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Thread: Diaper costs vs. medications - what's best?

  1. #1

    Default Diaper costs vs. medications - what's best?

    I posted this under the Diapers category too, but this might be the most appropriate forum. For people like me with limited income due to disability the cost of pull-up diapers is often very high. I have an increasing problem with daytime bladder control due mainly to urge incontinence that is probably a side effect of another degenerative illness so going out unprotected is less of an option and I feel restricted in where I can go without protection. I know all the bathrooms when I go out for groceries or for other reasons. I see a doctor in a few days about this and I guess he'll probably recommend either medication or regular protection. Has anybody tried the medication? I heard it can have lots of side effects. A friend told me the doctor might write a prescription for diapers but does anybody know if workplace supplementary health benefits programs usually cover this or how much information has to be provided, like do they need to get a diagnosis or have a claim report completed. A social worker told me I could contact my employer or union about whether supplementary benefits are available but explaining this issue could be embarrassing. If they don't usually cover such items I'm reluctant to ask.

  2. #2


    I'm not too sure on how effective medications can be for you specifically, but yes side effects might be a problem, so you should ask your doctor what kind of side effects to expect and decide on whether it's worth it.
    Also you could try cathing, I have tried a catheter+bag but it was very painful for me so I said using them but it is another solution.
    Maybe contact your employer and see, I could just tell you that it is a medical problem and you shouldn't feel ashamed out anything but I understand your reluctance, just do what will be best for you health wise and you'll be fine.

  3. #3


    Ok so your not going to get a doctor to just out right give you a script for diapers. Most insurance companies don't even cover diapers. Medicare doesn't and medicaid is about the only one that does. Also there is usually a lot of testing that needs to be done before they will do anything. I have been IC full time since 2011 and had intermittent IC issues since 2007. So I know a lot about this stuff. I am not the expert but I have been through a crap tone of stuff. Medication for incontinence have side effects yes. But it also depends on the medication. What I hear most often is that it causes dry mouth and such. I did meds long enough to find out if they helped and seeing as I had nerve death and not just the normal stuff that causes IC there was no point in trying to fix it. It is not fixable for me. So I took the very long journey to getting diapers covered and Only my medicaid did. What they will cover are pretty bad quality. You are looking at stuff that is about depends quality or worse.

  4. #4


    These are great questions. It comes down to a personal decision, finances, what your insurance covers and how the medication affects you. I tried the OAB medication (several different brands) over ten years ago and found I did not deal well with the side effects and, on top of that, I had to wear protection anyway because I still had urge IC episodes. You may be different though and I would discuss this with your doctor.

    Whether or not your insurance covers diapers depends on your particular plan (some do and some don't). I am actually researching this now because we don't have a flexible spending account to cover my diapers anymore and our income has shrunk.

  5. #5


    I skipped the meds and went straight into diapers to manage my IC issue, with the possibility of side effects and the fact that the meds only reduce the issues I would still have to wear protection any ways.

    Diapers are now apart of my daily life, its a pain some times but over all their not hard to deal with.

    if you have to wear any ways because the meds only work some of the time why take the meds.

  6. #6


    I've tried medications before. They dehydrated me, gave me head aches, etc. they also stopped working after a month or two (if they even helped in the first place). Your best bet it to buy decent diapers like dry 24/7s. I go through 4-5 a day. While they are more expensive, I spend less because I change less often.

  7. #7


    If all you're worried about is cost, then yes you should give meds a try. I've tried them all, some had a little bit of a positive effect, but did nothing for me other than introduce side effects. Everyone is different though, and meds could work for you.

    It will also help you if you stop looking at the cost of each pullup, and instead look at it as a cost per day. Lets say one pullup costs $0.50 each, but you go through 8 a day, then that's $4.00 spent. On the other hand, if you went with an expensive diaper that costs $1.50 each and use only two, then that's only $3.00 per day.

    Of course, your needs and use will differ, but you can still see it might be cheaper overall to use better and more expensive diapers. Just an option.

  8. #8


    Thanks for advice. I saw the doc just before the weekend and he's not sure about the cause or even if its urge IC. I have a problem with incomplete voiding that might be causing the feeling that I have to go all the time and maybe I'm having overflow issues as a result of not going when I get the urge to. I have to try changes like reducing caffeine and alcohol and increasing water intake and spreading the intake more evenly throughout the day to normalize bladder flow because I tend to take in a lot more fluids in the morning and at night but avoid them in the middle of the day to avoid daytime accidents. My kidney function is abnormal according to recent blood tests and this might be the cause of the problem so for now their avoiding the standard IC medications due to possible adverse side effects and interactions presumably including because Im on other drugs like anti-epileptics and anti-psychotics. Also, Ive reacted in the past to some other drugs used to control bedwetting. There might be psychological problems too so that has to be addressed professionally and I do get monitored by a psych doctor although Im reluctant to raise the issue because I found in the past that psychologists and psychiatrists sometimes tend to overinterpret these kind of problems. I don't want to get into 'that' discussion about toilet training or similar causes. Theres a reluctance to use medications without knowing the cause or extent of the problem but I need other tests like a 24 hour urine study although I already had one of these a while ago that indicated mild urine insufficiency that seems counterintuitive to me. So my options are limited for now to diapers as a precaution. The doc inquired about supports like publicly funded programs which in some cases provide diapers for people who are eligible but I dont get welfare or home care support so I dont think thats an option at this point.
    Last edited by mikesecret; 19-Jun-2017 at 16:47.

  9. #9


    For me, meds didn't work. I tired like 7 of them. Some were generic and cheap, one was over $300 a month and my crappy high deductible (Thanks, Barry) insurance didn't cover it. Diapers were a cheaper and better solution for me. Even with the most effective and least side effect med I tried, I still needed protection so it just made no sense. I'd much rather just wear the diaper and not waste money on meds that weren't 100% effective.

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