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Refilling Prescriptions

Mar Oregon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to walk in 2020
Can anyone tell me about refilling certain US prescriptions in Spain? I take 3 prescribed medications including an SSRI and an amphetamine. I am planning to bring enough to get me through my full pilgrimage. I also plan to bring written prescriptions if possible, just in case I misplace them. Believe me I’m not planning to let that happen. Anyway will pharmacies in Spain fill these prescriptions? I have heard the amphetamine could cause me problems. Anyone know or have experience?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I don't have experience refilling what are known colloquially as 'Schedule 8' drugs where I live when I am travelling in Spain or elsewhere. Your amphetamine would fall into that category here. The issue will be whether the chemist needs a government health department approval to dispense the medication. Here, the approvals are given on a case by case basis for the individual patient, and require extensive documentary evidence for the diagnosis of the condition and the appropriateness of the medication to treat the condition.

If you have been prescribed a CNS like one of the amphetamines, you probably know the process anyhow. I don't know how you would make that arrangement in Spain.

As for the notion that you might 'misplace' your medication, especially the amphetamine, I can only suggest that would be a pretty serious lapse in your personal security arrangements for your medications. These are things about which I take special care.
 

Silus

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP (Oct 2018)
Portugués (Oct 2019) Coastal/Spiritual
Finisterre/Muxia (Oct 2019)
I can’t speak for US but I was able to fill Australian scripts in Spain. As we were there for 50 days and my medications came in 28 or 30 pill lots I had taken a second set of each. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way I lost all the spares.
i had with me the prescriptions and a letter from my doctor listing my medical conditions and medications. The pharmacist took a copy of all that and my passport. She even filled one script that I didn’t have script for, but I had the old box and in Australia that includes the script details. This was in Vega de Valcarce and she did ask me to go to the local doctor and get a script for the missing one, but they were closed and she ended up giving me the script anyway
One of the drugs was a steroid and another a fairly rare/restricted drug, but I didn’t have any great issues.
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Portugués (2015 - 2019)
de Madrid (2019)
Argentino/Inglés (2020)
Can anyone tell me about refilling certain US prescriptions in Spain? I take 3 prescribed medications including an SSRI and an amphetamine. I am planning to bring enough to get me through my full pilgrimage. I also plan to bring written prescriptions if possible, just in case I misplace them. Believe me I’m not planning to let that happen. Anyway will pharmacies in Spain fill these prescriptions? I have heard the amphetamine could cause me problems. Anyone know or have experience?
my experience has been that pharmacies will not, like in the States, provide prescription drugs without an appropriate Spanish prescription provided by a Spanish GP. furthermore, most Spanish GPs, like their American peers, are probably not about to honour an American prescription, and may insist on reaching their own diagnosis and treatment before prescribing the required medication.
this has at least been my experience in Spain with pilgrims who have required medication that was not available over the counter.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Can anyone tell me about refilling certain US prescriptions in Spain? I take 3 prescribed medications including an SSRI and an amphetamine. I am planning to bring enough to get me through my full pilgrimage. I also plan to bring written prescriptions if possible, just in case I misplace them. Believe me I’m not planning to let that happen. Anyway will pharmacies in Spain fill these prescriptions? I have heard the amphetamine could cause me problems. Anyone know or have experience?
I would always plan on needing to see a local physician if you needed to replace medications. Figure out how you will do that. THEN if it turns out that a farmacia can refill, you are pleasantly surprised and all is good.

Plan for the worst, and hope for the best. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
On several occasions, Spanish pharmacists have refilled prescriptions from the (Canadian) medicine bottles without any other formality. The first time I needed to do so, I had gone to the centro de salud in Jaca to have a prescription properly written up by a doctor and he told me not to bother but just to go to the pharmacy down the street. "No es narcotico," he told me and shooed me out of his office.

After some discussion about the doctor's resemblance to George Clooney albeit with short legs (initiated by the pharmacist-- her assistant agreed that the doctor was muy guapo), they refilled the prescription, charging me under half the Canadian price (same manufacturer). I know other pilgrims who have followed the practice of just giving the pharmacist their pill bottle and it works for them. However, with amphetamines, which may or may not be (I have no idea) a more restricted drug in Spain, you would do well to take care to have the prescription available. And it's always possible that the pharmacist may determine that they would rather you be seen by a physician before filling the prescription.

