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Bad Reaction to Co-codamol

I don't take regular pain killers but since a bad reaction I had to co-codamol I have avoided them since. I can't find anything on the web about allergies, and I was wondering if anyone else had a similar experience.

I'd taken the odd co-codamol from being about 12, and only really took probably one or two doses when I had a severe headache. My 17th birthday was one of these occasions, and as I'd planned some celebrations I took 2 co-codamol. 30 mins later I started with slight chest pains, felt dizzy and felt sick. So ill I went to bed and missed my lovely meal! Didn't really associate this to the tablets, as I'd taken them before without a reaction.

However, 2 years later, christmas eve, I had a bad headache and took 2 co-codamol because, again, I wanted to get on and enjoy the celebrations. This time, about 30 mins later, I began with more severe chest pains, I vomited, had tingling symptoms in my left arm, had problems getting my breath, felt clammy and hot and struggled to stand. It really alarmed my boyfriend, who called NHS Direct. They sent me straight to A and E as I'd described the symptoms of a heart attack. At the hospital they took blood tests, run an ECG but both came back blank. They sent me home and said \"you must have had a bad reaction to the tablets\". 3 hours later, after a sleep, I felt fine and proceeded with my christmas.

What worries me is that no one has actually confirmed whether or not it's an allergy or just a bad reaction or even coincidence. If I take co-codamol again, will the reaction be more severe? Is there somehow I can find out? (without obviously taking another dose!)

22 Replies

  • Guest Guest

    My wife was diagnosed with gaulstones and was prescribed with co-codamol to take when the pain came.

    After taking the tablets she was doubled over with a pain under her ribcage.

    Recently she went for a meal with her father. When she developed a headache her father gave her some co-codamol tablets.

    Within minutes she had severe pain in her lower chest/stomach. This was accompanied by sickness, blueness of the hands and loss of conciessness.

    She thought it might have been the food. However last night she took a co-codamol tablet and woke up in the night with severe stomach pain.

    Obviously a bad reaction to the drug.

  • Guest Guest

    many years ago I had cutting chest pains after taking co codamol, I sat up one night for hours feeling like my stomach was twisting or wringing itself out in spasms.

    This happened to me a further time about a year later.

    Odly enough I have since taken this pain killer following surgery and had no problems with it, until tonight.

    I have been pescribed it for back pain and I have vowed not to take it again. I have been suffering terrible twisting spasms in my stomach also felt nausea and dizzyness sweating and shaking I had to lie down. The back pain is better but not worth the side effects or reaction whichever it was.

  • Guest Guest

    [b:a733fbcdc4] I too have suffered with the same cramps in my stomach coming in waves on & off also with sickness & again most of the time i'd been fine when taking them, it had just been on the odd occasion but i never had related it to the tabs till now. [/b:a733fbcdc4]

  • Guest Guest

    I take Co-Codamol for a prolapsed disc. 30/500 dose and only take one every 4 hours, but they do occasionally cause those symptoms. I took two last night after I ate and felt sick all evening and then have been sick all day today. this happens every now and again but its not a nice side effect. Probably shouldn't take them anymore.

  • wildstaff wildstaff

    [quote:47bbaff332=\"bette\"]many years ago I had cutting chest pains after taking co codamol, I sat up one night for hours feeling like my stomach was twisting or wringing itself out in spasms.

    This happened to me a further time about a year later.

    Odly enough I have since taken this pain killer following surgery and had no problems with it, until tonight.

    I have been pescribed it for back pain and I have vowed not to take it again. I have been suffering terrible twisting spasms in my stomach also felt nausea and dizzyness sweating and shaking I had to lie down. The back pain is better but not worth the side effects or reaction whichever it was.[/quote:47bbaff332] :roll: Ive suffered with the same symptoms after taking co-codamol. today I have picked up a prescription from my doctors after a phone consultation about ongoing pain in my knee, I did not look at what he had prescribed till I had got home. I shall not be tacking the tablets as I wose very frightened by my last experience after taking co-codamol.

  • Guest Guest

    I was taken into hospital last week after calling an ambulance with horrendous chest pains, feeling sick,clamy, my forarms having pins and needles and my fingers went into spasm. I was really frightened and thought I was having a heart attack or stroke. After loads of scans and tests nothing was found.

    Looking back, I had had a virus and took two co-codamol a few hours before this happened. I am now convinced that I had some awful reaction to these tablets and will never, ever take them again!!!!

