I'm miserable without Dexilant. Tell me about Canadian pharmacies

Years ago, my gastroenterologist started me on Dexilant because I had stubborn GERD. The drug worked like a charm. As long as I avoided a couple of extra-troublesome things (coffee, raw citrus juice), I was symptom-free.

So now my insurance, and I hear many other insurance companies, have decided to stop covering Dexilant, as the price has gone up. They tell me to use OTC lansoprazole instead. I am doing so, but it’s not performing half so well as Dexilant did. I had forgotten how miserable it is to always feel like there’s a backup of acid in my throat.

So what’s the deal with Canadian pharmacies? Is it illegal to order from them? I’ve never done so. I had a quickie look to see if they sold Dexilant, and they do, and at a price I’m willing to pay.

But I feel like I’d be breaking the law.

Subscribing to see what others say, as I’m in the same boat. They wouldn’t even cover regular lansoprazole any more. Doc tried to file an appeal, which was denied; gonna try to push back on that. As I was diagnosed with Barrett’s in May, it’s rather important to keep this under control. I don’t even remember the name of the PPI that I’m on now - but it doesn’t work well enough.

Have you tried prevacid? It’s lansoprazole, a mix of dextro and levo lansoprazole. Dexilant is pure dextro lansoprazole. Higher doses of lansoprazole may supply you enough of the right handed isomer of the drug for your symptoms

Well, here’s a WebMD article on the subject that seems nicely summed up by its subtitle, “It’s illegal (nudge, nudge) to buy prescriptions drugs (wink, wink) from other countries”.

Bottom line seems to be that it is technically illegal, but nobody in your situation (importing non-abusable drugs which have been recommended to you by your doctor, for your own personal use) is realistically going to be prosecuted.

I use Kirkland brand generic lansoprazole. I thought it was the same stuff as Prevacid, just a generic version.

@teelabrown it is

Ive been getting my antihypertensive medications from Canada for years, I initially asked my PCP if it was legal to do so. He replied, “do I look like a fucking lawyer?” Nope, the white coat made him look like a doctor.

Have you checked Cost Plus? That’s the new pharmacy that Mark Cuban started. They may not have it, but maybe worth a look? I hear good things about the price they charge for medicine.

You need to be sure to get a legitimate Canadian pharmacy but there are lists of those. In my experience, the legitimate ones will ask for a physical copy of the prescription. They will get things started for you with a scan of the prescription but not ship until they get the paper copy. Also, it can take a few weeks before the medicine arrives so it takes some planning.

I believe that it would be against board rules to post a link but I will be happy to supply the place that I use if someone via PM. There are a lot of similar names so be careful.

In theory, at least, lansoprazole should contain half the amount of dexlansoprazole by weight. So, to have the same amount of medication, you’d need to take double the amount of Prevacid.

I do also remember it often takes a week to get my PPI back on track if I screw up a single dose, and that it took several weeks to work on the first place. I hate the waiting to see if changes work.

I understand what the OP is going through.

But here is a nice comparo:

Some Googling tells me that ordering drugs from Canada is illegal but that it is never prosecuted if it’s for individual use. Reselling them would be an issue but that is also true for prescription drugs purchased from a US pharmacy.

If I ever get my hands on brand-name Dexilant again I wouldn’t sell it to the King of the World. It’d be more precious than diamonds to me. This GERD sucks.

I had a plainer-than-plain chicken sandwich dry on white bread for lunch and the acid is starting in on me again.

What about omeprazole? From this Omeprazole vs Dexilant It looks like Dexilant without the time release function.

Actually, there are several ways that you might get discounted prescriptions in the US; GoodRX, SingleCare, Amazon Pharmacy, Walmart, etc. No idea why but one of these might have a much better price than the rest.

I did use Omeprazole years ago, but it stopped having an effect on me. That’s when my gastro switched me to Dexilant.

I did check with places like GoodRX and Walmart, but Dexilant was still prohibitively steep. I just had a look at a good Canadian pharmacy, and their prices were the best of all, especially if I went with generic Dexilant. You can’t get generic Dexilant here in the U.S. yet.

Experts recommend going as high as 120 mg a day (and sometimes even more) of lansoprazole for more severe cases, under the supervision of a physician. How many mg a day have you been using?

::Looking at order history on Amazon::

Looks like delayed-release capsules 15 mg.

I’d consider trying a higher dose. I would NOT hesitate to tell my patients (if I had any these days, lol) to go up to 30 a day, make sure to take it on an EMPTY stomach 30 minutes before eating anything, and see if that helps. I would not hesitate to have them go higher than that either.

If you get more relief at higher doses, report that to your doc, and see about getting a prescription for a higher dose, rather than using the OTC dosing (unless your Rx copay is higher than OTC cost). Or get a recommendation from 'em to be on a different drug, ie the dexlansoprazole med. Since you’ve got a GI specialist on your case, let them know what’s going on, get their help. and failure to control symptoms on one med is a legit reason to expect insurance to cover another med that works better. But try 30 mg a day. You can do 15 twice a day or 30 once.

And definitely do the empty stomach thing if you’re not already; it improves results tremendously

The specific requirements that helped me was to do it 30 minutes to an hour before you eat. That way the medicine gets in on an empty stomach, but then is in effect with the first acid spike for the food.

I also was told to put the protein first, because that is more likely to trigger the acid.

It’s not easy to get this in twice a day (since empty stomach translates to at least 2 hours after eating, but we’re told to eat more, smaller meals), but I manage it.