Dihydrocodeine Withdrawal

Posted , 16 users are following.

I am starting this new thread because I am having what i believe are different withdrawal symptoms to most everybody. 

I have been taking Dihydrocodeine for just over 6 years now, I started on a high dose and have taken varying amounts over these past years. I took them for pain relief from Cauda Equina Syndrome (and still do, although thankfully after 6 years it seems a little more managable with regular painkillers)

I am currently on 2 a day one morning, one late evening.

When I dont take them I experience what can only be described as a need to defecate, mixed with the feeling of being excited (the kind that kept you awake at night when you were a kid - remember that, fun right?) although there is NO fun in it whatsoever! It's like a 'tingling' low down in my groin, impossible to explain succinclty enough that you would understand what I'm talking about. My description is weak, but it's all I can offer.

My biggest problem with stopping them entirely is that this 'feeling' for want of a better word gets more and more intense the longer I go without them. 

The last time I tried to go cold turkey, I laid awake for 2 nights straight, without an ounce of sleep. My hope was that I would 'eventually' be so tired that my body and mind would just shut off. Unfortunately this did not happen and the intensity of the 'feeling' got so bad that I simply HAD to take a tablet just to get some rest. 45 minutes after taking it, I was asleep.

Add to all this the irritability, the restlessness, the not knowing where to put yourself, the rising 'feeling' there almost 24/7 all be it mild when i take my two tablets a day, and I can honestly say that this condition is driving me completely mad!  

Now, why post here? Firstly I want to know if anyone else has a similar feeling when trying to drop them.. Or HAD a similar feeling?

The reason i ask this question directly is I have no way of knowing if this IS withdrawal... It's entirely likely that Cauda Equina nerve damage has given me this condition and the dihydra's are masking it. 

honestly I think it's withdrawal but I cant find anyone else speaking of a similar feeling? 

And secondly, HOW DO I STOP!!??

I am down to 2 tablets a day, if I lessen the amount, the 'feeling' becomes so noticeable that I have to up the amount again. (please believe me when i say it's like torture - it's unbearable to the point of 'screw it i'm taking one!' - this is not 'addiction' I WANT to stop.. I am just unable!)

I am going to start with 3/4's of a tablet from tomorrow.. I will let you all know how I get on. 

In the meantime, please discuss.. Please tell me your own experiences ESPECIALLY if you know the 'feeling' i'm talking about. 

Thanks for time, and patience with my long-winded post. 


4 likes, 69 replies

69 Replies

Prev Next
  • Edited

    Hello friend what you are experinseing sounds like mild mild beginnings of withdrawal but realistically if your down to just 2 a day you should be able to stop with minor withdrawals go to your GP explain to him that you are wanting to stop them altogether and they will hopefully give you something to help you sleep when you stop and that would really help also if your only taking 2 a day there is no harm on just continuing but you will always have the risk of increasing your dose to put it into perspective and I am in no way trying to play your dilemma down at my worst I was taking 70 30mg a day I am not proud of that ashamed really I spent a fortune on them I used to only take 6 a day but over the years my tolerance went through the roof a tryed to stop cold turkey as I new I was risking an overdose everyday booked to weeks holiday made it out to my wife I had caught the flu but trust me my withdrawals were possible life threating I lasted 11 days the physical withdrawals were reseeding but the mental ones I couldn't cope with so it took 35 30mg to bring me out of withdrawal went to my GP owned up to being a addict to be told to contact addiction action group I did they come to see me once a week a had to taper down to 20 10 morning 10 at night it took me 7!weeks to taper down safely before they would prescribe me a substitute as I refused to take methadone I am now with the special service group and on 8mg of bneuriphine (subutex)a day and it has changed my life I feel completely normal again and am planning to do the 19 day detox march when I can take a couple of weeks holiday I had tryed to stop lots of times but it's nearly impossible to do on your own I am telling you this just so you realise your situation is fine don't beat yourself up your only taking 2 and for a reason so don't worry about but if you really want to stop you need support either with your family or go see your GP as it sounds like it's the mental side of withdrawal and not the physical trust me that's good talking to someone will help please let me know how you get on and can I ask why you have decided to stop taking them my name is James btw sorry for long winded reply

    • Posted

      Lol just noticed my name is on my log in been a while since a posted thought it something else
    • Posted

