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Codeine for pain - addiction worries!

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Sasha, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks again, everyone, for all the helpful comments! My doctor phoned late this afternoon and when I refused to continue with the co-codamol as originally prescribed (just had no chance of looking after myself if it was going to completely prostrate me like that) he recommended me to have a single tablet of co-codamol plus one of 500mg paracetomol; so half the codeine but the same amount of paracetomol as before.

    He said that paracetomol works very well when given in combination with other things and that I would have to persist with it for a few days before the effects would have a chance to build up (by building up the level of the drug in my body). Because I would be having less codeine I should be less drowsy. I took a dose as he recommended and although again there has been no impact on my pain yet, nor did it zonk me out either so I feel able to persist.

    He thought it too soon to go the pain clinic route but I'll review this when I check in with him next week - if I can manage something like TENS (that's a thought about rolling onto the patches!) I might prefer it to being on meds long-term.

    I'm in the UK so won't get massage on the NHS and don't think I can afford to have someone come regularly to do it at home (which is what would be necessary) - unless a short course would be beneficial? Or is it the sort of thing you have to keep up long term? I don't know what is actually causing the pain. It isn't symmetrical so I don't know if that disqualifies it from being fibromyalgia (which I don't know anything about). My only diagnosis is ME (postviral).

    Anyway, the pain has not been too bad today and I've had a pleasant day overall - I hope you all have had too! Thanks again so much for your help. :Retro smile:
     
  2. SueJohnPat

    SueJohnPat Sue

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    Edgewater Park Nj USa
    Only 5%of the population gets addicted. I think truly suffering with intractable pain will only make your stress hormones go up and make the illness worse. When my fibromyalgia was at its worst I finally caved and went to pain management. I tried
    everything before opiates and I am good with chemicals.

    Drugs have to be respected and used properly.A few poor fools , or those with unfortunate brain chemistry get addicted. But the numbers is 5% . Unfortunately media hysteria strikes and people suffer from social stigma or pain for being "weak "and relieving our pain.

    I got pushback from people like I was shooting heroin. I was surrounded by drugs for 23 years and if I wanted to get high I would have but , no I was treated like a weak drug seeking female by a few idiots.
    I am now using the opiates only on as as needed basis. Ps I was a community pharmacist prior to becoming ill. Did not live in a crack house.
     
    CantThink and zzz like this.
  3. beaker

    beaker CFS/ME 1986

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    Stone has written a very nice bit about opiod use. I will add my personal experience :
    I have taken straight codeine for over 20 years daily PRN and have no issues or addiction. My dr. gives an even lower figure for addiction , for those who take it for pain,then Stone does. Codeine is a very old very safe drug.
    I tried many many types of opiods ( b/c I need a high dose of codeine and it is not very long acting) and none of them worked for my ME pain. I did get a lot of side effects from many of them.
    So back to straight codeine. We nixed the acetaminophen( paracetomol/tylenol) b/c it was way more potential for harm in the doses of codeine I needed and did not help me .

    Different meds seem to work for different ME patients. You might need to have someone to work w/ you on finding the best one for you. (Pain clinic sounds like a good idea)

    I do have a family member who's oncologist said to take the tylenol on an empty stomach-- something most don't say anything about -- for it to really work well. The codeine might upset your stomach( doesn't for me) but might be worth trying it that way.

    I can also attest to the benefits of massage therapy for pain relief. There is a huge difference, as noted in -- sorry forgot name-- post above, between "spa" type massage and medical massage. It does hurt, but the more pain I take on the table the better I feel after. I did have to work up to that. Started out only light massage and every other week. It made me not feel so great at the start if I did more. We gradually went deeper and more frequently. I have been happily working with the same person, who is also an RN, for many years.
    Ice and heat packs can also help if you have a target area hurting.

    I hope your dose change helps and/or that you can get relief in other ways. It just might take time.
    My level of functioning went up when I was finally treated aggressively for my pain.

    Best,
     
  4. Starfive

    Starfive

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    Speaking of pushback...while waiting for my prescription to be filled, one of the pharmacists came out into the aisles of the small health food/ pharmacy to find me and bluntly ask quite rudely, "Do you really take all of your pills?". I was quite shocked and gave a simple affirmative reply. I told my pain management MD and there was little surprise. Yep, maybe the pharmacist thought this close to seventy year old might be selling her pills.

    Pain apparently is still a very subjective topic. My pain management MD faces huge bias. One day I hope there is a way to diagnose pain objectively by using perhpaps thermodynamic photography or a fit monitor rather than the 1 to 10 cartoon faces.
     

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