Phenobarbital Shortage??

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Alex Says:


I am having trouble getting phenobarbital from the pharm due to lack of supply. Anyone else having this issue?



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1
Verwon Says:

Hello, Alex! How are you? Sorry about the problem that you're having getting your prescription filled.

Yes, there have been several posts recently about this issue, but there is currently no information available on when the problem may be resolved.

Learn more Phenobarbital details here.

The only suggestion I can really make is to speak to your doctor to see if there are any alternatives you can use, in the meantime.

Does anyone else know more about the shortage?

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2
Alex Says:

After my post, I called Westward Pharm and found out they were not producing the 10, 15, 30. 60s right now due to an issue at their plant. Other formulations are available, but adjustments will be needed.

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3
Patti Says:

I was told by Walgreens that no Big Pharma makes 30 mg phenobarbs any longer.
They put me on junk from Qualitest ..and what is in this stuff? air? It does not work at all. I may as well chew an index card before bed. ThenFDA should know about
their inferior products. Nice to know veterinarians find it ineffective as well!
The main website of Qualitest proudly shares their value on thebNASCAQ.
But I see them out for some fast money and even their website does not.work.
Typical, Big Pharma at work!

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4
Lesley Says:

Patti, I am having a hell of a time finding my phenobarbital. Nobody seems to know, when or if it will be available. What are we suppose to do? Is there a substitute? Please help.

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5
Patti Says:

I did find 30mg phenobarbital at Safeway Pharmacy. Unfortunately, it is that nutty one from
Qualitest that my body reacts to in an odd way. For my body, it is like taking speed. Hence, I
took Ny Quill sleepy time plus two barbs and for once slept for 10 hours. Sleep is a dire necessity for epileptics,
The original phenobarbital I got from Walgreens is not available right now, I will post the name of
that manufacturer when I get the name., OK?
You have to call each pharmacy in your area, and ask..do you carry PB in so and so mg.
Then you can have your Rx transferred there.
There are also Compounding Pharmacies. Look them up on line for your area.
I do not like Generics. PB is so cheap anyway...I do not get why Big Pharma messes with this.
Seizures are dangerous for the person and all around them. I guess Big Pharma does not care?

Love, patti

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6
Lesley Says:

Thanks for the info. I've been calling around and am still looking. You are right about the big pharms. I thought, I'll just run out, have a seizure and may be I'l get to retire a bit earlier. Sounds like a plan to me.

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7
Patti Says:

lLesley The original barb I used was made by westward and worked well with my body. see my previous posts. I did call Wakgreens who last month had Qualitest Phenobarbital at 64 gms..now has none at all! This irks me because epileptics must have sleep..and this is my second of third month on Qualitest that acts like Starbucks coffee in my body! My goal is to find the Westward brand somewhere! Sleep repairs our bodies, and I have had seizures years ago when I was not sleeping well, If anyone knows who sells Westward Products in any state, please let me know? Hang in there..stay calm! We shall overcome!

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8
Virginia Says:

Here is a bulletin dated October 23, 2013 stating West-Ward has experienced a manufacturing delay on certain dosages (15, 30, 60, 100). They estimate availability will not occur until Q2 2014. The bulletin lists the different mg. that are available. I have called several Walgreens and found 2 stores that currently have 32.4mg. & 97.2mg. Just select the closest mg. to what you are taking, call to make sure it is in stock at Walgreens, CVS or Costco, then call your doctor to request a new Rx for the dosage that is available. Good Luck!

ashp.org/DrugShortages/Current/Bulletin.aspx?Id=1061

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9
Patti Says:

Hi Virginia!
Thanks for the update. I also called Westward and they said they are not releasing more PB till January 2014 and beyond. They said you could call McKesson who works with pharmacies to find out which pharmacies are carrying PB where you live. They cannot fill any prescriptions. I found a full bottle of PB from Westward in my cabinet. Those PB from Westward do help me sleep. As I stated in previous posts the Qualitest acts like a strong stimulant for me. I hate them. Lastly, Call the pharmacy and ask if that 32 mg is Qualitest or not...I do think it is inhumane to have folks chasing around and stressed out. There are gazillions of medications currently unavailable. I wish I needed none of them. Big Pharma makes big bucks. Shame on them for hoarding profits and not caring at all if people get served! ..... heck..we are not in Bangaladesh..or are we? Thank you again for your post! Patti ?? The tablet size you mentioned is avaialble at CVS in Calidornia and in those doses made by Qualitest..not WestWard. I may be in error on this..please let me know. Many pharmacies have no PB.

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10
margy Says:

Yes, I was told it was being discontinued or phased out but have not found any info anywhere online and my physician was unaware as well the mfg. I have had a lot of issues since Sept of'13 Would love to know what you find out.

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11
Patti Says:

Call every pharmacy in your area and most have Qualitest Phenobabital. Forget Westward brand.
It is not being discontinued. Be sure too read all previous posts. Do not make an issue of this.
MDs treat patients, they are not pharmacists NOR is it their job to track supplies of drugs. That is between you and your local pharmacies. Do not give up hope. You willI find your drugs.
Your telephone is your Brest Bet to find the drug you need.
Walgreens in my city, has all strengths.and so

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12
MITCHELL Says:

I CALLED TO HAVE MY MEDICATION REFILLED DECEMBER 27TH 2013.WHEN I WENT TO PICK UP THE REFILL I WAS THEN,IMFORMED OF A BACK ORDER.WHAT ARE WE TO DO IF WE CAN'T GET OUR MEDS.I'VE BEEN ON THIS FOR 36 YEARS.IF I DIDN'T CALLED TO SEE IF THE MEDICATION WAS READY THEY WOULD'VE NEVER CALLED ME.I'M VERY NERVOUS ABOUT THIS WHAT DO I DO,BESIDES GETTING ANOTHER PRESCRIPTION FROM MY DOCTOR TO TAKE SOMEWHERE ELSE, THAT DON'T HAVE ANY.THIS IS NOT A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY SO WHY ARE THOSE OF US WHO HAVE TO TAKE THIS MEDICATION BEING TREATED LIKE WHERE IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY.THE PEOPLE IN THOSE THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES PROABLY ARE GETTING OUR MEDS, AND THE HELL WITH US HERE IN AMERICA THAT WERE NOT IMFORMED OF A SO CALL SHORTAGE.