  • Guest Guest

    These posts have made me feel a little better. 2 days ago i had a nagging lower back pain from jogging, a day later I went to the chemist and asked the fella there what was best to take and gave me some paracetamol. After taking 2 capsules my back pain, after an hour seemed to have completely vanished but then an hour later I started with chest pain, which got progressively worse, 4 hours later I was laid in bed and was in agony, this then passed and my back pain returned exactly as before. The following morning I went to the doctors and was checked out, everything he said was fine, so I have no other option but to put the agonisng chest pain down to the paracetamol.

  • LuckyEddy50 LuckyEddy50

    I have had it twice. The first time i never thought it was the coco because i had also taken a diclafenec too

    but today i took 2 coco 30/500 and got a pain in my right arm , dizzyness, and crushing chest pain, it feels like a gaul bladder attack but mine was removed in february this year so it cant be that. i thought i was going to have a heart attack. and felt weak and thought i might pass out. The coco are going back to the chemist now. I am going to stick to anadin extra from now on.

  • CharliParley CharliParley

    I have the same problem, Although mine is just feeling faint and nauseous. I Have noticed that I tend to only get these feelings if I have taken 2 tablets...If I just take the one, it never effects me badly. I suppose it's just a slight "overdose" . If one isn't enough, take one and a half, it might be low enough of a dose to not effect you badly, but still numb your pain.

  • cindy12 cindy12

    I started getting flu like symptoms yesterday and by bedtime had the most stinking headache. I went to bed and woke up covered in sweat and the most excruciating pain under my right ribs and the twisting feeling as described above. I sat up on the edge of the bed and new I was about lose consciousness so laid back down and tried to stay calm and breath through the pain. It took about 30 minutes to subside and have never felt anything like it it my life, it was very scary and I thought I was going to die. The pains started coming back again but not as severe as before, so the whole episode lasted about one and a half hours. I suspected it was co-codamol and found this forum. I hardly ever write on forums but felt it was my duty to.

    I had taken ONE 30mg/500mg Co-Codamol for my headache before going to bed and it was probably the first time i had taken one as I deliberately stay away from Pharmaceutical drugs as much as possible. I thought taking one was not going to hurt.

    They were not my co-codamol, I had taken the 100 capsule box from my 78 year old Dad who is having a lot of them sent to him by his doctor and i think he is taking them because he thinks he has to. I will be getting him off them as fast as possible.

    • susan 51512 susan 51512 cindy12

      Hi, I'm wondering if I too have had a bad reaction to these pills, I have arthritis in my ankle and was in pain so I just took one tablet as I had them left over from a recent op. I'm quite small so they suggested I only took one tab, a few hours later I woke up to terrible pain in my chest, right in the middle, I couldn't get comfy I wondered around the house it was like something I have never experienced before, it lasted a while and stopped me from getting back to sleep, I really thought I was dying, I had to press the middle of my chest and breath slowly, it was awful. And still when I woke if I took a really deep breath I could feel that it wasn't quite right still. Anyway I just thought it was one of those strange things that happens that you never know why, but last night I took 2 tabs as iv been getting pain in my knees hips and back. Suspected ms/ fibromyalgia, and I was fed up of the pain. About an hour later my stomach was churning and I felt not quite right, anyway of to bed I went and again I was awoken to the awful pain but not on the scale I had before as I was so tired I managed to drift back of but again I can still feel a tightening on my chest if I take a deep breath. I googled to see if I could find anything and found all these experiences! So I'm going to mention to my gp on my next appointment and will avoid them again. But I don't really understand how 1 tab made me feel like I was dying and 2 tabs wasn't as painfull and also when I was on them for a few weeks after an app I never had this once! Seems very strange.! 

  • carole26030 carole26030 Guest

    I too was des patched to hospital via ambulance with pains in arm, severe chest pains and shortness of breath and lightheadiness. I had just eaten a curry take away and my pseudo heart attack was blamed on indigestion and I was sent home after tests for heart attack proved negative. However I had earlier taken 2 cocodamol to treat the pains in the arm which I now believe to be carpel tunnel. I had suffered similar, though not so severe, symptoms after taking corvonia cough medicine.

