My boyfriend and I are planning to come to Cuenca for 3-6 months and we would like to know about the availability of the medications below. Any information you can share on any of these, including (a) whether they are available at all in Ecuador - or if there is an equivalent, (b) whether they require a prescription, and (c) their cost (without insurance), would be greatly appreciated.
1. Xanax (alprazolam) 2. Celexa (citalopram) 3. Wellbutrin (bupropion) 4. Ambien (zolpidem) 5. Linisopril 6. Crestor (rosuvastatin) 7. Metformin 7. Glimepiride 8. Yaz or Yasmin or Gianvi (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol)
bring a 3 month supply, then if you can not find them (bring a prispriction as well for another 3 months)perhaps you can arange for your druggest back home to ship the refils. most have internet how days.
I can tell you that Yasmin is available without a prescription for aout $10 a month.
Best suggestion on the other medications is to bring your list with you -- exactly as you have it with the generic names as well as the chemical compound, and visit the pharmacies local to where you are planning to live. Two of the largest pharmacies are Farmacia and Fybeca. You will find both located near the major supermarkets Supermaxi and Hypermart/Commisariato.
Still it may be cheaper to purchase 90 day supplies (or more if you can get your docotr to increase your prescriptions for this purpose) and purchase them less expensively in the states, say at a Walmart with their $4 prescription coverage.
Still, good to now you can get a refill if you run out or something happens to your medication supply.
I take xanax and it is a availible but it is expensive. Depending on the dose. I take 2 mg a day, which is unheard of here. You need to go to a doctor (Depending on where you live i can suggest a very helpful one) and tell him exactly what you need. He will give you a script that is very long with a a special logo on it. It is a controlled substance. I found that i have to go to Fybeca next to clinica Santa ines to get mine and i have to ask for the generic Adax Retard To get my 60 1mg supply. It is slow acting. It cost 20$ a month. The other genereics of the regular acting ones are pricy. for 60 1mg its is about 70. If you are going to the feria libre, all meds are more expenisve. The other ones you have listed i am very familiar with and i think that they have all of them and are pretty reasonable. My psych dr writes my scripts 3 months out and my dad ships them to me. Flat rate small box is 13.92$ but it can take about 3 weeks to arrive. I only use it ofr two that i cannot get here. If you would like, I can take you to my doctor, the consultation is on 10$, and bring with you a printout of you montly scripts. He will write you a script for whatever you have in the states as long as they have it. As long as it isnt pain meds, ecuador is pretty uptodate with meds as far as i can tell. Feel free to cal me. 59374092906/7. Ask for Julie In spanish.
Thank you so much for the information - and for the offer to bring us to your doctor! Very kind and helpful of you!
Our plans to go down to Ecuador have been delayed for a year or so, but if/when we do get down there, this information will be invaluable, and we may take you up on your offer to take us to see your doctor if you're still in Cuenca.
All I can say is IF you need ALL those drugs, you are in serious need of a alternative doctor. My doctor back in the States thought she was going to get me on Metformin after I was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic. I told her NO WAY. I only take natural products for my condition. And there are zero side affects.
I have found it impossible and i have tried all places, including the military hospital who has a UCLA trained Orthopedic Dr. You can get tramadol and that is about it. Also, buprofinena patches but they are 80$ for a 15 day supply and dont work for me anyway. I have switched to a a codien3e and tylenol and tramadol combo that works ok for me but i would look into getting a doctor to presxribe you your meds from america and having them mailed. my doctor wont.
http://www.drugs.com/international/metformin.html Biguanil Made by Stein (Ecuador) Glucaminol Made by Roche (Ecuador) Glucofage Made by Merck (Ecuador) Metforal Made by Menarini (Ecuador) Metformina MK Made by McKesson (Ecuador) Metformina Winthrop Made by Sanofi-Aventis (Ecuador)
I don't mean to be rude or offend anyone but that drug list to me looks like a deathwish more than a healing program. My god.
