Advice getting off codeine

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Im looking for some advice on getting off codeine.

short story is that like most people, i started using co codamol (30/500) for legit pain, this slowly turned into using it to sleep, then progressed to every day. 5 years down the line and 12 tablets each later here i am.

 I’ve previously tried tapering down using nurofen plus, which was going well and was only taking a few tablets at night but eventually fell into bad habits again. i lack the discipline required to quit this way.

I’m absolutely fed up with this drug now. it’s slowly taken over me and the panic that goes through me when i only have a short supply left is ridiculous. i want my life back.

i’m determined now more than ever to get off this horrible drug. i haven’t told my partner or GP, id rather give it a proper go this time and hopefully get clean, and if  not, confess to my partner and go to my GP for help.

anyway what I wanted to know is, if i try the cold turkey option, and i’m aware how tough this is going to be, what kind of things help with cramps, sweats etc? 

the only other worry i have is i can’t get a lot of time off work, maximum a week. is it possible to go back to work a week into detoxing off this? 


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  • Posted

    Hi Andy

    Like you, tapering didn’t work at all for me. I’m useless with trying to limit myself with things I like.  

    I was taking 32 plus Nurofen plus tablets everyday for years. I gave up cold turkey over Christmas last year. 

    I’m not going to lie to you, cold turkey was brutal. For a week a literally could only get out of bed to use the bathroom.  I didn’t sleep for days And have only just managed to get a solid 5 hrs a night. The restless, cramping legs lasted a month but for most I think are gone within a couple of weeks.

    I didn’t find anything that took away the symptoms at all. And I looked and read everything I could looking for something. I think it’s just a matter of riding it out to be honest.

    Now for the good news! I felt so good after a few weeks and now have so much energy I don’t know what to do with myself! I feel awesome!!

    Cold turkey was the only way for me. And honestly if I could do it anyone can.

    It’s daubting I know.

    Good luck!! You can beat this smile


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  • Posted

    Hi Andy! I know how u feel it’s a hard drug to beat, but as I say first step is admitting u have a problem.. I was taking between 30-40 a day like u started off as a legit need then turned bad. I’m currently on day 19 CT and I have to say that the worst peaks about day 3-4 then u will start to feel better, magnesium helps with leg cramps and restless legs I used normal panadol and normal Neurofen to help me through it also took over the counter sleeping tablets at night although I found I had to take three of them to knock me out and still only slept 4-5 hours at a time over the first week. You have to stay mentally strong and fight the urges. I found by telling myself constantly I did this to myself there for deal with!!! It helped heaps! I got straight on to a multivitamin and also vitamin B. My energy levels still aren’t back to where they were but I accept I have to work that back up. I took a week off work and went back and I found it good to keep my mind active but being in a high paced job it was hard at first but I just had to keep up and just literally crashed and burned when I got home it helped tire me out which was good. Don’t feel alone there is so many people out there trying to get off this stuff, you can do it just keep strong will power. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Andy

     I didn’t completely go CT but I did a very fast taper. 

    I had 12 one day, 8 the next, 3 the next then 48 hours later I had 2. Then I went for a week feeling pretty good! 

    I had gastro, slight RLS and felt like a i was a bit run down. I had an amazing bout of energy though which was weird but great!!! I had a drs appointment around that time and didn’t ask for a script. Walked out feeling chuffed with myself. 

    About 2 weeks later I did let myself down though. I had a follow up dr appointment and caved and asked for a script for panadeiene forte. Whilst I’m pretty annoyed at myself I only took 2 a over the 10 days I had 20. 

    I’ve worked out that I just can’t have it in the house. The temptation is too risky! I’ve failed myself once and I’ve been beating myself up on it for a few days now. I had 2 nurofen plus left also and I took those yesterday which was 48 hours after I had my last panadeiene forte tablet. Yes I should have just flushed them down the loo but of course I took them! Anyhow there is no more in the house. I’ve had slight gastro and feel down but I’ve just let myself down and I have to just push through now. 

    How are you going? What did you decide to do?!? 

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  • Posted

    I took magnesium for the RLS and got a script from my doctor for the RLS. I drank heaps of water. Imodium was also a life saver.  Every time I went to the loo however rather than feel sorry for myself I just kept saying to myself this is a good thing as my body is releasing the horrid drug 
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  • Posted

    firstly thank you to all who have found the time to reply and offer some advice, it means a lot that other people are willing to help share their experiences and offer guidance. 

    i’ve decided to try one last time on a taper plan. i’ve sat down and worked out what to be taking and dropping in a steady amount. 

    the problem with CT is i like said before i can’t get much time off of work and much of my work is based outdoors so if i’m still experiencing withdrawals, (mainly diarrhoea) it makes life incredibly difficult! 

    right now i’m on my second day of the taper plan and i’m taking half of what id usually take everyday. i’m confident i can manage this amount, the challenge will be dropping the dosage, but i’m determined i can do this. 

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  • Posted

    That’s great you have come up with a taper plan. You have to do what is right for you. 

    Keeping checking in and updating us. 

    If you’re determined then I’m sure you’ll get through this. 

    Stay positive, keeping telling yourself how strong you are, keep yourself busy, stick to your taper plan and drink lots of water!!! You’ve got this!!! 

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  • Posted

    first week of  my taper plan and still feeling very positive.

    i’ve more than halved my daily dosage and so far still feeling good. i’ve had a little anxiety and irritations but have been coping.

     with dropping the dose so much on the first week, i think i will stick with the same amount for another week, then start decreasing more.

    i’m certain now more than ever that i can beat this. throughout the week i’ve been tempted to take more tablets to get that warm relaxed feeling then i remind myself that quickly turns me into a deflated, lazy, tired mess. i think although there’s obviously a big phylysical dependency built up, a lot of this is psychological. other times when i’ve tried to stop, I don’t think i really wanted it, i missed the feeling this drug gave me, and was terrified at the thought of not having it. now, i’m 100% commited to beating this addiction. 

    reading through everyone’s stories on here have been a great help to me, it certainly has reminded me i’m not alone and given me encouragement. 

    it may only be the first week of slowly freeing myself from this horrible drug but i’m sure i can do this.

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    • Posted

      Awesome work well done!! I can finally say at day 26 I’m finally free from this drug energy levels are back and I’m feeling fantastic again but with out the use of the tablets!! Keeping a healthy diet and multivitamins have helped a s**t load!! It’s crazy though the psychological racing can be just as bad as the physical ones so well done for getting through those! I know they are hard I still have that spur of the moment thought of of god is love...! The I go make a coffee and have a smoke! (Yes that habit is just as bad but I can only give up one bad habit at a time! Lol). Glad to hear everyone is doing well!! 
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