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Chronic pain

Codeine dependency?

13 replies

Toomuchtoolong · 16/10/2022 21:41

Hi all, having read various threads on mumsnets about codeine dependency, withdrawal and how difficult is to cut down has made me worry about my current situation. Due to back issues ( awaiting treatment) I was prescribed 30/500 cocodomal as well as naproxen and amitriptyline about 10 weeks ago, the only thing that dulled the pain was the full dose 60mg cocodomal x4-6 times a day. I reduced that over a period of 6weeks and pain levels had improved that I was only taking 2x 30mg tablets a day or a few solpadine max . Then Had a relapse of pain and had to get another prescription of cocodomal and now back up to taking least 3x30mg tablets a day and some solpadine max. My Gp service is very slow to get a script which is why I’ve been using solpadine alongside the prescription- careful to never go over the daily max amounts obviously. So here I am in the thick of this pain worrying that im becoming dependent on codeine? I absolutely Need it at the minute for pain relief , not for any buzz or anything else but wondering is this how an addiction starts? I’m being careful with daily maximum dosages and will aim to reduce what I take asap once pain levels reduce or I have the treatment procedure but really just want some reassurance that what I currently am taking is ok?
I think I’ve read too many threads about addictions that it’s causing this worry. I need to request a new script tomorrow and already worry that the Gp will think I’m taking too much or will refuse to issue- tho equally know this is my mind causing this catastrophic thinking!
so please those of you on longer term pain relief reassure me that all will be ok!

OP posts:
TheGirlWhoLived · 16/10/2022 22:49

I’m sorry I can’t help on the pain front… hopeful bump!

That said, I deal with addicts (mostly narcotics but also gambling and alcohol) day in, day out. You are managing the pain and medicating as such. You are not addicted at the moment! You sound fully sound of mind and prepared for addiction (which often means it can be avoided or at least mitigated) so if you’re finding yourself swinging the other way then I can help - maybe you could look up this post and I am all over it, I really hope you get some good advice x

Kinneddar · 16/10/2022 22:56

I've been taking co codamol for several years. I get over 100 a month. I take it purely for pain relief. If I don't need it for a few days & don't take it, I have no problems. My doctor reviews it regularly. Taking it long term for pain relief doesn't mean you'll necessarily get addicted. Some people do, but most don't

If you need them - take them

Honeysuckle16 · 16/10/2022 23:38

Your GP will have several patients taking Cocodamol for pain relief so they won’t think badly of you for requesting it. I’ve needed this level of pain relief for severe migraines for 15 years. I’ve tapered off it several times, very gradually over 8 weeks or so and found this easy to do.

GPs usually want to know that you’re staying within the maximum limit, taking it only when needed, and will taper whenever you can. If they’re satisfied that you’re using it responsibly, they are ok with repeat prescriptions, in my experience.

Bear in mind GPs will have patients on morphine patches or liquid morphine which they’ll need to keep an eye on more frequently.

thenightsky · 16/10/2022 23:45

I have the same 30mg of codeine x 2 tablets every 4 hours for my arthritis pain. Had the prescription for the last 10 years, but rarely put in for a repeat more than 3 monthly. I must admit I'd be tempted to live from dose to dose if it didn't have the awful side effect of constipation though. I take one tablet when I could have two as I worry about being bunged up for days on end.

Anon778833 · 16/10/2022 23:46

I’m in a similar situation to you OP. If you are taking it for the pain then you need it. I try to only take 4 a day but sometimes I need more and sometimes less.

Babasheepsy · 16/10/2022 23:47

I don’t think you’re addicted if it’s just for pain relief. I had liquid morphine after an op and then cocodamol tablets which made me feel horrible but did help with the pain. I’m lucky I wasn’t given liquid morphine because in hospital when I took that it made me feel so good I can see how people can get addicted to that really easily! :(

Toomuchtoolong · 17/10/2022 04:16

Thank so all So much for replying and giving me the reassurance needed. I am awake with terrible pain now so took some - it’s very clear that I need it for pain relief , when I initially took the full doses and tapered down after about 3 weeks I found the tapering down fine so hopefully once this flair up calms then I can taper down just as straightforward.
I have never previously experienced the levels of relentless pain I have had over the last few months and my heart goes out to anyone who has long term pain conditions.
Will request the prescription tomorrow and continue to take as needed for now.
thank you again for easing my mind on this!

OP posts:
Nat6999 · 17/10/2022 05:04

You may be better on something like gabapentin or pregablin, they ate more effective on nerve pain.

Toomuchtoolong · 17/10/2022 08:23

@Nat6999 thanks I will mention this to the consultant when I see them later this week!

OP posts:
BryceQuinlanTheFirst · 17/10/2022 08:51

I've been on and off it for past 3 years. I was on 8 tablets a day for months, Ive weaned off completely three times. The first time I did have physical response, shivering etc, but second time I took it more slowly. Third time was easy. Just drop down gradually don't go cold turkey when you are ready

Toomuchtoolong · 17/10/2022 17:40

@BryceQuinlanTheFirst thank you, I see you mentioned curable app
on other threads so will have to check that out too!

OP posts:
Toomuchtoolong · 17/10/2022 17:43

@MondaysChild7 is it back issues too? You have my sympathy whatever pain you are going through, it’s not nice being reliant on pain relief to function!!

OP posts:
BryceQuinlanTheFirst · 17/10/2022 18:09

Toomuchtoolong · 17/10/2022 17:40

@BryceQuinlanTheFirst thank you, I see you mentioned curable app
on other threads so will have to check that out too!

Yes it's been hugely transformational for me to understand about neuroplastic pain. I'm not pain free but I'm further along my journey than 3 years of Harley Street doctors took me.

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