Have you ever considered that the North American life contributes to people thinking those things help? It is quite possible that a lot of those medications wouldn't be needed with a more laid-back type of lifestyle.
I can't speak about pain medication for an older person as I am young (under 30). Anything relating to mind/anxiety/psychiatric drugs can be stopped as long as you learn how your mind works. Just a thought.
I really hope I don't come across as rude
Edit: I should add that I have been diagnosed as bipolar and ADHD (lol) in Canada by "professionals." After trying their random drugs for 6 months I have found empowerment in the sense that I have read and worked on cultivating a peaceful mind. I recommend meditation and changing your lifestyle if it is contributing to ill health whether it be disease or anxious thoughts, or anything along those lines.
I also used to suffer from nervous sweating, which means my nervous system was always on edge. It has completely cleared up after my lifestyle changes. I never had to go through typical sweat gland surgery or use toxic products like Drysol (aluminum in your pores, no thank you).
I have never felt better in my life, and it has been no thanks to typical doctors.
I'm not sure why Seroquel is so expensive in Ecuador.
From my research it seems that mental health issues aren't recognized as much as in North America. That may contribute to the more expensive prices? Just a guess.
I am 61 and looking at Cuenca as a possible relocation. I am on Methadone, 40mg/4-6hrs/100/month. This is for a long term condition and I will be on the medication for the rest of my life. My dosage is stable and has been for several years. Wondering about availability and cost. Thank you, Ralph
My daughter will be living in Ecuador for 18 months. There is a possibility she may need Isotretinoin (generic for Acctane) while she is there. Does anybody know if you need a prescription? Also, any idea the cost?
Thank you. Any information would be much appreciated.
Hi wandering This Is MB in Dallas, trying too reach out too you about moving, too Ecuador and mediations I am on how your research turned out, pls pls, this is important I will furnish you wiyh my cell number I have questions for you pls call if you can MB AT 9492287575 in Dallas
Here goes. Before coming here in December of 2012 there was some question of whether I could even make the trip. I won't bore you with the long list of symptoms that went misdiagnosed by health care practitioners (I used that term loosely) for over forty years. For reasons that I again won't bore you with my partner and I decided after a LOT of research to come to Ecuador. No "check it out first" trip as there was no way I could do two trips. We just came. The one thing I never thought to research was supplements and meds. I know in retrospect it seems crazy but I just did not think it would be a problem.
Anyways I ran out of some important supplements within the first month. Ordered some more and then learned the hard way way that Ecuador has rules about supplements coming in. If you want or need a drug or supplement from the states you are going to have to have a doctor's script accompany it. PERIOD!
As for supplements you can only get basics here. No GABA, no SAM-e, no iron and I even had a hard time finding magnesium on it's own.
As for the supplements I need for my adrenal fatigue there is no way I can have them brought in here. Being from Canada where heath care is a mess I have been without a doctor for many years so there is no way I can get a script for something I was buying on line. I am currently looking for an alternative and have faith that in time I will find one.
On the other hand I spent years and years trying to find answers to several health issues and within a few weeks here in Ecuador I was well on my way to not only answers but healing!!!!!! Before leaving Canada to come here I spent months trying to find the answers to some issues that had plagued me for years. I stumbled onto the possibility of sinus and ear issues and had made several visits to the clinic culminating in a bout of steroids (would not recommend those to anyone but particularly someone with adrenal issues) with no good results and three out of four doctors treating me like most doctors had treated me for most of my life. Again won't bore you with the details.
The last doctor did agree that I had plugged Eustachian tubes and said that I shouldn't fly. He recommended that I see an ENT. In Canada that would mean that my doctor would write a referral and the waiting would start. Usually 6-8 months to see a specialist (if you are lucky) and if you need special tests like a CAT scan or what have you expect another 8-10 month wait. There was no way I could continue with the pain for that long and our flight to Ecuador was booked. I hoped for the best and figured that health care in Ecuador could be no worse than Canada.
