Distalgesic/CoProxamol: Price NOT Side-Effects!

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I have recently been told the true reason for the withdrawal of Distalgesic was price and not

concern regarding side-effects. If medicines with severe side-effects were to be banned then we would have very few left on the market.

There is no doubt Distalgesic has side-effects but it is also very effective for those who tolerate it well. As it stands, those that can afford it buy abroad and the remainder continue to suffer.

I have oesteoporosis, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal cysts, spondylosis and pain from a fractured spine. Since stopping Distalgesic I have been in continuous pain. Codeine

makes me nauseous, gives me nightmares and hives and does not control the pain. The GPs attitude is 'tough luck'. There are only a couple of drugs not containing codeine available. They

both cause me nasty side effects. So I have years of life ahead that will be full of pain. What price 'Human Rights'?

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  • Posted

    You can get co-proxamol prescribed on a 'named patient' basis. My hospital consultant writes me a regular prescription that I fill at my local pharmacy(they now keep a stock for me). I was told it was withdrawn due to the number of people using it to commit suicide. I have had to fight to continue getting this medication but nothing else works. I am unable to take ibuprofen and related medication or codeine based tablets. If everyone that needs this medication insisted on being given it then they may have to re-instate it. I am very grateful to my hospital consultant for continuing to issue my prescriptions.
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  • Posted

    Hi Janet, Due to gastric ulcers I couldn't take ibubrufen either. I eventually found a GP who was brave enough to issue them. Two weeks ago! I wrote a letter to him as I felt I could not marshall all my reasons coherently face to face. Since then I have felt 100% better. No more itching and nausea and a lot less pain.

    My pharmacy doesn't yet stock it and has to send off for the tablets. Maybe I can persuade them to keep a supply, as it took a fortnight to come! I am so grateful to my GP! I agree it should be reinstated for those whocan't tolerate other medicines, or find them ineffective. But it takes a good deal of persistence and courage.

    If you are feeling ill it is not the best time to take on a fight.

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  • Posted

    My wife has been on Co Proximal for over 25 years proscribed by a doctor (NHS). The effect of this drug actually saved her life. Unfortunately like many others was informed yesterday that the Local NHS Medicines Management Team are enforcing the stopping of future prescriptions and to try Paracetamol instead???!!!!!!

    On researching the net the NHS state that the cessation it is due to suicide rates. Total Lies. It is down to cost cutting measures. The suicide graphs show that yes Co Proximal is the highest cause in proscribed drugs. But what is more interesting that there is a social trend in the death rates. When one increases they all increase and decrease at the same time.

    So if you eradicate Co Proximal the next biggest killer is Paracetamol. What next Ban This - I don’t think so! It is unfortunate that people have died accidentally from overdosing yet if an individual wishes to take risks with their life style whilst on this medication then it is down to them.

    Also more noticeable on the graphs is that since 1988 Deaths by Co Proximal are on the decline yet others are increasing. So it is utter rubbish and a white wash by the NHS that it is to reduce suicide rates.

    What is more disturbing is that the NHS is vicariously liable for getting my wife addicted to this drug and yet offer no support in weaning off the product. This is malpractice and border line negligent that they can get away with this behaviour. If I was a heroin addict I would be given methadone and I would have got into that state voluntarily yet my wife was proscribed this drug and yet we are all now going to suffer the side effects of the withdrawal without a by your leave.

    This makes the NHS Vicariously Liable for causing harm and suffering both mentally and physically.

    Hippocratic Oath or Hypocrisy - you decide.

    I call upon all users of Co Proximal who are suffering to go to a solicitor and start legal action against the NHS. Let’s see the cost cutting measures and the money saved when a million Malpractice suits hit their budget.

    The alternative would be for the NHS to continue prescriptions on a named patient list only. We all eventually die anyway once we are all gone then there would be no need to continue to issue this drug. If they want to save money how about getting rid of the two tear management system and have a management team who have worked their way through the ranks of the NHS and know what they are talking about instead of an accountant pulling on the purse strings.

