Nalmefrene

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi All,

I have been asking for advice on cutting back my alcohol consumption for a while now, GP not very understandable sent me to alcohol and drug abuse centre who then stated I didn't qualify as didn't drink enough, so back to GP who when I asked about the Sinclair method said he had never heard of it before and then said I have to get back in touch with the alcohol and drug abuse centre again. Where do you go for help!!! Anyway got in touch with a lovely lady Joanna from cthreeeurope who is helping me with advice and support hopefully My GP can prescribe me this medication as I have been told is very good, any advice would be much appreciated.

Best wishes

Emma

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Emma,

    Joanna is great so sick with all her advice.

    I took some printed info on Nalmefene to my doctor and luckily he was prepared to look into it and give it a go. I think it's partly the cost which puts GPs off prescribing it together with the fact you have to drink whilst on the drug. I would say don't give up trying and if necessary change GP.

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    • Posted

      Hi Odishon,

      Thanks for replying, yes I may consider changing GPS , I have had more help from Joanna in the last few days than any Doctors. I just can't understand it sometimes if this drug is beneficial in helping. I feel so much more positive after chatting to Joanna she is fantastic.

      Best wishes

      Emma

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  • Posted

    Thanks Emma.

    The more help and advice we can get to people, then the more people will be able to access this medication.  Our system here in the UK is just SOOO complicated and quite honestly we usually can't deal with complications.  If I had to jump through these hoops when I was in full-blown addiction, I simply wouldn't have been able to do it.

    I am about to begin to research every health authority in England and Wales to find out what there 'official' procedure is with regards to Nalmefene.

    Since NICE approved it, it is MANDATORY for the NHS to provide funding for the treatment, and you can and should be prescribed it, if it is deemed medically suitable for you.

    But HOW each area provide the service and funding is left to each individual area to decide.  As a result, the procedure is different across the entire country. Some areas are happy to let the GP take care of this, whilst others have stated that they want it dealing with by the local alcohol services unit.

    So, once I have a complete list of how each area is instructed to deal with requests for nalmefene, then we will be able to simply ask which town someone lives in and then look it up.  From there, we will be able to offer much more specific instructions on what a person needs to do to obtain it.

    biggrin

     

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  • Posted

    Joanna will tell you all you need to know. She and I are in regular contact and talk often about this. I am an alcohol treatment practitioner.

    One thing that you may face is difficulty getting Nalmefene (the drug used for The Sinclair Method) on the NHS. This is something Joanna and I have been discussing a lot lately and you should persist if you need to. Joanna can point you in the direction of some information which makes it clear that the NHS is legally obliged to give you this, if it is deemed a suitable treatment for you.

    Good luck Emma! smile

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    • Posted

      Thanks Paul, I am going to make an appointment with my GP next week, the other issue I have at my surgery is the doctor I see is very difficult to get an appointment so sometimes I have to have a telephone call back from him. Keeping fingers crossed, much appreciated Joanna and Paul .

      Best wishes

      Emma

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  • Posted

    Next time try to exaggerate , how much u drink so u can qualify, wish u good luck.
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    • Posted

      Just to confirm, nalmefene is intended for those males who drink more than 7.5 units a day and females who drink more than 5 units a day, and who find that they cannot reduce their drinking on their own after a two week attempt to do so.

      In Emma's case, she told them she drinks a bottle+ of wine a night so she clearly does meet that criteria.

      These alcohol services units are used to dealing with people who drink much more than that.  The initial appointments are often held with counsellors who are not up to date on medication and their basic instructions.  A lot of doctors aren't either, for that matter! 

      These services are receiving referrals from doctors and are struggling to understand why, because all of a sudden they are seeing people with less issues than those they normally face.  They are not being adequately trained to deal with these additional referrals.

      In Emma's case, I believe that what happened (and it sadly isn't uncommon at all) is that the person she saw is not aware of nalmefene at all.  I would suspect that he/she assessed Emma based on whatever procedure they normally do.

      If they are not fully up to date with knowledge about nalmefene and their area's referral process for it, they probably just assessed Emma using old criteria, and they are probably absolutely correct - she does not drink enough to meet the requirements for getting their help, AS IT STOOD PREVIOUSLY.

      It's so sad and in my opinion, unacceptable, that they are not up to date.  Decisions on how to administer nalmefene were made as early as last January!  When those criteria changed, it was their job to know about it.

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