Fibromyalgia Action UK

Are Doctors allowed to refuse you pain relief?

Hi all

I've had such a distressing wknd since Friday. I had an appointment at my Docs Surgery. I needed to get my monthly script of my regular meds. I wanted to tell the Doc about tingly sensations & a burning feeling from my feet right up past my kneecaps. The tinglin has now been replaced by what I can only describe az electric shocks. My shins & knees hurt the most.

I arrived for my appointment & was seen by a Locum Dr. The minute I mentioned Fibromyalgia he told me that people with fibro feel pain more than a normal person. As if I did'nt know that! Before I could get a word in he started telling me I need to do Yoga, Swimming & Walking. He did'nt ask if I do any of these things. He printed of my script for my normal monthly tabs minus the Tramadol & paracetamol, I asked him why & he said I have to fight the pain with exercise & I will feel better. Yes I would love to be able to exercise. I could tell this man was'nt prepared to listen to me. So I asjed again for my pain relief meds to which he said no you can buy tablets over the counter which will work just as well with exercise. By this time the tears where streaming down mu face. He made me feel so small & like I was an addict wanting the pain pills.

So, my question is, is he allowed to refuse a paitient in chronic pain mmedication to help take the edge of. I never got to tell him about my feet & legs. I stormed out of the office & sat & cried. I could'nt even drive myself home for about half an hour. I am still upset & emotional about how he treated me.

I am going to ring the Practice Manager to lodge a complaint. but I dont know if I'm right in doing this?

Has anyone else had a similar experience or can anyone offer me advice?

Many thanks


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19 Replies

This is unprofessional conduct. Please do complain about him and get an emergency appointment to see your regular doctor. If nothing else, it can be risky to cold turkey off any medications.

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my last gp wouldnt give me any meds. and I was screaming with pain, make a complaint about this gp, exercise for fibro, I cant bloody walk never mind do yoga ect

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Yes Jackie, complain. That is disgraceful and totally unprofessional behaviour from him.

My GP has never refused me pain killers , he's the first to admit that I probably know far more about my condition as a patient than he does as a GP and if I read about something I think might help, he's happy to give it a go and see.

Withdrawing meds can be risky, and exercise plans are something that need to be carefully worked out and supervised.

Hey JusJac, gentle hugs.

I'm so angry and upset on your behalf at the way this Locum GP treated you. He had NO rights to stop your meds, that were given to you by your regular GP - he would have not done so if he thought that exercise and paracetamol alone would suffice in reducing the gawd awful pain of Mr Fibro!

My blood boils at the uselessness of these textbook Locums! GRRRRR!

As LindseyMid says, please do complain about him and see your regular GP ASAP - or do as I had to do and ring out of hours and explain your pain meds were left off your repeat script by a Locum, and ask could you please have a weeks supply until you can get to see your usual GP. If the are agreeable the will fax a copy of a script to your nearest Supermarket Pharmacy.

Good Luck and DO report this Locum - What a F*****g liberty! ( as Catherine Tate's nan would say! :-D - and I don't swear on-line - you are honoured sweetie! :-P )


Carol xx

Lol Carol yoh made me laugh.

Thank you all. I am determined to not let it pass. With Tramadol you need to be weaned off it. So that in itself was totally wrong & unprofessional.

Thank you for all your kind words & respones. Truely appreciated.

Gentle Gugs

Jackie xx

Make a complaint to the practice manager and ask to see your regular dr to get your normal pain meds.

My doctor keeps telling me to slow down with the exercise I do (2 classes a week and out for a walk at the weekend normally)

I do believe if we chose to get addicts to crack its far easier to get the methadone needed to curb your addiction. (Even the lovely ladies in the local pharmacy have agreed to this when I had probs getting prescriptions for my diabetes)


sorry that should say if we chose to get addicted

Thank you Ermintrude75

Yes I agree with you. I told my Pharmacist about what had happened & he said it was shocking, let him have the pain for a day & see how he feels then!

Oh yea he also said it does no good sitting at home wallowing in you're pain.

He did'nt know me. He did'nt ask what my daily activities are ? So how could ge say thats what I done. Yea there are days when I spend the day in bed with pain & overwhelming fatigue, especially if I've had a good day the day before & charged around doing household chores etc. Also when I get the blinding headaches it can sometimes take 2/3 days for them to lift.

I am going to ring the Surgery tomorrow to speak to Prctice Manager or maybe just go & ask to see someone. I will have everything written down.

I have been with the surgery for 50 years so they should know by my records that I am not one for abusing the health care system. I only go when things become unbareable.

Many thanks


Grrrrrrr!!! THIS MAKES ME SO dare he! i am glad you are going to report him, my doctor says i must walk as much as i feel able but he knows i need the pain killers to be able to do it,and like has been said, you shouldnt just stop tramadol like that. take care and good luck, hugs, xxx

Thank you Susie

I can tell you I was in a mess leaving the place. Now the more I think about it after I lodge my complaint I am going to move to another practice. I've been staying with them out of loyalty & because it was a family run practice but it has all changed now & its just pot luck on who you get?

