GP changed meds without telling me

So, today I go to pick up my repeats from the pharmacy and when I check my bag there's an unusual box in there, Flutiform, instead of my usual Seretide. When I went to my Doctors reception to ask why my prescription has changed to a different drug combination, she explained that it had been done because it was cheaper and I should have received a letter explaining the change. Any one else had this? Where they've just changed things and not told you? I know the steroid is the same in both the Seretide and the Flutiform, but the LABA is different, so I think it's a bit strange to change it without saying anything. Hopefully it will be better for me, but if it doesn't work as well then I shall certainly be going back to change back to Seretide. Also wonder what my cons will think of the change when he finds out.

Also a bit odd, but they changed the dispensing label description on my ventolin to ""1 to 2 puffs up to four times daily as required"". Lol, I wish. I'd have thought that looking at the frequency at which I refill this prescription that they'd have noticed that I frequently take more than that.

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  • I occasionally get the brand removed (i get ventolin and NOT salamol, sometimes they change the script back) but you'd think that the fact that it is a different drug would be significant! to me the LABA makes more difference than the steroid (i think) and so it kind of matters which you are getting. i hate the tendency they have to switch to cheaper options which are sometimes less effective, but i do understand there is a budgeting issue and if a person can have a cheaper drug then they may as well - but i think it should always be done after discussion with the patient!

    Also - the labels on ventolin are funny! i get that issue a lot hehehe!

  • Hmm I wouldn't be too happy with that - I agree with Soph that they should at least ask! It can be quite an individual thing and if what you're taking works, it doesn't seem like a good reason to potentilly disrupt that control: for you, and also because it will cost them more in the end if you have poorer control on the new drug! And the fact that you're under a consultant should make them especially cautious about changing things around.

    Also, they really aren't interchangeable eg that study suggesting that some people just do not respond to salmeterol. I think I'm one of them so I would be pretty pissed off if I got Seretide instead of Symbicort! Though atm my new GP seems pretty good -they did prescribe me the wrong strength of Symbicort but that was a mistake and they fixed it. They seem quite happy to be guided by me/cons.

    Hehe re Ventolin -I always had that as standard but new GP has changed it to 'up to 10 puffs as per specialist advice'. I'm not sure if it's aimed at me or the pharmacist as it was after she told me that if 10 puffs didn't work I needed to be doing something. I did want to crack up when the pharmacist asked me last time 'have you taken this medication before?' hehe just a few times...

    I have to say I wish I'd get Salamol on a normal prescription as I actually prefer it! Smaller and more importantly. quieter for taking at work - but I've only ever got Salamol when OOH have dished it out.

  • Salamol is cheaper - im surprised you dont have it a lot if you just have generic sablutamol written on the script! I dont get on with the propellant! next time im down near you remind me, i have tons of salamols i can trade for ventolins :-P

  • Thanks for replies. It seems that there aren't many people who get their meds changed without consultation. Thank you both for saying that I should have been asked, I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking this. I'm fine with a change, I'm just annoyed they didn't consult me about it, because there are a few little stumbling blocks. One is that the flutiform doesn't fit my volumatic spacer (I do have a little aerochamber which I keep in my handbag that fits, but would rather keep it for out and about) so think I will have to order another spacer. Another is that if I don't get on with it then I don't have a back up (will use the last of my Seretide in the morning), when changing from Qvar to Seretide I still had enough Qvar to keep me going for a while. And, lungs have been a bit stroppy for the last week or so and I'd rather not change until they're settled again, when we were wanting to change from Seretide to Symbicort they told me they wanted to wait until my lungs were settled before we changed inhalers.

    I love the small size of salomol, but the propellant is too weedy for me, especially when it gets cold and I work outdoors so this happens often.

    I had ""take two puffs when required"" on my labels before which suited me fine. Have already been ignoring the label, maybe it should say ""multi dose when required"". Lol, think it's funny that they asked you if you'd taken ventolin before.

  • Hi.

    Professional lurker here :)

    My doctor also changed my Seretide to Flutiform without consultation, I was a bit miffed but decided to just give it a go and I have to say I haven't noticed any difference in my asthma but I have been fairly well controlled for the last few months.

    I hope it goes well for you.

  • Ah, I knew someone else must have had meds changed without consultation.

    I don't mind changing inhalers, it might have turned out to be a good move for me. Just wish they'd consulted me before changing so that I at least would have had a chance to ask some questions. Anyway, I went in today and got a chance to ask my questions (thanks to both reception and doctor). The doctor I saw thought it best I stay on Seretide as I'm on double dose and he wasn't happy that that would work with the flutiform. He also thought that I wouldn't notice any difference anyway. And he'd rather leave it to my cons to make changes. So, something I shall be discussing with my cons next time I see him.

    Thanks for all replies x

  • Yes!!! Omg - this is exactly what happened to me last week. My asthma was perfectly well controlled with the seratide and this new stuff - the same stuff they gave you - is cheap and nasty, makes my heart thump in my chest, and I've been tight and wheezy on a regular basis since they changed it.

    They changed it with 0 consultation and 0 communication. It came as a complete surprise when I opened the bag from the pharmacy. A few weeks before they actually phoned me up asking if I still needed my preventative inhaler and I said very much so, and they replied that 'that's fine: we're just doing a little after hours review'. The next thing I know, bye bye seratide and asthma free life; hello cheap crap, heart palpitations, and wheezing.

    I'm not at all happy about this.

  • I think we are all having flutiform^^must be fashionable or cheaper!! I must say it's quite good for me , it has the same quantity of steroids as seretide but a stronger bronchodilator so told me the doctor, so I have finished one inhaler now and I still need all my other stuff so it s not a miracle drug but seems ok for now.

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