Ibuprofen prescriptions: Just wondering if anyone else... - NRAS

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Ibuprofen prescriptions


Just wondering if anyone else is having problems with getting their ibuprofen prescriptions from their GP. Mine has cut my prescription down from 600mgs 3x daily(which was prescribed orginally by consultant) to 2x daily, also taken me off repeat, which I have been on since at least 2010,but the biggest thing is he will only give me 30 tablets every 2 weeks. I don't mind about the cut in number of pills because TBH I only took 3 a day when in a flare, but now when in a flare I have to make an appointment and struggle down to the GPs for extra script. Would love to know everyones thoughts,He has just taken over my gps practice and I've never had a problem before.

57 Replies

All I know is NHS is struggling big time ☹️ If you get a pre payment certificate it may benefit you x

Chrissycl in reply to Doughnut61

Really sorry about the nhs but I get free prescriptions at my age .But what has that got to do with fortnightly prescriptions, which incidentally cost the nhs more.

Doughnut61 in reply to Chrissycl

Sorry i misunderstood ☹️

Chrissycl in reply to Doughnut61

No problem. This whole thing is making me a bit irritated, sorry if I was a bit sharp.

Doughnut61 in reply to Chrissycl

I understand, this illness can really grind you down xx

There is quite a bit of pressure on GPS to stop prescribing a number of drugs, particularly things that you can get without prescription over the counter (OTC).

Here's an extract of an NHS statement

"NHS England will release a full consultation on restricting OTC prescribing in the new year in a bid to save money, specifically targeting treatments that are cheaper for patients to buy than the NHS.

Drugs that can be purchased over the counter, and sometimes at a lower cost than that which would be incurred by the NHS – paracetamol is an average of four times as expensive when provided on prescription by the NHS, compared to when it is purchased in pharmacies or supermarkets. It can costs around £34 for 32 on prescription including dispensing and GP consultation fees."

Chrissycl in reply to helixhelix

Great thanks for that but you can't get 600mg size over the counter. And fortnightly prescriptions cost the nhs more. I know about the otc meds not being in script anymore but that wasn't what I asked or what my postvwas about.

helixhelix in reply to Chrissycl

Well sorry, but that didn't come across on first reading. I suggest you put your concerns in a letter to the practice manager of your surgery.

Hidden in reply to helixhelix

But try buying 90 or more paracetamol over the counter as the will not sell to me

helixhelix in reply to Hidden

Because paracetomol can be fatal the amount that can be sold over the counter is restricted. It's a measure to prevent suicides.

Hidden in reply to helixhelix

I know that they can be fatal but as the nearest supermarket is 30 minutes each way it is a nuisance. Not sure why they don’t sell the ones with built in antidote

Rubyroo1 in reply to Hidden

Try buying them in separate transactions and try going to a different till each time, especially as you are so far from the shops. Personally, I don't think the shops should be held responsible, if someone sadly wants to kill themselves, not being able to buy a few packets of paracetamol isn't going to stop them.

I didn’t no you could get off doctor but would it not be cheaper to buy at supermarket that’s where I get mine.but don’t use that many now as on other medication methotrexate etc also like others have said NHS is trying to save money and cuts where they can ...

Can't buy 600mg tablets can only get them on prescription, plus at my age, over 60, I get free prescriptions.

talpaca in reply to Chrissycl

Chrissy I hope your rheum can set your GP straight! Just make sure you read up on ibuprofen side effects as its particularly hard on those 60 & on. My mum had complications at 60yo. Maybe the GP is concerned about that? Hope you're in less pain soon.

Chrissycl in reply to talpaca

Thank you

To all who have already answered me, my meds were prescribed by my consultant when I was first diagnosed.

It is a high dose of ibuprofen which is why it's on prescription. Buying it otc is not an option and the fortnightly prescribing is costing the nhs more, twice a month to write script, twice a month to fill script and I still get my 60 pills a month. I am just as concerned about the nhs as anybody but that was not the issue here. I am also on other meds including enterecept injections and have no problem with them. Indeed my gp today told me to take more of the addictive drug, codeine, for the pain not understanding it was the anti inflammatory property of ibuprofen I needed. All this without examining me or really knowing what I had visited him for. Which was bursitis of the hip which I have tried to treat myself for a week.