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13
Katemom Says:

Yes. This is a big problem. My daughter who has multiple disabilities has been on phenobarbital for over 25 years. Her seizures have been managed well with a therapeutic dose . I have researched other options and they all come with major complications. I am guessing that the pharmaceutical companies don't want to make it because they can't make the profit that they can on other anti seizure meds they produce. It is a shame because this med has the least side effects of ant anti seizure drug out there.

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14
Patti Says:

You can go to a hospital emergency room if need be, many drugs are on shortage, chill out.. You can get PB from LifevExtension in Florida. They will deliver it . If one pharmacy is out of PB pick up the phone and call another. We are not a third world country. It just takes patience and a cool head, playing victim is non-productive. So if you miss your meds for one day, no, you will not die. PB remains in your blood. But if you are freaked out..and can afford ER,,try that..just stop stressing and get into action. Safeway, Target, Wakgreen, Cvs, rite Aid, Costco all have PB. If your pharmacy is out..try another.. Do it now.


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15
Steve L Says:

I've been checking with my Pharmacy and West-Ward since October. The latest is that the 15mg, 30mg and 100mg will be started at the end of March or early April. The 60mg will start in February. They keep changing the dates but this is the first schedule I and the Pharmacy heard of. Hope this helps.

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16
Patti Says:

I have been on PBS for 60 years. The companies are not out to kill you or me. It
Is physically, not goood to think negatively. There were reasons Westward had a
recall. Do not create fictions about why, it is plain silly!
If your pharmacy says we are on back order,...fine! Have him call another pharmacy in your area fr you to let you know where to get it, they may not have time to do that, if you have time to post here, I say you have the ability to find a pharm in your area on the Internet and call them. We are not 7 year olds.
If Wesrtward is ntot available, use whatever brand of PB you can find.


I mentioned before, call Life Extension Pharmacy in Florida, they will deliver it to your door. What more can you ask for! They have an 800 number.
Take care, use whatever PB is available. You cannot get what is unavailable at this time. Reminder..if you take phenytoin, PB, or both. Be advised that both rip
Vitamin D from your body. Tell your MD you want a test for Vitamin D levels.
Mine was atrociously low..I take Vitamin D now without fail.

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17
Caz Says:

I am having the same problem with 30mg Phenobarbital. My local grocery store pharmacy said it will be in stock in May?? i really cant wait til May for this. I need it like tomorrow.
I went to my new doctor as the regular dr has retired. He suggested I take 16.2 mg
SEVEN times a day.......I call that OD and trip to ER if Im lucky enough to survive.

What are the manufacturers doing to us? I take for seizure disorder as well.
Anyone?

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18
Randi Says:

I have medicated an epileptic dog for 10 years with West-Ward, 30 mg, 2x/day, no problems. When I went to get a refill 2/24/13, was told that the pheno was on back order. Ended up with what I was told was comparable Quali-test 34.2 mg. My dog was on this for exactly 11 days before she began having uncontrollable seizures, which led to loss of bowel and bladder control, extreme disorientation, and lack of ability to navigate. Since it was Saturday night when this occurred and our vet's office was closed, we took her to a nearby 24-hour vet hospital, where they put her down. Today I did online research about Quali-test phenobarbital and found that, in 2011, they did a massive recall due to mislabeling of hydrocodone 10 mg/ acetaminophen 500 mg as phenobarbital 32.4 mg tablets. The vet hospital has preserved our dog's body so our family vet can take a blood draw from it tomorrow to determine if there is any phenobarb present, and if so, what level, as well as look for the presence of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Additionally, I am having the Qualitest tablets tested to determine what specifically is in them. If they have again mislabeled the meds they are marketing as phenobarbital, we'll be obtaining legal counsel. It's too late for our dog, but perhaps others will be spared. If you are having trouble obtaining pheno in your area (I believe this is now a nationwide issue), and your only recourse is to convert to Qualitest 34.2mg USE EXTREME CAUTION. If you know others who are currently reliant on this med, please alert them. And...where is the FDA in this matter?

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19
Patti Says:

Randi sorry to heat about your dog. I do not like Quali -Test either. You can read other posts from
months back about this.
If you trust the FDA to approve safe drugs, you are sadlymistaken. The current Rxs of many kinds kill at least 30,000 people each year. I have seen my cat have seizures years ago and what a sad thing for you to go through.
West-ward still not putting out the 30 mg.

I hope You find some peace

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20
Patti Says:

Caz! You can do one of two things. Choose to be victimized or choose to be powerful. I know which one you are choosing..sitting and waiting for a seizure is not your choice, You know full well there are other places to get the PB from. So call around and get some. You do not want to die, do you!? No! Nor do any of us. You cannot depend on one place to fulfill your needs. They do not have your PB, OK?? End of story. Now you go to work and find one that does! The pharmacy is not responsible for you. They can only dispense what they get.
Their cupboard is bare, so I know you will not moan and get into action, you and you alone have control of your life they are not Mommy and Daddy! And they willI not have the seizure,,just you. So, I know you do not want that, correct? here is a number for you to call to get PB delivered to your door by mail. 1-877-877-9700 life extension pharmacy in Florida. Hours M-F. 9-6. sat. 9-2.

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