weekend and weird cross-border pharmacy rules didn't get a refill for 5 days. I started to get irritable and hypersensitive after about 3-4 days but other than that, no problem. Prozac has such a long half-life and that's a very low dose. Just remember to take a deep breath and practice mindfulness if you start getting cranky or having low thoughts. You'll get through it.
posted by matildaben at 10:04 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

The half-life of prozac (fluoxetine) gets longer as you take it regularly (versus just one dose). According to this site, the half life with on-going use is 4-6 days. and, norfluxetine, the active metabolites which is what it turns into in your body, has an even longer half life with an average of 9.3 days.
posted by metahawk at 10:52 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

You can go to an urgent care clinic (much cheaper than an emergency room) to get a prescription. Some urgent cares only accept "existing patients", who have already seen doctors in specific large health care groups. Some will let you set an appointment over the phone, some you show up without an appointment and it is first come, first served.

I'm assuming you have no US health insurance. If price is important, you'll want to call around and check what it will cost to see a doctor as a "self pay" patient. Hint: if you call to ask the cost for a visit, and they say they will "just bill your insurance" or act like it is an unusual question, it is likely to be on the more expensive side of the scale. It will probably cost between $100 and $400 with no insurance, just for the doctor visit, not including any medications.

Larger hotels with a concierge can probably recommend an urgent care somewhere convenient that isn't expecting US insurance.

You'll want to know what pharmacy is most convenient for you to pick up at in advance of going to the clinic. It will make things easier to write down the name, address, phone number, and fax number for the pharmacy so you can give it to the doctor at the urgent care. You will pay for the pills when you pick them up at the pharmacy. If price is important, call around to different pharmacies before you go to the urgent care.

Enjoy your visit to the US health care system!
posted by yohko at 11:08 PM on April 28, 2016

You should be fine. As a person who had an allergic reaction to Prozac (Hives) I'm here to tell you that it sticks around for QUITE a while.

There are Urgent Care clinics in chain drug stores like CVS and Walgreens and I think a visit is about $35. Prozac has a generic version (Fluoxitine) and you should be able to get a 30 day supply for about $10.

But if you're going home tomorrow, I'd not bother, you should be fine.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:15 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Update: I called my doc in the morning and the office was closed for the weekend. Then I remembered I have a cousin in the US who's a doctor. I called her in the morning and she sent a prescription for 2 pills to a Walgreens near my hotel. Dosed up again! Relieved. Thanks for your answers, especially the reassurance that if I didn't get my pills, I'd be okay. That made a huge difference to me in my panic last night. The pharmacist was really nice, knocked down the price, it only cost me $5.
posted by Clotilde at 7:58 AM on April 29, 2016 [16 favorites]

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