      I have now also just noticed this post is 2 months old for some reason I only got an email about it today so I hope everything has worked out the way you wanted it to
    • Posted

      subutex is a great subsitute ... i have only heard positive things about subutex compared to loads of bad press regarding methadone 

                  the thing about subutex is its active ingredients .... suboxone simply blocks the pain receptors so theres no way on earth you can go through withdrawal ... bupernorphine is a partial opioid agonist which means it activates the opioid receptors in the brain but not as much as other opioids 

                  the result is no withdrawal worries ( which is what all addicts fear every day ) and the ability to have a normal lifestyle ( again something thats not possible with addicts ) 

                  the only downside is you need to reduce to 30mg (approx ) of methadone before switching to subutex ...and for many on over 100mg the reduction can be hard 

                   good luck james and happy xmas 

    • Edited

      Hi James wow you make my problem seem so trivial I used to be taking 20:a day as well as codeine but the last few years down to 6 and I agree that I'm only on a low dose now but the reason I'm coming off them is I have panic attacks agoraphobia which because I take laxido for my bowels means that I suffer terrible diahorea daily and I'm terrified going places where there is no toilet so I avoid going anywhere far from home

      If I'm not taking the dihydrocodeine I don't need the laxido anymore so I hope in theory that my agoraphobia will get better

      I'm still in a lot of pain but am using a tens machine and hot water bottle

      I've just stopped taking them today and already suffering from the withdrawal symptoms but obviously not as bad as what you have gone through. I am determined to be free of them. Thanks for sharing your experiences I hope you are doing OK let me know how you are too

      Regards Elaine

    • Posted

      Hi Elaine I am doing great thanks well on the way to putting this chapter in my life behind me you are doing great cutting down as much as you have especially since you have taken them so long your body is defo going to put up a fight and want them .your at the bottom of the pyramid just now and the withdrawal will get worse day 3 you will reach the top very ill but then you will be coming down the other side and the withdrawal will start to calm down hope you have spoken to your GP and they are helping you with sleeping aids and therapy don't beat yourself up if you give in in a few days it will give you the experience for the next time you try but I think you will make you have a lot to gain from stopping please let me know how it goes

      All the best James

    • Posted

      Hi James

      Hope life is treating you well

      I thought I would let you know how I'm getting on well it's been a month since I came off dhc you were right day 3 was hell I ended up going to see my Dr who has been a great help prescribing me gabapentin for the terrible restless legs and insomnia I'm happy to say I'm feeling much better now am completely painkillers free and everything I went through was worth it.

      Even my agoraphobia and anxiety is slowly getting better I'm managing to get out and about my local area it's still difficult but I have the will to do it as nothing can be worse than what I went through during the withdrawal

      To anyone else who may be going through the same I would like to say that you can do it and get support from your Dr if it gets too much to cope with. Life is so much better than before just believe that you will feel healthier in body and mind my Dr said that I should be very proud of myself so you guys should too

      Don't put it off just do it no excuses I have terrible back problems and have done it the strongest thing I take is paracetamol along with hot water bottle and I have regular acupuncture which really helps

      Thanks for caring

      Elaine x

    • Posted

      That's brilliant Elaine I am so happy for you you done it I know how hard it must have been taking the first step and admitting you need help is the hardest part but the help is there makes me smile to know you've done it my life really couldnt be any better it's as if the past 3 years of being an addict didn't happen my next step is to get of the subutex but I am not gonna worry about that till march when I plan to take holidays and do the detox really happy for you take care

    • Posted

      Hi James,

      I hope you're well...reading this comment of yours has truly inspired me. I have recently 'come clean' to my GP and will be seeing a constant next week, apparently to be placed on Subutex. What a mess, I have a respectable job, I'm a mother, wife, own a lovely home, director of a company etc. I am so deeply ashamed!

      I want to be just like you :-(

    • Posted

      Sorry to thread crash! James!!! Hello there, how are you friend?
    • Posted

      Hi Suz

      Wow sounds like you have achieved a lot did you become dependent on dhc due to work load and life in general I did i thought the dhc was helping me storm through life achieving great things I have a very respectable job and let it Get the blame for all my problems but now that I am on the subutex and have a clear head again I have relized the dhc was holding me back and was the root to my problems I now enjoy my work and also have took on a second job Saturdays only and love it my only down side is I am great through the day but at night when I get home it's as if I switch of so my personal life is taking a hammering but I have been speaking to the people who are more or less looking after me amazing people didn't know there was human beings so understanding and kind till I started my rehabilitation and they are hopefully gonna try and tweak my dose to sort this issue out I know it sounds simple but it really isn't please don't be ashamed life is tough and it is so easy to fall into dhc comfort you are doing the correct thing for your family and self please let me know how you get on you will be fine the help I have had since I came clean has been amazing and I am sure yours will be to all the best x

