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#1 cdlu

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:15 AM

Can anyone tell me if the drug Lisinopril 20mg be purchased at Cozumel pharmacies without a prescription? TIA
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#2 DebB

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:41 AM

According to the UNAM database, its sale requires a prescription. http://www.facmed.un.../Lisinopril.htm
The standard tab here is 10mg. Best to check with a pharmacist.
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#3 Coz_Aholic

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 12:10 PM

I have bought mine at Dori without an RX...BUT...I did have my RX Bottle from the VA to show them.
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#4 Charles

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 12:48 PM

Deb is correct about the standard dose being 10mg. I have never seen 20mg, but haven't conducted a search. You do NOT need a prescription to buy lisinopril. Every medicine sold in Mexico has printed on the box "sale requires a doctor's prescription". It is a joke I assume for other countries if exported. Only antibiotics and the handful of "potentially illicit medicines with abuse potential" require prescriptions.

At Farmacias Similares it comes in bottles of 28 pills for about $40 pesos.
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#5 cookielady

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:39 PM

When we were down in November they were selling antibiotics all over the place without requiring a prescription.
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#6 mstevens

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 04:24 AM

Deb is correct about the standard dose being 10mg.


I would not agree with that at all. It's conceivably true that the 10mg size is most common, and I can't prove that it's not the only size available on the island. Pill size, however, is not the same as dose. For example, a typical dose of aspirin is 650mg but the typical tablet size is 325mg.

In the US, where I practice, lisinopril is available in 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 30mg, and 40mg sizes.

The dose I have prescribed and seen prescribed most often is 20mg daily.
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#7 Carey

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 06:21 AM

I would not agree with that at all. It's conceivably true that the 10mg size is most common, and I can't prove that it's not the only size available on the island. Pill size, however, is not the same as dose. For example, a typical dose of aspirin is 650mg but the typical tablet size is 325mg.

In the US, where I practice, lisinopril is available in 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 30mg, and 40mg sizes.

The most dose I have prescribed and seen prescribed most often is 20mg daily.

Well, Doc, welcome to Mexico. Where, for example, it is impossible to get lamotrigine -- brand name or no -- in anything but dispersible tablets form, just to give you one example from personal experience. They simply do not sell regular tablets in Mexico. And they also are not available in as many dosage sizes. And there will be many, many other examples.

They are also way short on and closely guard any medications that could give real relief from pain. I have come to the conclusion that, as kind, attentive and qualified as the medical people are in Mexico, many are still ascribing to the No Pain No Gain philosophy of healing instead of the more advanced, to my way of thinking, outlook that pain adds a lot of stress and therefore slows healing. In short, all reading this, bring your own pain meds from a doc in the states if you're planning on having procedures done in Mexico. Because you won't find them at the pharmacies easily -- even if you can get the doc to give you a prescription.
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#8 nanny

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 12:28 PM

I am having trouble getting my RX coverage to allow a 4 month supply which I will need while in Coz. I do need the 100 MG
of Lamotrigine (Brand name Lamictal). In the event I am unable to obtain the med's in the US, is there any chance
I can get them in Coz.? This is something I must have twice daily and no way I can go without them.\

HELP.....
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#9 DebB

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 01:00 PM

Marketed here as "Lamictal" and "Lamictal Dispersible" - meaning chewable -- from GlaxoSmithKline.
According to the pharmacology list, the largest tab sold in MX contains 100mg Lamotrigine. No generic form is available.
If you have a prescription plan in the USA, it may be smartest to buy there due to high cost for certain trademarked meds here.
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#10 Carey

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 02:03 PM

Marketed here as "Lamictal" and "Lamictal Dispersible" - meaning chewable -- from GlaxoSmithKline.
According to the pharmacology list, the largest tab sold in MX contains 100mg Lamotrigine. No generic form is available.
If you have a prescription plan in the USA, it may be smartest to buy there due to high cost for certain trademarked meds here.


