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Author Topic: Xanax (Benzo) Script in the UK  (Read 45750 times)
manicstreetpriestess
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« on: October 01, 2007, 03:39:14 PM »

Hi All,

I moved to London back in July and brought over my script for Xanax (benzo, genuine anxiety).  I went to the local GP here in London recently and was told that Xanax is not available on the NHS and that I would have to get it as a private patient (which means what?) and pay per pill (are you kidding?!).  I was also asked by the Doctor to get my psychiatrist in NZ to write a letter stating what I am taking (and how much) and for how long I am to be prescribed this for, or else I will be sent to a detox program.  I understand that prescribing benzos isn't liked for long-term use, but is this really the case? Are there any benzo's available on the NHS?

Also, I was wondering whether anybody else out there takes Xanax? (Alprazolam)  I have been noticing some short term memory loss.  That is a side effect of a group of benzos, including Xanax but not Diazepam.  Is anybody out there that's on Diazepam in short of their short memory?

Regards,
Lydia.
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bp
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 05:42:59 PM »

Hi Lydia

We've hadt quite a few calls on the helpline from people who have been forced into a benzo detox, many who are on quite a large dose -50mgs-60mgs- and we usually try to reach a compromise whereby they reduce to 20mgs-25mgs. Benzos are really being seen as the baddies nowadays, people go onto a methadone/subutex script and attempt to alleviate the boredom by adding a soupcon of valium and alcohol, a lethal combination. Doctors are increasingly reluctant to prescribe benzos and if they do it's usually 5mgs -15mgs for a few weeks.

I have been on valium for a long time but I tend to take them infrequently, I find 10 mgs helps liver pain. As for the short term loss, yes, I do experience that but whether or not it's the valium or a result of the way I've abused my body over the last 30 years, I'm not sure; it's probably a combination of both coupled with my advancing years.

It was good to meet you at the L.U.F.

Regards

B.

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simon
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 05:58:26 PM »

I'll have a look at work tommorrow but I can't remember seeing it used in the UK.
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froude
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 06:10:16 PM »

Hi ya lydia,Ian frm wilts here,
Yeah i been on diazepam for years and am currently on a reducement.Yes i do suffer from short memory loss.cheers ian frm wilts.
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manicstreetpriestess
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 06:59:33 PM »

Hey there,

Thanks for your replies. 

I am only prescribed .5mg of the Xanax per day, as I genuinely suffer from anxiety.  For years, I was being dished out anti-depressant after anti-depressant as I had the symptoms of depression, but it wasn't until I got to see a psychiatrist whilst on the interferon that he took a proper assessment of my depression and said I don't suffer from clinical depression, but depression caused by the anxiety.  Since I've been on the Xanax, my depression has gone and my life has turned around for the better.  I am not on the methadone, don't drink very much (if at all), and don't take anything else.  Benzo's don't give me a thrill, like a lot of other drugs, due to massive tolerance, etc. LOL.

My psychiatrist in NZ said that GPs here will try to get me off the benzos but that he doesn't advise it.  He said that there is a lot of un-necessary and unfair treatment of people that genuinely need benzos as opposed to anti-depressants and end up suffering as a result.


Thanks and best wishes,
Lydia.

ps: what does it mean by me having to go to my doctor as a private patient? does that mean a whopping big bill?
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Claire B
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2007, 08:16:12 PM »

Hi Lydia
Unfortunately I am old... so I remember Xanax being prescribed, quite successfully.. but it was expensive.. many years ago we had a government(I guess Thatcher, but I blame her for everything so I might be wrong),  who stopped scripts for Benylin(NOTHING stops coughs as well as Benylin... well.. yes Nothing would, it doesnt work, tastes nice though) and lots of other expensive  ie Xanax and sometimes non effective medication...
So if you insisted on it it, then you would have to pay for it, at the time though....many moons ago... we did successfully change our patients on to diazepam with no real probs...
I could probaly delve and find you an alternate dose for diazepam... but we are all different, but it might give you some guidelines
Claire B
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manicstreetpriestess
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2007, 08:53:37 PM »

Thanks Clare.

I am wondering what you mean by alternative to Diazepam?

And, if I go to the doctor under the NHS, is Diazepam covered? (ie. not charged)

Thanks for your help,
Lydia.
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Claire B
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2007, 06:57:54 AM »

Hi
Diazepam is allowable on the NHS..but I always have to put the proviso...if the Doctor wants to prescribe it... Doctors dont seem to like to be told what to prescribe! I know to my cost!
What I meant as an alternative... was the dose , so depending what you were on , an approximate dose of the diazepam could be suggested
Claire
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lucky
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2007, 10:24:29 PM »

My GP said Xanax is an american version (sort of) of Valium (diazepam)
Anyway you 0.5mg is equal to 10 times that of valium so you'd be requiring 50mg / day of diazepam if you swapped.
Thats 10 yellow ones. You'd soon be asked to drop down from that dose.....
Good luck.
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froude
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2007, 09:27:40 AM »

Hi lydia,Ian frm wilts here,
Im currently being perscribed diazepam(on the N.H.S),claire is right,doctors  dont like perscribing benzos,in my experience they never have.Im on them for anxiety,panic attacks,and anger issues.I know they dont like perscribing xanax in England,dont know why, a few rumours floating about,one is the cost.  Wish you well in good old England.
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THERE ARE A LOT OF PSYCHOPATHS IN PRISON,UNFORTUNATELY MOST ARE STAFF<br />One Half Of The World Cannot Understand The Pleasures Of The Other
manicstreetpriestess
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2007, 04:18:00 PM »

hey there

am curious as to what information you make the conversion of .5 Xanax into 50mg of Diazepam? I am extremely surprised by this suggestion, as despite Xanax is another 'type' of Diazepam (it is less euphoric, therefore favoured in NZ) .5mg is definitely not like taking 50mgs of Diazepam! I've got a medical benzo list that states .5mg of Xanax is equivalent to 5mg of Diazepam, certainly not 50mgs!

Anyway, I have asked my psychiatrist in NZ to write a letter to my GP here, at least confirming I am prescribed on a long-term basis the Xanax for legitimate reasons.  I will see whether I can get the GP to offer me something that is available on the NHS in order for me to be spared from a costly prescription!

Regards,
Lydia.
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admin
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2007, 11:06:45 AM »

Manicstreetpriestess,

I think it's 1lucky1's maths that's at fault here - they say it's ten times the quantity, but then say that ten times 0.5mg equals 50mg and extrapolates from there.  It's 5mg, and should thus present rather less of a problem (although you'd still probably have difficulty negotiating long-term benzo maintenance).
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lucky
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2007, 01:31:54 PM »

Doh.....my appologies, I was right about it being 10 times I think but wrong with my pethetic atemt at a conversion......
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2007, 09:10:13 AM »

Apologies for being a pedant ...
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lucky
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2007, 09:23:54 PM »

Pedant ...... is that bad or good?
Never heard the word but when I looked it up, it said something like...... a person who is excessivly concerned about minor details......
hmmm.
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