  • AnnMG AnnMG Guest


    Both me and my partner get this. When I first started taking a prescription grade cocodamol for back pain it wasn't an issue. Just made me a little high and giggly but took the pain away so I could work. As getting my back issues sorted with the Drs was as successful as skipping through clay, I continued taking it for years with no issues. However, a few years ago I took one as normal and began feeling really, really sick and dizzy. I stopped taking them and switched to just being in pain as it was better than the sickness. Two years ago I started getting really bad chest pains and was given Codien on its own by the A and E to counteract the pain. I was being sick for the next 24 hours relentlessly. I assumed it was due to the chest issues. They continued for a while until I started to realise it was the codein causing the sickness, not the chest issues. Now if I take a cocodamol I get severe (in fact I have it right now which is why I came across this) chest pain, right around where my stomache/diaphragm is resonating throughout my rib cage. I still get dizzy and tired but the pain  is awful. My partner was given cocodamol and naproxen for his ankle and leg issues. He has been complaining of the same thing. I think it must be some kind of allergy or something to the codeine. Paracetamol I am fine with. But I am swearing off of it today. I just can't take the pain I am already in as well as the chest pain. It's like heart burn on steroids!!! 

  • Nikkooo Nikkooo Guest

    Hi, not usually a forum user. Wanted to draw attention to an issue I had with this medication. I had a headache and my partner gave me two tablets. I was not aware that they were cocodamol.

    After 30mins I felt nauseous. 20 mins later I had a fist sized pain in my chest. It lasted for 40 minutes so I was advised to seek medical attention and an ambulance took me to hospital.

    They did bloods and ecg's and all were normal, although they were checking to see I had not had a heart attack. I remained in hospital for 8 hours for all tests.

    Unfortunately it was only later that we realised that I may have suffered all of the side affects related to cocodamol. I suffered all symptoms described on the warning label.

    I don't take any medication, i attend the gym regularly, eat healthily, don't drink alcohol or smoke at all.

    I would not wish this adverse reaction on anyone else. Frightening for both me and my family.

    The symptoms lasted for 50 mins to an hour.

    The hospital treatment lasted a lot longer.

    Please use caution with this medication if you have to use it at all!

  • rebecca48498 rebecca48498 Guest

    I had a very bad reaction this weekend it was so scary i felt like my chest was being crushed i was so scarred it is an allergic reaction to co codomal as I've checked the leaflet and it was definitely an allergic reaction.

    • LuckyEddy50 LuckyEddy50 rebecca48498

      Hi Rebecca, I hope you are feeling better now. Just to let you know, I have not had a single chest pain or any other symptom since the last time I took Coco. I learnt the hard way what they can do so I definitely stay away from them now. Be well, bye for now, Eddy :-)

  • mojimo mojimo Guest

    Just found these posts about cocodamol and am convinced now that the pain and horrible frightening crushing feeling I had in my chest was a side effect of these tablets. Doc gave me them 3 days ago for back pain and this is the 2nd time I've experienced this awful pain. Lasts over an hour and is really scary. Feels like someone is sitting on my chest and stomach. Difficult to breath properly. Wondering if this is going to ease at all. Not a nice feeling. Certainly won't be taking co codamol again.

  • rachael43776 rachael43776 Guest

    Im so glad i found this form!! I badly sprint my ankle and torn ligaments.. i toke 2 co codamol and an ibrupfen around 8pm lastnight. Ive been suffering bad chest pains around my chest and ribs. The pain isnt as bad ad it was lastnight but how can i get rid off this pain. Please someone help me i havent been able to sleep with this pain. Im never taking co codamol ever again. This is scarying me nd i thought i was taking a heart attack or stroke.

  • Desnod508 Desnod508 Guest

    I have been taking co codamol  for arthritis in my neck after other painkillers failed to work.however,I am suffering with stomach problems,nausea and tingling in my arms. Can anyone suggest how to combat this problem


  • Rachincairns Rachincairns Guest

    I have been getting these reactions to codein/morpheine for many years, and can't do much about them as I have to take my painkillers.

    I also got hospitalized for suspected heart attack the first time: it's bloody scary!!!

    I have found that eating some plain white bread helps- I don't know why, but it seems to!

    I hope this helps you all xx

  • hadijah81004 hadijah81004 Guest

    Hi, I also had the same reaction after taking two cocodamal pills for back ache without enough resting. Later I started feeling severe upper abdominal cramps and sharp pains. I thought I had developed stomach ulcers. 4 hours later, I took another 2 cocodamal tablets and the pain in my upper abdomen and chest became more intense. Spoke to my GP who PRESCRIBED OMEPRAZAL. This didn't help. I called 111 but couldn't get enough help because they were sending me to A&E whose waiting time I cannot stand!!! I decided to take a glass of cold milk. The pain slowly declined.

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