Online Pharmacies
April 3, 2006 7:46 PM   Subscribe

How do I go about finding a reputable online pharmacy?

My wife has daily migraine headaches and recently moved from a pain-friendly state, Colorado. In looking for a new doctor in Washington state who will prescribe strong pain medication (Oxycodone) we have met with a lot of hesitation on their part in prescribing narcotics.

It seems the stigma of taking these drugs is to the point that doctors are finding creative ways to tell you your pain is not serious enough to warrant taking anything greater than aspirin for migraine headaches which last as long as 72 hours. My wife runs a home business that can't withstand this kind of downtime, and narcs are the only thing that has worked so far.

Please help me find an online pharmacy to bridge the gap that will A) Do online doctor consultations; B) Accept our insurance (Premera); and C) Actually prescribe pain medication to the people that need them.

We are not drug abusers but are being treated as though we are. Please help.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)
Going online isn't the solution you seek -- finding an understanding local doctor is. It's going to be very difficult for you to find someone online that will feel comfortable prescribing a schedule II controlled substance without ever knowing or examining you (although it frightens me that there are likely to be people that are willing to do this, and risk their medical licenses and the health of people in the process). Likewise, it won't be easy for your wife to defend herself if someone ever decides that she is a drug addict -- you can even imagine the Law and Order scene, with her being asked on the stand whether the doctor who diagnosed her migraines and prescribed her opioids ever examined her.

I know this isn't likely to be the answer you're looking for, but there it is.
posted by delfuego at 7:53 PM on April 3, 2006

I can't vouch for any of this but I searched Google for oxycontin "no prescription" and found this resource. I can certainly sympathize with the FPP's plight -- a couple of years ago I had an awful time trying to get effective treatment for a dry cough that was keeping me up at night. We changed doctors after the old one dicked around on the issue; the new one treated me right.
posted by chef_boyardee at 8:09 PM on April 3, 2006

I've been pretty happy doing business with, but they don't appear to carry the specific medication you're interested in. Browse around and see what alternatives they might offer.
posted by majick at 8:13 PM on April 3, 2006

Oxycontin is probably the single most scrutinized prescription around right now. You're going to have a tough time finding any place online that will sell to you. The problem with switching doctors is that you'll get labeled as a 'seeker' in your charts and *then* you'll REALLY have touble getting them.

I would think that an existing prescription would ease the transition though. "She" does HAVE one, right?

God bless the War on Drugs. Do everyone a favor and don't vote for either of the major parties in this next election, ok?
posted by unixrat at 8:39 PM on April 3, 2006

You could look for doctors that specialize in pain (usually "pain management"). They might be less hesitant to prescribe narcotics because they do it more frequently and they might have some solutions or management techniques for your wife's migraines. My father has terrible knee pain (he's too young to get it replaced but he pretty much has no cartilage) and I think he sees a doctor like this. Your normal doctor might be able to refer you to someone if your wife's headaches are that bad.
posted by MadamM at 8:55 PM on April 3, 2006

You listed Oxycodone as the drug. Is that in the pure Oxycontin form, or a less potent form (Percoset, etc)?
posted by potch at 9:31 PM on April 3, 2006

I've been pretty happy doing business with, but they don't appear to carry the specific medication you're interested in.

Oxycodone is a narcotic analgesic. You will not be able to get ANY narcotics from legitimate Canadian pharmacies:

Narcotics and other controlled substances are subject to DEA jurisdiction and cannot be imported under personal importation regulations. Such items may be held by customs and referred to the DEA for investigation. Exporting narcotics is a violation of Canadian export regulations and any pharmacy that offers narcotics for export should be avoided.

Source: Canada Drug Talk

I second delfuego's suggestion of finding an understanding local doctor.
posted by cup at 9:48 PM on April 3, 2006

Just checking here, there *are* non-narcotic migraine medications that are effective for many; I assume these have been tried?
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:11 PM on April 3, 2006

You're not going to have much luck getting narcotics online, most especially with any suspicious prescriptions.

Secondly, narcotics are not that effective against migraines and can contribute to them. The new migraine drugs are now available in less-expensive oral form, and they're very effective.

I know—I get migraines and I have severe arthritic pain for which I take strong narcotics. If you need narcotics, your doctor will prescribe them for you. If that's still a problem, get another doctor. A GP or family practitioner is going to be the least willing to prescribe narcotics, for good reason. At any rate, I've never had a problem, not even with a family practitioner. Narcotics have never helped my migraines.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:21 PM on April 3, 2006

Also, oxycodone is, right now, the most suspicious narcotic you could be asking for. Why not switch to a different one? At any rate, this doesn't really answer your question, but I recommend Costco's online pharmacy for the lowest pricing and good service. The "lowest pricing" part is important if you're a self-payer, especially because self-paying generics are priced wildly differently between pharmacies—by factors of 5-10, believe it or not. (And generic narcotics are pretty cheap, by the way.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:26 PM on April 3, 2006

I don't believe you'll have much luck with online pharmacies either. Oxycodone is an effective pain med, but as others have pointed out it's not the best thing for migraines, and most doctors don't like prescribing it unless your wife has a verifiable or documented (severe) condition that causes her great pain. I'm afraid most doctors would probably think it's drug seeking behavior by a doctor-shopping patient because 1) you're asking for a specific narcotic (oxycodone at that) and that always raises flags 2) the patient could just be claiming to have pain, since there are no lab tests for migraines 3) narcotic painkillers aren't the most effective treatment for migraines.

Why not seek treatment from a headache/migraine specialist? Or you could doctor shop until you find one who prescribes her pain meds. However, if you choose the latter, be prepared to have some doors slammed in your face or get a lesser painkiller such as tylenol w/codeine or 5 mg hydrocodone tablets.
posted by Devils Slide at 1:23 AM on April 4, 2006

Look, I don't mean to push the envelope here, but I assume your wife has tried both Imitrex and Maxalt? My girlfriend had terrible experience with Imitrex (the most commonly prescribed drug for migraines, I guess) but one Maxalt and 30 minutes later and she is absolutely golden.

To echo other posters, find a pain management doc - they are the ones with experience in this arena.
posted by arimathea at 5:34 AM on April 4, 2006

I second the suggestion that she get a referral to a pain management specialist. They take pain seriously and are willing to treat it and they know what the appropriate medications are. That's what I did when I had to control some horrendous intermittent pain and none of my current doctors were willing to prescribe anything because they were worried about side effects.
posted by spira at 7:51 AM on April 4, 2006

Another vote for finding a pain management specialist. In several of my pharmacy school classes it's been said by the profs that stuff like oxycodone is woefully underprescribed for genuine pain sufferers, because everyone is so worked up about the potential for addiction - which is actually quite minor if you are genuinely using the drugs for pain. We need to stop treating people in pain like addicts bc they're not.
posted by selfmedicating at 9:28 AM on April 4, 2006

I know you've said that narcotics are the only thing that's worked, but I know many other people who've said the same thing and didn't even know that there are migraine-specific drugs out there that work. Has she seen a neurologist?

I had daily migraine headaches for more than ten years. Then one day I got prescribed Topamax - now I don't have any.
posted by dmd at 10:18 AM on April 4, 2006

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