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to use the new 111 number about this? Or contact GP? or ask you lovely ladies?

(24 Posts)
SuperConfused Wed 22-May-13 12:05:08

I have a long, bad history with various forms of contraception and very severe PMS when I'm not on the pill. I was very happy on yasmin but had absolutely no sex drive so my doctor decided to try and put me on loestrin two months ago.

I'm now four days into my second packet and am feeling really crap. I'm starting to experience anxiety, which is a problem I've had with other pills in the past, my ankles are really swollen and I have peed about 18 times in the last 36 hours (I'm not drinking way more than usual or anything like that, though I have started to drink more as i'm now feeling dehydrated!)

I'm very tempted to just stop, but have two concerns: 1) I had to reschedule a colopscopy appointment because I had very heavy breakthrough bleeding during the first packet. New app is 4th June, I'm worried if I come off it now it may mean I get my period early and disrupt the second app. 2) I'm wondering if I should just persevere and if its just teething problems, but my experience in the past (I've been on about 6 or 7 different pills) has suggested that once there's that familiar feeling of anxiety, which I only get when I'm on the pill, it won't wear off. The swollen ankle/frequent urination thing is new to me.

I have in the past called NHS direct about issues to do with the pill, but I just went on their website and the new 111 number sounds like its meant to be for things much more serious. I've also asked pharmacists but this seems quite complicated and my pharmacy is in Sainsburys so a little public. The doctor who prescribed the pill has also just been let go from my practice, so if I were to ring up and ask to speak to someone it would be a totally different doctor so I don't know if they'd be happy to speak about it, and they're often pretty crap about responding in general.

So in short: WIBU to ring 111? Is it for things like this, or would they expect something much more serious? WIBU to just stop taking the pill, I'm only 4 days in, can it really do anything that bad? I didn't sleep at all last night, I was up and down to the toilet constantly, and I've also been feeling exhausted generally which I think may be linked. I really want to do something about this today.

VikkiiKawaii Wed 22-May-13 12:09:14

I would call your doctor and demand an appointment today. It wouldn't be unreasonable to call 111 but I personally wouldn't given the service still has a lot of teething problems and they will probably say to go to A&E anyway as it's their default response

BumpingFuglies Wed 22-May-13 12:09:43

Tbh I think 111 will tell you to see GP anyway. Poor you hmm

Makeminealarge Wed 22-May-13 12:14:29

As you have new symptoms you can call 111 but if its in your normal gp opening hours its likely they will recommend you speak to your own gp. Out if hours you may get to speak to an out of hours gp but you need to be assessed over the phone first. 111 covers all manner of calls, so don't feel that your call may not be 'urgent'.

Bringmewineandcake Wed 22-May-13 12:14:40

Only ring 111 if you have a spare hour to answer all their questions...
I'd call your GP.
brew for you, hope it gets resolved soon, and best of luck for your colposcopy

Meerkatwhiskers Wed 22-May-13 12:18:21

Have you read the patient information leaflet? It's a good place to start with regards to possible side effects and when to escalate to get urgent treatment.

Swollen ankles is a symptom of fluid retention which is a common side effect of the pill.

As for frequent urination, could you possibly have a UTI?

BoreOfWhabylon Wed 22-May-13 12:25:16

As others have said, 111 is for urgent problems - based on what you've told us, they would assess you and then advise you to contact your own GP.

I would ring GP and ask for someone to ring you back to discuss your concerns re new medication.

If you can't speak to GP then I'd contact a pharmacist (not pharmacy assistant) for advice.

Meerkatwhiskers Wed 22-May-13 12:26:40

Just looked up the side effects on the BNF for you (i'm a student nurse btw). Fluid retention as I mentioned is a side effect and is with most pills due to the hormones.

Frequent urination isn't a side effect though so you maybe as i mentioned before have the start of a UTI. Just speak to your GP. No need to speak to 111 as it's not an acute problem (unless you are an elderly person but as you are using contraception i'm thinking not grin).

SuperConfused Wed 22-May-13 12:27:47

Pretty sure I don't have a UTI, though it hadn't occurred to me - that has happened to me in the past but always accompanied by bleeding (sorry TMI). This time I'm in no pain or discomfort, I just need the loo a lot. I probably should grow up and call the surgery. I had a really bad experience the last time I went to that GP, as in so bad I made a formal complaint which is when I found out she'd actually been dismissed for misconduct in the meantime, and its made me really wary about going back, even though I know she's not there any more. Good to know that ringing 111 wouldn't be seen as frivolous for something like this though.

Meerkatwhiskers Wed 22-May-13 12:27:54

Sorry complete lack of punctuation in that second paragraph blush

ilovechips Wed 22-May-13 12:29:57

Is there a Sexual Health clinic near you? Most will offer walk in appointments same day, and they should be able to offer expert advice regarding the pill.

ilovechips Wed 22-May-13 12:31:02

Meant to add - they should also be able to test your urine.

BoreOfWhabylon Wed 22-May-13 12:33:46

Ringing 111 wouldn't be seen as frivolous but unless you have symptoms requiring urgent intervention (eg breathlessness or swelling in one leg only, so possible DVT) you'd be advised to cntact your GP.

