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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:18 am 
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I tried to post this a minute ago and it doesn't look like it showed up, if this is a repost I apologize.

My mother is a suboxone user. She has not told anyone in the family except me about her pain med addiction and now use of suboxone to get sober. She is going into knee surgery on Weds. and is very concerned that someone will say something in front of her husband about the suboxone. She is going to pre register today at the hospital. Is there any way that she can put something in her chart that will keep any nurse or doctor or anesthesiologist from saying something in front of her husband? She is afraid that when they go to pull up any meds for her surgery that it will show some kind of red flag because of her perscription for suboxone. Is there any truth to that? She is also worried that after surgery when her husband picks up her meds the pharmacist will say something to him, it will be a different pharmacy than what she uses to get her suboxone. Does that show up on all the pharmacists computers? Her doctor was told about her suboxone use and he didn't even know what it was, so he wasn't really any help as far as knowing what she should do for surgery relief. She has only been taking about 2 mg. per day and will be completely off of the subs for about 7 days before surgery.

Does anyone know if anything about this situation? We are in Tennessee.

Thanks in advance for any help!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:26 am 
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Hello and welcome to the forum. First of all your mom's medical information is PRIVATE, even to her family. HOWEVER, she should most definitely let her doctors/nurses know that she wants her medication history (as it relates to suboxone) kept private and not mentioned to her family. Don't make the mistake of assuming they won't tell her family - MAKE SURE THEY UNDERSTAND HER WISHES to keep that treatment private. Then they absolutely MUST respect her wishes or they are violating federal privacy guidelines (HIPAA). If I were her, I would make those wishes clear starting with her preregistration and whenever the family isn't around I'd stress it again (and again if necessary).

As for going to the pharmacy, each state has different laws regarding pharmacy databases, but just because someone is on suboxone doesn't mean they can't get a script for pain meds when needed for acute pain. I can't say for sure it won't be a problem, but it hopefully won't be.

Normally when a sub patient has surgery, it's best to inform them so that they are aware of how sub has affected your tolerance to pain meds (as well as how it can block the pain meds). Suboxone can raise our tolerance so that when we do need acute pain relief we very often if not always need more than the "normal" amount of regular pain meds to get any pain relief. But her being on a low dose and being off of it totally for 7 days might very well help her to get adequate pain relief.

http://suboxforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=34268#34268

This is a thread that talks about ways to treat acute pain in suboxone patients. It's a pretty easy read and will help you to understand the ways to help get your mom adequate pain relief. Assuming she's sharing her sub usage with her surgeon and anesthesiologist, she might also want to share this NIH paper with them as well.

I hope this helps you. Ask any further questions you may have.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Thank you so much for the reply. I will print the post you linked to and have her take it with her when she goes in. I don't think I will be able to get it to her before she leaves for pre-registration, but I will relay the info about the privacy act. I was almost sure that legally they could not mention it if she told them she didn't want them to.

Again thank you, I'm sure she will be relieved to hear this!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:10 pm 
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I Know this not what she would want to hear but she needs to stop hiding this from her family but her husband most of all i mean ok i understand maybe the family part but the husband part no way. Because if there was ever a huge emergency with her health and he doesn’t know about this to tell the paramedics she could be given medications that can killer if mixed with suboxone. And it is not a healthy recovery to hide this from your significant other because think of how you would feel if your wife or husband hid this from you? I would feel terrible so deceived this is the person I love and want to spend the rest of my life with and she hides something like this from me, I mean trust is the biggest thing in a marriage. And I know you are not doing this but I think you should sit down and talk to her about this because it is not right I just feel so sad that she wants to hide this from the person she loves and in my eyes it is not right to do this to him. I mean if you dont have trust in a marriage than what do you got?


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