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  • Posted

    I am a patient AND a retired nurse, midwife, HV. New to the site but still incandescent about the withdrawal of Coproxamol which has left thousands of responsible, mainly elderly, vulnerable people , like myself, without adequate pain relief, so greatly reducing the quality of our lives.

    I don't believe the initial reason was price, which was NOT exorbitant BEFORE the withdrawal but, due to the decrease in 'demand' meaning that manufacturers no longer found it profitable to produce, they increased to price outrageously to take advantage of our desperation. Personally, I believe that the withdrawal was a knee jerk reaction from the powers that be who linked Prof. Keith Hawton's statistics of suicide with the politically sensitive 'suicide' death of WOMD inspector David Kelly !!

    The withdrawal AND price then prompted the NHS Trusts to blacklist Coproxamol, putting unacceptable pressure on GPs to comply or accept the non- cooperation of the Trust linked also to loss of financial payments from the Trust.

    IF your GP trusts you implicitly & has the courage to defy the now Local Commissioning Body, he & you CAN appeal for the GP to be granted permission to prescribe on a 'named patient' prescription BUT the GP has to bear FULL legal responsibility for your safe use & COULD ultimately lose his/her career/be struck of the register etc etc should the drug prescribed for you by the GP be misused & the case go to court !! No wonder that few GPs agree to prescribe Coproxamol !

    To say the MHRA 'cocked up' is a an understatement, madness, an outrage, when they SHOULD have made Coproxamol better restricted in order to reduce it's availability for suicide use, as Prof. Hawton suggested ! Research for an antidote, like most dangerous drugs have, by the pharmaceutical companies would also seem to have been a more sensible approach, but as we are mostly unemployed due to age or disability, there's no money in it for them or the government !

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    • Posted

      Hello June,thank you for the reply. Well all said and done whatever theory there is on the withdrawal of Co-Proxamol, there is something not right and im not being over suspicious there. I have been actively trying to get a case to take to The European Court of Human Rights. Its not fair some people are still being prescribed them ans some arent, thats victimisation and unfair in a modern society. Once again i stress that my gripe is not with the good folk who are continuing to enjoy, best they can, a better standard of life. I applaud the physicians who continue to prescribe,giving the MHRA one in the eye. The MHRA must have been ordered or subtly dropped a hint to carry this out in 2006, thats what i firmly believe. Even though i have been through hell the past few years being prescribed everything from my GP my mothers decline and death leaves e very bitter and resentful. She was so upset when they stopped her Co-Proxamol, and on my word, was never the same again, passing away less than a year later. I will never forget our GPs words when he had to do it. He said this is unnecassery and wrong, quote in 33 years as a GP i have never came across anyone with a bad reaction to Co-Proxamol never mind death in taking it. He was genuinely upset. This may sound callous June and uncaring, but i have no sympathy or compassion for the people buried in the ground IF Co-proxamol is the cause due to high over consumption. They decided they didnt want to be here anymore. My mother never got the choice. Kindest Regards. 
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  • Posted

    Another worrying consequence of the MHRA withdrawal which I forgot to mention is the fact that hundreds, if not thousands of people have been driven to buying the drug illegally by the internet. This leaves them open to financial abuse & life threatening risks from illegal manufacturers. One has NO idea WHAT is in these drugs illegally obtained via the internet. They are dangerous !
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  • Posted

    I have fought a campaign for years on the withdrawal of this drug. Over the years I have came to find that the reasons for the withdrawal that the MHRA give, is libellous. It has nothing to do with side-effects or suicide rates..there is one reason and this has taken a while to discover. Regards to the suicide rates, just ask for a print out or an email under the Freedom of Information act and you will see the rate of suicide (drug induced) has risen post Co-Proxamol. Also remember the people who committed suicide prior to the withdrawal, only had Co-Proxamol asonly a factor in the cause of death NOT thee cause of death. There is also a specific table you can request that states the removal of Co-Proxamol as a defined cause has had no effect on suicide rates either raising or decreasing them. Mr Gordon Duff of the MHRA has the answers and he knows it as to why the drug was removed so heartlessly from poor patients. A disgrace, but it wont go away I can promise you that.

