Prescription Coverage as a Travel Nurse

  1. Weird question. I will soon be starting an assignment in San Francisco for 13 weeks, and I live in Kentucky. I see my PCP here at home monthly for a prescription for Adderall, however once I am in California Im not sure who I should see to get my medication. I doubt Ill be able to just walk in a clinic and request a prescription for Adderall! Surely i'm not the only one who has encountered this, anyone have any advice?
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   NedRN
    This may not be helpful as I don't know much about controlled prescriptions but here goes: Can you get a prescription that may be refilled? That can then be done anywhere in the country. Or a 90 day supply? Your physician may also be able to give you a referral, or failing that forward your chart to the Bay area physician of your choice. Have you asked your clinic about the possibilities?

    One other thought if this is critical, and you can spare the time: pop south of the border and pick up a 90 day supply. It will probably be significantly less expensive as well. I've done this for several kinds of medications. It is legal to fill prescriptions there, and I've always told US Customs that I've filled a couple of prescriptions and they've never been interested so it is unlikely you will have a problem at the border. If they do get interested, they will try to tell you that you need a US written prescription (you don't), but you will at least need a Mexican prescription. This is required anyway for controlled drugs in Mexico, but the pharmacies will have a tame doctor who will write one for a couple of bucks. That prescription is valid to take drugs across the border, and you are allowed to cross with up to 90 days.

    There are a couple of ways to game the system. One is by asking your doctor (or the Mexican pharmacist if you go there) to up your dose by double or triple. That will give you more time on your regular dosage before you have to refill it. If you go to Mexico, you can cross several times, each time carrying another 90 day filled prescription.

    While I've never had to do this to get more prescription drugs, I have felt the need to empty my car of all the stuff I carry to assignments to stick out less on border crossing to be less suspicious and give them a lot less they have to search. Also less to be potentially stolen. I was there just a few weeks ago (beach holiday to San Diego plus had work done on my car in Tijuana plus filled three prescriptions) and for some reason both going in I was searched by the Mexican Customs, and on the way back by the US Customs. This was very cursory, and just consisted of opening my hatch and hood. As best anyone could figure, it was because I had Ohio plates almost never seen there. The US guys asked me for my state abbreviation which I thought was hilarious for Customs officials who should know them all (I do, and have no professional reason to know).

    Anyway, you can pick up a storage unit at PS (Public Storage) in the US cheap, even for a few days, to stash your stuff. They charge just one dollar for the first 30 days - but with a $30 service fee. Still a bargain.

    A lot of folks walk across the border to save hassle. I can't really advise you if that is better or not, I've usually had a good reason to take my car across. Many years ago I did bicycle across to go down Baja, but I had nothing I was bringing back.

    One last thought before you go, Adderall will cause you to fail your drug screening. You will need proof of your current prescription (your prescription label should suffice) and I'd highly recommend that you get a note from your clinic with your diagnosis and reason for ongoing treatment. Both the screening company and the hospital employee health will need it. You probably should get your agency to run it by employee health before you travel as well.

    Hope it works out, and you get to enjoy San Francisco!
  4. by   Codeman906
    Wow NedRN, that is actually very helpful and gives me a few new ideas to try out. The only thing I am unsure of is if that will work because Adderall is infact controlled. Adderall is basically Amphetamine Salts, so what worrys me is the doctor in California assuming I am just trying to score extra meds ya know. All great suggestions though, thank you so much!
  5. by   Travel_RNER
    Would your current doctor be willing to write separate prescriptions for several months so you can have a continuous supply if you explained your situation? Then you can just have the new script filled each month? I believe a controlled substance prescription is only good for 6 months from the day its written. Just a thought.