The NHS has guidelines to follow which don't always match up to what is needed in more "special" cases like with chronic stuff. I would bet that the issue is a new GP coming in and sorting your stuff in a way which would usually be the right thing to do, but just isn't for you. Try booking an appointment to discuss it and if that doesn't work ask if your consultant can write them a letter asking them to change it back.

I was put on a butt load of vitD by my consultant and after a while my GPs reduced it to a maintenance dose. My consultant got pretty grumpy with me until I explained and then wrote a letter saying I am to stay on that dose for life and told me I am never to let them change it. Haven't had a problem since, but if I do I'll just tell them to find the letter in their records.

Crying to mummy works pretty well with GPs. They aren't going to argue with a specialist. :)

You could also see if you can call to request prescriptions if they can't fix it on repeat. You have arthritis so it's reasonable to play the disability card if you have to.

Thank you my consultant has written to say my dosage is ok. Its really the two week script thats the problem, its just my gp being bloody minded,says i need monitoring, reads blood test results from hospital, grunts then says goodbye.

So you're okay with the change of dose, but want it back to being given x in one go rather than half that cos going to collect it twice as often is a pain for you? And making an appointment to ask for it each time is just stupid.

Go back to the doctor and explain that making the extra trips is not easy for you. Ask if you can have it changed back to x at a time. If they try to ignore you go into how it's a strain and that strain can make you ill for a long time and make your condition worse. See if you can at least get it put on repeat again. Be persistent and explain how much it will affect you. New doc won't necessarily understand the impact it will have.

You could also look into getting your prescriptions delivered to your house. I believe pharmacies like Boots have a free service. Just google prescription delivery and you should fine the right thing. That way at least you're not having to make the trip yourself.

Hope that helps :)

Thank you most of that I have tried but he just doesn't listen. He is only new to our practice not a new doctor. I used to use electronic prescribing but cant now because even if I don't make an appointment I have to go in person to hand my request in because they dont take prescriptions over the phone. I have lost count of the times I've asked for it to be put back on repeat his answer, is ask your consultant if you can go back on repeat. I asked him why when the consultantant wasn't asked if It could come of repeat in the first place. He didnt answer that one. Most of the patients I know from the practice have now changed doctors because of his attitude and staff are leaving each week. Think I need to go back to my consultant and ask his advice. But thank you for your reply

Oh wow.

Well then seems like the answer is a letter from your consultant and/ or a change of GP.

Good luck. x


You need to look into those companies who do it all for you. Boots will and another one that has been advertising on TV and radio.

They’re available very cheaply at the supermarket and I suppose you could just take more of a smaller dose tablet. It’s annoying as you get free prescriptions but if the doctor is refusing to prescribe them maybe you might have to resort to that. Where I live all prescriptions are free for everyone . I do sometimes get paracetemol and brufen retard 800mg from the doctor but other times If they’re not in stock I just buy OTC drugs and improvise as I know the dose limits.

I know they are cheap to buy but taking more of a smaller dose doesn't work, I have tried it before and then the pharmacist said it doesn't work because the tablets can be absorbed at different time and you may not get the full dose you need. He's not refusing just giving me them every 2 weeks and costing nhs more each time.

Chrissy, You can get 400mg Ibuprofen over the counter in UK...maybe that could be the answer for you when you need to take them more often & can't get to the GP's office?

But it does look like the NHS are about to tighten up on prescribing it, together with Paracetamol as you can buy both very cheaply in either super markets or pharmacies. I buy 45 Paracetamol for £1 & I think Ibuprofen is only a few pence more.

Maybe as he's a new GP he is trying to wean you off it as it can have seriously nasty side effects on your stomach if you take high doses regularly?

I can only get a one month prescription for my Blood Pressure meds ...which I have been taking for over 10 years......if I ask for two months because I'm going away & will run out, I almost have to explain when,where & why I need two months supply. Unfortunately I can't buy them OTC, I would if I could to save the palaver I have to go through to get them.

Hope you get it sorted soon, but don't be surprised if the NHS do take if off their list of drugs that can be prescribed...if we are to keep free NHS care at the point of treatment - it looks as if lots of cuts are going to be made.

Same here AgedCrone. My blood pressure pills come in a pack of 28 my other pills come in packs of 60 and because I don't take the full dose (officially!) they last for longer than the blood pressure ones. So every 28 days I have to trek down to the pharmacy to collect them. It’s so irritating.

When I was in Scotland a few years ago and had to stay longer than expected and needed more BP pills - I couldn’t believe that I was given a three month supply - free - I was young enough to pay for prescriptions back then!

