Fife pharmacy helps cut opioid use with pain clinic project
Scottish Pharmacy Awards winner Cadham Pharmacy Health Centre introduced its pain clinic 12 months ago after owner and head pharmacist Bernadette Brown grew increasingly concerned about the problems caused by long-term opioid use.
She said: “Over the years, we have seen a big increase in the numbers of people prescribed opioids.
“Due to the unpleasant side-effects and the problems with addiction, I wanted to offer my patients a safe and effective alternative. I believe it is our responsibility as pharmacists to realise that painkillers might not always be the best solution for the long-term management of chronic pain.”
One of those to benefit from the scheme is Bernadette’s 35-year-old niece Chantelle McCabe, from Buckingham, who attended the clinic in July, after struggling with the side-effects of opiates to manage her rheumatoid arthritis. Since she started using the technology, she has been able to reduce her medication by 85 per cent
She said: “I was taking such high doses of opiates, I was constantly tired, had bad headaches and I would come in from work and go straight to bed. I was struggling to walk and unable to work at times and I thought I would have to give up my job.
“My pain is now much more manageable and I feel a lot more positive about the future.”
The pharmacy is one of three in Scotland taking part.
The self-referral scheme is for patients who want to better manage their pain and condition.
The sessions involve a consultation about current medication and an opportunity to use the NuroKor bioelectric nerve stimulation technology. The wearable devices use electrical currents to manage pain, regenerate and repair and reduce inflammation and recovery time.
Since the service launched in October 2019, the network has provided over 300 consultations using NuroKor’s technology, to patients struggling to cope with both their pain and the side-effects of opioids.
The bioelectric devices have an extremely high success rate, with 93 per cent of patients able to reduce their opioid doses by as much as 85 per cent, as well as radically improved healing times and increased muscle strengthening. Currently the devices have to be bought if patients want to continue to use them after the free trial.