I want a new drug

My prediction about not getting a full night’s sleep last night came true, unfortunately.  Around 11pm, John nudged me awake because he heard Roxy start convulsing downstairs.  We rushed down there in time to get her seizure pillow (an old (and now disgusting) throw pillow) under her head.  John went to get stuff to clean up after her, and I sat down on the floor next to her to keep her head on the pillow and keep her flailing legs from driving her into a wall.  The seizure ended after 20 or 30 seconds, but her breathing was still really heavy (expected) and her legs still made occasional twitching motions, like she was trying to swim (she was on her side).  Within just a few seconds (maybe 10 or 15), she started convulsing again.  In only about 20 minutes, this happened again and again until she’d had a total of four, maybe five individual seizures, with those twitches and tremors in between each one.  At the start of the fourth one (or fifth – I couldn’t count that high last night), I left John with her and dashed upstairs to find my jeans and shoes.  If she can’t stop, the emergency vet is the only place to go.  After that last one, though, while I was on the phone with the emergency vet, she stopped.  We weren’t sure it was over, but after ten minutes or so, she got up and started her recovery routine (wander around the house and bump into things until she comes out of it).  The emergency vet suggested we bring her in, of course, but when I tried to get them to tell me what they could do, they couldn’t really say.  If she was convulsing and unable to stop, they could inject her with anti-seizure drugs, but only in that circumstance.  Otherwise, they’d just watch her and then call a neurologist in the morning.  We decided, since the seizures had stopped for the moment, that we could just watch her overnight and drop her at our normal vet in the morning(WAY more affordable) for observation during the day.  Which is what we did, and I’m glad, since she didn’t have any more seizures, I felt comfortable having her where I know they know her, and it only cost $23 for the day instead of the hundreds the emergency vet always charges.  Short story (too late, I know): she’s fine for now.  We did finally do a little more research into the cost of switching her medication to zonisamide, and here’s where Costco totally made my day.  Our vet had heard that Costco sold zonisamide for less money than other pharmacies (like CVS), so I finally called today.  We have several near us, so I picked one and called.  We’ll need 500 mg a day for Roxy (they come in 100mg capsules), so a month’s supply is 150 capsules.  The guy at the Costco pharmacy looked it up and told me it would cost about $30.  For 150 capsules.  My jaw dropped and the guy had to ask me if I was still there.  I voiced my disbelief (So formal.  🙂  I said, “Really?”), and he said that if we’re Costco members, it would only cost $27.  That was the first I’d heard that I don’t have to be a Costco member to use the pharmacy, but let’s not get sidetracked here.  I hung up the phone with the Costco guy and called CVS.  Maybe the medication came way down in price or something.  I asked CVS to price the same dosage, same number of capsules, and that pharmacist told me that 150 capsules of the generic brand would be $289.  To actually get the brand name, it would cost over $400. Seems a little unreal, right?  So I called a different Costco pharmacy.  The woman at this one got the same $30 price as the first Costco pharmacist, but agreed with me that it didn’t sound right.  She double- and triple-checked it, though, and came up with $30 as the price for 150 100mg capsules of zonisamide.  Roxy’s medication change just became affordable.  So now we have to figure how best to wean her off the phenobarbitol without an increase in the number, frequency, and intensity of her seizures.  But yay for Costco!

Also, yay for Curiosity!  Check out her award-winning stick-people drawings (here and here).  While I’m at it (finding good stuff online), I went through Steps 1 through 5 just reading this post. Of course, then there’s this.  Twisted and hilarious.

And now I really need to find something light to eat.  I’ve gone past really hungry and back into who needs food territory, but that doesn’t mean I should not eat at all.


  1. You’ve just linked to me in a paragraph containing Hyperbole and a Half. I am, like, eleven words and some punctuation away from her. …Now you are seriously trying to make me giddy.

    I had heard that Costco was the cheapest place to get medications, but I hadn’t actually checked it out yet. We have coverage for our medications, but my cat gets eye drops every month that we pay for out of pocket. They’re not terribly expensive anyway, but since we’re going to be buying them for a very long time, this might be worth investigating. Sorry to hear about your pup’s troubles. Poor thing. Poor you.

  2. mel

    I read the title wrong at first as “I want a new dog” (appropriately enough, I guess) and Mark and I sat here coming up with Weird Al type lyrics to Huey Lewis (but singing about our own dog’s failings, not yours). The song is stuck in my head now.

    Congrats on finding affordability! Fingers crossed Roxie takes to the detox okay. Poor baby.

  3. Anonymous

    You sound so calm after all that. Poor Roxy. But I don’t exactl understand how this new medication is different from, or will work better.

  4. Zannah

    Tokenblogger, if I could build you a Costco, I would.

    I need to get in touch with the vet again about how to handle the medication switch, but I will keep you all informed, I’m sure.

  5. Zannah

    Roxy’s fine. Once she recovers, it’s as if the seizures never happened. But thanks for thinking of her. 🙂

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