Drugs going out of stock in lockdown

aaaaaaaaaaahhhhh they are stopping making one of my drugs!!!

A phone call from my pharmacist to tell me that they cannot get hold of one of my drugs is something no patient ever likes to hear let alone during lockdown and even less so when it is one of your allergy meds and you have just had to have you meds added in by your allergy specialist because your allergies are out of control.

Panic totally set in. Particularly as when I received the phone call I was doing all I could to manage my asthma which was also causing me a lot of problems and I was terrified that I was going to need to head into hospital. Thank fully that didnt happen but the added stress did not help.

One thing I know I am not alone with is being meticulous about my medication wether it is in hospital or at home i always make sure I have enough of everything, the right brands, back up’s the lot.

The drug in question was ranitidine. Not commonly used for allergies but I take it as a histamine 2 blocker rather than as a anti acid treatment.

After the initial shock subsided I was able to compose myself and figured out a plan.

  1. I took to social media to see if anyone else had heard of a shortage
  2. Ask around about alternatives once I established that it in not likely ranitidine will be back in production
  3. Speak to Asthma nurse specialist about my concerns and how worried I am about my allergies throwing my chest off evermore than it already is
  4. Speak to GP who said to pharmacist that it is ok for me to not take the ranitidine and make sure she hears from allergy
  5. Get a plan from the allergy guys
  6. Implement plan

So far I have done 1-4. I am waiting to hear back from the allergy guys. It is so hard during lock down because everything takes so much longer. I know my case is unique and my relationship with my specialists is unique in that I can call them and normally speak to them the same day but during lock down this is not the case. I need to be a patient patient here.

When conditions are so complex the smallest change can really throw things off. I like to try and control all that I can when it comes to my medication this is something I can control and will normally only start or stop a medication when in consultation with my specialist’s and it is because we have decided to do this. I am in new territory where stopping a medication has been due to the pharmaceutical industry and nothing I can do will make them start producing more or get me more. Its a horrible situation to find myself in and I am sure there are many others out there who feel the same.

This has made me think what happens if other drugs I rely on for my life run out and stop being produced. It is totally irrational but it has got me thinking about the alternatives I could take for other drugs I am on.

Fingers crossed no other drugs go out of production anytime soon or even better there is a cure for asthma and allergies so we don’t need to worry about drugs! I some how don’t think this will happen given the current climate and that all research is quite rightly focusing on a vaccine and treatment for COVID-19.

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