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Question about Emend

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi all,
Has been a really rough week. Fifteen treatments down and 10 to go. The nausea has been relentless. Beginning to have some swelling and irritation of the esophogeus, not painful just annoying. I am getting an injection of Amifostine before treatment everyday. Yesterday my blood pressure was too low for the injection and I cannot believe what a difference it made with the nausea. I went out to dinner with my husband and son last night. Every other night this week, I was in the bed. So not doubt the shot is really ramping up the nausea, but my Dr. is adamant that the benefit of the shot far outweighs the nausea.

My physician wrote me a prescription for Emend for the nausea. His nurse claims it would be the perfect medicine for my "type" of nausea. I have been taking compazine and zofran and they are just not cutting it. The problem is I have no prescription coverage and the Emend is $150 per pill. It is a three tablet dose that lasts six days. I would need 4 packs to finish up and that would be $1400. HOLY cow!!! I got paperwork for the ACT program but was told by his nurse that the chances of getting any assistance is very slim as this medication is for "chemo-induced" nausea and not "radiation-induced". She said they consider my use "off-label" and therefore would not approve it. My best friend's work-out buddy is an RN that manages a chemo clinic in North FL and she is trying to get me some samples. My Dr.s nurse also said this was almost unheard of, she has never been succesful in getting her hands on any samples. So there you have it...I just wondered if any of you might have any suggestions or experience with this drug.

Thanks,
Joanne

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry to hear you've had a rough week. Nausea--ugh! I experienced a little during treatment, but nothing I couldn't deal with. About the Emend--I was given this drug to take during both rounds of chemo. I was instructed to take the first pill, which is a stronger dose, about an hour before my chemo infusion. Then the other two, lower dose pills, were taken the next 2 days. Of course, it's impossible for me to say if the Emend was the reason I had only mild nausea, but I have to believe that it helped. However, one side effect I dealt with that may have been related to the Emend was dizziness. I experienced dizziness during both of my chemo weeks. I was fortunate enough to have drug coverage, so if I remember correctly, my portion to pay was about $60. I so wish that was the same for you. It's unreal that this stuff is so expensive! And what a crock that assistance is available only to someone whose nausea is "chemo-induced." Obviously whoever made that decision has never had radiation treatment.

I wish I could help! All I can do is send you virtual hugs and let you know I'm thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers. Hang in there, dear friend!

Hugs--
Martha

z's picture
z
Posts: 1250
Joined: May 2009

Hi Joanne,

I know nothing of this drug, but I was wondering if you could contact the company and ask for assistance in obtaining the meds at a reduced price or for free. I know my friend has MS and she is able to get her medicine for free after having used it for a year. Now this I know is a special program and her meds would cost about 1500 a month. I hope you will get some relief soon. Lori

duckyann
Posts: 162
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Joanne,

I also had this drug but only by IV before my chemo the second round. At that time which will be 2 years at the end of May I know my oncology nurse told me the price on it and it was outrageous but I cant remember how much it was, I could not get it in pill form. I really think it helped me a lot. The second round I was not as nauseous but unfortunately my diarrhea was worse. These insurance companies make me so mad they have no right to deny things when people need them. I will be keeping you in my prayers.

Nancy

patacz
Posts: 64
Joined: Sep 2010

Prices of medical treatment and medicines are unbelievable, how can these pills cost so much, are they made out of gold? And it’s not going to get better anytime soon, I pray for all those who don’t even have insurance. I don’t know much about this medicine, I was prescribed Ondansetron and never took them because didn’t experience any nausea, I still have them. I hope you can get a positive answer from the company and get them for free so you don’t have to suffer through this, thus your body needs the nutrients. Wishing you the best during your treatment and a quick recovery.

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