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Hi all

I have currently just started seeing local alcohol services and they don't prescribe any anti craving drugs.

I previously tried Baclofen which I had some success with but made the mistake of telling my doc and it didn't go down well to say the least do had to stop and to be honest I'm glad I did as I now feel human again but obviously drinking again.

I now have a private prescription for naltrexone and feel u can't tell the powers that be as I think I will get the same reaction and have a gp that refuses to treat me.

The only thing I'm really worrying about is the LFTs that I hear need to be done.The private doctor that prescribed be the script sent a pdf about it and it says that 15 years ago it was prescribed stronger and that was the worry about the strain on the liver but that had now been resolved.But it still is a bit of a worry.Will be picking up the meds on the next day it two

0 likes, 97 replies

97 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Nicole,

    Glad you got yourself sorted, but it is terrible that people are having to go to all this trouble at all.

    Sure Paul will be along with some information about how to arrange a LFT test - I remember he said there were companies online who can do that.

    Naltrexone is processed through the liver and so is not recommended for those who already have fairly significant liver damage.  In clinical testing, naltrexone showed no significant damage occured until it was prescribed at 300mg, which is 6 times the dosage needed.

    Dr Sinclair himself said that the very low risk of naltrexone on a fairly healthy liver was minimal, especially in view of the risk of continued drinking.  Plus, using TSM means that you only take a tablet one hour prior to drinking.  So, if you don't drink every day, you don't subject your liver to it every day either.  As an added reassurance, the less you crave, the less you need to drink, the less you take the tablet!

    I had some liver tests done last year as part of something else, and all my results are in the normal range.  My liver is healthier now than it was 10 years ago, and this is after using the naltrexone as per the TSM prescribing instructions which over a period of months completely extinguished all my alcohol cravings.

    I hope this puts your mind at rest.

    • Posted

      Yes,thanks Joanna

      I had liver tests done last sept and I'm told everything was very normal.Im having another test on Friday so will know soon if everything is still ok .

      I'm just sceptical that all these years of drinking is not showing up in my liver as I do get pain in that area and I'm sure my complexion had changed but my case worker today said I don't look jaundiced so I will have to take his word for it.

      I will wait to have my blood test then take my first tablet that evening.

      Will keep you posted

    • Posted

      Am going to private message you a couple of hints and suggestions of how to begin the first couple of days - keep any side effects to a minimum. 

      Anything else, just ask :-)

  • Posted

    Hi. I don't think you should feel negative about this and I hope your dr has prescribed them correctly as this is what is very important. I was on baclofen for several months, didn't like the side effects or having to take so many pills. Plus if you do gone a binge while taking them you are in deep trouble( like me 4 years ago..severe reaction and coma for 4 days, but that's another story. )

    You are very lucky as most Drs won't prescribe it( as they don't know about it). I'm on day 8 of it. It is working as it supposed to but you really need some advice from Paul and Joanna to make sure you're taking it correctly, so it's not a waste of effort. 

    Good luck xx

  • Posted

    I now realise you've gone private after reading your post again. Wishing lots of luck xx 
    • Posted

      I've told my husband about the pills and showed him the literature to put his mind at rest as I was a bit mad and not myself on Baclofen.
  • Posted

    Personally, I would tell your GP to change his attitude (in a constructive non confrontational way) or bring someone along who could speak up for you. I would also telll him that you are taking it (so it is on your records and he can't deny knowledge) and say that if either he or the alcohol services had offered you the correct help, you wouldn't have had to take this action, so they have both failed you.

    As for Naltrexone, you have already had one of our resident experts (Joanne) post and as she says, Paul will arive at some time to add anything extra.

    I would tell your GP that you are taking a NICE approved drug and it is his duty of care (as your primary care provider) to provide LFT tests as and when needed. He doesn't even do it, the practice nurse will be the one doing it.

    Out of interest, what is the name of the local alcohol services that don't offer anti-craving drugs?

