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painkillers - how often do you take them and what do you take?

(23 Posts)
peanutbrittle Wed 10-Jun-09 10:08:29

I get a lot of headaches , not sure if they are migraines, possible stress/tension related. The only thing that seems to work is Nurofen Plus which has codeine and ibuprofen in. I know Codeine is addictive and so really try hard to limit my intake, I'll often live through a day with a rotten headache without taking any and feel foul. But if I need to do anything, go anywhere, (be civil grin) I need to take two. Normally just two will do it and the headache will abate. Though sometimes not so then I just muddle through and get to bed as quickly as I can. I never take two lots. I've now realised that ibuprofen can also damage the lining of your stomach so am getting even more anxious about taking these.

To put it in context, I probably end up taking a lot of two tabs twice a week, three times in a bad week.

Is this way above the norm?

peanutbrittle Wed 10-Jun-09 12:02:19

have just taken two for period pain - couldn't take it anymore...

am I the only painkiller user on here???

12StoneNeedsToBe10 Wed 10-Jun-09 12:04:23

I do take painkillers but usually the cheap and cheerful paracetamol only.
To be honest with you, it seems you have way too many headaches in such a short space of time. Have you thought about getting yourself checked out at your doctor's?

peanutbrittle Wed 10-Jun-09 12:38:34

hmm, yes, the pharmacist this morning said something similar - I just thought some people were unfortunate enough to get this level of headache

I've radically altered my diet and almost totally cut out booze in an attempt to see was it diet/alcohol related and perhaps they have lessened but not by much

mistlethrush Wed 10-Jun-09 12:42:02

peanut - my mother used to get migrains until she cut out meat - which is quite shock that it can have such a big effect - and that you may be on the right path.

If you are having ibuprofen I think that the advice is that you don't have them on an empty stomach.

I'm having to do wtihout any pain relief at the mo. as recently become allergic to everything - and a headache is better than having to go to A&E and get admitted for 6 hrs then feel really rough for a week! grin

peanutbrittle Wed 10-Jun-09 12:45:35

aaah, meat - didn't think of that, though I don't eat much of it...would make sense though with stuff animals are pumped with, though I normally eat organic when I do so you'd hope less crap in there...hmm, might knock that out she ok with fish?

I am sorry to hear about your allergies, that sounds super grim shock sad

seaside72 Wed 10-Jun-09 12:47:11

Perhaps try seeing an osteopath or acupuncturist? I am an alternative therapy convert grin I was a real over the counter pill popper in my late teens and 20's - I used to suffer terrible migraines and headaches but now see an sacro-cranial osteopath and have acupuncture occasionally and rarely get headaches anymore or take any painkillers

Interestingly one of the first osteopaths I saw when I lived in London had a theory about pain killers that enenntually your body learns to either ignore them (they are no longer effective) or worse it associates the drug with the pain so in effect causes or at least prolongs the pain you are trying to get rid of iykwim.

If I were you I would def try getting yourself checked out.

peanutbrittle Wed 10-Jun-09 12:53:52

that's interesting seaside - I am a bif believer in natural therapies (which is partly why I feel so uncomfortabel taking these I guess) and have been to countless oeteopaths/acupunctursts etc over the years, but never for my headaches . problems with my back and hips. That is a great idea. Why i didn't think of it I know not, I guess cause I have always been a headache sufferer and so just took it as a given, although obviously not so much as have been doing the diet thing lately

thanks, worth a try

AMumInScotland Wed 10-Jun-09 12:59:22

Possibly a daft question, but have you had your eyes tested recently? Needing glasses can be a cause of headaches for a lot of people.

pagwatch Wed 10-Jun-09 13:03:42

A couple of things
get eyes checked, monitor computer use, check for neck or back problems.
Also keep a food diary and write down everything you eat looking for 'triggers' in your diet - that is a better way to identify problem food than just excluding things. Make sure you are drinking enough water.

I developed migraine last year and didn't realise as my first symptom was nausea and vomitting ratherthan a headache.

Cutting right down on caffine and watching my sleep and my stress has cut them down to nothing. I also go to bed in a dark room as soon as I can when I have a symptom. I rarely take tablets as I don't like to. I think they become a habit really quickly

mistlethrush Wed 10-Jun-09 13:03:54

Peanut - just before she gave up she wasn't eating that much meat anyway. No, she doesn't eat fish either. That's not to say, however, that she couldn't, but the 'alternative therapist' that suggested a vegetarian diet said no meat or fish, and she tried that.