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  • Posted

    So what IS this reason for the withdrawal of Coproxamol you have discovered, johny71018 ? Who is Gordon Duff of the MRHA ?
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  • Posted

    The reason for the withdrawal was down to cost effectiveness. The other opioid painkillers were not receiving their share of the market due to the fact Co-Proxamol was the most prescribed painkilling drug by far by the majority of GPs. The cost of producing Co-proxamol was as little as 6p per tablet. The MHRA produced a 3 year staged withdrawal. This was due to the fact they knew there would be a public outcry with GPs baring the brunt if a total ban was enforced in one go. They also calculated cleverly, the provision of the drug being kept as a non-licensed drug. No physician would prescribe under these circumstances, or very few.would. The withdrawal of the drug has had no effect on suicide rates England and Wales or Scotland. So what they are doing now is producing stats that cannot be compared to something that isn't there to be compared to. And remember when their "Dangerous Drug" campaign was wielded on the Media, they stated 5% of all suicides "INVOLVED" Co-Proxamol as a factor in the patients death, it did not state that the actual component of Dextropropoxyphene was directly the cause of death. A scenario of this is as follows. An individual takes a lethal ingestion of Tricyclic Anti-depressants with alcohol but the patient is on 8 Co-Proxamol per day. At the post mortem Co-proxamol is found in the blood...So WHAT actually caused the patient cardiac arrest resulting in death?. Mr Gordon Duff was one of the perpitrators assigned to bad press Co-Proxamol and spin Doctor at the time of announcement on withdrawal. He has now been promoted. I hope this is helpful and I will leave you all to ponder.

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  • Posted

    Contact the Freedom of Information website and request either a file to be sent to you or written evidence of the suicide rates pre/post withdrawal of Co-Proxamol, its free and your rights to have it sent to you. Also ask if Co-Proxamol withdrawal has had an effect on the number of suicides (drug induced), You will find,like me, the answer is NO. Please email me with your details, as a report is being compiled to be sent to the European court of Human Rights under the basis that some patients are still receiving Co-Proxamol whilst other aren't. This is not a complaint against the people still getting the drug, far from it I for one are extremely happy and proud of them. The complaint to the body in Europe is that some people have been taken off a drug which they safely and more importantly gave them a better quality of live. No one should have that taken from them due to the fact unstable people ingested large amounts for a high or to kill themselves. The individual is to blame there not the drug.
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    • Posted

      I know all about the suicide rates & agree with you that they do not make sense as an argument for withdrawing Coproxamol, particularly as one of the MRHA's suggested alternatives - amitryptilline, was cited by Prof. Hawton as being EVEN MORE commonly used in suicides !! However, your theory that the withdrawal was based on cost effectiveness does not hold water, Coproxamol was not expensive UNTIL the demand dropped after withdrawal ! In my opinion, the MAIN problems were due to 1) GP's arrogant refusal to respond to REPEATED requests to curb  their too liberal prescriptions of Coproxamol 2) Wang Po's medical paper claiming that coproxamol analgesic properties were no better than paracetamol based ONLY on single dose surveys for acute pain 3) David Kelly's very suspicious death which was SAID to involve ingestion of Coproxamol tabs, tho' viery little was found in his body on autopsy. 4) That pharmaceutical companies have not invested in finding an antidote 5) Sheer incompetence, ignorance, lack of intelligence, compassion & forward thinking of the people in NICE who were making the decisions in their ivory towers. Recently they even tried to withdraw Paracetamol, then relented when challenged !!!
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    • Posted

      I strongly agree with you on the Wang Po paper stating that Co-Proxamol had little or no effectivness than paracetamol on its own. What absolute self affirming rubbish. In that case you can split up combination with paracetamol inclusive. Example over the counter 8mg Codeine/500mg paracetamol..more effective with the codeine in the compound???. It also shows what i have known for ages. These statiticians/back up spin Doctors are being paid vast amounts of money to dredge up theoretical based nonsense. To summarise, to be at hand for the actual perpitrators with officialdome who are on the front line in removing Co-Proxamol.This country is WORSE than places like North Korea with its secret state. At least they know who their dictators are. Ours are all hidden in Westminster and its integrated offices and institutions namely MHRA.
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  • Posted