Thankfully I have enough Tramadol to see me through for a few days but I still have the problem of like electric shocks from my feet up to my knees. I did'nt even get a chance to discuss it.

I am still so angry about it but a calm angry if that makes sense? Lol

Thank you for your comments. Much appreciated.


Jackie xx

What a pig ... Hope your ok now please let us know the result. Hug soft hugs xxx


The doctor did not stop all of your medicine, you were given a prescription for pain relief minus Tramadol and Paracetamol.

The tingling feeling and burning sensation is down to the condition and with this condition our pain levels can be high but at the pain clinic i was told that if you are taking pain relief medicine and its not working then i was told you should stop it and what we need to remember is, with this condition most medicine does not help with pain relief.

It has been shown that exercise can help over a period of time, it as it releases the hormones in the brain and it distracts you from the pain, it was on the One Show recently.

I have stopped my medicine as it did not help at all, no pain relief at all, i had a epidural in the neck in April at the pain clinic and it has made no difference to the pain at all.

If your taking medicine and its not helping with the pain then maybe you should stop taking it for a while and then start taking it again as sometimes this can help.

Thank you Pennie & Josie

Josie I did'nt get as far as explaining about the tingling electric shock feelings.

He was the one who decided medication did not help me but I can tell you it does. There is no way I could do some of the everyday things I do without it.

However, I've been onto Practice Manager & Senior Partner/Doc apologised & said it should never have happend. He has left me a prescription for my pain relief meds.

Thank you


Tingling and electric shock feeling, this is the condition. If you have five different medicines to take and the doctor does not give you two of them, Tramadol and paracetamal for example, if the medicine the doctor gave you does not help with the pain and you need to take tramadol and paracetamal as well then you should try and stop taking that medicine for a while, if this medicine was pain killers which would be stronger than paracetamal then this shows that it not working for you.

HI Josie 46

I dont have any other pain relief medication that I take. I need the tramadol & paracetamol for the severe pain I have on my lower back, right hip & leg. I've been for Physio, taken classes run by physio to strengthen my lower back which has'nt helped. I am have now started to go to a hydrotherapy pool on a Thurs afternoon. Last week was my first, it wS great in the water & even afterwards for a while but wore off. I also used to walk everywhere, now I can walk no distance without my back getting really tight & spasm like & my legs feel like they're are like jelly & I just generally feel ready to collapse. I have been having back problems since I had my son 21yrs ago, not to the extent I have now. My other mefications are Venlafaxine for depression & anxiety have been on them around 5 yrs & cant get off them, Ramipril for high Blood Pressure, Simvastatin for Cholestrol, aproxen for inflamation & spasms which dont work so I never really take them as they are hard on your stomach. So on a whole I personally dont think I'm filling my body with pain killers. As for the headaches, I sometimes can not lift my head. I have to take paracetamol for them, sometimes it takes a few days for headache to lift completely.

I know all about endorphins & how exercise is good but when you are in so much pain I pbysicalky could not do it.

I have now received an appointment with Pain Clinic for 2 weeks time.

Surely if Yoga, exercise & swimming worked no-one would have Fibro. Well, I would'nt because if I could I would be doing it.

I also suffer with severe sweating which has been proved not to be hormonal.

Thank you


Also when I got through & told my Doc of this incident he apologised & said it should never have happened. He also went on to tell me that Fibro is a very complex illness & is hard for GPs to prescribe treatment as some medications can trigger other Fibro issues. I dont want to be dependent on tablets the rest of my life but in the last 4 years my body has changed so much because of pain & how unbearable I find it. Also that people do not believe me, family included. I get accussed of being lazy & not trying to help myself that its depression has me the way I am. I know my own body! Plus xrays came back showing musculetoral damage with my back. I went for MRI but could nt go through it cos I had a panic attack but ortho Doc said MRI would'nt show or prove anything.

I honestly feel worn out having to fight for people to recognise I do hurt with this lable Fibro & mentally aswell.


I just moved and am refused pain relief. All docs refused to see me and finally found one that would. Refused to treat pain or insomnia and refused to refer to a surgeon for posible relief. I am furious and am going to find a way to fight this corrupt system. I cant even cook, walk around, shop, etc. and get less than 1 hr of sleep a night due to unrelenting pain. Doctors should be accountable for this. He had the nerve to demand a drug test first meeting!!. So.. no treatment, no referral, and no alternative means to cope with severe pain?? I am looking into legal issues and starting an activist group as this is insanity! I encourage you to tell the provider exactly what you think and demand to be treated like a human being! A patient has the right to scrutinize the doctor; not the other way around. Come on!

Why would you care about a drug test on the first meeting? What is the fear.

And yes, tell the provider just what you think. I am sure it will help you in your quest.

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