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Diazepam and back pain - review with doctor, should I worry?

(14 Posts)
JonahAndTheSale Thu 29-Sep-16 12:39:14

I get about 7/8 episodes of back and neck pain a year. It's lifestyle and stress related.

The only thing that helps to relieve the pain is posture, exercise and diazepam to help with the tight spasms.

I was prescribed diazepam about 2 years ago and it really really helps.

They put on my last prescription review this!

I'm terrified they won't renew the prescription. It literally helps me function through the pain. I get about 4/5 prescriptions of it a year. 28 x 2mg tablets.

I don't feel in any way dependent on it.

I also feel somewhat embarrassed asking for them as I worry about being judged.

Am rubbish at speaking up for myself!

Horsegirl1 Thu 29-Sep-16 12:42:16

They have to do medication reviews. If you have never had a review in two years that's very bad. Medication especially illy addictive medication like Diazspam Should be reviewed 6 monthly. I tale anti ds amd get reviewed every 6 months. It's just a few questions. The gp is just doing his job. He may feel you need a different medication or he may keep u on it x

Horsegirl1 Thu 29-Sep-16 12:44:33

Funny enough iv just been prescribed this today as I can't move as my back has gone. It's agony. I have 14 x2mg. How will it make me feel ? Will I be out of it ? Iv just put a thread up asking for advice as iv not taken it before. How does it make you feel x

teainbed Thu 29-Sep-16 12:45:01

That's quite a lot of diazepam actually. What else do you do for your back? Any yoga or Pilates or swimming?

rosesandcashmere Thu 29-Sep-16 12:45:31

Don't be embarrassed, it's there to make sure it's still working and if it's the. Best one for you. There's loads of drugs in that family and it may be one is more effective or they want to keep an eye on general health. Completely normal for a medication review every 6 months at my surgery.

SecretMongoose Thu 29-Sep-16 12:50:54

Diazepam should be reviewed regularly (as should any addictive medication), so that is nothing to worry about.
4/5 prescriptions a year for only a few episodes a year does seem rather a lot though. (Based on experience of my DH who also takes it for intermittent episodes of back pain/sciatica).
horsegirl, with my DH it sends him to sleep within half an hour of taking it. He doesn't take it regularly enough to build up resistance to it, so it affects him quite a bit each time. You shouldn't drive if/while you are affected, although I can't remember how long you should leave it afterwards.

TheFuzz Fri 30-Sep-16 00:38:32

I wouldn't recommend taking it that long. I'm recovering from a severe spinal fracture and I am in pain but just take one codeine at night to help sleep. My GP gave me a lecture about taking it. 1 a day not 8 a day. My spinal consultant said take pain killers and get on with life.

Diazapan is quite severe. I do pilates and have to constantly keep moving. I work at a desk so have a sit stand desk and regularly get up and walk about. I also try and walk 10,000 steps a day. I've unfortunately had an inactive day stuck in meetings and have been in agony. Hit the morphine tonight.

Get a physio to take a look. Private physio is the only reason I am back at work.

lazydog Fri 30-Sep-16 02:41:44

I'd say it's not surprising that it's being reviewed as that's a lot of diazapam (speaking as someone with chronic back issues myself.) What else are you doing to reduce the frequency and severity of your episodes?

Mine have reduced dramatically since I became more active and made sure to not sit for too long at a time - difficult with a career in IT.

I also found that one time when I hadn't renewed my prescription for my muscle relaxants and was unable to get any for free because of being overseas, my every bit as agonising as ever episode was definitely harder to endure, but took a totally typical length of time to resolve itself. I'd always assumed that the muscle relaxants were helping me get better more quickly, when it actually seems that they take the edge off, but probably don't make any difference to how long I'm going to be in pain.

I still use them if I'm really struggling, but only if I really can't manage without, which isn't every time my back goes out.

JonahAndTheSale Fri 30-Sep-16 10:29:10

I know exercise is the most important thing but I also think my pain is stress related.

After a particularly challenging day I woke up the next day and was unable to move my head. (I'm a teacher)

I've a 1 year old and a 3 year old and a dh who works nights so exercise after work can be tricky.

I try to do what I can but swimming and attending a regular class is out because I've no one to mind the children.

I've been suffering for 16 years and doctors have been unable to find anything wrong.

Since the doctor prescribed diazepam for the pain a few years back it's the only thing that helps until the pain subsides. The instruction say take 2 3 times a day so a packet of 28 doesn't last long.

Is this really excessive?

Simmi1 Fri 30-Sep-16 11:32:19

I wouldn't have thought so. I got 50x5mg to use as and when for mild anxiety. I can't say the pills really have a massive effect tbh and I don't feel in any way dependant on then. I just take one every now and again. I didn't know they were used for pain too.

teainbed Fri 30-Sep-16 13:40:07

Most people would typically only need a rescue course of 6 tablets so 2 days. You sound like you're having a lot more. It's not even licensed for longer term use. There are other drugs but perhaps it would be better to address the source of the problem is stress and exercise than continuing to take diazepam.

teainbed Fri 30-Sep-16 13:45:58

Baclofen might be a better non habit forming alternative if your GP was willing to prescribe if.

Wolfiefan Fri 30-Sep-16 13:48:43

Stupid question! Have you had an MRI? I suffered for ages with my back. It diagnosed the problem and actually enabled me to get it treated. Now off all pills. And yes I was on diazepam too!

lazydog Fri 30-Sep-16 20:37:48

The instruction say take 2 3 times a day so a packet of 28 doesn't last long.

My muscle relaxants are the same frequency per day (I'm not on diazapam , although have had it in the past when I was in the UK - I'm prescribed cyclobenzaprine now) but like teainbed said, I don't take them all the time that my back is out...only for the first 2 or 3 most intense days, where I literally cannot move for the pain. Definitely not for the rest of the sometimes 4+ weeks before I'm recovered.

28 tablets would probably last me for 3-4 seperate episodes, so I can go >1yr between prescriptions now that I have a better handle on what triggers my back issue.

Like Wolfiefan said - have you had an MRI? It is really worth doing if not. If it turns out to be purely muscular (because of the stress) rather than spinal, maybe other relaxation techniques would work as well as the meds do for you...?

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