Dihydrocodeine put me in A&E

Posted , 7 users are following.


I was prescribed Dihydrocodeine for arthritis and after taking the tablet I experienced severe pains in my upper abdomen like contractions. This lasted for 3 hours and hurt like hell so I decided not to take another.

A few weeks later my arthritis was so bad I decided to take another tablet so I could get a good nights sleep. Oh how wrong I was!

I took the tablet at 11pm and awoke at 2am with severe contractions in my upper abdomen again. I vomited and after hours of pain I went to A&E. They gave me anti spasm drugs and morphine through IV.

The spasm lasted for 7 hours and I was in the worst pain immaginable.It was worse than childbirth. It was a pain mimicking gall bladder contractions but I have had my gall bladder removed over 2yrs ago.

The doctors disagreed that Dihydrocodeine caused the spasms.

I wonder if anyone else has experienced this type of sympton with Dihydrocodeine.

I will never ever take it again! That you can be sure of.

2 likes, 8 replies

8 Replies

  • Posted

    i had the same experiance but with co-drydamol. my whole stomach went hard and the pain was worse than child birth. i had my gall bladder out 10 years ago and it was like having gall bladder pain again. dr told me to stop taking them and give me tramadol, i took 2 and had to stop taking them as i was itchy all over for hours. so im now on dihydacodine only had 2 tablets up to now so fingers crossed. im suffering with costochrodritis in my left side of ribcage, pain is very very painful, so i'll have to give them a try car'nt suffer no more.
  • Posted

    Both codeine and dihydrocodeine have this effect on me. I also have had my gallbladder removed but I too ended up in A&E in agony and was admitted to hospital for tests which included an MRI scan. I ended up having an operation on my bile duct, but this did not help. Eventually I was told that the codeine/dihydrocodeine causes the bile duct to spasm and is a known side-effect. I noticed recently that abdomen and back pain are now listed as rare side effects of these medicines.
  • Posted

    Hi, I must admit I have taken DF118 tablets for many years even mixed with Paracetamol as in Codydramol and have never experienced pain as above. I take them with food and only reaction is pain relief as I already have severe back pain. I do listen to people who have side effects to codeine; but think it's theyr'e physical makeup rejecting it and not particularly affecting all who take it. Other analgesics would probably have a similar if not the same side affect.

    I do believe that the constipation the tablets cause does contribute to stomach pain radiating to the back this I woud imagine to be painful in itself. Anyhow it's good to keep all in mind.

  • Posted

    I've just had a night of hell after taking co drydamol which is the same as dihydracodeine apparently.

    Severe upper abdominal pain and strange wind symptoms which would not go away unless I stood up and walked around. The symptoms came on at 5am (Tired out)

    I know it was the drug causing the symptoms as the same happened a few weeks previously when I took them. Twice is too much of a co incidence.

    Bad pain and very disturbing. According to the literature it's a bile duct spasm in the liver.

    I very nearly rang an ambulance. Perhaps I should have.

    • Posted

      That's exactly how it affects me - I get the same reaction with bananas too - I'm trying bicarb to see if the cramps settle down

  • Posted

    This reaction to codeine is well documented and is called biliary spasm or bile duct spasm.  It is more common in people who have had cholecystectomy.

    I ended up having my gall bladder out 14 years ago as they thought this pain was cholecystitis (in Germany not UK), but a week later it returned as I was on codeine for another pain.

    I was advised never to have codeine again (though I did try it about 2 years ago and same thing happened!)

    However, I was in hospital 3 weeks ago and was given morphine and had the same reaction, though I have had morphine following surgery more recently with no ill effects. 

    Just do internet search for codeine & biliary spasm

    • Posted

      I've had the same reaction to codeine twice now and i will never ever take it again I've never known pain so bad I've also had my gallbladder removed 7 years ago

  • Posted

    I can't take codeine for that very reason, and I also had my gall bladder removed over 13 years ago.  Late this afternoon I accidently took codeine instead of paracetamol - my husband swears he didn't put his codeine strip in my paracetamol box!!!!!  I went to bed early, and have just been woken up with the most awful stomach crampling.  The Dr is talking through is backside!

    I've just taken some bicarb hoping this will settle it down :'(

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