Clozapine (Clozaril) can be a frustrating medication to be on. You have to get blood work done every month just to be safe because the medication can have some serious side effects. I’ve never had any problems with the possible serious side effects from Clozapine, but I have had problems getting the actual prescription filled every month for the past year.
I go and get my blood work done (on time, like I’m supposed to), but the pharmacy I go to does not have it together. They always deny getting my lab results, so I end up calling the lab and having them re-send the blood work results. The pharmacy has even told me a couple of times that they weren’t there when the lab faxed over my results, which is why they don’t have them. That is complete crap. Even if my results were faxed over in the middle of the night, they should be there waiting for the pharmacy when they open.
Yesterday, I thought I found a new pharmacy. I talked to the pharmacist, and they were able to register me in the Clozapine database; however, they could not accept blood work results from the lab. So, it looks like I’m going to be staying at the same pharmacy I’ve been struggling with for the past year. I guess, I’m just going to have a sit down with the pharmacist and see if I can get everything figured out.
I have been home for five days now, and I still haven’t gone grocery shopping or done laundry. I plan on doing that stuff every day, but for some good reasons, they keep getting pushed to the next day. Yesterday, my husband and I spent the entire day with his mother getting a second opinion on her cancer. We are very grateful that we went there. The Mayo Clinic was wonderful.
Today, we’re having someone come and spray in and outdoors. I think we’re having it done 4 times a year, just to be safe. I keep finding crickets around the house, so I know it’s necessary.
I have to get my monthly Clozapine blood work done soon. I have enough meds to get me through for another 9 days. Instead of pushing myself way too hard, I will make an appointment for Monday and allow myself to catch up on everything else that I missed while I was away.
I take a lot of medications; most I take daily, and some are taken as needed. I keep very close track of my medications and when they need to be refilled. It’s a big task, but I make sure I’m on top of it all. I have a problem filling my Clozapine prescription every month. I have to do monthly blood work. The pharmacy won’t fill the Clozapine without the blood work results. Filling this prescription is an issue every single month.
Every month, the lab forgets to send the pharmacy my results. It’s always a huge hassle. Even though I filled out the paperwork, I still have to convince the lab to send my results over. I shouldn’t have to call the lab every time. At least I’ve found a way to make the phone call easier and shorter.
I refill my prescriptions about a week early (they can be filled from approximately 3 to 7 days early depending on the script). If I start early (at the 7 day mark), then it’s okay if they run into a problem. I learned this the hard way. Running out of prescriptions is not fun.
The past few days have been pretty rough. My husband hasn’t been feeling well, and we don’t know what’s wrong. At first, we thought it was just the flu. Some blood work came back, and we’re afraid it may be an autoimmune disease, liver disease, or something else more serious. So now, we’re waiting for more blood test results. I hate waiting.
The past few days have been hard for me, even though I’m not the one that’s ill. I keep trying to find ways to help my husband feel better, but there’s nothing that I can do to help. It reminds me of when I was a kid. My dad was diagnosed with cancer when I was 12 or 13. He was pretty sick fairly often, especially from chemo and dialysis. I remember hanging around my dad when he was sick and feeling completely useless. He wasn’t feeling well and there was nothing I could do to help. That same feeling is coming back now. My husband isn’t feeling well, and nothing I do is helping.
Starting at the beginning this month, I finally got to do my Clozapine blood work every other week instead of once a week. I can’t believe I made it through 6 months of weekly blood work. There are many worse things that could happen, but mostly, it was just such a pain in the ass. Getting the medication every week was harder than the actual blood work. The lab has to send the pharmacy my blood work. The pharmacist has to receive approval from the Clozapine National Registry. Now that I’ve been doing this for 6 months, I only have to deal with that hassle every other week, which will make my life a lot easier. Traveling will also be a lot easier. I planned my vacation in December around my blood work schedule, so I don’t have to do any blood work or pick up a prescription while I’m away. After doing blood work every other week for the next 6 months, I will finally get to do monthly blood work, which will happen in April. That’s something to look forward to.
Since the beginning of April, I have had to get my blood work done every week due to the Clozapine that I take. However, that won’t last much longer. Starting in October, which will be after completing six months of weekly blood work, I finally get to switch to doing my blood work every other week for the following six months. After that, I get to do my blood work on a monthly basis.
This will make my life much easier going forward. I know I should be excited about this, it is an exciting thing, but I just don’t feel excited. Probably because I’ve been numb to most things lately.
