Dihydrocodeine withdrawal and side effects

Posted , 10 users are following.

Like many others on this site I have had a nightmare ride from these drugs.

I wasn't told that they were addictive when I started them or I would not have started them.

Started on 8 a day but did not help with pain so I persevered but when I stopped them the trouble began so I went back on them at 6 a day and gradually dropped them to 2 a day and i am currently taking three quarters of a tablet at night.

It has been a long,hard,difficult journey to get to where I am today and I hope to be free of them in a few months.

Do not try to go cold turkey with these tablets as the side effects will be disastrous. It has taken me a year to get to my current stage.

Reduce your tablets gradually and snap them into half and quarter to very gradually take them down. You cannot do this in weeks .It is a slow process

When I was on 8 a day I got hot flushes daily for no reason I felt nausea and felt generally out of sorts. I got tingling in my body and itchiness all over,especially in my feet and arms. My feet felt like they were on fire.

As I withdrew I felt anxious,irritable and got annoyed easily. I would pace back and forwards and not know where to put myself.

I lost interest in most things and could not be bothered about anything and I had a sense of helplessness. Sleeping is a major problem as I am more aware of the tingling when at rest in the dark and quiet. Your senses become more aware of your body. you become restless and feel evey itch on your body and it drives you to distraction. You end up cat napping through the day and can't sleep at night and the day becomes very long.

Cold turkey only made this much worse on the 3 occasions I have tried. I found it impossible to cope with physically and mentally.

Although I do not approve of drugs and abuse, I can now feel a sense of sympathy for those trying to come off them. My message is simple to those about to dabble-DON'T. You will regret it for a long time.

3 likes, 11 replies

11 Replies

  • Posted

    I am now stopped taking them but i cannot sleep,anxious,nervy,having pains in the legs, Taking them did not do anything for me instead i sufferd with bad constipation,my eyes seem to go blurry,out of breath quickly,could not walk very far without feeling weak and sickly, The nights are awful as just cannot sleep,Does it end?
    • Posted

      I stopped taking these 26 days ago and have had all the usual withdrawal symptoms except vomiting (thankfully!)  However I am still left with restless legs, burning and tingling in both lower legs and rotten cramping of toes and calves plus insomnia.   Constipation was the worst thing for me whilst I was taking the tabs.   I was prescribed that horrible sugary stuff to combat it.  However, I`m pretty sure taking that stuff gave me some electrolytes imbalance - a blood test found the imbalances and hopefully I am getting back to normal.

      During the withdrawal I found my pain seemed very heightened (that is the pain I had before and for which I was prescribed the DHC.    I was only on them for 8 months but I have suffered horrendiously.  I told my GP today - no more drugs for me!

      As to your final question - yes I believe it does end - but we are all made differently and for some it will last longer than others.   As I say I`ve had 26 days worth and still the aches and cramps bother me. Sleep is getting a bit better though.  Getting about 3 hours now.

      Keep in touch regarding your progress - we can chivvy each other along.



  • Posted

    You shouldn't need to be told of the addiction possiblities, that is what a patient information leaflet is for. Dihydrocodeine is a moderate opiate and if you ask those addicted to far stronger opiates they will tell you a Dihydrocodeine withdrawal is far easier than others and is often used to reduce from stronger opiates. However I am seriously injured and would not walk without it, quality of life is more important in certain circumstances so to me there is nothing evil about it. It's a necessity ... I myself took myself off morphine then OxyContin, withdraw from those and you would have much more to complain about. You did right to reduce.... but at 3 quarters of a tablet you should be able to stop easily and in 2 to 3 days you are over. If sleep is the problem, why not try Zopiclone or Zolpidem (depending on where you live) for a couple of nights. Some suffering is inevitable but you reduced already, you CAN do it.

  • Posted

    Hello Guest

    I started taking DHC in 2006 to help me with the pain caused by gout. I took 6x30mg per day at the start in 6 months I was taking 30 x 30mg tablets per day. You did not missread I was taking 30 30my tablets a day. I wa sthen referred to my local drug link centre here in the UK possiblly to be given methadone. However the doctor said that I would have more chance of overdosing with methadone so he would not prescribe. To cut it short, it as been a nightmare ride for 11 years with very little support from my local NHS services. My mental health as been severly affected. I am now stuck on 6 x 30mg per day for the last 18 months, you really are spot on when you talk about cold turkey it simply is impossible to me. I have tired the 60mg slow release tablets and also tried cutting into quarters without any luck. I am also now on one quarter of a zopiclone sleeper per night because has you said I cat nap during the day. I have the rattles between 2am and 3am every morning if the zoppies dont work correctly. My anger is very very bad and I have many run ins with the police for reacting to people violently and at 62 years of age I really dont want this. I self refered to healthy minds and I have been put on level 2 and I am awaiting again to see a new phsyciatrist. Hopefully he or she will be able to help me now that I realise that I need to remove my anger. However what they have said is that I will need to seek help from another agency to help me with my opiate dependancy. To conclude DHC are amazing painkillers but the problem is when I stop taking them will the pain return so to be honest I think that I maybe frightened to stop taking them. This maybe where the shrink may help me who knows??

