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GPs cutting everybodys medication down.(11 Posts)
I'm partially disabled, suffer chronic pain from slipped discs and arthritis of the spine but still manage to work full time in the NHS in a medical job where I sit all day and I only work 9-5.
I take co-codamol and tramadol which keeps me going and I'm very careful how I take it, tramadol I only take at bedtime, one or two depending on how bad my back is so I can get off to sleep as by that time my spine is intolerable and co-codamol I take 2 four times day to keep ticking along.
I'm well used to it so it doesn't impair my ability to work in any way and I'm not doing any procedures that might be affected by this medication, I've discussed all this with my GP many times as you need to be on the ball in my job so I go for regular check ups to make sure I'm ok and safe to work.
Anyway I recently moved to another area and when I put my prescription order in for tramadol I was told by the prescription clerk I could only have half the amount I normally take per month. Bearing in mind I've never seen my new GP as I've only been here for a couple of months.
She said everybody on tramadol is getting their prescriptions cut as the GP surgery has decided they have been over prescribing analgesia.
I was stunned, in my 35 years working in the NHS I have never seen this happen. How can you just decide to cut everybodys medication without even a review appointment, I am absolutely raging.
Everyone is an individual and it is highly dangerous to just cut everybodys medication by half without a medication review!!
Now I'm ok as I've always had regular tramadol breaks to make sure I don't get addicted to them and can easily come off them without getting withdrawal symptoms but many on high doses are not.
Obviously I'm going to contest this decision as I think it's bonkers and/or the prescription clerk is muddled and I'm going in for a medication review that I have requested with my new GP to discuss this.
What I'm asking is has anyone else had this experience where the GP surgery has just made a global decision about prescriptions because I am really concerned about this.
I watched a BBC documentary only yesterday - dr. Mosley is the presenter- it gives some interest insights into the thinking about chronic pain and opioid medication.
Yes I saw that too. I have been cutting my own medication down very very gradually with the long term aim of trying something non opioid like voltarol.
I can't just come off it straight away, I've tried that before and have ended up unable to get out of bed. My meds work very well for me unlike some but I don't want to be on them forever.
I am on a programme of physio, 6 monthy cortisone injections and a gradually reducing medication pathway but to suddenly cut half of my meds in half seems bizarre.
If you've registered at a new practice I'd suggest you go see a GP there to discuss, especially if you've been there a couple of months. They are probably unhappy prescribing for someone they've never seen who is taking a controlled drug.
Amitriptyline is brilliant for nerve pain and chronic pain syndrome. I don't know why GPs don't try it more often.
I have twice been in extreme "climbing the walls" pain due to chronic pain syndrome and in both cases it has taken a private, expensive appointment with a consultant to get a small amount of amitriptylene that has knocked it on the head in a couple of days.
Opiates aren't that much use for some types of pain.
If I was you I would ask for an appointment with the practice manager. She helped me get an increased amount of glucose test strips. I had trouble with the receptionist and the Gp increase only lasted one prescription. Even with a letter from my hospital consultant stating I needed more. Try that if Gp can’t help you and if you see a hospital consultant ask them for a letter stating the dose you need.
I work in the NHS and the use of opiates have changed in my area in the last few years or so.
I watched the documentary too which was very interesting and I think anyone on high levels of the drugs should watch it. Medical professionals are realising they aren't great in the high dosages long term.
However that's ridiculous! it should be discussed with your gp surely in an appointment and in a timely fashion that helps you. With a clear plan with alternative management planned or offered surely?
Gosh the pain sounds awful. Hope you are able to cut back a bit (even to give the kidneys a rest) and find a good solution that helps you. You must be so sick of being... sick! Wish you health.
I had to take co-codamol when I had gallbladder attacks, the only thing that would help. One worked all day for me so I was very lucky. Once took two (as pain was so bad) and felt like I was flying on a magic unicorn to the clouds... slept for about 14 hours straight :-)
Go and see your GP - you are a new patient, they don't know you and they don't know you already use it sparingly.
This is likely the response they want - the patients on tramadol coming in to the surgery to engage with them about their meds instead of just picking up repeats. A number will probably just accept the reduction without question proving their point that they were over prescribing, some will turn out to have good reasons for being on the doses they are on, some would be better on different pain meds and so on.
Are you doing any exercise? Yoga and pilates are beneficial for disc prolapse and arthritis and it used for pain modulation, exercise has an effect on your nervous system and will release opiods naturally.