vcubitt created the topic: Opioid Prescriptions being stopped in Canberra
We live in Canberra.
My partner of 17 years, has chronic pain in his back, legs, shoulder, neck and face, plus severe headaches stemming from two different accidents in 1998 and 1999 and now also suffers from arthritis in his hands, feet and knees.
He was on OxyContin 80mg a day and OxyNorm 10mg a day and just over a week ago was told the Chief Health Officer of the ACT) will no longer authorise prescription of this medication for Dave, so he has had no medication for over a week and I have had to take time of work to care for him full time for a couple of weeks while he adjusts. We have been given no actual reason as to why this has happened other than his GP told us that these medications are no longer considered appropriate for chronic pain. We also contacted the Pain Management Clinic at Canberra Hospital about it as Dave had a recent assessment there and was told to continue on his medication at current levels, and they had no explanation for why this is happening. He has been on this medication since 2008.
In 1999 he was put on Methadone to help him stop taking codeine at the time, but was allergic to the Methadone and later Buprenorphine. He was told this time last week that the he should use Methadone to help with any withdrawals although it will do nothing to help with pain. We went for an appointment with Drug and Alcohol to see what alternatives there might be but they couldn’t help due to Dave’s allergic reaction to Methadone. However, they did say that other people had suddenly had their medication as well.
Has anyone else had the same experience with their medication being cut in one hit or even heard of it happening to someone else?
iam5thgen replied the topic: Opioid Prescriptions being stopped in Canberra
I used to live in Canberra for 15 years and never had a problem with getting medication I needed. In fact I was still receiving pethidene injections up until a couple of years ago as it has been fazed out. I find it very hard to believe that a dr would just stop you from receiving a medication that was addictive without weaning you off it! I think you need to find another dr. They can't just take you off it without giving you something to replace it. His pain doesn't just go away because a government has decided to take a drug off the market. Hope you can find another Dr.
Stacka replied the topic: Opioid Prescriptions being stopped in Canberra
Wow, I can't believe The Chief Health Officer would simply stop a GP from prescribing. At least not without taping off the opiate meds. I feel for you both as this is simply being heartless and insensitive to the extreme.
What I do know from experience in Canberra is this, GP's are being increasingly pressured to stop prescribing opiate pain meds long term for chronic conditions. I know my GP who had been prescribing long term for chronic pain was spoken to by the Chief Pharmacist. In other words ACT Health had decided prescribing opiates other than short term for acute conditions was to stop.
I've been down the road myself of tapering off 100mg Fentanyl Patch, 80mg Oxycontin and 40mg of Oxynorm. As I said, I was red flagged by the ACT's Chief Pharmacist and after being sent to The Canberra Hospital's Pain unit told I had to come off them - period. This was two and a half years ago but I was told I could take as long as needed to taper off them which I did but not without experiencing one of the worst periods of my life and requiring a lumbar fusion which helped immensely.
I do know the Pain Unit at the Canberra Hospital had a new Chief Pain Specialist take over the administration three years ago how and he is dead set against opiates being administered long term for chronic pain. To me that is extremely simplistic as not everyone is experiencing pain equally and for the same condition. How some people can be so ignorant and heartless makes me feel angry.
Please feel free to continue telling us how you and your husband are coping.
wildturkeycanoe replied the topic: Opioid Prescriptions being stopped in Canberra
Surely the chief health officer is smart enough to know you don't just stop a prescription of that magnitude and duration dead in its tracks, it has to be done gradually so you don't have the horrible withdrawals. I'm on much less and for a shorter time, but if I miss just one tablet, I get the worst reaction within 12 hours - sweating, freezing cold, shaking, feeling like my blood was burning me from the inside out, pretty much the worst parts of having the flu but multiplied several times over. I'd be seeking legal counsel to find out how this is even a legitimate action. Hopefully it isn't a sign of things to come for the rest of Canberra's chronic pain sufferers, or there are going to be a lot of people resorting to the black market and illegal drugs for relief.
Perhaps the media needs to be notified about this, it sounds totally like malpractice, or at least incompetence.