As soon as we were settled in our first location of Loja I found an ENT. I had NO spanish and he had little english but with the help of the puter were were able to get things done. The first visit was a wopping $30.00 plus meds of $25.00. When they did not work he suggested a CAT scan. I left the ENT and went to the hospital, paid $175.00 for the CAT scan, went for lunch, picked up the scans, took them back to the ENT and found out what had been part of my health issues all these years. I had a deviated septum. No problem the ENT said. For $1200.00 cash he could do the surgery the next day.
Long story short I had the surgery that would have taken years back in Canada and am on the road to recovery.
As for all the supplements I have run out of and can't get here I am finding alternatives. The adrenal issues make me jumpy and GABA was really helping with that. Recently I stumbled into a shop downtown that had a tincture that was said to help with nervousness so I gave it a try. It will be a fine replacement for the GABA.
Now I can't speak for the meds but I think you should be able to find alternatives if need be.
One thing I can say with certainty is that the doctors here have far more time than the ones In North America and are just as educated. The prices are reasonable if you have no insurance. My ENT here wanted to know everything about my health issues as well as all supplements I was taking and was very thorough. You just might find that you get better health care here than back in the states which IMO is far better than heath care in Canada.....that is if you can afford it. Truth is both systems are broken and Ecuador offers good health care at good prices with Doctors who seems to have all the time in the world.
Now be prepared for a totally different experience. I saw an allergist recently who I picked because he could speak english. He has invited me to dinner so he can practice his english and teach me some spanish! How can anyone think of passing on Ecuador because they might not be able to get everything they are used to getting? The people here make it all worthwhile and I am telling you they will do anything and everything to help you. if you have health issues you are far better off here than in North America....for so many reasons.
Anyways bottom line is if you have ANY concerns about finding a certain drug or supplement here make sure your doctor is willing to write out scripts to accompany the package. Give any package at least 6 weeks to arrive in Ecuador and make sure it falls under what they call the 4X4 rule. No more than $400.00 total including shipping cost and no more than 4K including packing materials. If it is over the $400.00 or over 4K it goes to customs and believe me when I say you do NOT want it going there.
Remember supplements or meds have to have a script accompany it or it won't be let in.
If like myself you don't have a doctor or have some other reason you can't have packages brought in from NA it may take some time but it's safe to say that in time you will find alternatives to keep your health moving in the right direction.
In the end it is safe to say that I panicked when I started running out of things. As time went on and I found alternatives and of course am eating better and getting more exercise it is safe to say that for me Ecuador was a good pick and a few months here has proven to be far better than years and years of trying to find answers back in Canada.
Misty, Thanks for the very detailed and informative post. There is much good information many of us can gleen from it. I think it's a fair statement to make, that medical care and meds are a HUGE concern to many of us considering the move. To get such insightfull and forthright information is fantastic. Also, the fact you were so open with your own personal experiences is much appreciated. THANKS!!!! Stay Well, Neil
Misty, I too thank you for your detailed post and hope that your surgery will result in a better quality of life. From my own personal experience in the US I had an ENT tell me I had a deviated septum and he recommended surgery. I declined and told my primary care doctor a few years later. He took a look and advised that I didn't have a deviated septum. Was it a miracle or did the ENT try and sell me a surgery I didn't need? Had a similar issue with an orthopedic surgeon. Declined the surgery and problem went away on its own. My experience has left me very suspicious of anyone wanting to cut on me. I hope yours was a proper procedure and results in an improvement.
Truth is I do not have a lot of faith in the medical community.....back home anyways. I have had debilitating symptoms that started when I was 16 years of age and only got worse as the years passed. By the time I was thirty I was unable to leave the house or take care of myself. Truth is even as little as a few months ago I was still struggling a lot. I'm not out of the woods yet but I am definitely on the mend.
The first part of the puzzle was finding out I had brain trauma from several head injuries. That was a step in the right direction but only went so far. Then I stumbled onto the fact that I have adrenal fatigue and again that helped improve things but since that went misdiagosed for so long my body is in bad shape and I have a lot of work ahead of me yet. Then I stumbled onto the whole sinus and ear thing.
