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Codeine - newly prescribed

(17 Posts)
Asleeponasunbeam Wed 08-Jul-15 03:40:23

I don't understand how to take it. I assumed it would makes pain go away and I'd sleep tonight. But I've woken with the pain (in my leg - unexplained) still there and now can't sleep. Prescription says 'up to 4 tablets, 4 x a day'. I don't know whether to take them when it hurts or at regular intervals to keep it away.

WiIdfire Wed 08-Jul-15 03:45:33

You can do either - take it when you need it up to 4 times, or take it regularly. If it isnt working yet, try taking one every 6 hours tomorrow as it will work better once you get on top of the pain rather than waiting for it to be bad. Don't forget you can take Paracetamol and Ibuprofen along side the codeine - the combined effect is better than each individually. (Provided you arent allergic etc etc)

WiIdfire Wed 08-Jul-15 03:47:29

PS you havent said the dose, but I wouldnt take all 4 tablets together at any point, that could be dangerous. Stick to one dose at a time.

CrispyFern Wed 08-Jul-15 03:50:14

Take it with paracetamol or codeine doesn't really do enough, I found.
Hope you feel better soon.

mugglingalong Wed 08-Jul-15 03:52:13

Is it just codine or is it codine and paracetamol? Usually I have been prescribed the latter. You need to treat it as paracetamol, spread the dose out over the day. It will take a day or so to build up in your body so take at regular intervals but it can be quite effective. Don't drive with it, don't take anything else with paracetamol but I have been told that I can have ibuprofen.

mugglingalong Wed 08-Jul-15 03:55:29

Obviously you can take paracetamol if it is just codine, but if it already has paracetamol in then don't. If in doubt check with pharmacy in the morning.

fearandloathinginambridge Wed 08-Jul-15 10:29:08

I also find that codeine doesn't help much with pain. It makes me feel muzzy but beneath that muzziness I can still feel the pain. Eventually, the muzziness stopped and it just gave me a bad tummy ache.

I suppose everybody is different but I find the best pain relief comes from a combo of paracetamol and ibuprofen taken together. I have been given that for dental pain and post surgical pain. Obviously speak to your GP before taking that combo because not everybody gets on with ibuprofen/NSAIDS.

CainInThePunting Wed 08-Jul-15 10:40:37

What mg is your prescription? Does it include Paracetamol?
Agree it should be with paracetamol but be careful if your tablets have paracetamol in.
The leaflet with your prescription should say what dose/ingredients it is.
I would suggest you take it regularly rather than as and when but start at the lowest amount and increase if needed.

gamerchick Wed 08-Jul-15 10:42:12

What exactly is the prescription?

NotCitrus Wed 08-Jul-15 11:26:23

If one tablet doesn't get you to sleep, try 2 at once. If they don't have paracetamol included, take 2 paracetamol at the same time.

One 15mg codeine tablet plus paracetamol is the same as what you can get over the counter (2x 8mg codiene/500mg paracetamol), so given you've been prescribed it, you're likely to need more than that (though watch out if you have 30mg tablets!)

hedwig2001 Wed 08-Jul-15 11:42:12

Just be aware that Codeine causes constipation. Make sure you drink plenty of water and increase your fibre intake.

Asleeponasunbeam Wed 08-Jul-15 20:49:48

Thanks for all the posts.

Each tablet is 15mg. I took two before bedtime last night, but woke up in the early hours with a lot of pain. I was worried to take two more in case I slept too much, so only took one then but it didn't help.

I didn't dare take any during the day because of the driving warnings.

Tonight I'll try two with paracetamol.

MountainDweller Thu 09-Jul-15 11:12:28

Codeine will wear off after about 4-6 hours, whatever the dose, so that's why you're waking up in pain. You could ask your dr to prescribe a slow release version which should work for 8-12 hours, so you can sleep through the night. If you are in pain all the time slow release medication is better, as basically you are keep the pain under control rather than constantly chasing it.

InquisitiveDad Thu 09-Jul-15 15:04:43

I've been on this dose for years, but tend to save it all up for evening/night and take two at 7pm then two before bed. It certainly helps me sleep through pain, and to sleep deeper than normally. I too use paracetamol and ibuprofen (AND aspirin!) in combination when needed, but it's not a great idea.

MatildaTheCat Thu 09-Jul-15 19:29:52

Leg pain can be nerve related and responds well to amitriptyline which is taken at night and can help both sleep and pain. If this persists perhaps ask your GP if you can try it. Start on a low dose and increase slowly.

Asleeponasunbeam Thu 09-Jul-15 21:12:07

Thanks. I can't take amitriptyline as I can't wake up after it. I may try another nerve medication. I'm going to see a physio next week.

unweavedrainbow Thu 09-Jul-15 22:01:28

If amitriptyline doesn't work, try gabapentin. It's often better tolerated. If there's any chance that the pain is caused by inflammation/inflammatory response then ask for Naproxen. People often find it works better than ibuprofen but make sure to ask for a stomach protector (PPI) too. As for the codeine, try to build up a round the clock painkiller regime-pain should always be prevented rather than cured. I would try 1 every 4 hours with paracetamol and go from there. You can always up it to a max of 60mg every 4 hours with GP support, of course. If the codeine isn't working or you don't like the side effects then you can always ask for tramadol. Some people find it works better than codeine with fewer side effects (although tramadol can be iffy for psychiatric side effects). Gabapentin, naproxen, codeine/tramadol and paracetamol can all be taken alongside each other for a decent painkilling regime. Good luck with the physio and I hope that someone works out what's causing your leg pain flowers

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