    Join my growing petition ultimately to be sent to the European Court. You are an example of what the MHRA said should still be provided with Co-Proxamol/Distalgesic, the reason?. You are known as someone who cant find an alternative to it, so a provision is still available for yourself so that they should still be prescribed for you.Kindest Regards.
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    • Posted

      I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's death soon after coproxamol prescriptions were stopped by her GP. It must have been very upsetting for you. However, Johny, I'm a little confused that your GP said he was SO upset & in disagreement with NICE's & the MRHA's decision. You see, the MRHA said that your GP could STILL have applied for permission to prescribe coproxamol on a 'named patient' basis IF he had made a strong & convincing enough medical argument that no other alternative was suitable for your mother to your local Clinical Commissioning Group (which replaced the PCT) & even if THEY turned down the appeal, he could have appealed for Independent Funding via the Effective Use of Resources route.I THAT'S why some people get coproxamol & others don't !! My GP is presently doing the latter having been refused by the CCG tho', to be perfectly honest, I have come to the conclusion that my GP doesn't REALLY want to prescribe it for me, but hasn't the courage to admit it to me, so doesn't make a good case, keeps leaving out vital information !!  The REAL  problem for GPs is that the MRHA stipulated that the doctor must then accept FULL responsibility in a court of law if anything unpleasant occurs subsequently ( e.g.accidental or suicide death or theft with consequences for which they are sued or taken to court) as a result of their prescription !! Understandably, not many doctors are prepared to do that as their insurers may not support them AND it could cost them their career !! Same if they write a private prescription !  Even if nothing untoward happens related to their private prescription,  IF they defy their CCG, the CCG can put a lot of pressure on them & make life very awkward, causing them untold inconvenience & financial loss, out of sheer spite to punish them & deter other doctors !

      I'm afraid, Johny, we have to accept that the ban has gone too far now for it to be reinstated easliy, too many people would lose face. The myth has spread to Europe & Australia, & they have clamped down on distributors importing from other countries & selling online. I don't think it is even possible to buy coproxamol online these days, I suppose one has to GO abroad & try to bring it in illegally, but customs could confiscate it too !! Prof. Hawton only suggested more severe restriction &

      availabilty NOT withdrawal, & Wang Po's paper was flawed,  few doctors read it in detail, they just read the abstract !! Prof. Karen Forbes @ Bristol Palliative Care Centre challenged Wang Po & pointed out that coproxamol is metabolised differently when prescribed in repeated doses for chronic pain, & IS then a much better analgesic than paracetamol, but few read or listened to her & her many colleagues in pain clinics, hospices & rheumatology clinics. I now have polymyalgia rheumatica as well as the osteoarthritis & am really in a lot of pain, particularly in the mornings & cannot tolerate NSAID's, aspirin, codeine, or tramadol, I'm 84, live alone,  & have no family, so I'm REALLY struggling at the moment. I think my next stop will have be paid help & also referral to a pain clinic, I'm afraid, but pain debilitates & saps one's energy & motivation to do even that ! Best wishes but don't waste your energy uselessly if you can't change things !! 

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  • Posted

    I have co-proximal prescribed as a named patient I am so grateful to my GP for this prescription. I have fibromyalgia. It was initially prescribed by consultant at pain clinic. This medication gives me no side effects. I tried tramadol but this didn't give me the same relief and I also got headaches when taking it. I have tried co codamol but get little relief from pain. I was a staff nurse but had to retire five years ago because pain made me feel too unwell to do my job? My pain is mainly in my back hip and shoulders. I look after myself being careful with diet and I walk every day. I have to pace myself and the hardest thing for me is joining in with social life.Generally I only take two co-proxamol a day doing my best to manage in my own home. I do have to take a further two if I am going out. It is most unfair if this medication is withdrawn it would be a cruel decision and fills me with dread on how I would manage my quality of life would be greatly affected.
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