Yesterday, I dropped off my weekly Clozapine prescription at the pharmacy. I asked the pharmacy technician if she could check to see if my lab work had come in. I told her that it gets faxed over from the lab every week, and that someone from the pharmacy normally puts a copy in my file. She looked at me weird, and said, “We don’t do blood work here.” I explained to her again, that I get my blood work done at a lab and then the lab sends my blood work to the pharmacy so I can get my prescription filled. She still didn’t understand; she told me again, “We don’t do blood work here anymore.”
Wow, I was surprised at how ignorant this woman was. If she had just taken 30 seconds to listen to my explanation, then she would understand. At this point, she went to the back of the pharmacy with my prescription. When she came back up front, I asked if she found my blood work results. Her response was, “I don’t know, I didn’t look.” I was so baffled that I just decided to leave instead of try to get this woman to understand me. I asked her to please call me if there were any problems filling the prescription.
Luckily, they were able to fill my prescription. The pharmacist must have found my blood work in my file. I think they’re finally getting used to receiving my blood work results and having me filling my weekly Clozapine prescription there. The pharmacy technician I had this odd interaction with was new, so I can understand her being confused; however, if she had just listed to my explanation, she would have understood easily.
Every week I get my blood drawn to check for any possible side effects from taking Clozapine. The medication can cause many serious side effects, and the blood tests are there to catch the issues before they get too serious. My blood work results are finally all within normal limits. At one point, they got so bad that my pharmacist said they may not be able to continue filling my Clozapine prescriptions. We still have to keep an eye out for any issues since I’m increasing the medication slowly. I’m still doing weekly blood work, but I’m almost half way through it. At six months, I get to switch to every other week. At least it’s something to look forward to.
It’s also been getting easier to get my Clozapine prescriptions filled. I haven’t had to call the pharmacy and see if they have my blood work results, which is what I have had to do up until the last two weeks. I haven’t had to call the lab to have them fax over the results again either. The pharmacist is also no longer questioning my blood work because my results are finally normal. I’m glad this is finally getting easier, it’s about time. All I have to do now is hand the pharmacy my prescription, and 30 minutes later my medication is ready to be picked up.
This week has been full of doctor/medical appointments. I had my blood work done on Monday, talk therapy was yesterday, today was my gyn to treat my interstitial cystitis. I feel like all I do is go from one doctor to the next, over and over again. My blood work went well this week. I saw the woman who normally asks too many personal questions; she’s quite inappropriate. I was told that I should report her, but I didn’t. This last appointment, when I saw her, she only asked how I was doing. She didn’t try to tell me how I should treat and manage my bipolar disorder. I get extremely nervous when I see her, but now I know that I can see her without having her get inappropriate.
My therapy appointment went well. I actually opened up to him a little more than I expected. I told him some things that I’ve been thinking about that I haven’t told anyone else. It felt good to finally get some of the ideas that are running around in my head off my chest. It would have been better if talking about it made it go away. Instead, it just brought the negative thinking to the front of my mind. I keep going over and over it in my mind. I wonder when it will stop. At least I have someone I feel comfortable talking to about it. I’m not comfortable talking about it here yet, but maybe I will one day soon.
My gyn treats my interstitial cystitis, also called painful bladder disorder, by doing an installation. They are very uncomfortable, only sometimes do I yell or swear during the treatment. I’ve been doing the treatments every week for a couple of months now. Today, I found out that I finally get to do the treatments ever two weeks. I’m ecstatic about that.
I wish I could have a week without doctor appointments. I suppose the next time that will happen will be when I go to Cape Cod, although I’ll still have to get my blood drawn in order to get my Clozapine prescription. One day, I believe I will have a doctor-free week. It may not be today or even this month, but it will happen at some point.
My psychiatrist mailed me two months worth of prescriptions. These scripts, for Clozapine, will get me from my 200mg dose up to my target 400mg dose. Each script is for one week worth of medications (because I still have to do the weekly blood work). He sent me everything that I would need to get through the next two months. The scripts are pre-dated, so I can’t fill them until Wednesday of each week.
I will be starting the increase soon, either Wednesday or Thursday of this week. I’m a little concerned about the possible side effects, but I mostly think it will all work out.I’m increasing my dose slowly to hopefully avoid side effects. I guess only time will tell.
I can still contact my psychiatrist any time I need, but hopefully everything with the dosage increase will go smoothly and I won’t have to. My next appointment with him is on August 25th. Until then, I can contact him via email or text if necessary. He will still get my weekly blood work results. If he sees a problem with my blood tests, then he will contact me.