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7 replies

WhimHoff · 07/07/2023 19:46

I’ve been prescribed codeine to use “when needed”, I’m trying to be safe with it and whilst “don’t take for more than 3 days in a row” is widely reported, I can’t find a figure for how long to leave it between those 3 days.

For instance can I take it for 2 days have a break of 1/2/3 days and then do a couple of days?

I assume that every other day is too much.

Ive tried googling and it apparently has a short half life but can stay in the system longer.

How on earth do I navigate this safely?

OP posts:
Mapples · 07/07/2023 19:48

If you're needing it for longer periods speak to your doctor, it's highly addictive rather than dangerous- but you really don't want to become dependent on it. Presumably you're using it for pain relief, if its not as and when you need it for this but all the time there might be a better alternative.

mynameiscalypso · 07/07/2023 19:51

I have taken codeine sporadically for the last few years. Some days I take the max dose in a day and then don't take it for a week. Sometimes I take a small dose every day. I know there's a risk of dependence but it never seems to have affected me and I value being pain-free more than that risk.

Stomacharmeleon · 07/07/2023 19:51

@WhimHoff I have been taking codeine for years. It slows my bowel down.
They just mean (the same as with any other strong painkillers) don't become reliant on it. If your pain is caused by something specific eg tooth pain try and deal with it.
Kindly if you have been prescribed if you will be fine. You won't become addicted after three concurrent days.

WhimHoff · 07/07/2023 20:00

It’s a pain issues that’s being resolved, but is likely to take a few months. I have other medication for pain relief that I take daily but I’m still in pain and this just gives me a pain free day when needed.

I just want to know if there’s a formula for how long to leave it between doses. For instance I assume a gap of 12/24 hours is too short, so can I so 1-3 days on and 3 days off? Is 48 hours break enough?

OP posts:
mynameiscalypso · 07/07/2023 20:03

I only ever tried to do one day a week without codeine when I was taking it regularly. I needed to work/be a parent/do housework etc and I couldn't do that without codeine (on top of regular NSAIDs).

badluckorbadvibes · 07/07/2023 20:04

Addiction doesn't have a formula and that's essentially what you are trying to avoid.

The fact that you are considering this indicates you probably need to chat to your GP though

RecycleMePlease · 07/07/2023 20:21

All Codeine does for me is remove the pain - I get no buzz, no urge to take it any more (and TBH, I'm normally a very impulsive type of person - for example I don't keep booze or biscuits in the house because if they're there, I'll drink/eat them - so I only buy them 'as needed')

so I think, in your case, I'd play it by ear - if I have long-term pain I find it's a good idea to take a day off every now or then to see where my pain levels at - but I'm not going to torture myself (mind you - I've rarely had pain for months on end - at least not continuous vs. don't move your arm that way pain - so I can imagine that that is a whole different circumstance)

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