Arthritis patient taking Methotrexate. Does anyone have a problem getting their prescription from GP surgery for more than 4 weeks supply?

I have my blood tests and get my prescriptions every 6 weeks, but the computer system at my surgery will not allow more than 4 weeks supply of MTX. I have to have 2 prescriptions with one dated after 4 weeks. Accordingly I have to go to the pharmacy twice. Is this normal practice or is it just my surgery? My dose is 15mg weekly.

12 Replies

  • Hello. I am sure Alison will be able to give you a much better reply than me but this is my understanding. Mtx is classed a a toxic medication and is not actually allowed on a standard repeat prescription. A doctor has to check blood test results before signing off a prescription, because although initially prescribed by your consultant the onus is on you prescribing Dr to make sure that your bloods are ok. If something went wrong they would be the ones in trouble not your consultant. My Doctors surgery and Boots seem to have an argument every time I ask for a prescription as one or the other seem to get the amounts wrong, or they miss the repeat date due to waiting for results from consultant. You are not alone on having problems. But as i say I'm sure you'll get a proper medical explanation from someone else. Regards Mel

  • RE: endless grilling by the pharmacists on my doses, wanting to look at my blood test results

    Wow Abee what a really proactive team you have supporting you!! you are really VERY blessed!! :D

    I know its can be annoying when your feeling tired but an extra medical ear to bend when your feeling ill or cranky can't be too bad.

    Back to your question my Consultant is the only one who currently prescribes my RA meds and i've always been given more than 4wks supply. I do need blood tests every two weeks though - so it all balances out, I guess as long as the tracking of my bloods is up to date they are comfortable with giving me a larger supply of pills.

  • Normal repeat medications are every 28 days, the MTX is classed as a toxic drug and I would presume it's all about checking your bloods beforehand etc. GP's don't generally issue more than a 28 day supply of any drug, if you want more of a supply then I suggest like custard said above and get your consultant to do this for you. Discuss it with him and see what he can do for you.

    I'm sorry I can't help much more than that as I have the MTX by injection now which I have to collect from my hospital every four weeks.

    Hope you get this sorted.

    Take care

    mand xx

  • Hmm, my experience is very different - have always been given at least 3 months supply at a time of Mtx tablets or injections. I attend monitoring regularly but no gp or pharmacist has asked about my blood results. I'm on a lot of medication for various diseases (oh joy!) and some of my meds are prescribed in 6 monthly amounts.

    Are you newly diagnosed/ on Mtx ?

    I suggest that you talk to your gp about this.

    Cece x

  • Thanks for your comments. No, I'm not newly diagnosed or a new MTX patient. I used to be able to have 6 weeks supply when my prescription was hand-written. It is now issued on computer and won't allow more than 4 weeks. My consultant was astonished when I told him and suggested it could be the software they use. He was also interested to know if anyone else has the same system and directed me to this website to try and find out. it would appear everyone has a different system.

  • Summer may be able to help you on this one as she works in pharmacy, when she see's your question she will answer. Don't think she's been on site yet today.

    I think sometimes, and like everything else, it all depends on where you live in the country.

    Take care

    mand xx

  • My gp gives more but seems to have to override computer. They're very hot on the blood test though one of which I have to have before my anti tnf.

    My gripe is having to take 8 nasty little yellow pills on a Sunday night. I know why but it's deeply unpleasant

  • Apart from MTX being on the evil list, my GP has told me that it's the computer programme they have that won't allow her to do more than 4 weeks, and my consultant can't give more than 4 weeks due to the hospital budget constraints. It drives me rather dotty as one of the things I hate about this disease is being at the mercy of drug availability, and with 8 different prescription drugs I'm tied to the pharmacy and usually have to collect something every week or so. It's especially awkward as I travel, so from time to time my partner has had to collect my MTX and post it to me - far less safe than giving me more than 4 weeks! Good luck in getting it changed, and if anyone can explain how my GP can override computer then please let me know. She's happy to do so, but just doesn't know how! Polly

  • gps now all moving to 4 weeks supply only as does my hospital financial restraints. one month supply only on almost all dugs at my hospital..

    Helix, some pharmacies deliver!!. and Custard,( did you see the blog about the custard being thrown against the wall!! lol xx my answer is pharmacists shouldnt grill !just check patient is happy with medication and if you are a not a new patient it seems a bit pointless to trouble you?. we have to be thorough with new patients in a hosp ie check they have a monitoring book,check they know of the side effects that are off condern/ potentially dangerous and most importantly new patient and new drug for them check they know it is once a week only!

  • I get mine straight from the hospital. My gp gives me prescrition for all my other drugs.

  • My GP will only give me four weeks at a time but my Rheummy will give me eight weeks from the hospital pharmacy - go figure!

    My GP is keen for me to have monthly blood tests before she'll prescribe - my Rheummy says I can leave them 10 weeks apart!

    Such frequent trips for meds means I am now on first name terms with my GP and my pharmacist!

  • I asked my GP about this and was told that 4 weeks was the maximum they could supply at one time.

    I was also warned that 'one' of the pharmacies in town is very nosey about MTX and feel it is their duty to check your prescription - as if they're your doctor.

    Fortunately the pharmacy I use have never raised any issues dispensing.

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