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Emend - why not start with it?

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

I keep reading about the nausea and I feel like I keep reading that Emend works for so many people. Why don't they just start people on it? It seems like so many are suffering, why don't they give it first time around?
Kathleen

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2589
Joined: Jun 2006

I started my first round of chemo this month...I mentioned emend and my onc said...no no no...later....I don't know why?

Is it a problem? I don't get anti nausea drugs? are they harmful...sorry Kathleen

Mags

fighting for mom's picture
fighting for mom
Posts: 96
Joined: Jan 2009

My mom had different nausea meds her first round- had terrible problems with nausea. She had to battle it out with her insurance company to get the emend. She just finished round 3 and no nausea. She does battle severe fatigue on day 3,4,5 after chemo. She says she'll take that over the nausea any day.

Isn't it terrible to have to fight with insurance companies for things that will benefit a person and their recovery? She has had to fight for the neulasta shot as well. It just doesn't seem right.

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2589
Joined: Jun 2006

is it a question of cost???

fighting for mom's picture
fighting for mom
Posts: 96
Joined: Jan 2009

It is around $300 for 3 days of emend pills per chemo treatment for my mom. Her insurance finally agreed to pay for a portion- but even with her still working- she has to for her insurance- it sets them back.

I know that for each person it differs whether financials come into play.

Her Dr. wasn't going to even try the emend until the first didn't work.

I guess for mom it has been trial and error with meds- what works/doesn't work.

beachinmom
Posts: 75
Joined: May 2008

I started w/ Anzemet, and attivan, and compazine....My anzemet was around 200 for 1 month supply (6 pills)...Then the nausea got worse towards the end and I mentioned it and we moved to Emend...I was suprised it was 306 for 6 pills....yikes.

Tonia11
Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2009

I just picked up my husband's prescription of Emend today. He has his second round on Monday. I'm blessed because with my insurance I only paid $20 but I think it retails at over $300 for only 3 pills. But you do ask a good question. On my husband's first round of chemo they gave him some type of anti-nausea IV before the chemo but is didn't last too long. He was up all night vomiting. The next day when we called, they called in 3 presciptions (Kytril, Zofran, and Compazine). I don't know why they didn't give us all of that the day he had the chemo. But I think they take a wait and see approach because chemo effects everyone differently.

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I was told that the emend was very expensive....$108 a pill....I told him thats what I pay insurance premiums for. I was on the 3 pack the next treatment....at $27 my cost for all 3 pills.........

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

When I asked the chemo nurse during my first treatment for Emend, they said they don't usually bring out the big guns till later if needed, but they did end up giving it to me during the treatment, but when I went home that night with the pump, the second night till the next day was when the bad nausea really came on, since they had me on other anti-nausea meds.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4885
Joined: May 2005

I have heard where it is around $185 for each pill and not all insurance will cover it. Also, remember we are unique, just like everyone else. Some people may not get as nauseous so it's better to wait and see before you shell out $450 to $900 per month on it. Nausea gets discussed quite a bit here. There are many schools of thought on this subject. Some prefer pharmaceuticals while others prefer herbal remedies.
It's all enough to make you sick!

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Thanks Phil and everyone. All good scoop. I guess it does make sense to wait at least one round and see what the body does.
Kathleen

pamness
Posts: 513
Joined: Nov 2007

I had horrible problems with nausea during folfox treatmet - the first two rounds they gave me zolfran, compazine and attivan. It didn't really work for me - I was talking the zolfran for 8 days, etc.

They switched me to Emend with decadron - for three days, with zolfran, compazine and attivan for breakthrough nausea. It worked so much better. I was religious about staying ahead of the nausea.

But, bottom line - Emend is expensive about 3 times the cost of Zolfran. My insurance paid for both - I don't know why they didn't start me out with Emend - I have since asked my oncologist and he apologized. I had virtually no side effects from the Emend - no headache, no constipation.

Sometimes you just need to insist.

I have noticed (I was in treatment two years ago) when I go up to visit a friend currently in treatment, Emend is being used more often. My chemo nurse mentioned to me that she had not used it before.

If you have problems with nausea, and the regulars are not working. Be aggressive and insist on trying it.

Pam

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi,
I feel like your info has been very, very helpful. I get the entire insurance thing as we have a daughter with special needs and at times I have been on the phone to insurance companies for up to 15 hours a week. (Right now I am fighting them on $10,000 bill of something they have paid for 30 times before... go figure.)
But, more importantly you have all made me think that we will insist on the Emend. The reason is Dick had very, very bad nausea in the hospital. It is what really got him after surgery and it is the reason he was in the hospital 8 days instead of 4 (he lost 21 lbs. in 3 weeks and he is not a heavy guy.) All that being said, he was on Zolfran that entire time. He felt awful. He did not start to feel better until he stopped all pain meds and nausea meds.
We talk to the oncologist on Monday. Dick's port was put in today. Full body CAT scan tomorrow. I know we will be leaning on you for support.
Aloha,
Kathleen

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Kathleen,

I BELIEVE that it is because the side effects tend to be cumulative, and they want to save the biggest guns until last. It doesn't get any better than Emend, so if your nausea can be controlled with the other drugs, they can save Emend for the latter treatments. That's just my theory. I could be wrong.

Kirsten

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2589
Joined: Jun 2006

have to agree with you Kirsten...I really think that is what my onc was saying....let`s save it

mags

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

we are all in agreement, it's the cost of the pills. My insurance paid it and I only paid a $9 co-pay for the month's supply, which they would only pay for 6 pills in a 30 day period. In fact, I have some stocked because I almost had to do without Emend because of how my treatments fell, but managed to catch up when I had to delay treatment once. That was a scare! As far as accumulative effects, I have read that nausea is one of the side effects that doesn't tend to be cumulative. You either have it or you don't and it seems to be stable throughout, so they are really only "saving" it in case the other standbys don't work. I think, as in everything else, they are going to start having Emend as a standby when they realize how much better it works compared to others, but definitely be your own advocate! Exaggerate your nausea if you have to...
mary

fez1
Posts: 47
Joined: Jul 2006

I don't know why but Emend did nothing for my husband. He must be the only one in history. We started out with Zofran then Kytril then Emend with Decadron, Ativan etc. What finally helped somewhat was god old fashioned (and CHEAP) Compazine with Ativan and Decadron for 3 days. I also have great insurance and could get Emend for a $9 co-pay. Everyone is so different and you just have to keep trying.
Carol

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