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Could i get addicted to co codamol

(20 Posts)
aprilsdelight Fri 14-Apr-17 16:46:51

I get quite bad shoulder pain which comes and goes. I've been prescribed co codamol for the pain. Some days i'll try not to take any, mainly through fear of getting addicted. But most days won't take more than 4 in a day. Would this be enough to get me addicted?

Afreshstartplease Fri 14-Apr-17 16:49:48

I think so if you take them all the time

worriedme04 Fri 14-Apr-17 19:11:18

I was prescribed this when I had almost constant stomach and back pain..Doc told me not to worry as I would not become addicted!?!

Chelsea26 Fri 14-Apr-17 19:19:57

You can become addicted but I think it takes some time. I took at least 6 daily for over a year before I had spinal surgery and they were really concerned that I would be addicted and had developed a programme to wean me off. It turned out I wasn't addicted so I just stopped taking them after my op.

I think you are being sensible to listen to you body, don't take them automatically but do take them if you need them - no point in suffering oldie something that might not happen

Chelsea26 Fri 14-Apr-17 19:20:10


DancingLedge Fri 14-Apr-17 19:29:30

Codeine is transformed to morphine in your liver.Different people can produce different amounts of morphine. Morphine is a very addictive opiate.

Codeine can cause addiction if you take it continuously for more than 3 days. Well worth advoiding. So never more than 3 days on the trot is so worth doing, even if the fourth day is pretty crap.

I 'm unsure whether taking half the maximum dose, which you are, would make any difference to addiction . You could ask a pharmacist.

DubiousCredentials Sat 15-Apr-17 14:03:47

I have taken co-codamol for well over three days on the trot without ever feeling like I was addicted. When I no longer needed the pain relief, I stopped taking them and that was that.

I think it depends on the individual and how their body responds.

I would take Chelsea's advice and take them if you need them but not if you can manage without.

FannyWisdom Sat 15-Apr-17 14:08:52

If you are worried ask the doc for alternative pain meds to alternate with the codeine.

Ask for paracetamol and codeine in separate pills so you can make the codeine the exception.
Are Nsaids ok for you?

Leavemewithyoutonight Sun 16-Apr-17 08:04:46

I think it's the paracetamol that does the damage once you're addicted to co-codamol and its the codeine part gets you addicted, as a pp said better to take them separately if you're worried and only take codeine when really needed.

Pollydonia Sun 16-Apr-17 08:11:08

I think that it is possible , I'm on 30/500 for chronic pain and am written up for 8 but I take the lowest amount I can manage on. Every few months I try to do a weekend off them ( easyer if I'm not working ). I've been on them for over 12 months & my gp when asked said that he would only be concerned if I was getting my repeat prescriptions too frequently for me to be keeping to the prescribed dose.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Sun 16-Apr-17 08:14:48

From personal experience- yes you can, although I believe the effervescent ones are more addictive (?).

Was addicted to soluble solpadeine for years, taking the maximum dosage daily. blush

Iris65 Sun 16-Apr-17 08:15:08

I have taken co-codamol for well over three days on the trot without ever feeling like I was addicted. When I no longer needed the pain relief, I stopped taking them and that was that. I think it depends on the individual and how their body responds.
This was my experience too.
My GP laughed when I told her I was concerned about over the counter co-codamol as the dose is very small (8mg) which is @half the standard dose prescribed.
There is a syndrome where people get rebound headaches if they regularly take any painkillers for headaches though.

twattymctwatterson Sun 16-Apr-17 08:22:17

I've been taking codeine now since 2013 for Fibromyalgia. It's physically addictive and if I stop taking them I go through the symptoms of withdrawal which include cold like symptoms and stomach cramps. They aren't too severe though and I don't have the psychological symptoms of addiction so it's easy enough for me to stop. The only issue is that I then need to start taking them again when I have a pain flare

Fairylea Sun 16-Apr-17 08:25:53

I think it depends if you have an addictive personality too. I have taken them on and off for several years, for about 4-6 weeks at a time max dose for shoulder problems and never had a problem stopping. My mum however struggles to stop taking them after she's been on them for just 3 days.

Borntoflyinfirst Sun 16-Apr-17 08:28:08

I took co-codamol to help ease toothache pain whilst on holiday for a week. When I got home and went to the dentist I obviously stopped taking it. I got really bad headaches for about a week which I was told was due to not taking co-codamol. I guess that's where the addiction would have come in - it would've been easy to just pop more pills for the headaches.

RoganJosh Sun 16-Apr-17 08:33:52

As an alternative, does diclofenac (voltarol) help at all for the days you don't take it?

aprilsdelight Sun 16-Apr-17 12:14:38

I've not tried anything else except ibruprofen which didn't agree with me. Thanks everyone.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 16-Apr-17 12:16:22

I took it for a week on 3 different occasions and didn't get addicted. I just stop using it when the pain didn't require it.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 16-Apr-17 12:18:27

I find that when I'm in severe pain I feel normal on co-codemol. If I take it when pain is not so bad it makes me feel off my face and sleepy and I don't like that.

So I think it's quite personal. You need to be careful and aware but I can't see the benefit in not taking the pain relief when you need it.

Adarajames Sun 16-Apr-17 22:00:09

Ive been prescribed the higher 30/500 4 times a day for more than a decade, although generally haven't taken it to that extent. Have a disc injury in my neck now to add to ongoing disabilities (the joy!) and so have taken it pretty much at that max dose for last 7 or so weeks, Dr was more concerned about the diazepam he was also prescribing for a few weeks at a time. Having said all that, yes you can bone addicted / need more for same effect, but frankly without it at present I couldn't begin to function so I have to take that risk

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