Generic is indeed available. I starred right at it in the Mega yesterday. Maybe with a prescription plan it would be cheaper to buy in the states. But without it, brand name is almost 4 times as expensive and most insurance plans will insist you be on the generic even if it doesn't agree with you as well. Comparable prices can be found by mail ordering from a Canadian pharmacy with a doc's prescription. No scrip is necessary in Mexico however.
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#11 DebB

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 04:43 PM

I gotta get a new source for MX pharmaceuticals! Mine seems outdated....Sorry 'bout posting bad info.
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#12 mstevens

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 07:51 PM

I am having trouble getting my RX coverage to allow a 4 month supply which I will need while in Coz. I do need the 100 MG
of Lamotrigine (Brand name Lamictal). In the event I am unable to obtain the med's in the US, is there any chance
I can get them in Coz.? This is something I must have twice daily and no way I can go without them.\

HELP.....


Talk to your pharmacy before you go about a "vacation override". Use those specific words. Don't try to explain the situation to a tech, just use the magic words. They may or may not be able to get it covered just on that basis. If not, call the number on the back of your benefits card, go through the agonizing phone tree until you get a person, then tell them you need a vacation override. It can take time, but almost always results in your getting enough medication to take for the duration of your trip.

Well, Doc, welcome to Mexico.


The availability, or lack of availability, of particular sizes has nothing to do with what a standard dose is.
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#13 Charles

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:21 AM

I would not agree with that at all. It's conceivably true that the 10mg size is most common, and I can't prove that it's not the only size available on the island. Pill size, however, is not the same as dose. For example, a typical dose of aspirin is 650mg but the typical tablet size is 325mg.

In the US, where I practice, lisinopril is available in 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 30mg, and 40mg sizes.

The dose I have prescribed and seen prescribed most often is 20mg daily.


You are absolutely correct, my sincere apologies for not stating it correctly. Probably no one better than I should not how to state things correctly when dealing with medicine, treatments and just what is available in both in theory and in reality.

I have spent about 70% of my waking time the last seven weeks, researching treatments, comparing medical and treatment philosophies between Mexico, the U.S. Canada and the U.K. Besides my personal health issues, I work buying/obtaining medication prescribed for my wife and I struggle to assist in the end of life of a dear friend that has advanced stage 4 cancer.

As a general rule applicable to 90% plus of medications sold, they will be on the market in one size only and that is typically the standard dose as well. Lisinopril is only available in 10 mg size tablets and that is the only dose I have ever heard of being prescribed here. It makes for a lot of pills to get an Tribal Elder, a woman whose blood pressure was poorly controlled at 40mg she was prescribed, she no longer has any access to any health care and she reluctantly will accept and take the pills I provide and allow me to check her with a cuff monitor. I myself have the air ambulance insurance that would cover the $78,000 flight to Seattle although I refused "against medical advice" my own evacuation. I straddle two third world countries with medical issues, Mexico and Alaska and I say third world only because there is no fourth world rating. Most prescriptions are sold in what would be standard treatment number of pills. A clerk is a pharmacist selling packages, no counting of pills, no "filling" prescriptions, a clerk selling a box off a shelf. There are some that are indeed quite knowledgeable, I don't know of any credentials required. I am well known both by name and sight at a half dozen pharmacies on the island. Besides what I buy here for my own needs, prescriptions needed by low income people on the island, I must stockpile some drugs, primarily antibiotics and of all things, lisinopril for friends, Native American in Alaska. I doubt anyone that hasn't seen it and experienced in personally can imagine how low quality third world health care exists in our 49th State. As a side example, the town I live in seasonally, people pull their own teeth.

My personal treatment which I never thought to be a bronchial/lung infection, my Dr whom I hold in high regard has been drifting toward that conclusion since I am completing my second treatment of moxifloxacin (Avelox by Bayer) when the claritromycin intended as preventative after completing a second treatment of steroids using the Italian made Deflazacort rather the the more common prednisone. The vast majority of medications I have been prescribed have been made in Europe, not India or China as so many of the U.S. pharmaceuticals. My European pharmaceuticals have been three German, but one made in Switzerland, one Italian, one French and two English.

Regarding pain medications, personally besides an occasional U.S. obtained over the counter NSAID, I'll use tramadol, no prescription required. I most often rely upon aspirin, but the standard pill is 500mg and if the generic imported 325mg rarely exist, they are outrageously priced. Aspirin is still most commonly sold as Bayer brand, the first marketers. The savings is usually substantial for most NSAID medications. By far the most "popular" or widely prescribed medication for pain relief is ketorolac. The more compassionate with patients who can afford the higher price sublingual compounded with tramadol. It comes four tablets to the box and I buy at every opportunity and it is rare to find more than one box in stock. Since I need that for both the wife and the stage 4 patient, it is a constant challenge. I can order it at Dori at 35% higher price than at Chedraui. When you are spending $3,500 to $4,000 pesos a week, 35% discounts can pay for additional medical procedures.

