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Can you help with a research study about codeine painkillers?

(13 Posts)
AKimer Wed 19-Aug-15 16:40:54

Hi there,

Codeine is a widely used painkiller and cough syrup which brings relief to people in pain. Unfortunately there is a downside too, as many experience problems when taking codeine and find that their use is difficult to manage.

My name is Andreas and I’m a researcher at the National Addiction Centre, King’s College London. I’m looking for people who have taken codeine in the last 3 months to complete an online survey. This will take about 15-25 minutes of your time. I’m interested in the use of all types of codeine medication, tablets and syrups, whether you have gotten them from a doctor, ‘over the counter’ or in some other way. Taking part is confidential and anonymous. You must be at least 18 to participate.

Perhaps you take codeine regularly and would like to take part in the study, or maybe you know someone you could show this to. In either case, I’m grateful for your time. The results of the study will help those who use codeine. If you are interested in participating please click here to find out more and complete the survey:

If you would like to know more about the study please get in touch at:


AKimer Mon 12-Oct-15 14:07:34

Thanks to those of you who have already completed the survey. Your participation is greatly appreciated! The survey is still open for recruitment for those who have not yet completed it.


Ethelswith Mon 12-Oct-15 18:03:57


But a bit disappointed there was no question about why you use codeine tablets. For me, it's effective relief of severe menstrual cramps (I have adenomyosis). So max use one to three days a month, but nothing aside from that.

AKimer Mon 12-Oct-15 19:16:08

Thank you Ethelswith for completing the survey. It’s greatly appreciated! If you tick ‘Other’ under Question 9 (reasons for taking codeine) a text box will appear which allows you to explain in details exactly why you use codeine. I will make this more clear in the survey so others will find it more easily. Thanks very much for your valuable input!


KissMyFatArse Mon 12-Oct-15 19:28:50


Ethelswith Mon 12-Oct-15 19:52:15

I used the box 'for pain' - which didn't give an option of what sort of pain.

AKimer Wed 18-Nov-15 14:15:32

The survey is still open for recruitment.

Thank you,


AKimer Thu 07-Jan-16 10:39:35

Survey open until the 15th January.


Loveleopardprint Thu 07-Jan-16 10:51:29

I am interested to know what percentage of the population is allergic to codeine? I am allergic to it which makes things difficult when having surgery and needing pain relief afterwards. I know you didn't ask for general questions, sorry, but would be interested in your thoughts on alternatives?

Akire Thu 07-Jan-16 10:54:19

Did it but left me feeling like some sort drug addict! Bad enough buying codeine as it is because it's assumed you are up to no good! When in reality only a small percentage of people have a problem with that's why rest of us feel like have to go to different chemists incase we are seen buying a box every couple months from same shop!

AKimer Thu 07-Jan-16 11:15:56

Dear Akire

Thanks for completing the survey. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t feel like it was a good experience. The questionnaire is designed to collect data on all aspects of codeine use. It may very well be that a majority of the participants in the survey have no problems with taking this medicine, in which case this finding will be reported. What I’m trying to say is that there is no agenda behind the study, yet sometimes you have to ask these questions to know. I hope this makes you feel more at ease.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss this issue further please let me know. You can contact me on the following e-mail:

All the best, Andreas

AKimer Thu 07-Jan-16 12:39:05

Dear Loveleopardprint,

Thanks for your interest in the study.

As far as I’m aware there isn’t any precise data on the number of people who are allergic to codeine. We know from published case reports that it is a problem for some and it has also been reported as a side effect to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency—although these reports are rare.

My advice would be to see your GP and have a talk about your problems of finding adequate pain relief. Perhaps seeing a pain specialist might be an option.

Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

All the best, Andreas

GreenTomatoJam Thu 07-Jan-16 13:05:14

Wow, that escalated quickly..

Personally I just use it about 1 day a month if my periods are hurting, and very occasionally if I have a stubborn headache (outside of the other two times in my life when I had a tooth abscess, and a sinus infection - which is when I learned that works so much better than paracetamol alone).

Never felt any kind of high from it, but then I didn't get anything from the morphine I was given when I was in labour, so perhaps it just doesn't work that way on me.

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