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tramadol in pregnancy

(17 Posts)
Sewingbeatshousework Mon 14-Nov-16 13:45:26

I'm not quite 4weeks yet so v early days. Was not ttc, I've been On tramadol for years due to back pain, I saw GP this morning who has halved my dose and wants to phase it out completely ASAP.

The worry is that I will not be able to cope with the pain - she never recommended any alternives but there must be.

Has anyone else been through similar? I took co-codanol during my last pregnancy, but only during the 2nd trimester. I'm back at GP in 2 days once pregnancy is confirmed their end.

HughLauriesStubble Tue 15-Nov-16 05:32:44

I was in a similar situation to you on all my pregnancies and unfortunately, I just had to put up with it and adjust my lifestyle for the 9 months. I'm in Ireland where they don't even recommend co-codamol during pregnancy anymore, except on an extremely short term basis.

Depending on where your pain comes from, you might find a back support belt helps. That and plenty of ice/heat and sitting on an exercise ball. In my first 2 pregnancies, there wasnt much change to my normal back pain at all. However, this time I've suffered spd from 16 weeks and managed with the support belt and ice packs.

thisisbloodyridiculous Tue 15-Nov-16 05:59:40

I'm currently 32 weeks and suffer with chronic pain. I usually have naproxen and a very strong opioid painkiller which I had to come off before TTC. Obviously ibuprofen based drugs are off the table whilst pregnant so no naproxen since I got my BFP. I've been coping with over the counter cocodamol but I have stronger dosage tablets prescribed as and when I need them.

Managing my pain whilst pregnant is by far the biggest challenge for me but at least it's time limited and the pain is for a purpose!

ManaFleet Tue 15-Nov-16 07:03:50


I have a long term back injury and was very worried about it all. I had a pain management meeting early on in my pregnancy. We all agreed that it was paramount to stay relatively pain-free in order to stay active and therefore have a healthy and happy pregnancy.

I stayed on my core medication throughout: codeine phosphate & paracetamol 30:500. I've always taken tramadol and diazepam as / when needed (though I loathe tramadol and avoid it if I can) but ditched them as soon as I found out I was pregnant. Foetal heartbeat and movement were monitored very closely throughout pregnancy and found to be completely normal. Switched to dihydracodeine & separate paracetamol as soon as DS was born as it is much less likely to be carried over whilst breastfeeding.

For me, being active and having manageable pain was and is crucial. There was a slight chance that DS would be born 'sleepy' but he was fine.

Good luck.

Sewingbeatshousework Tue 15-Nov-16 10:56:04

Thank you all, I was worried halving my dose would result in some withdrawal (I was on 400mg a day) but Im ok so far. As well as 2 dc (nearly 8&10) I also have a whole heap of animals - guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, hamsters etc & im their only 'carer', - apart from cats DH will see to their litter tray etc - they are like my babies so I'm really hoping my pain is controllable so I can continue to see to them. I'm also 4 miles from DC school so being able to drive is crucial.

It was a bit of an emotional, panicked GP visit so I left with loads of unanswered questions in my haste to compose myself, I'll write a list to take in the morning 😊

moobeana Tue 15-Nov-16 12:07:38

I further suggestions on cocodamol 30:500. They were my got to in pregnancy. I had to limit them in 3rd trimester, but it got me through the bulk of the pregnancy,.

Good luck!

Sewingbeatshousework Tue 15-Nov-16 18:38:11

We're you's taking the co-codamil in the first trimester? That seems to be a grey area.

thisisbloodyridiculous Tue 15-Nov-16 20:43:06

Yes throughout

moobeana Tue 15-Nov-16 20:48:58

Yes, my doctors were more concerned about baby being born addicted so I had to wean down in third trimester. There as little concern about first trimester. It 'has very little probability of causing developmental issues'.

I have arthritis which I was off all meds for during pregnancy. I was allowed steroid injections and to use strongest cocodamol. I was advised to keep a diary of how often as the baby would likely need to be monitored after birth. Thankfully the steroid injection made the pain bearable for the most part and I rarely took the cocodamol so baby was fine when she came.
You will probably have to see a specialist during pregnancy if you require strong pain killers

Jodie1982 Tue 15-Nov-16 23:39:41

I suffer Degenerative Disc disease and am having to really suffer with grinning n baring it. Co-codamol don't even touch it, plus docs don't like me taking it too often as baby can suffer withdrawals once born. I was on Solpadol. Naproxen. Gabapentin before falling and stopped straight away. It's agonising. 😣

Sewingbeatshousework Wed 16-Nov-16 14:48:38

Saw GP this morning, that's my switched to co-codamol 30/500 which I'll take as little as I can of, although I will need it at least once a day.