    • Posted

      Got it thanks.

      Just out of interest, what anti-craving drug were you after? Was it the Naltrexone or something different? And are you looking to cut it out completely or bring it down to a safe manageable level?

    • Posted

      I was looking at Nalefene originally but I read the side effects are worse and as I'm paying for it privately it's more expensive.

      I'd like to cut it out completely but feel happy doing it and not white knuckling it.Trouble is I like the taste of wine to much!

    • Posted

      That will fade. Your brain may get a bit snippy with you as you take away it's favorite toy, but the nice thing that i"ve been noticing is the less I anaesthetise myself, the more my brain rediscovers perfectly fine toys that it used to be happy with.
  • Posted

    Today is my third day and the first on the full tablet.

    No side effects as yet but no reduction in wanting to drink.

    I'm due to see my caseworker on the 1st and will get the results of my blood test that I had on Friday.

    Was just wondering if Paul or Joanna would know if my results are not so good would I be better changing to nalfemene and can you just switch over or do you need to start again


    • Posted

      I would think that the chances of your liver being okay 5 months ago, to being poor enough now that you shouldn't take naltrexone are fairly slim.

      If it should turn out that way, then yes nalmefene would be best.  Both medications do the same thing so yes, you can just switch from one to another without any issues.

      Glad you have nothing in the way of side effects so far.

      When you take the first drink, it should feel sort of 'flat' - like something is missing.  That will be the endorphin rush that is missing.

      Remember to drink mindfully, asking yourself if you really want the drink, or the next drink, and then when you get the signal that you are satisfied, you need to act and put the drink down.  Do something else and then see how you feel 20/30 minutes from then.

      The process can take a while so keep patient.  As long as you can recognise that the special 'something' that appealing about drinking before, is missing, then you have begun on the right track..... :-)

    • Posted

      Thanks Joanna,Friday is when I took my first half tablet and went out for lunch.The first 2 glasses went down very slowly and I could have stopped then but didn't and had 5 or 6 large glasses so I really need listene to my head.Sat I had one bottle of wine at home and wanted more but made myself not go round the shop

    • Posted

      Naltrexone CAN have an effect on the liver but it is nowhere near as bad as the effect of large amounts of alcohol.

      When we assess people for their suitabilty for The Sinclair Method, we have to establish if their liver is ok before we tell them that it is ok for them to continue drinking. If a person had late stage liver disease, the only thing we could advise is that they must not drink alcohol at all and that would mean that TSM wasn't suitable for them.

      With Nalmefene, we ask people to get a Liver Function Test done before we can prescribe and, for Naltrexone, we ask them to do this as well, but also that they do repeated tests every two or three months.

    • Posted

      Hi Paul,I bought the LFT kit and will use it 2 to 3 months into this treatment,all being well with my most recent test
    • Posted

      I wouldn't even want to see the results of mine. I'd be interested to know how accurate they are and what they test for.
    • Posted

      I meant the kit. Is a complete home kit, or is it a take blood and send it off and wait for the results.
    • Posted

      They are very accurate and tested in a proper lab and viewed by a doctor before being given to you. What they test for depends on what test you order from them. The choices are:

      Liver Test

      Cholesterol Test

      Prostate Test

      Low Testosterone Test (2 versions, not sure what the difference is)

      Thyroid Test

      HIV Test

      Blood Sugar Test

      Blood Iron Test

      Full Blood Count Test

      Gonorrhoea Test

      Chlamydia Test

      Full Sexual Transmitted Disease Test

    • Posted

      It's amazing you can get all those tests now.Back in the day if you asked for an hiv test it would affect your insurance if they asked,even if your test was negative
    • Posted

      Well, apart from the first one, I reckon I'm pretty okay. my cholesterol is 4.2. I had a postate check with an ultrasound about three years ago.

