Opiate painkillers include Co-codamol, Co-Dydramol, Codeine, Dihydrocodeine, Tramadol, Morphine, Oxycodone and Fentanyl.
After submission of this form:
- The practice will continue your medication as usual if you have indicated you are happy with things
- Otherwise the practice will contact you in a few days time days time to arrange a review.
- Opiates are very good painkillers for short term pain but there is little evidence that they are helpful for long-term pain. Despite this, they are still widely taken long-term.
- Opiate prescribing more than doubled in the period 1998 to 2018. This has been referred to as an opioid epidemic in the UK, similar but not at the same scale as the opioid crisis in the USA.
- The harms of this prescribing are now better understood and include addiction, fatigue, constipation and long term bowel damage. The body also becomes 'tolerant' to the painkillers over time meaning that they stop working.
- Guidance is clear that the painkillers are not indicated for chronic pain and should be reduced and stopped.
- There are currently few effective treatments for chronic pain, however we would always advise you to consider reducing and stopping opiate painkillers. This allows you to use them on an as required, short-term basis for flares of pain.
- In Lothian there is a Pain Management Clinic and online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).
- We have a physio in the practice that you can book in with to help with lower back, neck and sciatica pain.
- We would recommend reading these additional resources to to help you manage your pain.
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