What is really pathetic about all of this is that I litterally stumbled onto these answers myself. I did not get these diagnosis from the medical community who basically all treated me like I was crazy. I am 100% sure of all these things as I am for the first time in over 40 years starting to have some assemblance of a life.
I beleive that I was born with the deviated septum and the weak adrenals. The head ijuries were just unfortunate accidents. However the bottom line is that the doctors I saw back home just wanted to medicate me with anti depressants even though I kept telling them that depression was a symptom not the illness. They would not listen to me.
Even with the whole sinus thing I was getting the looks I had become accustomed to. Thier xrays showed nothing so they didn't believe me. All I know is that I haven't felt this good in a long time. I am able to go out a few hours each day now. I am interacting with other humans. It's great and the doctors here listen to me and I have yet to see the look.
Is it a perfect system here....probably not but has it been better to me than the system back home.....hell yeah! I am proactive and I do try as much as possible to avoid meds and go natural but the bottom line it if your doctor doesn't trust and beleive the symptoms you are describing and doesn't know how to take and interpret a history then you are pooched. Most just do not have the time and frankly most just don't seem to care and all that is a mute point if you can't even find a doctor as is often the case in Canada.
Anyways I am so glad you were able to heal yourself. I believe a good doctor is one who supports and listens and is willing to accept that the best person to talk to about a patients illness is the patient themselves. They need to really listen. Even here I do not go in blindly. I find out exactly what it is they plan to do and exactly what meds they are prescribing. I am very careful and feel that anyone who trusts a doctor blindly is a fool. One has to be careful.
PS.......Thanks Neil....I hope my experience helps someone. So much info is so vague or somewhat scewed. While some of this is fact and some is my opinion based on my experience here I am trying to be fair and truthful. I got a $5.00 chiropractic adjustment in town today and you know what this doctor spent a lot of time talking to me about things I could do to help myself in between adjustments. You gotta love Ecuador!
Misty, Firtly, I love the name you chose. Very witty. As far as the situation of the medical community here in the states, it's ridiculous. They say that if you don't get your point across to your physician in the first 3 minutes, you are just shut out by them. They've moved on. Already diognosing you, and on to the next victim, er... patient. I complained for 2 years about really low energy levels. They wanted to prescribe anti- depressants. I refused them. I finally suggested that they check my thyroid levels, as I have 2 sisters that have an inbalance. Sure as hell, I was off the charts. Got on meds, and I'm still lazy, but now it's my choice. What pisses me, is why did I have to diognos my own problem? They are in such a rush, which is forced upon them by the HMO's that they have no time to actually practice medicine. They over prescribe meds, hoping something will have an affect, or even mask the true problem. Everything I've heard regarding the mediacal profession in Ecuador makes me feel they truly are in the business of healing. I hope you continue on an up hill path with your health. Stay Well, Neil
I thought you were here in Ecuador but it sounds like you are in the states.
Yes the attitude of most doctors in NA is poor at best. It seems to me that anti depressants are their answer to just about anything. The things some doctors have said to me over the years. It really is an sham. I remember one doctor I saw a few times that used to keep a watch in front of him on the desk. You see in Canada they get paid for 15 minute appointments so you can see how challenging it would become to make those Beamer payments if you spent too much time with one patient.
Recently I encountered a new twist on the whole thing. I was living in British Columbia and on a waiting list for a doctor. I was still quite ill with VERY low energy levels. I got an email saying that a doctor had an opening for a new patient. I drag myself there and fill out the questionnaire. I remember agonizing over whether I should be completely honest about my symptoms and history as for all of my adult life all honesty got me was the glazed over look and terrible attitude. I told the truth and when I went into see the doctor it felt like an interview. Probably because it was. He saw that I was not going to be an easy patient ... he might actually have to earn his money and proceeded to tell me he had no openings. I realized then that there really was only one person who cared enough about my health to make a difference, only one person who knew my body well enough to know what was best and only one person that would never stop looking for the answers and its her that I now put all my faith in. At that point I looked at health care in Canada from a whole new prospective.
