Non Prescription tablets for endo - Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK

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Non Prescription tablets for endo


My ex girlfriend has endo, She's currently being prescribed tramadol (8 a day in pairs) but these don't seem to help her a lot so she swaps them for clonazepam, but also gets Valium of 'the streets', diazepam she prefers, but it's hit and miss what she gets, the last ones were 'ardin' which are Indian manufactured an apparently only contain 5-7 ml of Valium each, so she takes 2 at a time.

I understand the need to get non prescribed drugs to ease/combat/prevent the pain, but I'm worried she's taking whatever is available, and the side affects are starting to become noticeable, her sleep pattern is disrupted and she doesn't seem to care about

A lot recently, I also think she's becoming addicted since she takes extra's in the evenings 'just like some people like a drink or smoke', she's not herself and I don't know what to do without alienating her, any suggestions?

1 Reply

It's a very difficult subject to give advice on without knowing how much your ex has already been through in terms of surgeries and treatments.

Clearly she is struggling - not only with the pain, but also her self esteem too, and with her dependence on blackmarket drugs to supplement the prescription ones..

If you happen to know her own GP - you could call the surgery and ask to speak to her GP about the situation. Not to grass on her - but clearly she does need help. So book a special appointment - even if you are not registered there - you could explain to the receptionist that you are very concerned about the welfare of one of their patients and would like to discuss this with the GP concerned .

The GP will have come across this before. It is a delicate situation, and they will probably then advise you to pursuade your ex to book an appointment aabout the endo pain and then let the GP take it from there. Your Ex need never know you spoke with the GP in advance of this and cooked up a plan. It's probably best she is never told, as she would see that as a betrayal of trust, whereas in reality you are desparate to get her the help she needs. Remember everything you tell the GP will be in confidence.

If she already has tried everything and is still in pain, after extensive complex surgery , GnRH drug therapy, Pain Clinic, and all the rest - and she is still crippled by pain then it is fully understandable why she is taking so much and especially before bed time - because being in acute pain makes getting to sleep nigh on impossible. And the whole day is so exhausting that all you need is knocking out to get some sleep.

If however she has not exhausted all avenues, then she needs refering to one of the accredited endo centres by her GP

- and if her GP does not co-operate in that regard, then she should be encouraged to switch to new GP, even a new surgery altogether - in the search for a sympathetic and supportive Doc that will give her the help she clearly needs to get, not only for painkiller dependency, but the diagnosis and treatment of the specific aspect that causes the pain.

It may not be endo that is causing her pain, it could be nerve damage from surgeries, or adhesions sticking organs together, but the endo clinics will be very familiar with the complications of endo disease, and the experts at the endo clinics should be able to offer her some lifeline of hope to rid her of much of the pain.

There was also recently a very interesting article in the Daily Mail about how many people will not be able to process certain painkillers at all - no matter how many they take. So taking them is ineffective.

She may be one of these people, in which case she needs testing and all the meds that are non-effective need to be returned to a pharmacy for safe disposal, even the illegally obtained ones, (they do not ask questions - just hand over a bag of assorted pills).

Do not bin them or bury them.

She would then be prescribed different types of pain killer which do not rely on enzyme CYP2D6 to be able to work. This could make a huge difference to her pain management.

Getting the right surgery for either her endo or whatever if causing the pain is also something she must push for. Even if that means switching GP.

I wouldn't ever say someone gets addicted - when they have endo and complications the pains can be relentless and acute and she probably geuinely does need pain relief, but she needs the right strength in as few doses as possible.

Resorting to buying meds off the streets is just crazy and so risky. She has no idea of the age of them, if the dose is appropriate, whether they are real or not, whether stored at the right temperature or not, whether they're a bad batch that has been recalled from sale or not. I'm sure you are aware of the risks as much as the next person.

I doubt she has checked either is the various meds she is on are compatible with the others she is prescribed already. Add to that the cost of them, where prescriptions are free for the low waged or those on benefits.

It's good of you to show concern for her well being, but it is her problem not yours. You can support her and guide her to do the right thing - but at the end of the day, you will not be able to force her to jump out of the rut she has got herself into by nagging at her or coercing her to do something she is not willing to do for herself.

She has to pluck up the determination to battle for help herself.

If she has fallen in to depression too -either due to the meds or just because she is overwhelmed with the illness, this too is something to mention to the GP.

I really do think that would probably be the best thing you could do. It may be the case you cannot get her to come round and see that visiting the GP is going to help - but if she is on prescription meds they can ask to see her on the pretext of a review of her medication too and invite her in for an appointment before renewing any prescriptions. Again without telling her that you hve been in contact.

If she has a family member that is equally concerned, take them with you to see the GP too.

We did this regarding my mother's depression. She refused all demands to see her Doc, she wouldn't accept how ill and suicidal she was - she was not in her right mind at all.

So my father and I went to see the GP about her and the Doc to her credit took it very seriously and took over from us. It was a huge relief to have unburdoned the secret we had been living with for a long time - no one outside the immediate family had a clue how ill my mum was. Out of the front door she coped, but behind closed doors she was an alien and very ill indeed.

I wish you the very best of luck on this mission - I fear you will need it and more.

And the other thing to remember is - some people for all the best will in the world do not want help and cannot be helped, and it takes so much out of you as a carer to put up with it, and quite honestly for your own sanity it is sometimes best to walk way and leave them to it. Harsh as it sounds, it is such an emotional strain, that at some point you have to step back and look after yourself first.

I do hope she is someone who is crying out for help and willing to accept help to get her back to a place where she is better able to cope and to find the inner strength to get through whatever it takes to try and resolve the pains and get to a point where she has no need for any pain relief or just the occasional ones.

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