Off codeine for two weeks but my joint pain is making me struggle.

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So I've been on prescription pain killers (dihydrocodeine and tramadol for flare ups) for about 2 years. I started taking more and more and then my prescriptions weren't lasting as long as they should have been so I started substituting with additional Solpadeine Max and Nurofen+ in between prescriptions. I was taking about 20 of each of those per day.

I realise now that I was taking them as a crutch to help me through the stress of work. Anyway I had time off so I decided that I would come off them. The withdrawals weren't horrendous apart from the insomnia and restless legs which were awful! 

My issue is now my pain is starting to come back (arthritis in knee and hip stemming from a childhood complaint) and I want to avoid opiates if possible. The other issue is I'm starting back to work soon and I'm concerned about relapsing due to that.  

Any advice would Ben greatly appreciated!

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there,

    Big congrats for getting off this parasite of a drug. I too am on day 5 of withdrawing and like you I tend not to have too many physical symptoms but because I am on anti-depressants and anxiety medicine, my head just doesn't feel right at the moment. 

    With regards to relapsing, that is always the hardest part especially if you are in part of the world where you buy codeine over OTC with usually with paracetamol(which is the most dangerous part with regards to damage to your liver). I have never really brought codeine products for myself OTC as they don't have enough codeine in them to give you that nice warm relaxed feeling I guess people get addicted too. My advice to you would be to seek out some mental health help now which will help you to deal with your urges(and you will get them)but some sort of therapy to compliment all the good work you have done up to now. Even Hypnotherapy would be worth a try.

    Every time you think about taking it, just think you are undoing all this hard work and you don't want to go back to where you was. You have got this far which is amazing. Just don't be afraid of seeking further help which will help you to stay away from in the the future. 

    Well done 


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    • Posted

      Thanks for the comment. It is all to easy to get codeine OTC - I'm in the UK and every chemist stocks it. My partner has been amazing and I know I can talk to him about anything so o will be using him a lot in the coming weeks. I suppose it's about taking each day as it comes. I just know that work will be incredibly stressful as soon as I go back and it does worry me about coping. Thanks again!

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    • Posted

      Hey I live in the UK too and they seem to be fairly soft when it comes to this drug. My ex works in a chemist and people all the time buy cocodamal or cough syrup and there is little they can do that can stop them.

      When you are in pain, try to use products that don't contain codeine if you can.

      If you get in too much pain then visit your GP and don't be afriad to discuss your issues with codeine with them as that is what I did and they was very helpful.

      You can stay off this stuff I know you can.

      Good luck


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  • Posted

    Hi mate.... I feel your pain.. but don't give in.... I ended up on 27 cocodamol 30/500 a day for 9 years. Started off ok the norm 8 a day... Started taking taking more and got hooked. But about 14 month ago I decided I had to get off them so stopped completely. Docs were amazed I done it on my own.... it gets better after about a month.... I have never looked back. Never take anything now best thing I ever done.... feel great. Don't feel run down anymore obviously the medication was making me like that.... good luck mate on your journey. Don't give in and you will be fine....

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