My doctor recently diagnosed me as vitamin D deficient. She prescribed 50,000 (USP units) vitamin D capsules, with instructions to take two per week. Neither Medicare nor Medicaid will pay the $14-$15 cost. I've taken one capsule a week trying to make the Rx last. I've also been taking only half my daily multivitamin, also to make them stretch.
Lately my teeth have become somewhat sore and are newly sensitive to heat and cold. They're not loose and the gums seem healthy. Instinct tells me the soreness and sensitivity are related to the vitamin D problem am I right? Is there help obtaining prescription-strength vitamin supplements not covered by Medicare and Medicaid?
By JustPlainJo from Springfield, OH
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If the pills are so expensive, the other alternative is to get out into the sunshine(this is the best and easiest way to get vitamin D ). Take cod liver oil, which is inexpensive and check which foods have been fortified with vitamin D like breakfast cereals, milk, etc. to up your intake so you can stretch out your pills.
I'm a health educator-counselor with Med Lab Science AS, and Health Science BS, ASCP and other certifications and almost completed BS in psychology all frim NEU.
I formed an education & support group Fibromyalgia Etc. which grew into 8 groups and classes Pain Management Programs -MA. The Arthritis Foundation certified me as a group facilutator.
I also had a cable TV progrsm.on pain related issues.
I suffer from luous, fibro and other pain diseases and disorders. I've asthma, GI isdues, colerectal surgeries, 5 gyn surgeries and o and on and on.
Due to Multiple Chemical sensitivity syndrome I'm no longer able to take the meducations I need.
I'm an extraordinarily complicated case with many other illnesses added to the mess.
Its a known fact generally speaking that many people and patients cannot be exposed to the sun.
Therefore a Vit D3 supplement would be in order. It would require a PA (prior authorization ( be submitted to the health on comany by prescribing physician. ..and it must be filled out properly according to ins co requirements which can be found online at their websites or drs can call their specially designated phone lines.
I've luous, and currently can't tolerate hear. Cold or sunlight so need to determine under what circumstances MA Hlth pays for Vitamin supplements. .and they onky pay for generics btw re supplements .
Many drs arent educated re MA Hlth coverages as they don't want to take the time to learn. My suggestion is for you to start googlung, then send the info to your physician. That's what do. Sad but true.
It bothers me to see replies or answers from non medical professionals when the info. isn't factual.
Check to see if the company that makes the pill has a medical needs dept. Most drug companies will send the medication out to you free of charge. There might be a small form that your doctor will need to fill out. But the pills should be sent to you or your doctor.
Sometimes you are low on vitamin C which is needed for good gums, also A and E. Some cough drops have vitamin C in them are are less expensive than bottled vitamins.
www.puritan.com has lots of great savings on vitamins; currently they are having a buy one get one free on some; buy 2 get 3 free on others. However, I am sure that the doctor does not mean for you to continue taking that huge an amount of D! Also, www.vitacost.com offers great savings on healthy items, including vitamins. Check out your local grocery outlet store as well, ours here offers lots of fantastic savings on vitamins!
You are not a physician and yes vit d is prescribed in 50,000 unit doses once or twice a week to some people indefinitely. I am one of them. I need it to maintain health. I know the reason for My prescription. My grandaughter also needs this. I am aware of the reason for her prescription. There are reasons some need this level of supplementation. Before speaking out publicly people really should be sure they know facts not just offer "off the cuff" advice. This can harm others. Also, it's darned near impossible to get enough sunlight to get enough but d in many cases and especially in northern climes with darker winter months. In my case there is no way I can eat enough vit d rich foods. I try to eat well but it's just not realistically possible for me to get everything i need without supplementation. So people discuss your circumstances with your physician.
I just made an appointment with my dentist, the only doctor I know and trust other than my MD. I'll be seeing him Friday, if he doesn't return my call before then.
First of all, in order to get the Vitamin D3 to use 2 x per week, you have to have a prescription. Your doctor would have had to done a lab for this. There are only a couple labs in the US that this is sent to. Takes about a week or so for a report back.
This script should have no problem being covered. Mine is 1 time per week at 50,000 IUs. The lab tests run $250 approximately. This is to see what your level is and to properly script out the right sized dosage. My level after 13 weeks on it was up to 63. Prior to that being on OTC of 2000 iu per day was 34. Suggested levels to be 32 to 100. I take 5,000 iu 6 days a week, 50,000 iu x 1. I will have my levels done again this week, checked a couple times a year. I have blue cross/blue shield of Kentucky (even though I live in MN, the insurance is a HUGE business group) and my prescriptions are ok'd with Walgreen's drug insurance.
You must take the D3 at night, at the same time you take the suggested amount of calcium your doctor states you should have. I take 1200 per day. I am a user of other calcium food items. You have to have the supplement of calcium on board for the D3 to work. They bind to each other. I also get my OTC from Puritan.
I have been on D3 for a year now. My druggist gives me 13 weeks at a time (3 months). I pay a $5 co-pay. The 13 pills are $16.
There are a lot of things we ingest, use, eat that diminish our levels of many things. Bad habits are most of them. Smokers tend to have the most depletion of all nutrients/vitamins levels in the body. And it's payback is a B.
Forgot to address the teeth issue.
Prevention and treatment for periodontal disease:
Vitamin D and periodontal disease are becoming inextricably linked. Periodontal disease, which incidentally is ALSO a Symptom of H Pylori Infection, is a weakening of the bone that anchors the teeth. It leads to redness, bleeding and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and may eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
T&T, I have no periodontal disease. My gums don't bleed, and my teeth are firmly rooted. The problem I was having was the vitamin D seemed to be making my teeth feel sore and sensitive to heat and cold. They were never very sensitive before I started the supplement.
On the subject of the prescription being covered by Medicare, I spoke to my Dr.'s office again today. They had me phone my pharmacy for a "prior authorization" form, faxed from the pharmacy to them. I pointed out that Medicare is giving me guff about providing even this very high level of supplement and specifically asked that they be my advocate. If they really intend me to have it, they'll help me get it, I hope. I simply can't afford it otherwise, I'm barely able to cover the $2.50 copay.
Heard back from the doc/pharmacy. Doc phoned in 1000 mg, pharmacy will fill it for $3 and change. Medicare just won't cover it. If it were a chemical for blood pressure, or a narcotic-based pain med, they'd cover it. Grr!
Vitamin D2 is the 50K units and is less bioavailable then D3. D3 you can get OTC, I use the Vitamin D Council guidelines when prescribing it for my patients. My understanding is that taking it in the evenings temporarily blocks melatonin production and may keep you from falling asleep as quickly as you might otherwise. Vitamin D3 has been found to be associated with fatigue, muscle aches,foggy brained, general malaise. There is one group of researchers that believes low vitamin D it is the singular cause for ADHD, OCD and bi polar in children. So, you may take it alone, without calcium UNLESS you are taking it to repack your bones; Vitamin D will put calcium back in your bones, but you have to give it something with which to work. It cannot rob your skull of calcium to put it in your hips, for example. 10 minutes in midday sun in shorts and tank top, without sunscreen is the recommended baseline, more for elderly or those of color. Now, after all of that, government sponsored health care tends to NOT pay for things that can be purchased over the counter. Nice, huh? Vitamin D is beneficial for over all health and the poorest among us are supposed to provide it for themselves. I have some patients with $5 of excess cash after room and board is supplied. Not much to with which to work.
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