I always advise prospective pilgrims to scan their prescriptions and save them as attachments in their draft folder, where they can easily get access to them on their smartphones or on a local computer (libraries or casas culturales usually have terminals for public use). As well, I get to be a bore telling them that , should they have a complex medical condition, the;y should take the trouble to have their physician write up a protocol (in Ontario they usually charge $100-$150 for this-- the province does not cover it), and then take it to a medical translator (not Senor Google!!-- the local medical academy will give you a list) to have it turned into professional castellano. Should you need treatment, this will likely save you hours, and sometimes this is rather important. Medicalert bracelets are also handy for diabetics, in case they become unconscious.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
:) The posts in this thread recount several different ways that refills have been handled. This is indication enough that there are NO standard protocols which can be counted on, if one runs out of any medications which require a prescription.
 

crackmrmac

Veteran Member
:) The posts in this thread recount several different ways that refills have been handled. This is indication enough that there are NO standard protocols which can be counted on, if one runs out of any medications which require a prescription.
👍
Perhaps it’s something similar to taking poles in carry on baggage.
Some pharmacies have given me requested antibiotics and other medication without prescription while others will refuse.
Plan ahead if necessary.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
👍
Perhaps it’s something similar to taking poles in carry on baggage.
Some pharmacies have given me requested antibiotics and other medication without prescription while others will refuse.
Plan ahead if necessary.
True; but my trekking poles are an option, so hopefully folks will follow your advice :)
 

Mar Oregon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to walk in 2020
Thanks to all for your advice and experiences. I asked the original question thinking the amphetamine might pose a problem even with a written prescription and...
It does sound like the best rule to follow will be to assume there are no consistent rules for refilling prescriptions.
So I’ll be prepared with written Rxs just in case but the easiest plan would still seem to be..,take enough pills to get me through and just don’t lose them or forget them on a bathroom sink.

Ha! That’s a good one. Don’t forget or misplace them. The amphetamine is for adult ADHD which for me manifests in forgetting and misplacing things among other issues.
I can just see it now...Have you seen my backpack? Hmm pretty sure I had shoes on when I arrived. What’s the name of that town I’m walking to again? I know it has a cathedral. Shoot! I was supposed to stop walking 2 KM ago. I would swear I put my passport in this pocket.
Well I may be kidding but I ain’t lying. ADHD is a REAL disorder and it can be debilitating and when untreated can lead to all kinds of bad situations and.... oops. Got distracted there.
Ok Just Don’t lose the pills, don’t lose the pills. Don’t lose...oooh look.... Shiney.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Well I may be kidding but I ain’t lying. ADHD is a REAL disorder...
Ok Just Don’t lose the pills, don’t lose the pills. Don’t lose...oooh look.... Shiney.
@Mar Oregon, thank you for that deliciously succinct exposition ;)

A suggestion: take TWO copies of your prescriptions and your Medical Advisors letter, stashed in different pockets in your pack, and copies on your 'phone, and leave copies with a trusted friend.

And Buona Fortuna
 

O Peracha

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
Ha! That’s a good one. Don’t forget or misplace them. The amphetamine is for adult ADHD which for me manifests in forgetting and misplacing things among other issues.
I can just see it now...Have you seen my backpack? Hmm pretty sure I had shoes on when I arrived. What’s the name of that town I’m walking to again? I know it has a cathedral. Shoot! I was supposed to stop walking 2 KM ago. I would swear I put my passport in this pocket.
Well I may be kidding but I ain’t lying. ADHD is a REAL disorder and it can be debilitating and when untreated can lead to all kinds of bad situations and.... oops. Got distracted there.
Ok Just Don’t lose the pills, don’t lose the pills. Don’t lose...oooh look.... Shiney.
That was funny. Don't have any feedback on your original query but regarding forgetting stuff . . . Here's what works for me.

I don't leave anything out unless I am using it. So, the most I usually have out is my liner and sleeping bag and wet towel. Charger, if I'm charging my phone. Otherwise, everything stays in the pack. So, as soon as I have taken a shower, the toiletries go right back in the pack. I don't leave them out. I also have a set place for everything and always return it to the same spot. Even stuff that I have on me. The phone always goes in the same pocket, passport, etc. After a while it becomes a habit. It's a little anal but it works for me.
 

Mar Oregon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to walk in 2020
That was funny. Don't have any feedback on your original query but regarding forgetting stuff . . . Here's what works for me.

I don't leave anything out unless I am using it. So, the most I usually have out is my liner and sleeping bag and wet towel. Charger, if I'm charging my phone. Otherwise, everything stays in the pack. So, as soon as I have taken a shower, the toiletries go right back in the pack. I don't leave them out. I also have a set place for everything and always return it to the same spot. Even stuff that I have on me. The phone always goes in the same pocket, passport, etc. After a while it becomes a habit. It's a little anal but it works for me.
Hi O peracha
Thanks for the good tips. I know those things will work for me because I have used similar tactics in lots of situations. I will start by assigning my belongings to pack locations. And as for the meds I have almost decided to put them in a waterproof waist pocket and wear it 24 hrs a day.
I have often thought, if I were ever asked how to improve in the human body, that I would suggest all babies be born with built in pockets. That way we could all practice organization from birth. However I would be the one with a bunch of used tissues or half a tuna sandwich shoved in there, or at the very least a Jolly Rancher covered in lint. Ok on second thought maybe natural pockets are not a great idea. But cheek pouches like a squirrel, now I could get behind that idea.