Since horrible GP has gone, then you should really ring surgery - they are the ones who manage your ongoing health care. If GP is still horrible then change to another surgery.

Meerkatwhiskers Wed 22-May-13 12:40:06

Sorry but it would be frivolous. It's not what it's there for. Why not just go to A&E and have done with it.

Some people that actually need ambulances call 111 because they don't want to trouble anyone and people with minor problems are holding up the phone lines which is why people aren't getting the help they need. Like people going to A&E with chest pain they have had for 6 months instead of going to their GP (clearly not that bad to put up with it for 6 months then) while someone else walks in after being thrown 8 feet off his motorbike after a transit van crashed into him 3 hours previously with a possible fractured neck and we had to put out a trauma call that you usually see on 24 hours in A&E come in by ambulance/helicopter.

Sorry for the rant but having worked in an A&E dept and seeing how entitled people think they are with regards to our emergency services when there are GP services that are able to deal with their problems simply and easily.

Sorry you had a bad experience at with your GP but if you don't want to go back there then have you thought about changing surgery? It's really quick and easy.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 22-May-13 12:43:44

but 111 is being sold as a one stop service like the old nhsdirect - not an emergency number but a signposting service.
They probably would suggest that you call your gp surgery.

Meerkatwhiskers Wed 22-May-13 12:44:16

btw I myself went to A&E on saturday and despite being unable to keep water down and being in excrutiating pain with what turned out to be kidney stones, I still doubted that I should be going there.

Meerkatwhiskers Wed 22-May-13 12:49:36

Sorry I should explain, I have another side's point of view of the 111 service.

In my area, it's run by our ambulance service. When i was on my A&E placement, it had just come live and the paramedics were not liking it at all. It increased their call rate by 90%. And the reason for the increase in call rate was due to the way one question was worded that made the way you answered it meant that instead of someone being referred to their GP an ambulance was sent to them. Obviously, about 2% of these patients were actually being bought into hospital but it is a massive increase in their workload.

I don't know if it has been adressed as I left there about a month ago but our area was on the news over the bank holiday so i'm thinking not.

SuperConfused Wed 22-May-13 12:51:24

Thanks everyone. I checked the leaflet inside blush which hadn't occurred to me before. Its says swollen limbs you should stop taking the medication and see a doctor straight away.

I rang up my GP's office and all their emergency call backs are gone for today hmm so she said to call back at 8am tomorrow. Not entirely over the moon with that, i don't think its critical but it would be nice to know, and I didn't even go into specifics with the receptionist, just said that I had symptoms from a new medication and the leaflet said if I experienced them to contact a GP immediately.

Anyway, I think I won't take the pill today and will call back the GP tomorrow and see if they can either tell me what to do or fit me in on the phone.

SuperConfused Wed 22-May-13 12:53:29

Meerkahwhiskers, that's actually why I was checking with 111 - I am very far from being a frivolous user of the NHS, but in the past (and i mean a few years ago) I would have called NHS direct about minor things rather than disturb my GP. At that point, it was very much suggested that was what you do. I've heard 111 was a replacement for NHS direct, but when I went to their website, it didn't seem like that, which is why I posted here.

BoreOfWhabylon Wed 22-May-13 13:03:53

OYBBK is right, 111 is a signposting service. They assess your symptoms and direct you to the most appropriate care, from emergency ambulance to routine GP appointment or simple advice on self-care.

Who provides the service is a matter of local contracts - in some areas ambulance services contracted to provide the service in addition to the usual 999 service, in others it is provided by private companies/NHSD. They all use the same assessment system, which has been developed and tested over several years now.

Problems have arisen because some areas have invested more in training/staffing etc than others, compounded by the fact that Government directive was that 111 was to be rolled out on a particular date (coinciding with a Bank Holiday!) with predictable results.

Anyway, OP, please do contact your GP.

BoreOfWhabylon Wed 22-May-13 13:14:04

Sorry, cross-posted. Ring GP back and tell them you need an emergency appointment.

SuperConfused Wed 22-May-13 13:17:10

All the emergency appointments are gone for today, so I'll need to call back at 8am tomorrow, ditto emergency call-backs. It seems a bit bad that they don't have back up emergency appointments - what if someone gets ill after 1pm - but equally, I'm obviously not massively ill, just in discomfort. I'm actually starting to think the swollen ankles is linked to the pill but the constant peeing may in fact be unrelated and the start of a UTI, in which case its only one weird symptom not loads so I don't feel too bad waiting till tomorrow. Thanks for all the advice everyone

BoreOfWhabylon Wed 22-May-13 13:23:15

Lack of emergency appointments/callbacks is certainly a problem - perhaps needs following up with Practice Manager (I certainly would). In the meantime, a pharmacist can give you specific medication advice - some local pharmacies will accept phone calls.

Meerkatwhiskers Wed 22-May-13 14:45:11

Can they do a telephone appointment? Or as Bore suggested, go and ask a pharmacist.

We have a walk in GP surgery here where you can go and be seen by a GP without being registered. Maybe there is one nearby you? Usually a bit of a wait but great if you can't get an appointment and it's 7 days a week too.

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