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GP reducing long-term main medication

cocochanel1967 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
Hi friends, I'm new to the forum. & not quite sure how to go about talking openly about my situation other than to go straight in & hope someone might have some advice to pass along. Two weeks ago my GP decided that I needed to reduce the amount of pain medication I've been taking for 20years. She made a very convincing argument about long-term health problems & addiction & in a moment of weakness I allowed myself to be persuaded that I could manage on reduced doseage. The last few days have been unbearable, I can't manage with the amount of genuine pain that I'm in & it's not withdrawal or addiction. My anxiety levels are sky high and I know I'm too sore to sleep. About 18 months ago I was in hospital for 10 weeks & suffered alopecia due to the stress, I can now see my hair coming away again. Can't get a face to face appointment with Dr, anyone got any advice on how to get GP to return to previous medication levels because this is just too much.!


  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,158 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @cocochanel1967 - & welcome to the forum. Thank you for being so open about the problems you're facing. I can see where your GP is coming from (guidelines suggest that some pain medications should be discontinued due to health concerns), & also where you're coming from. There is a bit of a thing about 'addiction,' where it's perhaps more about people being reliant on pain medication, & there's a difference. Nonetheless, there are concerns that some pain medication is after all good in the short term, but not as helpful for chronic ongoing concerns.
    I can only speak personally, but about 6 years ago, I decided to wean myself ever so gradually off the opiates (fentanyl patches) that I had been prescribed. How am I be honest, no better, but no worse.
    I can only suggest you discuss this with your GP, tho as you suggest you may not be able to see them face to face. Let them know how you're feeling; perhaps a slower taper may help, or alternative meds......only they will know, & you should seek their advice. Your GP is in the best position to help.
    There are also many different & varying ways that some of us find to cope with chronic pain mainstays are exercise, a breathing exercise, & distraction......they don't take my pain away, but they do dampen it down. As we're all different, different things work, & sometimes a combination of things when you find them is key. You may find the following info Scope has put together useful. Please see:

  • Jean Eveleigh
    Jean Eveleigh Scope Member Posts: 186 Pioneering
    Hi, @cocochanel1967 if you disagree with your GP tell them you want to be referred to a pain specialist for an assessment of your medication before any changes are made.

    I was very worried when I was told that my opioids needed to be reduced due to the length of time I had been on them especially as I had asked for a review due to the fact they were not working as well but the specialist reduced my main opiods, changed some of the others around and added a new medication in and it had a dramatic reduction in my pain levels - so with the right help and support it can be a good thing, and if it doesn't work then the pain specialist will be able to try something different or override the GP and insist on a return to your original medications at the current levels as they were working well 
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,740 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @cocochanel1967 and a warm welcome to the community from me.  How are you getting on?  Do you still have high levels of anxiety?  I hope things have calmed down some, I know those feeling of panic can be distressing to live with.  We're here if ever things get too much and you need to vent, so please don't go through this alone.

    I'd really encourage you to contact your GP, as others have suggested to get their input and express how you're feeling.  It might be a telephone appointment you have due to the ongoing restrictions - would you be ok to manage that?  Maybe a referral to a pain management clinic could be something you explore with your doctor too to look at ways to manage your pain long term.  

    I hope things are ok, if you could let us know how you're doing that would be good.  Take care and speak soon.
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  • cocochanel1967
    cocochanel1967 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thanks everyone for your comments & suggestions I’m so glad of all your support. 
    I’m going to speak to my GP & see about getting a referral to the local pain clinic ASAP. Hope to chat again soon with progress results xxx. 
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