Paracetamol and Anti inflammatory tablets being withdrawn from prescriptions? ?


I was at my Doctors surgery the other day.

As I was about to leave I remembered that my Paracetamol and Antiflamatory tablets were running low.

So I asked for a prescription for them.i was told that there is a Government drive to stop prescribing Paracetamol and Antiflamatories and instead the patient should just buy from the Pharmacy.

I explained that for the volume I wanted I'd have to visit about 12 different shops to buy one box of 12 from each shop.

The Doctor reluctantly gave me a prescription. ...

I explained that I pay for a pre payment card to pay for all my tablets etc......

The Doctor said 'yes, the Government advise that you should keep all the receipts and you can claim the money back'

I'm not sure if this ideais being rolled out across Britain or just trying it out in Lancashire NHS.

22 Replies

  • Hi

    I am due to get all my medication from the chemist today and I will ask about the paracetamol situation I take for my complex regional pain syndrome complaint X

    I too pay for a pre payment card to pay for all my tablets etc

    I Live in the West Midlands so I will let you know how I get on

    Christine CRPS uk

  • We are sooooo lucky in Wales where all prescriptions are free.

    I need pain tablets for my spinal pain and hip joint pain. I take Pregabalin, paracetamol, Tramadol, MST, Amatryptaline (spelling?) and have nerve root block injections every 6 months, and being a diabetic (tablet and insulin controlled, alsosuffering from Oesteoperosis and arthritis I have acquired the nickname if 'lucky'. Lol

  • Not had any issues in Hampshire yet!!


  • In Lincolnshire there is a notice up saying about the paracetamol but don't think it mentioned the anti inflamatories. I thought you could buy 2 boxes at a time at the supermarkets.

  • You can Rosepetal60 , but I believe that is only two boxes of 16 (not certain, it might be 2 x 32).

    However as I take 8 Paracetomol tablets per day, 2 x 16 would only last me 8 days. Given that I am largely housebound, you can count the number of times I get to the shops in a year on one hand so that is a non starter for me.

    Currently my meds are delivered to home and they include 200 paracetomol at a time (amongst other meds). That for me is less than a months supply.

  • Very good point ukmsmi4, my apologies.

  • I checked again today at the notice and it appears they are only trying to discourage patients from Paracetamol prescriptions for short term use such as for colds and flu. Patients with long term conditions it appears are not affected. ( my interpretation as I can't remember word for word) hope this helps

  • Hi,

    I take oxycodone for break through pain and my doctor, far from being reluctant regarding paracetamol, keeps trying to palm me off on them without the oxycodone! This is despite many letters from pain consultants etc.

    But I, too, have seen notices advising patients to buy their own paracetamol in the urgent care centre. I wonder if this is the beginning of something...

    Mxmas xxxx

  • Hi everybody xx

    My pain consultant wrote a letter to my GP (staffs) asking him kindly to prescribed TARGNACT because it's too expensive where I go to see my pain consultant at the QE Birmingham

    My GP kindly prescribed them to me 😊

    Christine CRPS

  • A pharmacist can sell you up to 100 tablets at a time.

  • In the uk?

  • I'm sure you can't buy more than two packs of paracetamol at the Pharmacy. ... in the UK.

    The same as any shop counter.

  • On the shelves are small packs but if you ask you can get larger ones - so long as a pharmacist is on duty

  • I'm sure many people will find this information very useful

  • Pharmacist here, in theory legally you can buy up to 100 paracetamol tablets from a pharmacy but in practice no packs of 100 currently on the market have a licence to be sold over the counter (we can't sell it over the counter if it says POM short for prescription only medicine). This and the fact that we cannot sell split packs means that in the UK you can only buy 96 paracetamol at a time (usually 3x32) and this is at the discretion of the pharmacist. We'd normally have no problems selling 96 to chronic pain patients but if someone had a known history of attempted overdose for example we would not want them to have easy access to such quantities. From a supermarket, or anywhere that isn't a pharmacy you can only buy 2 packs of 16.

  • Well 96 per visit at a pharmacy is a darned sight better than 32 per visit at a supermarket. The fact that 100+ packs are POM is interesting - so why are doctors even considering not prescribing it. Something doesn't quite fit. Maybe the various guidelines being issued need reviewing.

  • Part of it may be that when it is prescribed it costs the NHS more than it would cost the patient to buy as they have to pay a dispensing fee on top of the cost of the drug.

  • I understand that perfectly. What I don't understand is the approaching situation where patients in chronic pain will have to go to the shops every other day (quite literally!) to get adequate paracetamol supplies.

  • Hi there, never heard that you can get painkiller prescription refunds. But realise the Government is tightening up on all long term drugs in preference to other options i.e one being pay yourself at chemist. Some lesser troublesome illnesses are not even being treated, they are taking a wait and see approach. The NHS constitution states patients should be treated for their individual need based on what is best for them and the government and some doctors approach does not conform to the constitution. I am a mere individual who sees no way to change attitudes in the current economic climate, however suffer like you from regulations impairing good health care except in crisis situation. I would say that poor care for what ever reason still constitutes neglect of patient but thats just a personal opinion. Hope you have no further problem with pain releif prescriptions. Have a lovely christmas and new year ....

  • I am in Scotland but I buy my own paracetamol after finding out how much it cost the NHS here in free prescriptions. They are so cheap really. Anti inflammatory medication such as naproxen only comes on prescription though.


  • It seems that there are several local initiatives to curtail this type of prescribing...

  • Bloody marvelous I work in a shop and we can't sell more than 2 small packs per customer. I take 8 Paracetamol a day as part of my pain there isn't enough shops were I live to get a my prescribed amount, I'm totally pissed off with national and local government with the way they treated my parents one with Lung Cancer and the other with Parkinson's and Dementia I did nearly all there care. My Dad the last day at home they could only manage 10 minutes care that day.

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