    Thanks for reading and good luck to all on their personal journies



    • Posted

      I take many too, up to 20 a day and yes the pain is what stops me from it, I have cut down recently due to future anticipated problems with supply and finance. I use convination of diazepam ( perhaps fortnightly) and Zopiclone to do this.... I now am at 15

      a day..... I have said it's the easiest to withdraw from but only if you switch to them from ,say heroin and cut down quickly. But after a long time it is terrible.... I was once in the ridiculous situation where I bought Methadone from a friend and finally went in to hopefully receive treatment, I was told I could not have it, I had to have Heroin in my system.... so I had to go out and oblige. Good luck

    • Posted

      Hello Martin

      I have been looking for years for a forum like this one. There are many helpfull discussions about herion etc but very few from people who take DF118'S. I used to teach in prisons and it is widely used as a methadone substitute because it is approx half the price. I have a very strong willpower but I cannot stop these little white tablets. Many thanks for your input. I will now keep updating my treatement hopefully helping others. However we all must realise that what works for me may not work for others in fact it may be dangerous.

      cheers Martin and thanks again and of course I wish you all the very best and hopefully we can all improve our lives together

    • Posted

      Dear Probsat, seems to me your tolerance has sky rocketed, this is common, your not alone friend. I can give you my opinions without going scientific (if you want me to just reply) For one, a little known trick used (and gaining popularity) is to use diphenhydramine (Nytol, certain antihistamines or boots own sleeping tablet, this strengthens the effect of opiates and you are able to take less..... I don't know about you but recent CQC guidelines have cracked down on my reliable online pharmacy and they are obliged to contact my doctor (same doctor wanting me on far stronger medication) also you should never have been offered Methadone, it is a fantastic painkiller but I think their view was your an addict ....... rather than realising your pain and the need to improve your quality of life.... this does not make you an addict, correct me if I am wrong but I suspect you need the pain relief, and are dependent, but that's not addiction. Another method is rotation, using a different opiate at intervals as differing opiates fits in your GABA receptors differently, rotation can lower tolerance, but Methadone completely blocks these receptors so it's not useful for that. I can only assume rotation is not used more due to administration and whatever medication they are suggested to proscribe (stocks, expense ?) this is why a Heroin addict finds Dihydrocodeine easier to reduce as long as it's not substituted and taken for a long time. Another method is allowing the pain to run overnight and use a sleeping tablet. I have had success with this ....although minor, it all adds up. But whatever, I am with you with the Dihydrocodeine, today my intake went up simply as I had to walk yesterday. By the way, my opinions are based on clinical trials and personal experience. I really hope you find your best position, I myself believe you should be on DHC 120 Continus. I would suggest Oxycodone or OxyContin but despite the possibility of using for rotation it's a really horrible withdrawal and the so called 12 hour action Longtec Oxcontin lasted me only 7 as said before. My doctor tried to ridicule this till I showed him 3 seperate studies attesting to the fact. Pregablin has helped many, but not me, we are all different. Take care

    • Posted

      wow thanks Martin, sorry for late reply Friday was a poor day for me. There is so much for me to take in, it really is great to have advice from the voice of experience.



    • Posted

      Hi again   I am in no pain at all, I take the tabs to stop the withdrawl effects. Maybe when I do stop taking dhc the pain may return and I will control it with other non opiate pain killers.
    • Posted

      Hi Probsat, have been reading your story. I too am trapped on these things but have decided to give it another shot. How are things with you if you don't mind me asking?

    • Posted

      Hello Nick, I decided to have a break from worrying about matters accepting that I need my daily dose to get me through the day. Had a chat with my psychiatrist and I have been taking 20mg of citalopram for the past 12weeks, these have helped me to relax. I am also seeing psychologist and hopefully I will get to the bottom of what is troubling me. My aim is to remain steady and then attempt to reduce my DHC intake.



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