    • Posted

      Hi nick so good to hear from you as you've probably read I am doing a lot better this time on the road to recovery how are you doing are you sorted or getting there nice to hear from you am chuffed to bits this site still isn't easy to navigate though sometimes

    • Posted

      James your story is very similar to mine and I was prescribed 8mg subutex my problem now is i was weaned to slowly off the subutex 8 years to get to 2.8mg then I opted for a inpatient detox which was hard but not unbearable what was unbearable was the awful state I got into afterwards no energy brain fog horrendous depress memory loss was sent from psychiatrist to GP told I was suffering paws after 7 months I couldn't stand it and relapsed was put back on subutex another detox same thing I'm back on a dose of 3.6mg subutex and feel so ill I know I now have to get off it and stay off it as feel my body can't take much more any advice how to get through the paws and how long have you been on the subutex?

    • Posted

      Hi sue please contact me as regarding your subutex as I am just like you but battling to come off the subutex as was placed6on6it for 8 years I am a mum feel terrible 8th position I'm interested would be great to contact someone in the same position.

    • Posted

      Subutex does not contain naltrexone like Suboxone which can't be used with certain opiate painkillers such as oxycodone or OxyContin, Subutex can....... however these are highly addictive as I found out to my own disadvantage the best treatment you can have for opiate addiction is Dihydrocodeine tablets as they have not the ceiling effect codeine itself.... Dihydrocodeine can be titrated and reduced with ease, it can be potetiated with the sleep aid Nytol or generically dyhydramine, a little known trick but caution MUST be used. Using Diazepam helps but care if needed as it is extremely addictive itself. Your aim is to effect different GABA receptors. This will bring you down lightly.

    • Posted

      The subutex seem to have got me in a much worse state and having terrible trouble getting off th my GP won't prescribe any opiates as this is where it all began i don't think subutex should be prescribed for codeine addiction at all certainly not for years it's a much harder tablet to come off and the after effects make codeine withdrawal seem easy subutex is a evil little tablet and had i known at the time the damage it causes wouldn't have touched its yes it stops withdrawals but the withdrawals of subutex are much much worse

    • Posted

      Well subutex is a synthetic opiate (opioid) yes and is used for addicts with difficulty keeping clean, only Methadone is worse. As I say using DHC till your comfortable then reducing slowly is agreed by most with dependency to be the best way, but I have a new discovery for you, medicinal cannabis C-B-D will help you reduce with very little discomfort if you titrate properly. I was really injured with gunshot wounds,,,, medication included was Fentynal, oral morphine, Physeptone (Methadone) OxyContin.... please avoid the withdrawal symptoms are Hell. Now Dibydrocodeine, far more than my doctor thinks, and Diazepam which is a problem in itself but I do not need to take so many dihydrocodeine, please keep in touch because I study the effects of opioids another psychotropic medicines, but I really do recommend CBD (keeping it legal) but let's face it a substance with a high THC content will help much more if you can handle the side effects. Zopiclone to sleep.... or Ambien (zolpidem) sleep is very important. Also this may sound strange but I'm Fettermans destroy the with drawl symptoms, but you will be an emotional wreck after staying awake for so long, ...... if you let me know what you doing and how you go about it I have Marxist to psychoanalysts and research chemists and can give you the best help possible

    • Posted

      Hi I'm approx 6 weeks detoxed off subutex and feel bloody terrible low energy horrific depression irratable can't seem to hold a conversation etc any advice much appreciated x

    • Posted

      Typical pyscological symptoms Tezz.... everyone gets this..... can you put up with it.... it does go depending on the person. I can tell you, and so will a doctor, plenty fresh fruit and vegetables... I know, it's not the greatest thing but it does help. It's either that or resort to medication again.... something to stimulate Seretonin levels.... Zoloft (Sertaline) helps.... it's for anxiety, but the side effects are not good, it was developed as scientists (whom for years) have known ecstasy could help, and Prozac was developed ... all the above are known as Selective Seretonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Interestingly scientists are again turning to Ecstasy and its analogs. But you want something to help. I could suggest the 'evil' Diazepam. Better with Lorazepam or something less drastic. But in very small amounts to avoid addiction. With diazepam.... 5 mg 1 day on, one day off and for most that is not enough to get an addiction.... but it's to get you through, you certainly don't want to end up withdrawing by taking more, it has awful withdrawal and rebound. The idea is to stop craving subutex and relapsing. Do you know what you really should do if you can, go to your doctor and tell him you cannot handle the depression and are about to relapse. A decent doctor will act. Don't get me wrong... you did 6 weeks, you are to be commended for that and it shows you can do it. My own opinion is if you keep it in your head that you can do this, usually in two months the worst is gone, it's hard to advise, everyone is different, can you do it without? Or is it time to look for help. I don't know how bad your opiate intake was. Is there a chance of relapse, if so, negate it, anyway you can. Without getting a habit on something else.... on another note.... yes Diazepam is addictive and abused and you hear so many terrible stories. They forget the people it's genuinely helped, even saved lives. I am not promoting it, I am pointing out its usefulness. I hope you succeed, your psychological symptoms will disappear in weeks. I won't say how I know, but I know. Good luck