I also like alternatives - I love goign to accupuncture and quite often go to sleep on the couch during treatment shockblushgrin!!!

peanutbrittle Wed 10-Jun-09 13:04:02

ooh - DH keeps going on about the eyes too - ok, will organise eye test, is years since I had one. Thanks

[must start making a list of things to do as suggested by MN - these are great, common sense ideas smile]

peanutbrittle Wed 10-Jun-09 13:08:01

yes, am about to download headcahe diary from a site recommended in this book on dealing with migraines I got out of library

I do get VERY tense neck from computer work
have cut way down on caffeine, no tea or coffee now (thought I cheated this am and had half a cup of coffee as the period pains were so grm and I really fancied one) though I do drink some green tea everday which I know does have caffeine. I drink it with my dinner instead of wine though as it still feels like a treat

the eyes are next

interesting MT that your mum found a difference even though she was already eating little - perhaps I should give it a go

smultronstallet Wed 10-Jun-09 13:14:49

The other thing to consider is that you're getting mildly addicted to the codeine and the headaches are to do with codeine withdrawal...feeling awful all day with a foul headache that is relieved by 2 nurofen plus and nothing else could be seen as the beginning of a mild addiction.

It's no biggy, how about just trying to get through the week without taking any at all and see if next week is better.

Of course, I don't know your patterns so it could easily not be this and be attributable to migraine triggers, but it is worth thinking about.

Sorry if I've been a bit blunt. Have experience of addiction issues so will probably err on the side of overzealous scaremongering caution.

Good luck with the headaches in any case - could it be cluster headaches (frequent but sporadic headaches of moderate to severe severity with no attributable cause)?

Castiel Wed 10-Jun-09 13:16:19

DH gets migraines and after years of trying every medication and painkiller available, a German doctor recommended soluble aspirin. Each mouthful held in his mouth for a few minutes to help absorb through the cheeks and get straight to work. Taken quickly enough it's brill. He found that lack of sleep and dehydration coupled with caffeine intake were the worst triggers. Ironically, the only migraine specific medicine he's ever tried that works for him has quite a lot of caffeine in it.

I get two headaches a month, one when I ovulate, one the day before my period (my Mum was exactly the same except her headaches were migraines and she'd be in bed for 3 days). I have a cream you put on your temples that an MNer sent me which helps a lot. If it's really bad I take a couple of paracetamol and have a snooze but the headache only lasts about 8 hours max so I know that a good night's sleep will see it off.

peanutbrittle Wed 10-Jun-09 13:24:43

ha ha smultronstallet (name? where? from?) - that is exactly what I have been worrying about with the Nurofen Plus - I KNOW codeine is addictive. Ok, will pick a non-stressed week (ha, what's that) and try to make it through without...

castiel - your story is v interesting - how odd (though not at all probably) that you and your mum hav ethe same pattern. I've never noticed any link with my cycle. I do have some ot that 4head stuff and yesterday used lots of that instead. The headache was still there, but not in absolute raging must take painkillers NOW kind of way

girlandboy Wed 10-Jun-09 13:25:09

Make sure that you're not getting rebound headaches which ironically can happen if you take regular painkillers.

I've discovered a wonderful nasal spray that has just about knocked my migraines/chronic daily headache on the head (so to speak grin).

It's called Sinol and I buy it online from here, a place called Allergy Liberation

I was taking strong painkillers and prescription drugs called sumatriptans. The sumatriptan worked very well, but made me go numb down my left side, (which was scary). But I was needing about 2 per week which wasn't good. Since using the spray, I have only taken 1 sumatriptan in 11 weeks, and although the migraines haven't completely gone, I can get by just on paracetamol and the spray.

Anyway, the spray is a homeopathic remedy and very safe. Maybe worth a go. I think it's fab and this has reminded me to order some more.

Castiel Wed 10-Jun-09 13:32:33

This is the stuff the Mner sent to me. It does nothing for a headache but I find it helps me unwind and this makes a huge difference.

My Mum had terrible migraines. Days in bed unable to open her eyes or stop vomiting. She had a hysterectomy a few years ago due to fibroids and she hasn't had a migraine since.

peanutbrittle Wed 10-Jun-09 13:40:11

have ordered the sinol - sounds amazing - definately worth a go - thanks

will check out that origins thing tomorrow - have an origins near me that have been looking for excuse to enter grin

oh so much thanks you lovely people - I feel far less alone in my pit of headache hell and like I have some good positive (non codeine based) things to try now

girlandboy Wed 10-Jun-09 13:44:13

The Sinol has got a bit of a "kick" to it! It's a pepper spray (like chilli peppers) and for some reason it makes the top of my head itch for a couple of seconds.

Brace yourself...................grin

peanutbrittle Wed 10-Jun-09 13:52:48

ooo er sounds scarey, on reflection maybe will stick with the codeine for the headaches and add the sinol to my dinner grin

girlandboy Wed 10-Jun-09 13:56:23

Oh go on, you know you want to!

My dd (nearly 14) tried it last week for a headache and although it made her a bit "dithery" for a few seconds, the headache was gone in 5 minutes.

Now if she can do it.......................wink

peanutbrittle Wed 10-Jun-09 19:49:24

wow! ok. I will do it. (can't believe have just signed up to sniff chilli peppers up my nose in a bid to avoid headaches...if this isn't alternative therapy...)

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