Trying to battle with codeine reduction

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Since my last post two weeks ago I have managed to stick with 8 co/codomol 30/500 a day (prescribed)I have reduced my over the counter ibuprofen and codeine from 25 to 17. Tomorrow I move down to 16. I try to reduce every couple of days. However yesterday my anxiety and panic attacks were so bad I thought I was having a heart attack and actually dialled 999. The lady at the ambulance service asked me loads of questions and from where the pains were, she decided it wasn't life threatening so just told me to attend A&E within the hour to be checked over.  She was glad that I phoned though. However I did fall asleep at 6pm last night so never attended and never woke until 7.30 this morning. As I hadn't had my daily dose of codeine yesterday I awoke with the most terrible withdrawal syptoms. The bed cloths were soaked and I was in pain and shaking until my first dose of two co/codomol 30/500 and two ibuprofen and codeine. I just want to continue with my reduction until I am taking co/codomol 30/500, for my back pain at the usual dosage of 8 tablets per day. Then battle it from there!

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  • Posted

    What are the withdrawal symptoms and how soon does it kick in?
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    • Posted

      Mine kick in at night when I don't take anymore until I wake. I go to bed between 8 and 9 when I wake to go to loo throughout during the night I notice that the sheets are soaking wet (the first sign) I get weird dreams as well. By the time I awake to face the following day I have the shakes, feel extremely agitated and shakey until my first dose of cocodomol 30/500 and 2 ibuprofen and codeine. Then everything eases and start to feel normal. I was fine with just taking my 6-8 cocodomol 30/500 a day. It's since my introduction of ibuprofen and codeine 12.8mg which eventually spiralled out of control. This is why I am determined to reduce.
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  • Posted

    Hi Latchy, stick with it, it sounds like you're winning the mental battle! I speak from experience, originally I was prescribed 30/500 cocodamol for back pain, and recognised about 6 months ago that I was addicted to them. I was taking 10 - 14 a day. I've been off them for a month now, and the withdrawals were really hard. Have you spoken to your Dr? Good luck, keep reducing the over the counter meds, your liver and kidneys will thank you for it!
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    • Posted

      Hi Nicky. Yes I'm battling with reduction and thank you. The withdrawal is awful. I found that if I reduce my doses in the afternoon, it's not quite as bad. The Dr doesn't know but on a recent blood test at hospital, everything was fine. Why do Drs prescribe the cocodomol 30/500 so readily? I have taken 8 of them every day since I started in 2006. Never realising I was addicted! It's only during the last 12 months since I added the ibuprofen and codeine. Mind like I said I'll be down to 16 tomorrow. And so on until I'm not taking any at all. Then I will say to the Dr I need to be weaned off the cocodomol and tell him I can't function without them! Surely he can see that he gives me 224 a month every month! If he ever asks me I shall tell him the truth. I might find it easier to ask my CPN (I see for depression) to write him a letter and notify him of my addiction. I found it good last time when I was addicted to 90 mg of diazepam! That's down to 25mg and he's happy with that. But that's a separate story of addiction. I find it much easier with the CPN as my nurse comes to my house for an hour once a week. Rather than the 10 min appointment with the Dr where I feel uneasy, anxious and rushed. But I'm sure you know all that. Well done for beating the addiction. And I will look forward to posting in the future when I am codeine free. This time I am determined.
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  • Posted

    You're sounding very determined and strong Latchy, well done! I had a mixed experience with my Dr, I was extremely ashamed of the fact I'd become addicted, and initially he was great, reassured me and prescribed me codeine phosphate (no paracetamol). I managed to reduce down to 6 per day in a month, and then got stuck at 4, for a month, after which he basically told me unless I stopped within a week he would refer me to a Methadone clinic. This frightened me I admit. Two weeks later I armed myself with all the vitamins and supplements I could, admitted to my husband I had a problem, and went cold turkey. It's the worst and best thing I've ever done. I'll be looking out for you, and if you need any extra support, give me a shout. Good luck.
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    • Posted

