Weaning off codeine

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This is my first time talking about it. For 2 years I've been taking codeine in the form of nurofen plus, solpadene max and cocodamol 30/500 when the doc prescribes it. I'm a recovering alcoholic and have been sober for 5 and a half years. After I stopped drinking I wouldn't touch anything drug-related in fear of it leading to me having a drink but 2 years ago I got my wisdom tooth extracted and ended up with a dry socket which is excruciating and eventually regular pain relief didn't work so I tried my bf's cocodamol that he was given after an operation. From then it led on to daily use and now I'm physically dependent.

One day I decided I'd had enough and stopped taking it. The next morning I felt like I was dying. Cold sweats, shakes, stomach pains, Vomiting and awful depression. From that moment I was terrified I would never do it as I went and bought more immediately.

That was 3 months ago. I was going through a 32 pack of nurofen plus daily as well as solpadene max to top up. I have now managed to reduce down to 6 nurofen plus and 6 solpadene max with great difficulty. I'm 31 and feel 90 with my aches and sore joints. I am getting married in 6 months and have never told anyone, including my fiancé that I take them, let alone that I'm addicted. So my pains are confusing to him as there is no reason for them.

My brain is unpredictable and unreliable. I'm depressed and so anxious so have to keep telling myself that it is just the withdrawal and it will pass. I'm so chuffed that I've been able to get down to the number I have but where does it end.

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Bro50 so glad you've started talking about it and you should feel chuffed youve done amazing!! if I was you I would go see your GP and explain what's happened and what your going through, I know this may seem difficult but you need help getting to the end and it dosnt have to be torture and they will help without judgement, if they do then change your GP, I went through withdrawal from opioids and was helped by lots of special people on this forum and one thing that got me through was gabapentin, this will help you sleep and with withdrawals, however if your scared of becoming addicted to another drug then your doc will help you taper down so slowly that you should not suffer as bad from withdrawals, where here anytime to talk and let off steam, chin up mate you've come so far and you can see this through to the end but please get help you really don't need to do this on your own, keep me updated 😊😊

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    • Posted

      Hi there, thanks so much for your reply. I'm in agony, mentally and physically. It only goes away when I take the pills. How the hell does anybody do this. I feel like I'd rather die than suffer like this. I will definitely go to the doctor because it's making me think that my life will never be "normal" or pain-free again. I can't go through every day like this, the withdrawals are too much and I can't even talk about it out loud so I'm sitting here in silence wanting to scream.

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  • Posted

    I've had similar problem to you and I don't know if this answer is helpful as you are in the uk and I'm usa .but the absolute easiest and best way to get off the painkillers with no withdrawal is a pill called lyrica .it is for nerve pain but is not narcotic.for some reason it blocks all the symptoms of withdrawal from opiods which you are taking .maybe you could ask your doctor for them ,say that you have pains in your legs (restless leg syndrome) and a friend in usa recommend them. But just don't take them for more than a week .if your doctor doesn't give them then you can probably buy online

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    • Posted

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the reply. I've heard some pretty scary things about lyrica. Did it not have crazy side effects with you? To be honest I will be willing to try anything because I'm in agony and can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I also wish I could just go cold turkey but I don't think I could, especially since nobody knows that I'm doing this.

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    • Posted

      Iv had both, in my opinion gabapentin does the same and I found pregabalin/lyrica to have more side effects.

      I know exactly what your going through but please don't do cold turkey, it's extremely dangerouse and in my experience the withdrawals didn't go away any quicker I felt like mine went on far longer than I expected, it's uneccessary mental and physical torture.

      This will end I promise you but get an emergency app on Monday if you can because the sooner you speak with your GP I swear youl feel much better, my heart goes out to you right now and I wish I could help more, have a hot bath, try and go for a walk and drink plenty water, listen to music, anything to distract you until Monday, I went through this very recently and thought the same that it would never end, it was hell!! Once the doc puts a tapering plan in place youl be on top of this, you will get through it, keep in touch please 😊

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    • Posted

      No bad side effects to for me,they just make you feel like you had 1 glass of wine.you feel very relaxed,I highly recommend
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    • Posted

      Ye I think everyone reacts differently and you have to try to find out for yourself, there's a lot of meds I don't suit but i know they work well for others 😊

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    • Posted

      I think the crazy side effect your talking about are people who take it long term ,I've heard that it to has withdrawal symptoms. But for a week you won't get that ,,I've done it more than once because I went to the dentist and he gave me painkillers and then I got hooked again .if you get off them never put another painkiller in your mouth as you will be right back where you started or more.these pills are evil buggers. But for me I now know I can get off them with no terrible withdrawal because of lyrica

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    • Posted

      Hey Caroline, I've managed to get down to 7 pills today and yesterday. My head is thumping and my back is killing me but I'm trying to push through it.

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    • Posted

      That's fantastic bro50👊, Don't drop to much to quick tho or youl put yourself through uneccessary withdrawals.

      Did you see your GP?

      Stick with it, your doing amazing and you will get through this and have a normal life again, very soon. Keep me posted 😊

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    • Posted

      I rang the doctors but my usual doctor is off all this week so I chickened out. The restless legs and inability to sleep is torture.
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    • Posted

      Ye it is horrendous, ring back and see someone else today if you can, I went two weeks before I knew about gabapentin and they where brilliant for WLS and sleeping, don't torture yourself any more than you already are.

      Stay strong you're doing amazing!! and there is light at the end of the tunnel, let me know if you manage to get appointment, dont be put off, this is your life, hope today is better for you 😊

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    • Posted

      I called again today but I have to call back on Friday for an emergency appointment. I told my fiancé this morning. He was quite casual about the whole thing but I know he wouldn't be able to understand the severity of the situation because he has never had any problems like this. But at least I don't have to try and hide it now.

      I had to go and "sleep" in the spare room last night as the RLS, back pain and headache were so bad.

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    • Posted

      Well fridays not to far away, I'm glad you've told your fiancé you will need his help and support.

      The wrestles legs are horrendous I feel for you, I started tapering in sept last year and I still get WLS even now, it's not a severe but i take gabapentin when I feel like it's going to be a bad night.

      Magnesium supplement was suggested but I don't think it helped me much (just my opinion) get the liquid formula it gets into the system quicker and they say to give it up to a week before you see any difference.

      Don't forget I'm here if you need to talk or sound off anytime, it helps to know where all in the same boat, keep in touch 😊

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