So sorry to hear that Jodie 😖, I really hope co-codamol takes the edge off, although I still suffered greatly when I was on 500mg+ of tramadol so we'll see.

Roomba Wed 16-Nov-16 15:05:04

It sucks that there's nothing other than paracetamol or very occasional cocodamol that can be taken safely. I was in agony with back pain during my first pregnancy and just had to grit my teeth, am shuddering at the memory of it!

During my second pregnancy I was on morphine all the way through purely because I only found out I was pregnant very late on. It was decided that stopping it had a high risk of miscarriage at that stage, so I continued until birth. I had to stay in for 3 days for DS to be monitored for signs of withdrawal (I was mortified as I thought they'd think I was a drug addict but they couldn't have been lovelier). Thankfully DS was absolutely fine.

Opiates are safe in that they don't cause birth defects as such, but they can cause suppressed breathing in newborns, plus they can be physically dependent if you're on a high dose. So it is better to wean off now, and request referral to a physio asap.

Sewingbeatshousework Wed 16-Nov-16 18:50:45

I've been on opiates for 8 years and have a high tolerance to drugs so not going to get addicted to them, I am dependant on them but that's different.

Basically me and DH have agreed that if I'm (really really) struggling over the next 2 weeks on co codamol, then it's too much of a health issue to continue with the pregnancy 😞

Guess I've to keep my fingers and toes crossed I can manage ok.

I totally know what you mean about worrying they thought you were a drug user, I'd be the same although this must be very common. I'm also in talks with someone about Bowen technique which I hadn't heard of previously.

KidFears Wed 16-Nov-16 19:16:11

Sewing, I can't believe you are possibly considering termination. Please, please do your research first. (Assuming this is a wanted pregnancy, of course.) There is no reason you can't carry a healthy pregnancy to term while using opiate painkillers. If your pain is that bad that you can't manage without them, you won't be able to exercise, eat well, and do all of the other things you should during pregnancy. You will need extra monitoring and yes, it is possible that your baby could be born dependent. But if all you're on is tramadol it's frankly not likely. My sister suffers from chronic pain and she was on much stronger opiates when she got pregnant. She saw a specialist obstetrician who changed her medications a bit and helped her lower the dosages as much as possible, but she was still on hydrocodone 3-4 times a day from conception through birth. The baby was healthy and perfect. They did watch him closely for signs of withdrawal but none came. My sister wasn't able to BF long because she had to go back on her heavier meds, but that was a small thing in the scheme of things. Five years on the baby is a healthy, happy, and brilliant boy. And I'm not just saying that because he's my nephew. He's genuinely a very very bright child, friendly and social, and he rarely even gets sick. Obviously this is anecdotal but the research supports what I'm saying. Don't cheat yourself out of a baby when you don't have to.

Sewingbeatshousework Wed 16-Nov-16 21:28:48

No we were not trying to conceive. With my pain getting pregnant was not an option, DH is on wait list for vasectomy. But against the odds it happened - However if my pain wasn't an issue it would be a completely different story.

I can't excersise unfortunately (well I can walk 1/2 mile maybe once a week before having to rest and take painkillers) and there are a lot of other things I can't do 😖 The only thing I haven't been on yet in the last 8 year is morphine, which they refuse to prescribe me because of my age (don't want me on it long term as it will lose its effectiveness and I might not be able to function properly for my DC sake).

Research has nothing to do with this unfortunately, ultimately my health (as selfish as it sounds) has to come first. If my pain is too great to allow me my limited function at 6wks then I will not manage another 7-8 months, then caring for 3dc.

Of course I will continue with the pregnancy unless there is no other option and the decision won't be taken lightly, but I'm dong everything I can to make my pain as bearable as possible, my GP is also looking into pain management for me, so trying to stay positive at the moment.

Sewingbeatshousework Wed 16-Nov-16 22:20:04

Apologies if the above seems like i'm jumping to defend myself (always reads different once it's posted!) - I'm sleepy sore & hormonal but take on board what you're saying 😊

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