Trimethoprim shortage ruins woman’s health

March 16, 2012

A 59 year-old woman writes from rural Manitoba:

‘I have a 40 year history of kidney stones which required surgery. [Because I live in a rural area,] the usual pattern was/is I would develop a kidney infection, be diagnosed with kidney stones, be referred to a urologist in Winnipeg, wait 12 – 18 months for an appointment before, finally, surgery was performed. The pattern is generally a 5-year span between episodes. As a result, I developed allergies to just about every antibiotic used for kidney infections. By 2005, the only antibiotic I could take orally was Trimethoprim, which actually worked very well.

In February, 2010, I developed a kidney infection, had a CTScan which confirmed a kidney stone in my right kidney. My usual urologist was away on medical leave, and I was referred to another urologist, getting an appointment in October, 2010. During the wait, I was on Trimethoprim daily. I saw the doctor in October, surgery was scheduled for April 8, 2011, and I was to continue on Trimethoprim for the duration of the wait.

In March 16, 2011, my prescription for Trimethoprim could not be filled in [my town], as the pharmacy here had run out of the [...] continue the story