Using a Compounding Pharmacy to Replace Midrin or Epidrin
Update 10/28/2018: Midrin and Midrin equivalents have been completely discontinued under FDA orders. (Learn more in this article: Say Goodbye to Midrin and Midrin Equivalents.) You may still be able to get what you need from a compounding pharmacy.
Midrin (and all other Midrin-like drugs, including Epidrin) have really, truly been discontinued. I’ve tried to hide from the truth, but can no longer deny that the ONE medication that allows me some semblance of a life has been discontinued for bureaucratic reasons. While there are no similar medications on the market to replace Midrin, having a pharmacist compound the medication is an option.
What are compounded medications? Quite simply, they are medications that pharmacists mix up from their component materials. You can locate a compounding pharmacy in most US states. All you need is a prescription from your doctor. Insurance companies generally pay for compounded prescriptions, though there may be additional costs that you pay for up front, then contact your insurance company for reimbursement. (I found this answer online and have no first-hand experience. If you know more, please leave a comment.)
But there’s a catch… the individual ingredients may be difficult to obtain. Midrin is composed of isometheptene mucate, dichloralphenazine, and acetaminophen. One pharmacist reported that she is unable to obtain dichloralphenazine and my headache specialist said that isometheptene mucate is backordered many places. However, these are only a few reports. It’s up to you to share what you learn!
If you’re a Midrin devotee, keep calling pharmacies — some still have a stash. I found mine at an independent pharmacy. Have your doctor call in a prescription for as many as possible. Insurance will probably only cover one month; if you pay cash, you can probably get a three-month supply. They cost about $1 per pill. Also try your mail-order pharmacy for a three-month supply that insurance should cover. (FYI, Costco and BioScrip are out.)
Read Teri Robert’s post for the politics of Midrin’s discontinuation. She has also found that Prodrin is available, though it doesn’t contain dichloralphenazine.
UPDATE: The Midrin equivalent is being manufactured again! Contact your local pharmacy for availability and pricing. Near me, it’s available at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and a local independent pharmacy. My insurance covers it with a generic copay.