      HIV, been with my partner for 25 years, although when I went to the Coventry walk in centre, because my secondary GP was not diagnosing the problem, and he (at the walk in) tried to get me to have a test for HIV and STDs, I had to tell him no thanks about three times. But because I went to have a varicocele confirmation, I was on that floor of the building, where virtually everybody has some sort of test.

      Blood sugar, I did just get up to the non diabetic/pre-diabetic boundary on the Hbc1a test, but gave up sweets and pulled that right back down. No one ever tells you that most alcohol contains a lot of sugar and ex-alcoholics/heavy drinkers can get a sweet tooth and think, well at least I'm not putting alcohol down my neck, whilst turning themselves into a type II diabetic.

      I know the hosiptal did many full blood count tests as did the hepatologist, My blood iron was very high, so high that the hepatologist sent some blood off for a cancer test - blood cancer I think, because he asked me if I'd ever had a blood transfusion, which I did have.

      So I think I've got most of that covered.

    • Posted

      As per my post, I had to be fairly blunt to get them to stop trying to get me to have an HIV and STD test.

      Mind you, Coventry walk in centre is now like Beirut. Very different to when I first went there about 15 years a go.

    • Posted

      Yes. I went to work in Saudi Arabia in 1996 and they insisted on an HIV test for anybody going there to work. I had to have the test done privately in Harley Street (they paid for it) as any HIV Test, no matter what the result, was cosidered to mean that you must in a high risk category and your life insurance premiums could increase or you could even be refused insurance.
    • Posted

      You are not that far from me then RHGB. I am about 15 miles from Coventry.
    • Posted

      Well, you'll know the hospital I spent my two months in then, Walsgrave or Coventry University Hospital as they call it these days. I had one night in Warwick, CT scan, blood plasma transfusion under GA and then off to Cov the next day.
    • Posted

      Yeah, I did three days in Coronary Care there after a heart attack in 2012 smile They saved my life and I now run around and play tennis etc with no remaining ill effects smile
    • Posted

      3 days! How did you get out in 3 days for a heart attack. I was there 2 months, and I would have been there longer if I hadn't threatened to discharge myself - they wouldn't give me a leaving date.

      I tried to escape at least 6 times, twice from the one step down ward. Which is no mean feat when you've lost the use of your legs and most of your right arm.

      It got a bit embarrasing when I went to see the consultants at CERU, two of them reminded me (on individual ocassions) that they were there (they do both CERU and Cov) when they had to call security for me.

    • Posted

      The heart is mechanical. It's easy to see the problem and often easy to fix. I was rushed straight into theatre and they went in through my wrist, along the artery to my heart, cleared the clot, left a stent in there (little coil of metal that keeps the coronary artery open) and had me rest for a couple of days then sent me home telling me to take it easy for 6 weeks. 2 months later I was beating my 21 son at tennis smile It was just a blip smile Never had a problem since
    • Posted

      Jeez, they used to do obs (observations) on us every four hours, so like, 10:00pm, wake us up at 2:00am and then 6:00am and following throughout the day. Then we had Dorothy across the corridor, who a nurse was with constantly, she had alcoholic brain disease, I didn't know it at the time.

      But Cov used to have four mental wards (I think they are gone now) and we (the four of us in the ward opposite) always used to wonder why she wasn't in one. It was only after I left hospital and starting reading up on alcoholism, that I realised why she was done near the same ward as us.

      Also, the Addaction nurse said, that if you have some health issue (not mentally related) they won't put you in the mental wards because they have no facilities for health problems in them.

    • Posted

      Wow! That's a neat trick!

      Did they put you under general for that or was there a "big screen" you could watch?

    • Posted

      There was a screen (standard computer monitor size) but the angle of it was such that I couldn't see it. The doctor did turn it and show the 'before and after scans' of my right coronary artery after he had finished. It was completely missing on the first photo (as the dye they injected had not been able to get past the blockage) and fully visible on the second. I was awake throughout and there was no real pain at all, although it was a little uncomfortable where they entered through my wrist. Amazing procedure really.

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