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GP’s prescriptions for back pain led to Codeine addiction

Continued prescriptions of Codeine based medications result in clients addiction.

Home » Why BMcF? » Case Studies » GP’s prescriptions for back pain led to Codeine addiction
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The Claimant attended his GP practice in October 2001 complaining of back pain following an accident at work.  As the symptoms persisted, the Claimant returned to his GP and was prescribed Codeine in April 2003. 

In September 2003 the Claimant was noted by the GP to be taking more codeine based medication that he should do.  Despite this it continued to be prescribed. 

In February and July 2005 concerns were raised regarding a possible addiction to codeine, however, this continued to be prescribed.

In October 2006 the Claimant expressed concern to his GP that he wanted to withdraw slowly from Dihydrocodeine.  However, the prescriptions continued to be issued.

By mid 2008, the Claimant and his GP’s acknowledged that he should be weaned off the Dihydrocodeine.  However, the prescriptions continued to be issued.

The Claimant attended his GP in July 2010 and acknowledged that he was suffering from an addiction to codeine based medications and requested help for this.  A referral was made for assistance with the addiction.  Notwithstanding this, further prescriptions continued to be issued. By September 2010 the Claimant was complaining of abdominal pain related to the overuse of the medication. 

During 2010, the Claimant did lose his job due to his irritability, poor timekeeping and his general demeanour, all a consequence of his dependence upon and addiction to codeine based medication.

The Claimant managed to wean himself off the medication during 2010 and 2011, during which time he experienced a difficult ‘cold turkey’ period.  

Furthermore, in view of the fact the Claimant has been addicted to an opiate, the is at risk of recommencing his addiction should he ever need to take any such medication in the future, and if the Claimant requires significant hospital or operative treatments in the future, there would be difficulties in managing his pain and in prescribing appropriate analgesia. 

A settlement was negotiated with the representatives of the prescribing GP’s and £20,000 was awarded to our client.

 

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