Difficulties getting medication for alcoholism prescribed

Posted , 11 users are following.

my husband is an alcoholic and read about selincro two years ago. He asked his GP for it but they said he had to go to turning point.they said that they only prescribed medication for those who had stopped drinking, however they said they could help him. He has seen a few different people there who have given conflicting advice which isnt helpful. They seemed to think he should be able to stop drinking himself using a drinking diary, but if he could have done it himself he wouldn't have needed help. He has a serious physical addiction which no amount of behavioural suggestions will touch. I have been reading about the sinclair method and bought the book. He has again gone back to GP and been told once again to go to turning point. He now has to persuade them to prescribe him either naltrexone or selincro (they say they dont prescribe the latter) he has to negotiate all this whilst in the grip of a serious addiction. I am still not convinced they will help as it seems not to be the way they do things. I have found an online pharmacy where he can get selincro with an online medical consultation and if turning point dont help then this is plan b. Any advice on how to get either of these drugs prescribed on the NHS with some medical supervision? I dont really like the thought of buying drugs online.

0 likes, 18 replies

Report / Delete

18 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    I'm sorry I can't help you but some people here from the UK know these systems really well and will be along to help.

    I just want to say everytime I read these posts (where alcoholics are begging for help and getting resistance)....I am appauld and very confused by this.

    In the US...if I go to my GP and say I want Naltraxone or Selincro to help with my drinking problem....they would give it to me the same day!  

    If I were in the UK and there was a criteria that I had to stop drinking first.....I would LIE to them tell them I didn't drink to get started on the drug.  

    I just don't understand why the UK doesn't want to help people get well.

    The Drs and hospitals in the US treat alcoholics just like a cancer patient.  I was treated very well the last time I was in the hospital....the UK is ridiculous.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    If he is offered Naltrexone, I would advise he goes with that as the side effects are far less severe.

    This drinking diary idea persists throughout local free alcohol support services and it drives me mad because it is a complete waste of time and I have never known a person succeed in significantly reducing their alcohol consumption, long term, by the use of a drinking diary.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      PT..I don't even know how I would begin to keep a drinking diary since I lose count after 4 drinks....then it doesn't matter.

      The UK is so far behind on helping the "sick" alcoholic.

      Its irritating.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Well the big problem is that people start off with good intentions, cut down at first. But then the body demands more alcohol and it creeps back up again. Then they are too embarrassed to admit the truth so they don't report the full amount they are drinking. It's a complete waste of time, it is not based on any science and it persists as a practice desite being totally ineffective.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Speaking from experience, generally GPs will not help whatsoever, mo matter how long you have been with them or how helpfully they have been in the past. When it comes to alcohol, the shutters come down and the sign goes up, not interested.

    If you are a strong willed person, you should be able to force Turning point to issue you with Selincro, but it may take a lot of pushing, asking to speak to the manager and genrally making a nuisance of yourself. I ended up speaking to a director of the ARC I dealt with. You want get naltrexone on the NHS, because of the way it is categorised.

    Failing that, it falls to online and I believe the pharmacy you have looked at will have 2U in the name. I number of people have mentioned using them and they seem to be legit.

    So to summarise, forget GP, bulldoze Turning point into submission and if Joanna joins the thread, she has some usfel information on the NHS contract to the indivdual (or similar name), or buy online. Getting Turning point to supply is the cheapest option because it will be an NHS prescription.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      You MAY get naltrexone on the NHS if you have a GP willing to prescribe 'off-licence' (yes, what an unfortunate term that is, in this context!)

      Naltrexone is licenced (incorrectly) for use with abstinence. It does absolutely nothing when taken without alcohol. I have just been reading a good article about how ridiculous this is and posted a link on my Facebook page if anybody wants to try and find it.

      Nalmefene (Selincro) is licenced for use while still drinking but a recent study by Stirling University has been heavily critical of it. I believe it would be effective, but the side effects are severe and return very soon after a short term without taking it, meaning that many patients are set up to fail when prescribed this.

      It is perfectly legal and acceptable for a doctor to prescribe 'off-licence' as long as they can justify it. Many drugs are prescribed in a different way to what the licence says. However, you need a doctor who understands the method and is willing to stick his/her neck out. Few are.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I know this was aimed more at the group than me. But I don't like to get people's hopes up. Getting naltrexone through an NHS GP, is nigh on impossible in my exprience of the industry, purely because it would be off-licence.

      Perhaps I'm just jaundiced (pun intended) by the whole system/industry.

      It is interesting to notice how over the last year, you have gone from being open to naltrexone, to preferring it to nalmefene because of evidence of less side effects.

      I will have a look at your FB page to have a read of the article/post.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      For naltrexone, it depends on what category the local nhs have said it is to be.  There are only about 3 loca NHS areas that have it as a green category meaning a GP can prescribe, so yes, it is nigh-on impossible for most people.

      What I've managed to be successful with a few times is to get the GP to prescribe nalmefene, using the C3 additional counselling/support service as the required psychosocial care in order to meet the guidelines - and then at a later date once the clients' drinking has started to reduce somewhat, then request for the patient to be switched over to naltrexone so that as they begin to have more days when they don't drink, they are less likely to have the side effects again when they do need the tablet.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Joanna ..I am buying my nalmafene online at mo from a legit source ...As you know it's working well for me although I do find the insomnia a bit difficult which still persists ..Fortunately I don't need now to take the nalmefene daily so I do get some sleep ..Anyway I am psyching myself up to see my GP in the next couple of weeks or so ...would you suggest I should go armed with some additional counselling already in place and would C3 be able to help me with this ?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Nat,

      If you google the C3 Foundation Europe website and then once on the website, click 'Services' from the menu, you will find a page counselling information pack.

      You need to read this to be sure you are happy with it, and then print it out to take to your doctor to show that you have arranged your own counselling support from an accredited source.

      To date, I have had very few doctors that insist on someone seeing the local ARC counsellors.  The NICE guidelines say that counselling support has to be in place BUT it doesn't specifically say which counselling services, or that it should be the local ARC.  As long as the service is with an accredited counsellor that should be fine, especially because C3 is a charity organisation and so it's not like you would be paying for this service when you could get it free via the local ARC.

       

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Jean,

    Please pm me the town and county where you live and I will see if I can find the exact local NHS guidelines for prescribing either naltrexone or nalmefene and them PM them back to you.

    Most local NHS authorities have made their prescribing guidelines for all medications public (not all) and if you area has, then I will be able to find it for you.

    If that guideline says that Turning Point has been given the local NHS instruction to prescribe, then they can't just say they don't prescribe!

    I should be able to get back to you with the details within a few hours.

    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