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Prescription Drugs

(18 Posts)
nannysgetpaid Tue 06-Sep-11 15:45:51

I have just had to talk my son out of a panic attack while he was waiting to collect his son from school. This is a long story but I will make it as short as I can. Three years ago he was badly injured in an agricultural accident. He was treated with morphine and sent home on high doses. He recovered. Next he had pneumonia. Treated with morphine. Sent home on high doses. Same thing again 6 months later. Chest cleared but he still had pain. Treated with high doses of opiates even though they could not find cause. Sent home on drugs. 8 weeks ago admitted with chest infection, treated with Very high doses of morphine. In severe pain so more drugs given. Every test done, nothing found. We expressed concern about amount of drugs he was given but told that it was not the drugs. (The drugs were actually causing the pain) The next night they overdosed him. He was seeing things, they panicked and stopped all drugs. Withdrawal symptoms. We told them it was the drugs causing the pain and at last they believed us. He is now being weaned off all painkillers but has lost the best part of three years of his life. The worrying thing is that if we had not investigated this ourselves it would still be going on. We have complained. Just a warning, beware of prescription drugs.

jangly Tue 06-Sep-11 16:13:13

Years ago Valium gave me panic attacks.


Today's antidepressants are so much better.

Baggy Tue 06-Sep-11 16:17:08

There is an interesting article about the administration of morphine for chest problems here:

nannysgetpaid Tue 06-Sep-11 16:37:24

Thanks Baggy I have flicked through this article and printed it out to read later. The problem was not about giving it for the pneumonia but it was still being given when it had cleared and they could find nothing else wrong. He was given it intravenously and added a Fentenyl patch for good measure. No one asked why he was in such pain for no reason. He was a healthy 36 year old when this started. He was also catheterized (side effect of morphine). It frightens me to see how often this is happening. The man in the next bed was woken at night to be given oromorph Asleep so obviously not in pain.

Baggy Tue 06-Sep-11 18:01:35

I'm sorry about your son's experience, ngp. It seems to show that there is still an awful lot the medical profession does not fully understand. Well, we know that! But it's very sad when someone suffers the consequences of that ignorance. I hope your son is recovering and that you helped him cope with the panic attack.

Anne58 Tue 06-Sep-11 18:37:42

NGP it does seem as if the treatment your soon received was perhaps ill considered. I hope that he gets back on track, and receives appropriate treatment from now on.

Jangly I had rather awful reactions to the anti depressants that I was put on in May 2009. Not feeling great now, but can't bear the thought of the side effects if I was to go back on them. I appreciate that different people have different reactions, but I really can't face going through that again.

nannysgetpaid Tue 06-Sep-11 21:11:21

Thanks everyone I am really obsessed with this. As an ex nurse I believe that
our duty is the health of the patient. Some of the nurses om the ward were really upset that they could not give pain killers to help my son and were not trained to understand that the best thing to do was not to give them. They learnt the lesson along with us. We will get there but I have to make the medical proffession aware that to just treat the symptoms is not the answer, they have to treat the immediate symptoms and then look beyond. Thanks for your support.

crimson Tue 06-Sep-11 21:42:57

I have heard of a theory that excessive use of antibiotics can result in panic attacks, but it has crossed my mind after reading what you've said that perhaps the people on those antibiotics may have been using morphine as well.

Nell Wed 07-Sep-11 22:55:46

ngp - your son is very fortunate to have such a supportive and skilled parent. I am doing battle royal with panic attacks at the moment and I know that the power of skilled talking through is worth a shedload of drugs. There may be many causes for panic attacks - and different people react so differently to medication - but the confidence gained from learning how to manage them can be a real help. Simple breathing exercises can help to reduce the severity of an attack. Good luck to your son with his battle.

absentgrana Thu 08-Sep-11 09:35:11

Having had major emergency surgery several times, I am horribly familiar with morphine. I think it affects people in different ways. I didn't find it very effective as a pain killer but it did give me terrible and frightening hallucinations. I can't help feeling that there must be an alternative that would be better for people like me but prescribing morphine seems to be the medial default.

harrigran Thu 08-Sep-11 10:40:04

I know what you mean about hallucinations absent, when my father was in a hospice they routinely gave him morphine despite protestations that he was not in pain. The result of the drugs was that he kept seeing soldiers in uniform crouching down by beds and hiding behind lockers. My father did not realise we could not see them and kept saying "did you see that" and pointing.

nannysgetpaid Wed 14-Sep-11 16:06:00

Just a bit of good news. Our son is now recovering well and back at work. He is still on Tramadol but with the help of a very supportive GP is seeing light at the end of the tunnel. His GP has agreed that if they had read his notes and listened to us none of this would have happened, but says that they are working on systems to prevent this happening in the future. I hope so. We also had a lot of advice from CITA, a charity dealing with addiction to painkillers. Life is getting back to whatever passes for normal!!!!!!

absentgrana Wed 14-Sep-11 16:09:20

nannysgetpaid That sounds like good news. I hope that your son's recovery continues and that the CITA or some other organisation can make sure that such damaging prescribing doesn't happen again.

JessM Wed 14-Sep-11 16:24:39

Just read through this thread. And there I was thinking that doctors were nervous about prescribing morphine because it was addictive! Obviously not all of them.

grannyactivist Wed 14-Sep-11 16:39:55

ngp Good on you for persevering with the medical profession. It can be very hard to get them to listen to relatives/carers who are very often the people who are closest to the patient and can see the wider picture. I'm so glad to hear that things have progressed and there is real improvement in your son's situation. There really ought to be a 'pat on the back' emoticon - I'd give you one.

nannysgetpaid Wed 14-Sep-11 16:44:16

JessM They do it a lot. Apparently the aim is to deal with the pain and worry about everything else afterwards. Problem is nobody deals with the "afterwards".

nannysgetpaid Wed 14-Sep-11 16:54:48

Thanks grannyactivist but after reading the hero's thread I would say if anyone deserves a pat on the back it is you.

JessM Wed 14-Sep-11 16:54:57

That is true grannyactivist. and I second your sentiments.