So, the take away is ..a place for everything and everything in etc etc. and multiple copies of the prescriptions. And no half eaten sandwiches of any sort on my person.
Got it. 😎
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
:) The posts in this thread recount several different ways that refills have been handled. This is indication enough that there are NO standard protocols which can be counted on, if one runs out of any medications which require a prescription.
And if they say no at one farmacia, you can always try another one.
 

O Peracha

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
Don't knock a carefully tucked away sandwich, half eaten or not. Depending on the camino, that can come in very handy.

But your comment reminded me of one other thing to be aware of. Heat. Walked with someone for a few days on the Primitivo in June. He had prescription medication inside his pack, on the top. One day, they melted and were stuck together in one big clump. He was easily able to replace them but not sure if he had a copies of his prescriptions. I carry fish oil pills and they were fine but mine were in the middle of my pack. BTW, Primitivo in June is not especially hot.

Anyway, good luck on your camino.
 

Kumi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2020
That was funny. Don't have any feedback on your original query but regarding forgetting stuff . . . Here's what works for me.

I don't leave anything out unless I am using it. So, the most I usually have out is my liner and sleeping bag and wet towel. Charger, if I'm charging my phone. Otherwise, everything stays in the pack. So, as soon as I have taken a shower, the toiletries go right back in the pack. I don't leave them out. I also have a set place for everything and always return it to the same spot. Even stuff that I have on me. The phone always goes in the same pocket, passport, etc. After a while it becomes a habit. It's a little anal but it works for me.
Good idea
 

Jimliz83

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Camino start 23.4.2020
Hi I'm also on a load of medication for Fibromyalgia and other Conditions some of my meds are Opiate. My doctor will give me two months supply which i intend to carry with me which works out a lot, right know my main concern is how best to carry them, I live in Scotland but i wouldn't take any chances trying to get my prescription filled over there and for now we are still part of the EU,
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
As for the notion that you might 'misplace' your medication, especially the amphetamine, I can only suggest that would be a pretty serious lapse in your personal security arrangements for your medications. These are things about which I take special care.
My wife once lost all of her Anti-Epilepsy drugs on an overnight ferry from the UK to Northern Spain. Luckily our first hotel recommended their local Doctor who was able to review her UK prescription and issue her with a local prescription for most of the drugs she used.
One drug was classed as experimental in Spain and only a research university in Spain would have been able to prescribe this for her. So there can be differences between countries and medicines available in one country may not be available in another.
I agree with the point that if you are a user of drugs which can be abused eg amphetamines then you need to take extra care of their security. Most local Law Enforcement Officers are going to ask pointed questions when someone reports the loss of controlled drugs. Spanish LEOs' used to have the reputation of detaining foreigners after sometimes only minor accidents and infringements. UK drivers were required to carry a bail bond when driving their cars in Spain prior to EU membership. This is going to be true again once Brexit is fully achieved.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
... Most local Law Enforcement Officers are going to ask pointed questions when someone reports the loss of controlled drugs. ...
Which is a tiny bit illogical as the 'bad guys' certainly wouldn't report that kind of loss to law enforcement ;-)
BC SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
Hi O peracha

I have often thought, if I were ever asked how to improve in the human body, that I would suggest all babies be born with built in pockets. That way we could all practice organization from birth. However I would be the one with a bunch of used tissues or half a tuna sandwich shoved in there, or at the very least a Jolly Rancher covered in lint. Ok on second thought maybe natural pockets are not a great idea. But cheek pouches like a squirrel, now I could get behind that idea.
Marsupials have this facility but Darwinists class it as a dead end.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
Which is a tiny bit illogical as the 'bad guys' certainly wouldn't report that kind of loss to law enforcement ;-)
BC SY
With no evidence to the contrary Mar Oregon is obviously a law abiding citizen. When he asks the Doctor / Pharmacist for replacements the Physician may be required by Law to report the incident himself.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Which recommendation(s) will be the easiest to do and achieve your goal?

Maybe taking more than needed from home? But not more than would raise the interest of Customs people?

If the Camino is planned to be done in 5 weeks, take a week or two more. Extra prescriptions are there as a back up.

What I have done is to take 2 to 3 weeks mor than I anticipate being there.
 

jimmyc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
I needed some antibiotics when walking the CF. I bought some from a pharmacy without a prescription.
 

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