Campral and GP prescriptions

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Well, in about a week's time I should have the definitive answer on this one.

I've sent an email to the GMC asking if a GP is allowed to prescribe acamprosate or is it against GMC rules.

I didn't name names, I only signed the email off with my last name, which is the most common surname in Britain.

I gave them a bit of history, about me, about Adddaction and the state my liver is in and how my GP has said they can't prescribe, go back to Addaction. They can't say I didn't give it ago first time around as I spoke to their clinical direct at head office.

So, we will know once and for all, whether we have to go private, or we can shove a bit of paper infront of the GP's nose and see what he has to say to that.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I admire your persistence, and will be following this with interest and the final outcome.

    As you know I was prescribed camprol and took it for two years without any problems.

    My GP prescribed it, but I had to have an LFT first, and then repeat LFTs every 3 months. The only reason I can think of as to why your GP won't prescribe it for you, is that at present your liver would struggle to cope with it.

    However, if it's been suggested you take camprol and you're left playing ping pong, going from GP to addaction to GP, with no one prepared to prescribe, then that's a different scenario altogether and totally unacceptable.

    My new GP won't prescribe diazapam for me, and has also stopped my NITRAZAPAM as he says I'm becoming an addict!

    I know many people who take diazapam, lorazepam and various types of sleeping tablets and even camprol and have no problems with getting their prescriptions.

    If all these controlled drugs turn people into addicts, how come they are still prescribed and not withdrawn. It seems to me that it's a GP lottery, some will and others won't. At the end of the day, GPs currently seem to be able to play God.

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    • Posted

      Well, two things. I've taken it all the way to the top with Addaction to their clinical director, so they can't accuse me of not trying.

      Whatever the state of my liver, it is good enough to have eight prescription meds per day and also good enough to have diazepam.

      Even if it is weak, which is better, Campral or start drinking again, I know which will probably take its toll on me. I don't mind LFTs, I've had more of them than most people have had hot dinners. Both my GP and hepatologist do them independently and when I was in hospital, they stuck a cannula in my arm, because they took blood every three days without fail.

      Reading between the lines, a GP can prescribe it, they just prefer that someone else takes the responsibility. As for diazepam, that is just the generic name for Valium, not exaclty a hard core drug, especially as they never give you more than two weeks supply.

      The whole system is madness, if I was a heroin user I would get all the support I needed.

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    • Posted

      I have a full script of acomprasate sittin in my bathroom, and havent taken it.  Still drinking every day though.  Does that stuff really help with diverting your mind from alcohol, or is it a waste of time?

       

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    • Posted

      Yes, it is meant to, but it only works once you have been detoxed and given up.So right now, it wouldn't really help you. If you had a week on diazepam without drinking, i.e. became abstinent, then it would help you from the cravings of going straight back to alcohol.
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    • Posted

      fep

      i can only speak for myself and a close friend. I found it excellent and would recommend it.

      I was very scathing about campral and couldn't see how it would work. You take two tablets three times a day.

      I expected instant effect, but didn't feel any different. However after 4/5 days, I went for long parts of the day without thinking about alcohol. It was like switching off a light. The idea of never drinking again horrified me, so I admit I stop started with it. I.e I would stop a week before a holiday, party etc, and then start taking them. They do work so why not have a go

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    • Posted

      Thanks Vickylou. Maybe I'll give it a go.  Drinking a qt of Vodka a day is killing me slowly...
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    • Posted

      RHGB

      I took fep's daily alcohol intake to be a quarter bottle of vodka, not a litre. If it is a litre then I would imagine he would need a complete detox like you said, before starting campral

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  • Posted

    You may have already done this, so apologies if you have, but have you looked at the RAG list for Campral in your local health authority area?

    The RAG list stands for Red, Amber, Green and this refers to who is expected to initilise the treatment.

    For example, if Capral is RED in area, the it is specialist to prescribe and monitor eg, Addaction ONLY, no GP involvement.

    Amber is usually shared care, meaning Addaction to initiate prescription but care shared with GP.

    Green means suitable for prescribing and monitoring by GP.

    Each local health authority may have a slightly different instruction.  If you are not sure where to look, PM me the town and county where you live and I will look it up for you.

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    • Posted

      Well, Joanna was kind enough to go through the info (for my area) and explain exactly how it works.

      Just to recap, Red is for specialists only i.e. Addaction (snigger, a contradiction if ever I heard one) to prescribe, GP is out of the loop.

      Amber, referred to specialist, shared care, specialist recommends drug, GP prescibes and both GP and specialist work together to come to a complete overall solution, i.e. GP does the medical side and the specialist does the counselling side.

      Green, the GP can prescribe and handle it all if he so wishes with no involvement from an outside organisation.

      I am in Warwickshire and it is Amber, so Shataction must be involved. However if I moved a few miles North to Leicestershire, it is Green, so no involvement from Shataction.

      So my GP is telling the truth. But I await to hear what the GMC has to say on it and then I will ask them why they feel that doctors in a neighbouring county can handle it but the inferior ones in my county can't. I will then ask them who gives the contract to Addaction and what is my route of redress and complaint. No doubt they will say your first port of call should be to complain to Addaction and I'll say, bingo! Done that, both spoken with and emailed with their Head of Clinical and Social Governance, next.

      One of the things I learnt in middle management, was that you have to take the emotion out of a complaint and just deal in logic and facts. You also have to know which routes they are going to try and fob you off down and close them off. Resilience, tenacity and obstinency also help.

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  • Posted

    Good discussion and thanks for looking into this RHGB plus will look into RAG Joanna, which I'd never heard of!

    Currently in bed feeling terrible on Day 2, I never learn!!

    Did you think campral helped Vickilou ? Like you, my doctor won't prescribe Diazapan, Lorazapan or anything to make the withdrawal more bearable. Hey ho I'm sure I will be ok in a couple of days x

     

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    • Posted

      Hi paper fairy

      yes it helped me a lot. As well as a deterrent it greatly reduces cravings and after a couple of weeks, I found I wasn't craving alcohol at all.

      I couldn't envisage my holidays without alcohol, so if that makes me an alcoholic, or alcohol dependant then that's what I am.

      We have a villa in Spain where we just chill by the pool, either with a few beers or wine. I no longer drink spirits. If I found I was slipping and my drinking was getting worse, I'd take campral again.

      I must be in a green area, as my GP prescribed my campral. I'd read up on it online and asked my GP about it. He'd never prescribed it before, previously prescribed Antabuse for patients, but said he'd give it a go.

      Hope you are feeling better, is it day 3 today?

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    • Posted

      Hi Vickylou. Just catching up on posts. Thanks for explaining about campral. When I'm capable of getting out of bed and visiting a doctor I am definately going to try it. As you know where I live do you think I'm classed as the same area as you to be able to get it from my doctor and not have to go through addaction( who we all know are useless ). ? 

      No im still drinking, haven't the courage to stop yet xx

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    • Posted

      And the house is in chaos, fallen out with an auntie and mum and dad, sister are all very disappointed. At least my kids aren't involved! Blumin eck feeling gutted and ashamed of myself sad
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    • Posted

      If you are in the same county, the answer is probably yes. But if you PM Joanna, she will confirm for you.
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