I double check everything, research everything and make sure the final say is mine. It amazes me how many people just do not think to question their doctors. They are nothing more than glorified mechanics for the body. Frankly I have had car mechanics who were better than most doctors.
Anyways it is good to hear that you were able to get your low energy issues resolved. Good to hear that you conserve energy by choice! 😬
Neil I don't mind finding the diagnosis on my own. In fact for the last few years in Canada I would ask doctors to just trust me.....explain to them that I did not expect them to be up to date on all the changing information on every aspect of the human body. I had the time to do the research because I was unable to work. Let me do the research. I know my body better than anyone. All I asked was that when I came with something that fit that they help me to either rule it out or confirm. None of them could handle it. I've been kicked out of more doctors offices than I can count.
Anyways in the end I made it here and my health is improving. I give credit to never giving up, keeping it as natural as possible, and moving to Ecuador which resulted in a more laid back lifestyle, more laughter, more fruits and vegetables, more walking and better health care. Oh yeah and the HOUSE show. Believe it or not I stumbled onto the adrenal and sinus issues from watching that show on DVD years after they aired! Crazy!!!!
Misty, I've come to really believe that we have to be our own advocats as far as health care is concerned. I will be moving to Cuenca this June. Again, the health care system in the states is one of my biggest reasons for the move. Also, I felt like I was getting a little stagnant here, so I'm looking forward to the challenges that this move will present. I'll rely on you as my go to person in all things medical. Stay Well, Neil
LOL at the 'go to person' comment. I am still learning myself. Just spoke to some expats today that say they have friends who are receiving supplements through a service that I believe is called GO CORREOS or something like that. They basically charge you ten dollars a year and your packages are sent to them in Miami first before being sent to Ecuador. Now I have been to their website and it clearly stated that supplements and meds were on the 'no can do' list. Also I didn't see the point in having any package sent to them first when I know for a fact that packages can be sent directly to Ecuador. So not sure exactly what the deal is. This person stated that if the package was under the 4X4 law then no problem but we had an Ecuadorian interpret the rules as sent to us by the postal officials here and his interpretation was the same as ours and the same as we were told on both the phone and computer. NO SCRIPT NO RECIEVING SUPPLEMENTS. I guess if one has the time and the money they could experiment with it all.
So you arrive here in June. Very cool! I hope you like it. Will it be a recon visit or a move?
Yes we really do have to be our own advocates. No doubt about it.
Health care was also on our list of reasons for leaving the homeland. I had hoped the care here would be better and so far I have not been disappointed.
Hey Misty, No, not a re con trip. I actually purchased a condo in Cuenca. It's in the El Rocio building. So, I'm moving full time this June. The condo will be completed in April. I'd love to talk to you guys when I get there, to learn all things Cuenca. Till Then, Stay Well, Neil
Are lamictal, lamotigine, seroquel available in ecuador in general and do psychiatrists act mainly as psychologists or brain chemistry practitioners? Thanks in advance for facts and experiences in this regard.
I have just tracked down the contact info for a pharmacy here in Cuenca. I understand he replies quickly to inquiries about meds etc.
Pharmacy Cruz Azul
Av. Ordoņez Lasso y Cerezos
Roberto Benavidez is the Pharmacy Manager and he speaks English and is always available to assist you with your medication needs. His e-mail: rebenavidezj[at]gmail.com or he can be reached at 0995632090.
I have some information that may prove helpful to those wanting to come here but unsure of drug or supplement availability.
Before you panic please call or email the pharmacy in my above post to find out if the drug you need is available.
If its a supplement you need there is a store here that is very good about special ordering products. It is called RENACER and it is on Presidente Cordova.