Like you even though I get free prescriptions now I buy what I can over the counter partly to save the palaver of going to the doctor and partly because I don’t see why the NHS should be paying loads of money for stuff I can buy for as little 32p in Tesco.

Hi F&N.....I am off to the sun next month & I have just worked out if I miss 6 tablets over 4 weeks my BP pills will last....so that is what I will do....can even miss 1 or 2 now...I can keep an eye on my BP at the local pharmacy overseas & if it shoots up...I will just buy some of my BP pills., I reckon I'm on Biologics for free ...so paying £10/20 to buy pills every now & then is OK with me.

The receptionists at my GP practice always give the third degree when you phone for an appointment.....Even had the cheek when I asked for a home visit when I had Labryhthitis, was vomiting & couldn't stand up ......that I should get a taxi in to the surgery! So I have as little contact as possible!

Hence I saw my GP once last year...my poor old rheumy sorts everything for me!

Lucky you. I’d love to be off to the sun. We didn’t get away last year as husband was waiting to have a big operation so this year fingers crossed we will get away.

I can order two lots of medicines fairly easily, just need to remember to do it in time. It’s good if you can buy the odd packet abroad. I might try that next time I’m in France. Occasionally I forget to take my pills so sometimes I can get an extra one or two to have in reserve but it doesn’t happen often. There used to be a good pharmacist who took me 8nhand and worked out when I needed to order my repeat so that I always had the best part of a week inhand but he’s moved on and I’m back to end8ng up onmy last pill before I get my next lot. I can’t see why the surgery has this monthly policy. I’m not going to overdose on blood pressure pills or sell them on and I’m big (old?) girl now, I am definitely able to take the responsibility of being given more than one pack at a time .

As for receptionists. We have one I call the blonde Rottweiler, I get grilled for everything yet my other half has no problems with her at all, hence I send him down to make appointments for me - he has a 100% success rate, it’s great. There’s no point in even trying to phone at opening time.

If it hadn’t been too embarrassing to contemplate you could have turned up and puked through her hatch as you were booking in. That would give her something to think about next time she tells someone who is vomiting to come to the surgery.

Enjoy the ☀️

I would have loved to do that but when Labrynthitis strikes I literally can't stand up. One time I had an attack.... I got out of bed ....couldn't balance & walked into a sharp edged silver photo frame on the wall......so I was then throwing up covered in blood...the surgery sent a locum to see me who got lost...put wrong post code in her SatNav ...then left some pills on the table, saying take two three times a day.....when I opened the packet there were 9 pills....but not the pills I needed.

I gave up at that point .& my burley neighbour went to sort things for me.

Never a dull moment in this house!

Goodness me! What a nightmare.

All my other pills are given on a 28 day basis no 60 days worth given in my area which make the fortnightly script a nuisance.Playing with your meds by missing some is a dangerous practice as explained to me by a pharmacist, you need to keep the level of the drug constant in your body for it to be effective. Also I'm glad you can afford to buy the drugs you need ,however cheap they are.

No I get 60 hydroxychloroquine in a box because they are designed to be taken twice a day for thirty days but my rheumy only wants me to take one a day. My rheumy just said to take some paracetamol on days when I was feeling ‘a bit creaky.

The other ones are for blood pressure / chest pains / palpitations and come in a box of 90, they are intended to be taken three times a day for a month but again I only have to take one.

So nothing matches with the pack of 28 that I take as my main pill for my blood pressure it really is annoying to have to head off to the chemist every 28 days and also to have to work out when I actually need to re-order the other two packs when 3x the 28 pill pack would be perfect.

I do have the same trouble with my other meds. My ibupren med is twice daily too but for some reason only prescribed 30 fortnightly.

New broom syndrome with go I think .lol

I agree about the cuts and also think they are needed, I have tried 400mg because I was concerned about high doses but they just didn't work. He is only a new GP to our practice and to be honest no one who works there likes his methods and his ways. I have read The NICE guidelines and they do have separate ones for patients with long term inflammatory conditions which include doing any changes in consultation with the patient. I didn't know anything about my changes untill my husband pocked up my prescription on there was no ibuprofen in them. Thought it was my fault that I'd not ticked the box but it had been taken off repeat without me knowing.