    • Posted

      Thanks I'm already on seroxat 50mg and diazepan though I use the diazepan with extreme caution after my first detox i lasted 6 months but was so ill with the psychological symptoms I relapsed. I am not relapsing this time this whole process which started with a codeine addiction has lasted 11 years I never ever want to end up on subutex again but scared about the depressive state I got into last time I'm also on pregablin 300mg daily. I know it's not a easy journey but this time relapse is not a option. Thanks for your advice I didn't know if I would benefit from a na group but the nearest one is 50 miles away and the aftercare from the drug team is just a weekly women's alcohol group ironically I don't drink i force myself to walk my dog twice a day and going to start swimming x

    • Posted

      Hi Tez22, what I would ask is what are you doing in your life that is different to when you were using? If nothing then it can be helpful to put in place proactive strategies to manage and regulate your feelings. It is not rocket science but exercise (even just walking!) can improve mood and decrease anxiety/depression. Other ways include taking up a new pleasurable and purposeful activity or interest e.g. hobby, social activity, volunteering etc. Anything to avoid social isolation and to activate reward centres related to the outside world rather than the inner world (so recently governed by chemical rewards). Sorry if I sound obvious but I feel it is more about building a new life and new values than just stopping taking a drug.
    • Posted

      Yes Tezz, I really feel empathy for you, the psychological symptoms can be the worst for some, I would be scared but I cannot stop for pain anyway, but running out would terrify me too... it's horrible. Your doing right with exercise... NA is not really for someone who understands their situation. You know your problems, why listen to what you already know. And you have meds. Here's what I did to go from morphine to physeptone to OxyContin to DHC.... some may laugh but I went on a free dating site, talking to pretty woman worldwide (Russian, African American, Chinese) this boosted my confidence and I settled on a beautiful Ukrainian Sales Executive living in Denmark with her own money and we have met and stayed in hotels in Edinburgh for a week at a time for a year now. Ok I still take 3 times the DHC than proscribed (for some reason they wanted me on much stronger medication like OxyContin, Morphine and Physeptone) I wanted something I could get online so I am not chained to my area so DHC it was. Well I need to walk and without opiates I cannot ... I even tryed other things like Pregablin and an assortment of others. My point being you never know what's round the corner... keep going my friend, I love to hear success but also understand relapse. One point though, I wish I did not have to say this but it's only fair. I have three friends who used (and abused) pregablin. They say that the withdrawal were worse than Heroin. Lyrics was sued for misrepresentation of its addictive qualities.... or lack of as they claimed. But take heart, others have said they reduced very easily on it. It's classed as a nootropic, like Phenibut given to Russian cosmonauts as it is claimed to increase cognition but still has sedative properties (well imagine being in space on Diazepam or Phenobarbital) I am to reduce DHC though.... tomorrow I receive Corvalol which is Valarie and Phenoba

    • Posted

      Don't blame you pretty women work well lol. I know lyricia can be addictive but with me have stopped and started it on many occasions with no problem so one good thing. Well I hope in time I manage to post a success story good luck to you also all the best x

    • Posted

      Thank you Tezz, and the best to you.... your a good person. I hope I hear your success story very soon.
    • Posted

      Yes I know exactly what you mean and although I'm a mum of one I walk my dog twice a day at least a hour just started swimming and about to go back to volunteer in my local rspca shop this being said I do have days where I just don't want to be around anyone and from past experience on these really dark days I am best left alone due to bitter experience I have relapsed before when forced to socialise and not in the half bad

    • Posted

      Days am also restarting cycling and swimming. I have never touched illegal drug just got prescribed 30mg codeine 11 years ago for migraines which just gave me more migraines so was taking more and more then moved town new dr stopped prescription then began buying over the counter GP referred me to drug and alcohol service to my shock who whacked me on 8mg subutex rest is history. I'm still struggling with energy levels at this point but just trying my best relapse is not a option never will I go back on subutex never x

    • Posted

      i too suffer from terrible anxiety coming off of them...horrors...i think thats why i continue to relapse.

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.