Monday, September 17

Throwing Good Medicine Down the Drain

A couple of weeks ago, my husband accidentally threw an entire bottle of Nuvigil away.

He had gotten his prescription filled, taken one dose, and later that day, he threw it into a public trashcan with a bunch of other trash. He didn't even realize it until much, much later.

We were not happy.

Our co-pay for this drug is $35. Now maybe that isn't a lot for some families, but if your household is anything like ours, you're on a tight budget. We budget a certain amount each month for doctor's appointments and medications, and our (ridiculously) expensive health insurance. I knew that shelling out an extra $35 for medication was going to sting, but just a little - especially compared to something like a failed transmission (July) or insurance for an unexpected new vehicle (August). The main problem was the hassle of explaining to the insurance company that my husband simply lost the medicine. He didn't sell it, take it all, give it to someone else, feed it to the cat... or whatever else they suspect when this happens. Fortunately, the doctor's office was quite understanding and helpful. Although it wasn't immediate, my husband was able to get his replacement prescription within a reasonable amount of time... considering.

So it was actually a little while before my husband took his Nuvigil and Prozac together. What a difference! One day he actually said, "I feel great!" I was very happy to hear it. Finally, a drug combo that worked perfectly! (Yes, I know, go ahead and roll your eyes.) A short time later, I asked my husband if he was still feeling great, and he was, but... Taking them together seemed to have a few side effects after all (of course). Mild anxiety, appetite suppression, and feeling wired. As we talked, I realized that those symptoms sounded awfully familiar. Sure enough, moments later, he said, "It basically feels like Adderall without the aggression." Immediately, I thought, Oh no! Not again! But he went on to explain that without that Adderall Edge, he actually felt okay, just a little too wired. After a day when he got up at 4am, mowed the lawns, washed the car, ran errands and then started on a major project in the garage, I had to agree. Wired? More like AMPED.

For now, our solution is for my husband to continue to take the Nuvigil daily, and take the Prozac every other day. When he sees his doctor again this month, we'll talk about adjusting dosages. If that doesn't work... back to the drawing board.


  1. Wow, I pay $75 a month for my Nuvigil.

  2. Oh, the thought of that perfectly lovely (and very expensive) Nuvigil just thrown away makes me sick! I'm so glad he WAS able to get it refilled.

    Finding the right combination of meds is so hard, and then complicating the issue with insurance limitations and price (for self payers) just makes it even harder. Co-pays can add up, too!

    Hoping maybe this combination of meds for your husband will start to feel better as he adjusts.

  3. Wow. My Dr. put me on this med a month ago (diagnosed with Narcolepsy at 47) - the insurance co-pay was over $400. So, the Dr. gave me a little card that would offer the first 30 days free and a substantial reduction with the insurance - as low as $5. Today I went to get the "paid" prescription and was told that my co-pay is $411.00! Wow! The little card provided #50 off. Guess I'm back to the Dr. with a request for something else. I'll resort to napping in the interim.

  4. I know the feeling about insurance companies, my script was stolen from by purse last spring and the insurance wouldn't any of my refill. Cost was a rough $100.00 for just a month.

  5. I noticed you hadnt posted in a while and I wanted to drop you a line. My husband also have narcolepsy...some days I wonder how we have made it as long as we have. We have been together for almost 7 years, married for 3. We have two children and another on the way. I often sit and beg God to send me a support group for the WIFES of these narcoleptic men. It's so hard when NO ONE in the family understands what is going on. "Dont let him run your life", "Dont be his secretary", "Dont let him treat you like that", "Why isnt he at school/work today", "why is your husband so lazy...." I could go on and on , but you know them all. Sometimes, when I have a full plate and his Narcolepsy flares badly...and I dont notice what is going on right away...Oh, he gets so irritable and mean. I try to do my best, but I have issues too! I feel as though my problems get pushed back to the back burner and his N takes center stage...leaving me exhausted with the kids, the house, and the misunderstanding family watching him sleep or blow up at one of us. It's not him. It's the Narcolepsy. It's so hard, but reading your posts helps me to understand a little better...forces me to take a step back and think about what he is going through...and how he rEALLY cannot help it. Please, dont stop posting. You are my sanity.

  6. I feel for you all so much. There are so many faults with the NHS in Britain and I'm as guilty as the next person of complaining when things go badly (see my blog But then I read about the struggles you have to obtain/afford medication and thank God that I am lucky enough to live in a country where medication is free (Wales) and where treatment may take a little longer but is available to all who need it. You are all in my prayers and I'm going to use my next entry to highlight the struggles of CoPay and uninsured suffers xxx

  7. Keep a close watch out for mounting insomnia with prozac. It put me in a really bad situation. I was taking it with provigil. It came on so slowly I didn't realize what was happening until I literally couldn't sleep at all. I was unable to sleep for approximately 2 weeks - I thought it was from stress and stopped taking the stimulant meds before I figured out it was the prozac/fluoxotine. By that time I was screwed enough I had to stop taking it cold turkey & withdrawal is a whole other horror story. It's magic on the cataplexy, but definitely keep a close eye on sleep quality lest it take a chunk out of him, too!

  8. Nuvigil is the cheaper trap Cephalon set while they jacked up the price of Provigil. I held out until modafinil became generic. 60x200mg modafinil is $10/mo. It was $360/mo for 30x200mg. Go back. Nuvigil is an excuse for a patent that is only a hair different. I lost a year of my life to corporate greed and ritalin shortages. Heinous.