Determined but Confused!!

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hi all. I'm looking for some advice in regards to my updated situation.

I have since been seen by Alcohol Services twice now. Completed some weekly drink dialysis and determined that I was drinking between 15 to 20 units per evening. I was prepared to ask my gp before being seen by Alcohol services for Nalmefene but with the help of Joannac3Europe I found out that this medicine is not used or prescribed in my area.

I have since been advised to try and drop my alcohol consumption by 2 units daily. To date I'm at 12 units but feeling it today in terms of withdrawal. It's bearable though and I'm pleased with my progress. Alcohol services have advised that after 48 hours alcohol free I start taking Antabuse, something that I have previously drank and overdosed on requiring hospitalisation. My concern is that this is not going to help me with the cravings, although Alcohol services think that it is more a physical dependency. They do not use Campral as they don't rate it apparently. I have a Liver Functioning Test on Monday.

Any advice on my current predicament would be extremely useful and gratefully received.

0 likes, 13 replies

Report / Delete

13 Replies

  • Posted

    The information I found for you about Nalmefene was the latest I could find, but did you email the SMC to confirm that the information I was finding was accurate for your area?


    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Quite frankly I don't rate pretty much any of alcohol services, they couldn't even tie up their shoelaces.

    I would run a mile from antabuse, it is up there with having a lobotomy to cure a headache.

    Unfortunately most people are not as forthright as me and don't like confrontation, but at the end of the day, it is my health and if that is what it takes, that is what is done - it is your health too.

    I would be telling them that this will in no way help with cravings and dependency. I would say (after checking all my facts with Joanna), that they are not fulfilling their terms of their contract to refuse to offer you medical support where appropriate and saying that they do not prescribe them is not an acceptable reason.

    I would say to them, that they have to meet the terms of their contract and that if they refuse, they are in breach of their contract under the terms of the NHS constitution and that your next stop will be DAAT, if they are intransigent.

    I'm afraid you're going to have to be pushy here.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Absolutely agree with RHGB on this one!

      If I remember correctly, you are not in England or Wales, so I think the NHS set of principles you need to look up and read are the Patients Rights Bill.

      Then, you need to contact the SMC as I suggested to confirm the exact situation with regards to nalmefene in your area.  Please remember that with the best will in the world, I can gain access to lots of information but I am only human and do make mistakes!  Or the 'latest' information on the internet available to the public may be slightly out of date. My experience of how the NHS structure is laid out, is really limited to the NHS in England and Wales mostly.

      It's your health, your life.... and quite honestly, if it was me I would certainly be having something to say about the fact that they want to put you on a medication that not only doesn't work long term, but that has also put you in hospital before!!  How is that looking after your health??

      Time to take some deep breaths, do some research before you next appointment, ask the right people for the NHS in your area (initially beginning with the SMC) and basically get your FACTS written on paper so that you cannot be taken down a path that you don't want to go down, when there MAY be a better solution available to you.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I'm not really surprised you've been offered Antabuse by alcohol services! Like RHGB and Joanna have said, I wouldn't be at all happy taking it.

      youve already had disastrous results when taking it previously, so IMO offering it you again is of no help at all. Don't be pushed into taking a drug you don't want.

      having previously taken Antabuse and campral, there is no comparison between the two drugs. Campral does relieve cravings and have to agree with RHGBs description of Antabuse.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I had a call yesterday from a potential client wanting a detox followed by Antabuse. I refused. We would NEVER touch that ancient and dangerous drug.

      I am stunned that vodka07 has been offered Antabuse after getting into serious difficulty with it before. Or am I stunned? Probably not, anymore.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      This is what I have got from SMC if you are able to clarify further?

      nalmefene 18mg film-coated tablets (Selincro®) are accepted for use within NHS Scotland.

      Indication under review: the reduction of alcohol consumption in adult patients with alcohol dependence who have a high drinking risk level (DRL), without physical withdrawal symptoms and who do not require immediate detoxification. Nalmefene should only be prescribed in conjunction with continuous psychosocial support focused on treatment adherence and reducing alcohol consumption. Nalmefene should be initiated only in patients who continue to have a high DRL two weeks after initial assessment.

      In a post hoc analysis of two pivotal phase III studies representing the licensed population, nalmefene was shown to significantly reduce alcohol intake compared with placebo, measured as a reduction in heavy drinking days and total alcohol consumption over a six month period.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi, Vodka 07.  I am in West of Scotland, taking Selincro/Nalmefene for over 6 weeks. It was prescribed by my G.P.   He is my counselling support, as well, because I do not want to go to other agencies, just now.

      Alonangel 🎇

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Ok, brilliant.  That's the first bit of your research done.

      The 2nd bit is to google Lothian NHS and on their website, click the 'contact us' button and then ask them why, despite the SMC approving Nalmefene, the Lothian NHS Formulary seems to contadict those instructions by not approving it on the Lothian Forumlary and giving the reason as...

      ''Not included on the LJF because clinicians do not support the formulary inclusion.''

      According to the documentation, this decission was made in the Formulary Committee Meeting of Jan 2012 (but is still quoted on the Formulary date Mar 2016).  I found the minutes of that meeting in Jan 2012 and there isn't a single mention of nalmefene.

      This is why I would like you to contact the Lothian NHS and ask them what the prescribing situation is with the tablets - can they be prescribed in the Lothian area on the NHS?  If not, why not when the SMC has approved the medication?  And if they can, who do you need to see to get them?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      From the website:

      Substance Misuse and Harm Reduction Training

      Substance Misuse and Harm Reduction Training Spring 2016

      NHS Lothian`s Substance Misuse Directorate Harm Reduction Team has a long and proud record of supporting our partner agencies with training since 1992. We have responded to changing trends in drug use, service provision and the diversity in the local population in Lothian. We have listened to participants through our network meetings, end of session evaluations and an overview evaluation.

      There is such a total disconnect, and a corporate speak with style over substane. A want to say nice sounding pompous sound bites whilst practising inaction at the highest levels.


      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hello Vodka07,

    Can you bring yourself to tell them exactly how disappointed you are by the situation?  As I am a bit of a Nervous Wreck, I tend to break down, in tears, when things go wrong!  I would say that I could not see the point of taking a medication, again, that caused such mayhem previously.

    Ask for Nalmefene again.  State your research and suitability.  If the answer is still no, re regulations...  ask for your requests and reasons to be clearly stated on your Medical Notes.  Then inform them of your despair ... and intention to proceed with Formal Complaint.  

    I would take written notes/details to next appointment.

    I don't know how helpful that is, to you.

    I do hope things improve... quickly!

    Alonangel 🎇

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I would NOT take ANTABUSE.  It is a very dangerous medication.  Yea, they can prescribe it to you..but I wouldn't take it.  Do they know about your previous hospitilization from drinking on Antabuse?

    ​The same thing happened to me...Antabuse had built such a toxic level in my system that my legs went completely numb for took a Dr. after months to diagnose that I had toxic levels of Antabuse in my system...So they told me to stop immediately.  I stopped...and I WAITED 2 WEEKS to have a drink because of the build up in the system.....I had a full blown reaction...was hospitalized..strapped to a bed...because I was violent...felt like I was going to die.....I was p*ssed because I waited 2 weeks and STILL had high enough levels to make me ill.

    So whats the new answer for you? I don't know...but it is not Antabuse!

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up