      Hi Nicky. I'm having a bad day. Didn't realise my 30/500s box was empty so have none until my prescription on Monday. I've got some over the counter solpadeine max 12.8mg so I'm taking 3 of those at a time with 4 ibuprofen and codeine 12.8mg. So that's me today and tomorrow. Then back on plan on Monday and continue reducing.  Hate this addiction.  Hopefully 2 days won't hurt.
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  • Posted

    Latchy please be careful, that's a hell of a lot of ibuprofen and paracetamol there. Have you got lots of things planned for this weekend to take your mind of it? I found exercise, even just a short walk helped me. Could you not get your prescription earlier? I think the sooner you come clean to your GP or nurse the better. Take care.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Nicky. I've calculated how many paracetamol I'll take today, it's 11!  So three more than usual. And my usual 16 ibuprofen and codeine. Will get prescription on Monday. Seeing dr at 8.30 am. I'm going to cut out the ibuprofen and codeine on Monday as I will get my nitrazepam repeat. I find the sedation helps me overcome the urge to take them.  I've read posts on here some people take 30 30/500s a day and others take upto 90 ibuprofen and codeine! Thank god I'm not that bad! 
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    • Posted

      I've made a big decision. I'm going cold turkey and not taking anymore today. I shall just have to cope for the rest of the day and try to occupy my mind. Usually sleep helps!
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    • Posted

      Had a load of water. Will take a bottle to bed with me. Yes I get the restless legs. I take A-Z multi vitamins and minerals. Just checked and magnesium is in them. 100% RDA. I will take my last dose about 6pm and that should see me through until the morning. Thanks for the advice.
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  • Posted

    You're welcome. Let me know how you get on. B VITAMIN supplements help with the withdrawals too, and if you're on diazepam, that will help you sleep. Rooting for you.
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    • Posted

      Yes thank god for the 5 x 5mg  of diazepam I take per day. Was lying in bed for over an hour and the withdrawals were getting bad. So I took my last dose for the day at 3.30. I'm going to take my sedative antidepressant at 6 and go to bed. I usually go to bed early anyway as I wake very early. Took all my supplements this morning when I woke. Be glad to get my nitrazepam on Monday then I can really cut down on my codeine for 4-5 days and hopefully reset my body clock and then try continuing with the reduced dose.
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    • Posted

      Hi Nicky. Just to let you know. The withdrawals weren't that bad last night! No night sweats or restless legs. It was just a very long night. Didn't want to get up this morning, the diazepam and supplements must have helped. However my first fix was waiting. Be glad to get today out of the way. Anxious about Drs appointment tomorrow, I always am the day before. That's why I'd rather come clean to my CPN in the comfort of my own home as I'm far more relaxed. I've always disliked going to the Drs.
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    • Posted

      Hi Nicky. Just to let you know. The withdrawals weren't that bad last night! No night sweats or restless legs. It was just a very long night. Didn't want to get up this morning, the diazepam and supplements must have helped. However my first fix was waiting. Be glad to get today out of the way. Anxious about Drs appointment tomorrow, I always am the day before. That's why I'd rather come clean to my CPN in the comfort of my own home as I'm far more relaxed. I've always disliked going to the Drs.
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    • Posted

      HiLatchy,

      Glad you didn't have a bad night. It proves something though heh? You can do without those massive doses of over the counter meds. Well done!  Are you going to try and do the same today? Good luck with the Dr tomorrow. Can I ask whether you are taking the cocodamol for pain relief or because it's habit? In other words, do you need the paracetamol in them? If not ask the Dr to prescribe you Codeine Phosphate rather than Cocodamol, and then you can reduce your intake on those. Good luck with it. Keep us posted! 

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    • Posted

      Thanks Nicky. Yes doing the same today. I do take the 30/500s for severe low back pain (got 5 slipped discs)  in my lumbar spine  with referred pain down my legs. I used to take tramadol as well but stopped those myself.  So I do need something for the pain ( I wouldn't be able to walk without pain relief) I'd be happy to stay on just 8 30/500s a day until I have some form of intervention. My old Dr was going to give me dihydrocodeine as well!!!!! I said no thank god. That is even more addictive.
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