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Pain medicine in Mexico

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9/30/2018 14:28 EST

My wife has a very bad back. In the state she has a prescription for 120 a month. She doesn't always take that many but will she be able to get the prescription legally in Mexico by going to a doctor?

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9/30/2018 16:04 EST

Honestly - I have no idea - but a few years back I had a stint of insomnia and looked for sleeping aides. They and painkillers are VERY carefully monitored in Mexico. In my case - I had to pay the doctor extra to open up his 'controlled substance' prescription book - and when I went to have the prescription filled it was VERY expensive.

You can not even rely on your Mexican state sponsored providing meds when you want them.

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9/30/2018 16:48 EST

Yellowtail is correct. I too, have serious chronic pain with my back/hip and received monthly pain meds in the States through my doctor. I recently moved to Mexico and had to transfer my pain management here —and it’s not easy. First, there aren’t that many doctors who do pain management. It’s way more tightly controlled in Mexico than in the States. Second, very few pharmacies are even allowed to fill pain med prescriptions. You’re lucky if there’s even one pharmacy in your city authorized to fill controlled substances. You may very well have to go to a larger city like Guadalajara or Mexico City. Third, the prices are shockingly high. Hundreds of dollars per prescription. For me, I can’t afford that kind of monthly expense. So it’s a real dilemma. If your wife has to have these drugs —and it sounds like she does—be prepared to pay a lot of money for her care.

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9/30/2018 19:25 EST

I don't know where you'll be located in Mexico, but maybe this Dr. Edgar Jimenez, who speaks English, can guide you to someone, if he doesn't know. He's in Puerto Vallarta 322-226-2613.

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9/30/2018 19:28 EST

Indeed, the medical culture in Mexico is very different than the USA when it comes to pain management. ”Which Type of Pharmacy Do You Need? Pharmacies come in two classes: those that are allowed to sell controlled or regulated drugs (referred to as primera clase) and those that are not, (referred to as segunda clase). The majority of pharmacies are segunda clase. Medicinas controladas (controlled medicines) are those that are most likely to be abused and you cannot purchase them without a prescription from a registered Mexican doctor. Furthermore, pharmacists are tightly regulated by the Sector Salud branch of the federal government of Mexico and anyone caught selling medicinas contraladas without prescription is subject to loss of license, fines and even jail.” As a result of the onerous laws and government involvement, many doctors are reluctant to prescribe controlled substances even in situations where they are obviously needed. (Although there are laws now to extend palliative care rights to those at the end of life, many medical professionals are not aware of them.) So, getting both a doctor who is willing and able to prescribe and a pharmacy that is able to dispense controlled medications is a challenge. I recommend that you investigate and find a solution if you require such meds before you move here. There is a great deal more information about finding your medicines in Mexico in my book. —Monica Rix Paxson, medical researcher and author, The English Speaker’s Guide to Medical Care in Mexico http://amzn.to/2pvS6lo

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