08 August 2007


Fluoxetine hydrochloride moleculeAlso known as N-methyl-3-phenyl-3-[4-(trifluoromethyl)phenoxy]-propan-1-amine, C17H18F3NO, Fluoxetine hydrochloride, or, most commonly, Prozac, I've been on this drug for several years. Twice I've tried going off it and twice I've decided that was a bad idea. Now I've gone off it again. Without tapering off as recommended. But not by choice. The mail-order pharmacy refused to fill the new prescriptions my doctor wrote (for Fluoxetine and Simvastatin) and I've run out.

When I got the rejection notice, I called them. At first they said they needed to get a diagnosis.

"What?" I said. "You've been sending me these drugs for years. What has changed?"

"Hold on, please," they said.

Eventually they handed me off to a specialist. I probably spent ½ hour on the phone, maybe a total of 5 minutes talking to him. The summary of what he finally said is, "Your wife's insurance plan shows you as her child and since you are over 23 years old, you are not covered. Oh, and we don't know how to get in touch with her employer's benefits manager and can't give you a phone number for them."

"What?" I said. "You've been sending me these drugs for years. What has changed?"

"Let's see." Long pause. "I can't see anything prior to last October."

The last time I sent in new prescriptions was about a year ago. I've been getting refills every 90 days or so since.

Of course my wife was on vacation in some semi-wilderness park. I called and left a message on her mobile phone. When she returned home, I was away at an A.A. Convention. Her mobile had died. She finally got the message after returning home. Today she contacted the benefits people at work. They said that I'm listed as her husband and that nothing has changed. Grrrrrr!

It's been over a week now. The half-life of Fluoxetine is something like 2 weeks. I suppose I'm slowly getting depressed. It sure has felt like it, but that pre-dates my running out of medication.

For years I used my program to fight the consequences of my depression. What an odd feeling when taking a pill drastically amelioriated those consequences. Here I had been thinking it was a spiritual battle, but apparently it was only chemical. I still haven't reconciled myself to this, but I'm resigned to continuing on the medication. Experience has proven that it's not fair to those around me—primarily my family—to try to deal with my depression on my own.

Can someone please e-mail me some Prozac?


Meg Moran said...

wow...thanks for an honest post about where you're at with this, especially since some think its controversialy ( I say stay outta my program lol) I'm actually weaning off my anti depreseant by choice right now and it is no picnic...a real struggle in fact going thru the adjustment brain chemistry-wise..... Hope you get your meds soon.

Shadow said...

heee heee heee. medical insurance companies can drive you to drink.... hope you are sorted by now...

i've just decided to take myself off my anti-depressant, cypralex. doing it sloooowly though, over a 2 month period. hope it works out. if not, i'll just call up my good doctor again. i hope i won't have regressed to being someones child on the computer system....

have a good one!

butterflygirl said...

not good...been there done that before...hope you get your meds real soon!