To give an example of cost comparison, I was happy for my friend to have a CAT scan to gain more insight into their situation. At CAT scan at Clinica San Miguel cost $3,000 pesos, about $225 dollars at the peso-dollar exchange rate that day.

For extreme cases of pain, end of life situations,physicians might finally pull out the big guns, Tylenol 3, 30mg of codeine and the ultimate, the biggie....Temgesic, Buprenorphine in 0.2mg size. That one is almost unthinkable, one to be whispered. I told the Internist whom we both share that I considered it at absolute sin that Mexico would not allow any pain medications on the market. I said if I cared anymore and had the energy I would file a Human Rights complaint nationally, but directed worldwide that Mexico was being unusually cruel and inhumane in prohibiting the multitudes of medicines available. Under extreme circumstances you can receive morphine, not available in any pill form, but by injection into an IV drip set up, no IM injections and only administered in a hospital.

Note to Cookielady, Did you actually buy any antibiotics or were you just looking at all the signs in the junk stores downtown? Personally I would never buy any medication from a store that mostly sold T-shirts and trinkets, but never, ever from a shop without AC that bakes in the morning or afternoon heat. I don't store any of my medications above 100 degrees. Any real drug store is strictly enforcing the prescription rule. There's a few places that may still have deals with doctors, they overcharge about $25 for doctors and a doctor writes a generic 'script for after the fact. Mexico will still permit sales in duty free stores at cruise ship muelles and at airports. This law was changed as the result of the swine flu hysteria when too many people were self medicating antibiotics who weren't even sick, never mind that an antibiotic would be ineffective against a virus.

Please forgive my spellings, I am accustomed to only dealing with medicine and health matters in Spanish and the last two months have been extremely difficult and tough.
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#14 Carey

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:34 AM

I am having trouble getting my RX coverage to allow a 4 month supply which I will need while in Coz. I do need the 100 MG
of Lamotrigine (Brand name Lamictal). In the event I am unable to obtain the med's in the US, is there any chance
I can get them in Coz.? This is something I must have twice daily and no way I can go without them.\

HELP.....


You will have no problem purchasing brand name lamictal here on the island. You can order it in whatever quantity you wish from the back counter at the DORI farmacia on Salas between 15 and 20. No scrip required. It is the dispersible variation only -- chewable but works same as the other as far as we can tell. The size is 100 mg. If you show your Plan local or something to prove you are living here, you can get a 20% discount but be sure to take that with you. The drug is not cheap here but I can't at the moment remember how much/ I'm thinking something like $750 pesos for a 28 pack of 100 mg brand name. The generic is only 170pesos at Mega but we don't want to go there on this particular drug. Many, many bad reports on generic lamotrigine.
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#15 Carey

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:54 AM

It's true Chedraui prices on drugs are almost always the cheapest in town. But I get mighty tired of having to make 3 or 4 trips back over a couple of weeks period to see if an order has come in whereas with DORI it is shipped in and sitting there 24 hours or less after you order. Might give Ched another try as 35% would be worth waiting for. If it ever comes, that is.

And here's another example of the Mexican med establishment attitude towards pain. I've been to two docs -- one here and one in Cancun -- for facial fillers. They have access to the newer pre loaded syringes that have numbing lidocaine premixed in. But neither chooses to use them. Maybe it's the additional cost? Maybe it's they don't want to learn a new technique. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that even with the numbing cream they slather on 20 minutes in advance -- that's it -- it's a fairly grueling experience.

This year I decided to have some filler put in in the states just to see if it made that much of a diff. Night and day, folks. With the lidocaine added, it was like a novacaine pin prick and that's the last you feel of it. Down here, as I say, it's a bit of an ordeal without adequate pain management. And I am known for being a stoic patient, by the way. Not a whiner.
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#16 Steve

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:31 PM

Charles...Is it true that you can't find vicodin anywhere in Mexico? I've searched everywhere on Cozumel with no luck. The only thing I can buy is Tylex CD and that is really expensive and not very good. My dentist brings vicodin back from Miami whenever he goes for some of his oral surgery patients and he tells me it's not available around the area. I haven't checked anywhere else im Mexico, Belize, or Guatemala but maybe I will this trip.

