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Drug ban is crazy

The ban on co-proxamol is indeed totally unjustified (News, 18 January).

Many of my patients, usually elderly, who take it for osteoarthritis, swear by it and how good it is for their pain when paracetamol is not enough.

Co-proxamol seems to be well-tolerated for years and these patients are desperate to get some to relieve their pain – especially as there is no safer alternative for it.

What are the alternatives if paracetamol is not enough? Co-dydramol or co-codamol are not well tolerated by our elderly patients because they cause dreadful side-effects, including constipation and drowsiness, leading to dangerous falls.

I am not sure about Tramacet as it does not seem to be as effective and causes side-effects too. And we all know the risks of NSAIDs, especially in the elderly.

The argument that co-proxamol can be dangerous for committing suicide is totally unacceptable. Would we ban the kitchen knife too?

Dr Riadh Dawood, GP and clinical assistant in dermatology and gastroenterology, Pinner, Middlesex

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