It’s been many years since Gavin began taking Clozapine been and roughly 2 years since Gavin began having issues with his blood work, that had a significant impact on how he received refills of his most important medication.
Clozapine is an antipsychotic and is one of the most tightly controlled medications in the US.
Clozapine is used to treat Gavin’s Schizophrenia and its been largely effective at helping to at least reduce his auditory and visual hallucinations. It’s not perfect and the medication is controlled because of its inherent danger but when closely monitored, it’s actually very safe.
There’s a process for taking Clozapine and receiving refills.
Gavin had to have blood work once a week in order to receive his next 7 days worth of pills. The labs are essentially looking for decreased white blood cell counts, among other things.
I’m not going into details about this because I’ve already done it countless times. You can read about it here.
The lab results are certified and faxed to the pharmacy. The pharmacy certifies them and faxes them to the government body who oversees the distribution of Clozapine. If they approve, they grant permission for another 7 day supply.
If everything is perfect for 6 months, labs are then required every 14 days. The same process applies.
When everything is perfect for another 6 months, labs will be required once every 30 days. In other words, if all Gavin’s labs come back in acceptable ranges for at least 365 days, he can receive 30 days worth of pills at a time.
If there are ever any hiccups with his labs, we lose all progress and have to start all over again.
It’s been about 2 years since Gavin was permitted to receive 30 days at a time. He’s been required to have blood draws either weekly or biweekly until today.
As of today, Gavin has officially been given permission to receive 30 days of pills at a time. This means that his numbers have been stable enough for the last year to safely be upgraded to 30 days.
He’s pretty excited because it means fewer needles and less pain. We’re happy because it means he’s been relatively stable and that’s a hugely positive thing. It may not seem like much but this is a massive victory, 2 years in the making.
We don’t know how long it will last because we’ve had to start over several times over the years but right now, we’re embracing the victory. ☺