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GP refused me Valium for a long flight

(230 Posts)
MinesaBottle Tue 10-Dec-19 19:35:51

DH and I are flying to Australia next week for a family funeral. I don’t cope well with flying at all, and for the last few years I’ve gone to the GP and been prescribed a few 2mg Valium for the flights (we’ve already been to NZ this year - another funeral) and last year (dsd’s wedding). Which is a way of saying I’ve taken it on long flights before with no issues. I don’t drink alcohol on flights either.

I went to the GP today to ask for some Valium or similar and she flat out refused! She said she won’t prescribe Valium for flights because ‘you won’t move around and you’ll be at risk of DVT’. How much did she think I’d take?! I’ve flown on it before and always been conscious (I can’t sleep on planes anyway) and moved around; I always get an aisle seat so I can get up. She prescribed propranolol instead; I’ve never had it and it only calms physical symptoms of anxiety, not mental ones (is what she said). I’m also worried it might interact with paroxetine; she said not but didn’t actually look it up!

Weirdly I was in tears when I got in—I think because of the disruption to my usual routine when flying. I feel like she was judging me too. But regardless, should I see a private GP (there’s one near work) and see if they would prescribe five or six Valium or similar? I need the mental calming too. I have ADHD and my thoughts race at the best of times, never mind on a long flight heading to a funeral!

nothingcanhurtmewithmyeyesshut Tue 10-Dec-19 19:38:34

Shes right not to, when there are safer alternatives. I take propranolol and it doesn't interact with paroxetine or any other SSRI. It works very well at calming your body and prevents panic attacks.

MinesaBottle Tue 10-Dec-19 19:38:41

Also I didn’t mean to enable voting! Oops blush

MinesaBottle Tue 10-Dec-19 19:40:19

nothingcanhurtme Thank you, I needed to read something like that - I always get nervous taking new medication. How long before a flight do you take it and how long does it last?

LoisLittsLover Tue 10-Dec-19 19:42:57

There's a signnin surgery statjng that NICE no longer supports certain meds for travel related anxiety so it may be that the GP is limited in what they can do

FreckledLeopard Tue 10-Dec-19 19:44:11

If you can, I'd just go to the private GP and get some Valium there. Hopefully there'll be less red tape and you can get what you need.

FrankieDoyle Tue 10-Dec-19 19:45:35

GPs are apparently discouraged from prescribing this for flights now. It goes against aviation guidelines.

UtuNorantiPralatongsThirdEye Tue 10-Dec-19 19:46:08

You might be suprised at how much better you're able to cope when the physical anxiety symptoms aren't there.

MinesaBottle Tue 10-Dec-19 19:46:16

She very much phrased it as though it was her personal preference, if she’d explained they’ll no longer prescribe certain meds (and I’m not sure about that, my neighbour who goes to the same surgery got some three weeks ago) then fair enough. She said she didn’t care what her colleagues did, she never prescribes them for anything.

TWD89 Tue 10-Dec-19 19:46:50

Use the push doctor app. They prescribed it for me no problem.

More expensive than NHS but cheaper than a private GP!

TooleyVanDooley Tue 10-Dec-19 19:47:43

I think you’ll find that the medical defence unions have told GPS to stop prescribing it for flights. Since private GPs also need indemnity, they likely won’t prescribe it either.

NC2020 Tue 10-Dec-19 19:48:10

Benzos have been massively over prescribed over the years. They're highly addictive and the withdrawal is horrific, they are really vile drugs in anything other than the short term. GPs have much stricter guidelines now and so they should. These guidelines are probably not to protect people like you but it is necessary to have much stricter controls on them. Propranolol is a good choice.

MinesaBottle Tue 10-Dec-19 19:50:22

If she’d told me that then I’d be much happier and more accepting! I’m not stupid...telling someone who’s taken Valium on flights before that they’ll pass out for twelve hours and get DVT is a bit insulting hmm. She could have told me if that’s the reason, but did say she’s never been keen on prescribing it.

MinesaBottle Tue 10-Dec-19 19:51:27

So does propranolol make you drowsy? How long does it (10mg) last? Should I take one tonight to see how it feels?

dontalltalkatonce Tue 10-Dec-19 19:51:56

I personally HATE Valium. It gives me a horrible trip even at low dose. You're lucky she offered you anything at all but I'd jump at the propranolol. It's really effective for panic attacks, IME.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Tue 10-Dec-19 19:52:21

Propranolol works well for short term anxiety. Most peoples short term anxiety is perpetuated by the physical symptoms, it's the physical symptoms that go haywire in a panic attack, propranolol helps that.

Most gps are moving away from benzodiazepines as a means to manage anxiety anyway. I work in.mental health and were seeing them prescribed less and less, they're not nice medication.n

dontalltalkatonce Tue 10-Dec-19 19:53:03

They don't make some people pass out! They certainly don't for me!

Span1elsRock Tue 10-Dec-19 19:53:11

I don't think GPs are allowed to prescribe this anymore, due to the effects it can have on you at altitude.

www.meadowssurgeryburgesshill.nhs.uk/info.aspx?p=2

It's also a prohibited drug in a lot of countries.

Solitaryradiator Tue 10-Dec-19 19:53:16

Yes, just make a private appointment. I can’t fly without Valium, I get about 15 a year so absolutely not chance of getting addicted and I’m always able to walk about - and even read a book - perfectly fine.

KrampusTime Tue 10-Dec-19 19:53:23

It's quite inconsistent from GP to GP.

I'm in Cambridgeshire and mine recently got some for flights. She didn't bat an eyelid.

KrampusTime Tue 10-Dec-19 19:53:52

Valium is diazepam isn't it?

Solitaryradiator Tue 10-Dec-19 19:54:25

The Meadows surgery link contains a lot of inaccurate info

Solitaryradiator Tue 10-Dec-19 19:55:18

Propranolol made my heart beat too slow and I felt awful last time I took it

Tatty101 Tue 10-Dec-19 19:55:31

Those guidelines may have changed in the last three weeks since your neighbour got hers ...

Ihatefootball86 Tue 10-Dec-19 19:55:33

There's no way you can get it nowadays. The GPS are dead against it.

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