Now if you can't find what you need it can be mailed in. Keep the package under $400.00 and 4 kilos (8.8lbs.). Keeping the value low will reflect how much Ecuadorian duty you pay.
Also a doctors note in Spanish must accompany the package. If you have no Doctor you may have to be creative. This goes for supplements as well!
We had my supplements sent to General Delivery in Cuenca under my name. We tracked the package on line and once it cleared Ecuadorian customs we went to the post office armed with the tracking number and passport and picked it up. Customs fees on $100.00 was $5.00. It took about ten days.
They never opened the package. I'm sure they check the contents of packages periodically so best to make sure you have some sort of note explaining what the drugs or supplements are for. I can tell you from experience that if they hold a package it can take months before it is released.
Hope this helps those of you who are concerned about meds or supplements.
If I missed anything please email me.
Last edited by Mistymeaner (09 June 2013 14:32:06)
It appears that most of you are in Cuenca. I just moved from the US to Quito and I can't get meds that I desperately need. Most importantly Valium, here known as diazepam or Concilium. I am close to running out and will have some serious debilitating withdrawl symptoms. I'm willing to go off it but only under a physician's monitoring and instructions. Anybody know a good doc here in Quito? Thanks in advance.
Are you kidding? I go WITH a script and they still won't fill them. And these meds are so common that I can't believe that.
I am sorry to hear you are having such difficulty. This seems to be an unfortunate miscommunication. I think you may have to go to a clinic and see if you can get a doctor there to okay your prescription, but that really doesn't seem necessary. But it may be where you need to start.
Here in Loja, some clinics have an associated pharmacy. If you see a doctor and he prescribes something, and there is any question, the associated pharmacy can just call the doctor. But, there should be no reason that they would not fill your script from the Ecuadorian doctor (assuming that medicine is in stock). I do know that even if a medicines might be generally available, it still could require special order and that could have been the hitch you ran into. But, it is hard to say. Keep in mind that medicines that are very common in the U.S., may not be common in Ecuador.
A clinic visit here in loja would run your about $20. For this purpose, any clinic nearby should work. You don't really need complicated diagnosis. Just a little support from a local doctor to get what you need. Most doctors here are quite sympathetic and helpful, and it certainly won't hurt that you are a Doctor. Good Luck.
Thank you so much, Joseph, for that very helpful information. I will take your suggestion and go to a clinic here in Quito.
On an unrelated note I'm wondering if we could talk about Loja - I hear it's great and would love to learn more about it and visit. If my business plans work out (50/50)I have considered looking at it as a place to live.
Again, many thanks. I'll let you know how it works out.
On an unrelated note I'm wondering if we could talk about Loja - I hear it's great and would love to learn more about it and visit. If my business plans work out (50/50)I have considered looking at it as a place to live.
Of course. I have a Gmail account and you can contact me through that account by using my username joeklimek and adding the necessary identifiers for gmail (that is, @gmail.com)
Hi my name is Miriam born in Ecuador disabled here in fl get ssd my medications I do need for life it has helped so much but need to live with my dad in quito so I'm so afraid I might not get my meds for my mental illness I take ability addrell for ADHD trazapam for sleep valium for my attacts not sure but there is another one so do they have the same there or shrink in Ecuador calls the one here in fl or do I have to keep coming to USA I do have insurance will it work there or my ssd income I get if not i can not afford to move there but I'm sick and my dad will take care of me can not b alone need help soon leaving this Friday have a shrink app today at two for my meds what will I need call me 7722611493 or email me at cablegirl69[at]gmail.com stat please I can not do without had it all my life thank you all so much
Please let me know what I need from my doctor today so I can recieve the same medications in Ecuador email me please my app is at two today sorry short notice but I also have short term mummery email is cablegirl69[at]gmail.com thank you all so much I listed all meds up top there the addrell they say might be the hardest please try god bless
Im meme have a lot of medication worried they might not have there when I get there leaving this Friday adderall and abilify is the most can anyone help me and do I have to post pic or info or will b replayed here thanks and god bless all