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Prescription for Imitrex denied by pharmacist!

Hi everyone! I’ve suffered from migraines since I’m 18 yrs. old and am now 64. I’ve been to many doctors over the years and all of them have tried to help, I must admit. I’ve had numerous tests as I’m sure all of you have been through and many, many preventatives that don’t work because of side-effects that were unbearable or just didn’t work. Period.

I have researched medications to the nth degree over the years and found a very good doctor in NYC (I live in PA) who is head of the NY Headache Center. He believes that after all else has been tried and failed, a daily dose of Imitrex to give the patient their life back isn’t such a horrible risk. I have tried everything known to man and nothing works except this regimen. Sometimes, I don’t even have to take anything. But, just knowing that I have access to the medication is half the battle and I’m more relaxed and confident that I can get through a day without taking Sumatriptan.

Well, my Primary Care doctor read his papers on this philosophy and I told him it works for me. He prescribed me 30/month “in case” I would have to follow this regimen. Taking pain pills upon pain pills rots my intestinal area and why should I feel “out of it” on narcotics and sedatives. No thanks. I volunteer at a local cancer center and hold down a part time job. I also have a husband who is going blind at the age of 69 and it’s stressful. Migraine inducing.
I’ve had this prescribed to me for over 2 yrs. at the same pharmacy (CVS) and all of a sudden (today) the pharmacist said she is not “comfortable” filling it and I need to go to another pharmacy if I want to continue filling this prescription in this way. The doctor’s special notation is “no monthly limit” so they don’t give me any problems. I pay for it out of pocket as the insurance won’t cover that much. That’s ok – I can do it. Not only did she humiliate me and “scold” me, but others heard her so she violated the HIPAA law! I told her my doctor prescribed it and I get tests on my heart (echocardiogram) yearly and liver/kidney function on top of regular bloodwork. She didn’t care. She said it’s “my opinion and MY initials on this medication!) If she wanted to give me a lecture, she should’ve asked me to step into a private office in the back! I was in tears. She filled it this time, but said to come back in a month – not a few weeks. Just like that!

I would love to hear some feedback from the group on here as your opinions mean everything as you are all the “experts” on migraines.

Thanks for listening – I’m very disgusted and don’t know what to do.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • dasc4321
    2 years ago

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  • AuroraPhoenix
    2 years ago

    I am a certified pharmacy technician, so I feel very confident weighing in on this.

    She’s completely right about the “her opinion, her initials” thing. Pharmacists, by law, are not required to fill any prescription they are not comfortable with.

    That being said, saying any of this to you within earshot of anyone else is HIPPA violation and against the law. She can be fined, or even lose her license, and the store can be fined. You should report her to the state pharmacy board. If she did this to you, she has done, and will do, it to others.

  • Katyb author
    2 years ago

    I’m glad you responded and I totally agree with you. The real issue here is the embarrassment she caused me. I was so blindsided because I’ve been using this pharmacy for years and years and never had a problem.

  • Anne
    2 years ago

    I’m sorry this happened but it doesn’t surprise me. There was on pharmacist who used to lecture me that I should be on a preventative, when I was trying out any and all preventatives. She was so rude and I have no idea why she thought this was any of her business.

  • Luna
    2 years ago

    I would talk to management. If that is CVS policy then you either live with their rules or change pharmacy. Or maybe there is another pharmacist there that will fill the rx.

  • Katyb author
    2 years ago

    But, that is not CVS rules. That is that particular pharmacist’s personal opinion & she made me feel humiliated in front of others when it should’ve been in private consultations. The other pharmacists never had a problem.

    So, I took my new script to another pharmacy that I used to go to for many years and they were super nice and understanding. I told them what happened at CVS on Sunday and the pharmacist said I should call the state licensing board and complain -above all, she violated the HIPAA law. Her opinion is a right that she has as a licensed pharmacist, but to berate me about the amount I take when she knows zero about my medical history is uncalled for. We aren’t talking about a controlled substance here!

  • Katyb author
    2 years ago

    RobinfromCA – Thanks for supporting me. Like I said to the other person: this is NOT CVS rules. This is one pharmacist. I have since transferred my Rx to anther pharmacy and they are appalled at the treatment I got, especially being a migraine patient. The head pharmacist gave me a number to call to the state licensing dept. to report this person as he said she violated the HIPAA laws. Standing there in front of strangers defending my doctor and myself by spilling out what tests I get to make sure I’m ok using this stuff was so humiliating………….. And, yes, I did report her.

    On another note: I was in CVS purchasing some things near the pharmacy and one of the girls saw me and asked why I haven’t been there in a few weeks. I told her. She was so upset that she called the store manager over. She, in turn, said she will speak to this pharmacist. I told her do whatever you want, but I’m not getting this medication filled here now or in the near future.


  • RobinfromCA
    2 years ago

    I would report her.

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