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  • Started Serum Drops

    I started using the serum drops two days ago. The process to create them was not fun. It took three techs at the lab two sticks each to finally get blood out of me! The stick in the hand hurt the most. Not looking forward to that experience each month. When I took the blood to the compounding pharmacy, I expected to get the drops within hours. Instead, the pharmacist said it would be three days before I could pick them up! Huh?? Are they going to keep the blood cold/frozen? Do the days the pharmacy has the blood subtract from the days the drops will be viable for me to use? I really thought you always got the drops on the same day you dropped off the blood. Apparently not.

    I ended up giving 6 tubes of blood (not sure what size) and the pharmacy was able to get 8 TINY bottles out of that at 80% serum. The price was a lot more reasonable than I had expected, for sure. The pharmacist told me I had to dispose of any drops left after 45 days and that a refrigerated open bottle could only be used for a maximum of 7 days. So, I guess, in Texas at least, the 90-day supply option is out.

    Since I take care of my 89-year-old mother two weeks out of every month in a different town, I wanted to determine if I could get the whole process done near her house. This current two-hour roundtrip drive to the lab and pharmacy in heavy Dallas traffic is not something I enjoy. I found a pharmacy near Mom's house who could make the drops, but the cost was almost 3 times more than what I pay in Dallas! The pharmacy near Mom charges a $10 haz mat disposal fee. And, I think that is $10 per bottle!! That two-hour drive is not looking so bad now!

    I have a few questions for those of you using the serum drops. Are you supposed to shake the bottle before putting the drops in your eye? Did your doctor tell you to keep doing all the things that you were doing before like compresses, OTC drops, ointment at night, etc? My corneas are a mess as a result of RK and one eyelid that does not close all the way. I am really hoping that these drops do the trick as I have tried most everything else with not much relief.

  • #2
    Originally posted by infoseeker View Post
    When I took the blood to the compounding pharmacy, I expected to get the drops within hours. Instead, the pharmacist said it would be three days before I could pick them up!
    I've gotten serum tears from four different pharmacies (two local and two not local). The local pharmacies have always taken at least a couple days to get me a supply of serum. Sometimes it takes a week - it all depends on how many orders they have to fill and who's available to do it.


    The pharmacist told me I had to dispose of any drops left after 45 days
    I've heard anywhere between 45 days and 6 months, although my doctor has personally told me 3 months.

    Since I take care of my 89-year-old mother two weeks out of every month in a different town, I wanted to determine if I could get the whole process done near her house.
    Yes you can. I just started using this service called "Vital Tears." It's a serum tears only pharmacy based in Kansas City, and they partner with labs all over the country to draw your blood. They can even send a phlembotomist (blood drawer) to your house for an extra $20. The price is $720 for a six month supply or $395 for a 3-month supply (blood draw is included in the price, unless you need the phlembotomist to come to you).

    I do have a couple complaints about them, though. #1, they don't send your serum tears on dry ice, like Leiter's in San Jose used to do (Leiter's no longer makes serum tears). The drops are just on a cold ice pack. #2, I got a "3 month" supply that was in reality probably a 2 to 2 1/2 month supply. I need to talk to them about actually giving me a 3-month supply.

    I have a few questions for those of you using the serum drops. Are you supposed to shake the bottle before putting the drops in your eye?
    I don't, although it probably wouldn't hurt.

    Did your doctor tell you to keep doing all the things that you were doing before like compresses, OTC drops, ointment at night, etc?
    I don't remember my doctor stopping anything.
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    • #3
      Thanks so much for your reply, pythonidler. I appreciate the wisdom of your experience. I paid $68.99 for 8 tiny bottles of serum, each supposedly to last one week. So that is about a 2-month supply for $69 even though the pharmacist said to throw them away after 45 days. My blood draw cost $50 since they drew 6 vials only. To get more serum, they would have to draw more blood and the draw cost would increase.

      I'm not sure how one knows how long a bottle will last. Obviously, the more times you use the drops per day, the shorter time period the drops will last. My doc said to use them a MINIMUM of 4 times per day but, so far, I have used them more like 6 times per day. I think this first experience using the drops will help me figure out the specifics. One thing I do know, though, is that the pharmacy I am currently using will NOT dispense more than what they consider to be a 45-day supply. It does not matter how much blood/serum you deliver to them.

      I did not see anywhere on the Rx I took to the pharmacy where it said the number of drops to use per day. It also does not say on each tiny bottle. So, how does the pharmacy know how much to put in each bottle? I think that the tiny bottle I am currently using will last about 6 days, maybe 6.5 days. To me, this whole process, including the blood draw, seems like a guessing game!

      Thank you for the info about Vital Tears. I will check them out. It is a bit more expensive than what I am currently doing, but avoiding the two-hour roundtrip would be worth paying a little extra.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by infoseeker View Post
        I did not see anywhere on the Rx I took to the pharmacy where it said the number of drops to use per day. It also does not say on each tiny bottle. So, how does the pharmacy know how much to put in each bottle? I think that the tiny bottle I am currently using will last about 6 days, maybe 6.5 days. To me, this whole process, including the blood draw, seems like a guessing game!
        Well, I think Vital Tears estimates how many bottles to make based on both your prescription (# of drops per day) as well as how many drops are contained in each bottle. My guess is they are overestimating how many drops each bottle has, and so they're not giving me enough bottles to last 3 months. If you were to use them, you would definitely need your doctor to prescribe how many drops to use (and to guarantee you actually get a 3 month supply, perhaps prescribe more drops per day than is needed).
        What you need to know about computer-induced dry eye
        Dry Eye Survey
        IPL Doctors
        Probing Doctors

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