My gp asked me if I minded paying for my ibuprofen and paracetamol and Just got it with my shopping saves all the hassle of prescriptions and repeats

Am in Scotland and technically it’s free for me as am biologics I also think my drugs bill is enough 😎

My GP has never give me Ibuprofen I have to purchase my own , he says you can buy them for coppers and they cost NHS the price of a prescription, I am OAP so I don’t have to pay for prescription, sorry for your trouble.

I wouldn't mind paying for them in the at the correct dose of 600mg but can't buy them at that dosage and takingb400mg plus 200mgs doesn't work. Its not the buying of them or the getting them from gp thats really the issue, its how the gp is going about it thats really thevpoint.

Also mine was prescribed by the consultant, I am happy that you don't need the high doses that I do.

Do what I did over Thyroxine which the Department of Health say is prescribable for 3 months then take a copy of the mail to GP, if they agree that it can be prescribed monthly, if not the the GP is just following orders and nowt you can do.

Thank you I will look into that

Chrissycl in reply to Chrissycl

How do you find out the prescrbing limits please

You can buy ibuprofen from your local chemist, you don't need a prescription. Sam

I do know that but not available at the dosage I take and taking more of a lower dose doesnt work as I explained above.

Soon all painkillers that can be bought over the shelf such as Paracetamol. will have to be bought by the patient if the condition is short term. I believe everyone will have to pay for over the counter remedies soon.....metro.co.uk/2018/03/31/nhs-...

Chrissycl in reply to Ern007

The dosagecof ibuprofen I get 600mgs can not be bought over the counter nor can I get the amount of paracetamol I'm prescribed which is 100 a month .I will only be able to buy 32 tablets at a time and Rheumatoid Arthritis is not a short term illness.


I joied Pharmacy First at my local pharmacy. Just give my name and the name of my surgery, and I get a pack of Paracetamol and a box of Ibuprofen free. Only if you get free prescriptions, so the over 60s or those on benefits can sign up for this. Just ask about it at your local pharmacy. Boots are taking part i this scheme.

Chrissycl in reply to Hidden

Thank you I will ask but I think the doctor still has to prescribe the amount band dosage.


You're probably right Chrissycl. I get one 24 tablet box at 200mg, which is nowhere near the dose you have. Don't you have any other treatment for your RA? That might help the pain, but it won't do much for the other problems RA causes. Do you have a Rheumatologist who could prescribe you with some proper RA treatment?

Chrissycl in reply to Hidden

I am on a biological injection which is not a pain killer, I take sulfathalazine which is a dmard drug but again not a painkiller. The ibubrofen I take is for anti inflammatory purposes but does help with the pain, without it I need to take more of the addictive drug codeine and I try not to take too many of them. I have had RA for over ten years now and all my meds were prescribed by my Rheumatologist

Can you just top them up with over the counter Ibuprofen ? Making up the shortfall ? i.e. Just take 3 of the 200mg tablets ? Boots are 35p per 16 @ 200mg, might be less stressful in the long run. :-)

Read above please as explained by a pharmacist taking 2 different strengths of same drug do not get absorbed by the body at the same time so do not work very well

JEM95 in reply to Chrissycl

Just a thought, and it’s not related to your ibuprofen issue directly, I used to have major issues collecting scripts/drugs. The pharmacy in the surgery was really unhelpful - I used to feel like a ping pong ball getting sent from the surgery receptionist to the pharmacy several times over.

Now I use the pharmacy in my local Sainsbugs - I give them a call, tell them what drugs I need and they do the rest - put the request in to the GP, chase it up etc. They even order my MXT in advance in readiness as I’m a ‘frequent flyer’! It’s made a stressful activity so much easier for me. I only have to visit the surgery for my 4-weekly bloods now.

Sounds like your ‘new broom’ GP might relax a bit eventually, in the meantime maybe look at ways of streamlining the re-order/collection part.

Since the original post sadly it not just me thats complaining now, one patient was sent to a pain clinic because he wouldnt prescribe naproxin for osteoarthritis ,the clinic said they couldn't see why not and sent a letter to the doctor saying he should stop coprescribing tramadol and cocodamol because it wasn't safe.

Many more complaints about him now the practice has less patients then ever, luckly ,I think he now prescribes monthly for me but refuses to put it back on repeat so I can request it electronically. Ah well a small victory is better then none, I will certainly look into your suggestion tho, thank you


I've had RA for 30 years. I'm on MTX, Leflunomide, Truxima (Rituximab biosimilar) Prednisolone. For pain reief I'm on Morphine patches.

Chrissycl in reply to Hidden

3thankfully ibuprofen works really well for me

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