I take 90 of the Narco 10/325 per month and always bring my own but am a little concerned if the get stolen while I am traveling. They would be hard to replace. I can live without them but they sure make the back pain easier to deal with.
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#17 cookielady

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:01 PM

Charles.... I did not buy antibiotics, the nurse that was with me and another did. No, we did not buy them from one of the trinket stores downtown either. It was one of the pharmacies and much cheaper then at home.

I appreciate your sharing of knowledge and experience, along with your passion of trying to help others.
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#18 Charles

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:41 AM

Steve, certain drugs exist, but maybe only on paper. You can pick your way through the large, now two volume blue reference (PDR equivalent) books on Mexican medications. They say they exist, but funny how they often can not be cross referenced, they might be listed under the chemical name which gives you both the brand name and the manufacturing laboratory, but they aren't listed elsewhere.

Controlled substances are so tightly controlled no one wants the hassle. As one owner said, what is another word in Spanish for inspector, extortionist! Even if your inventory records are perfect....well, maybe these need to all be taken in for closer inspection, we can box up all your records and inventory and we'll get back to you sometime. Dori is the only drug store that will handle controlled substances. Chedraui used to, but gave it up.

Local wholesalers don't want to run the risks and hassles, but nor do the regional wholesale suppliers, so you have a whole chain that leads back to the manufacturer and whatever they have, never has left their safes and have stricter control than atomic materials. Dori is the only pharmacy that orders from a number of different wholesale suppliers. I have seen the master list of what exists in theory and I have seen the list of medicines that are included on their order sheets. There isn't that much, but certain drugs have been ordered for years, I've seen sheets where they were listed as not in stock and other medications that the computer accepts the order, but it is lost in cyberspace.

You saw it Steve, Tylex CD, t-3s with 30 mg of codeine, worthless. There has been another formula of 50mg of codeine combined with naproxen imported from Argentina at more than $2 a pill. Hydrocodone, hydroxy, even oxycodone are listed in the Great Book, but I am not sure President Calderon could get it even if the prescription was co-signed by the Pope.

Belize is worthless. Their beer is a lot better than their medications. Be careful as there is an obscure, behind the counter drug used in the UK that does not require a prescription in many UK countries. It is a hydro-CODEINE, MAYBE DIHYDRO-CODEINE. I did see one lady in the cruise port pushing it as Vicodin. I picked up the box and said this is not hydrocodone. Big difference in a substituted codeine product, like ten times the potency. What they had in Belize was a very low grade of like Canadian ACC, 8mg of codeine, with 15mg of caffeine and aspirin or Tylenol.

Guatemala, I don't know. I know they restricted a lot back about 15 years ago. The quantities you have said you carry may bring a strong reaction as being trafficking quantities. Personally I might consider them modest and reasonable. The assorted online, illegal pharmacies have all but been shut down and only Lortabs/hydrocodone is available by mail from India. Oxycodone is only advertised originating in Pakistan. They offer free shipping to orders over $1,000. Oxycontins, only $35. I think the goal of the DEA is to drive all pain management patients to dealing with street drugs. Somebody has to use the glut of heroin coming out of Afghanistan, never mind the Colombian or Mexican black tar.
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#19 Steve

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:20 PM

Thanks Charles. I see how it works now. That's why the only place I could get the Tylex CD was at Dori. I haven't had a problem bringing them down but do worry about a TSA agent taking them from my suitcase for their own personal use or to sell. I used to take 240 a month. I could see that being a problem bringing in a bottle with 480.
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#20 diazfletcher

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:55 AM

You will have no problem purchasing brand name lamictal here on the island. You can order it in whatever quantity you wish from the back counter at the DORI farmacia on Salas between 15 and 20. No scrip required. It is the dispersible variation only -- chewable but works same as the other as far as we can tell. The size is 100 mg. If you show your Plan local or something to prove you are living here, you can get a 20% discount but be sure to take that with you. The drug is not cheap here but I can't at the moment remember how much/ I'm thinking something like $750 pesos for a 28 pack of 100 mg brand name. The generic is only 170pesos at Mega but we don't want to go there on this particular drug. Many, many bad reports on generic lamotrigine.


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