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Codeine withdrawal help please
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Codeine withdrawal help please

Hi peoples, Firstly congrats to all of you contemplating, enduring and the successful in beating this chronic addiction! I have been searching the net like a mad woman for a few weeks now as I am a migraine suffer and also dreaded morning waker of headaches. For the first time in my life I have seriously contemplated leaving this world but I can't bare the thought of useless family members shuffling my adorable kids around. They would be hurt terribly, so the fight continues. After reading I started to panic thinking I am most definetely in the category of rebound headaches or medication overuse. I went to my doctor and he said I doubt it, you don't take them everyday do you?' I do!! He said then stop. It's not quite that easy, this is a 3 year addiction of slowly increasing the amount. I am tiny, 5ft 45kgs. I started taking the daily dosages and it has slowly increased until 2 weeks ago and I tried to stop. I went 1 day and ended up with a migraine. I reduced the dosage way lower than the recommended use but slowly over the week it increased. I was crying alot as I just can't handle the headaches every single day. Then last Thursday I woke up headache free after I increased my Lovan (SSRI) the day before. Silly to think this is the reason as it takes longer for saturation. Mind you I have been taking this for 6 months. Anyhoo, I am now on day 5 and have not taken any ibuprofen, no paracetamol, no codeine. I had a migraine yesterday and instead of taking any of those I took my Imigran nasal spray 100mg and Voltaren suppository 100mg at the same time and it went away after lying down. I hate suppositories but I need to help myself. What I need to know is when is the codeine out of your system? I am drinking alot of water and eating well. I smoke unfortunately but hey don't we all have at least one vice ;) I want to know when I can assume the headaches are not associated with the codeine.... then I can eliminate if it was rebound although I am certain it was as I feel alot better now than I did 5 days ago. Also the terrible withdrawls are an indicator, with flu like symptoms, hot then cold and back again, shaking, restless legs, totally wired, aching legs and back, blurry vision (worse than normal) (I have insomnia for the Inderal I take, so not sure if the insomnia is associated) diorhea and a terrible urge to go to the cupboard and take some tablets,and resisting was hard. Now it doesn't bother me. My husband takes them but if they aren't there he won't be fazed, I would panic. I think I have got to the point where I was taking them in fear to prevent a migraine or headache. Either way please excuse my dribblings, I am lost and can't talk to anyone I know about this and finding and reading this forum is a really empowering place for me. I feel like it can be done when others say I'm at 3 months and NO HEADACHES!!! OMG I dream of this! I also dream of shoving my fist into my doctors face sometimes at how he just wizzes me in out and of his office and inside I am screaming at the way I am not getting anwhere. Oh and while I am abusing everyones ears :) does anyone know if long term UTI infection can be caused from codeine? I have been clear for 6 months now but spent an entire year with my first ever UTI for over 12 months.. And finally, what are signs of liver damage? I am concerned that although my appetite is low, when I do eat, I am bloated and burping alot, or is this still withdrawls?? Thanks guys xxx
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13 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi again, can anyone help with my questions? Please disregard all the other stuff as I have just dribbled my feelings which are not important. I would delete my post if I knew how. I really need to know and would appreciate some help from anyone who knows:

How long before CODEINE is out of my system?
What symptoms are associated with liver damage?

Many thanks
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1067375_tn?1276362905
hi and well done for getting off codeine !!
ive looked this up for 6 months now and it can take anything up to 72hrs to get codeine out of your system...
just remember everybody is different and withdrawals could last up to a week
in my opinion it sounds like your over the worst but dont reach for a pill when u get a headache as codeine can cause headaches
i cant comment on liver damage sorry as i have no experience with that
hope this helps somewhat
jen
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much Jen for your reply :) So it's a good chance I have my own endorphins running again? So with the headaches, does this mean if you have a weakness for dependancy on codeine that you can never take it again?
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1067375_tn?1276362905
yeah it does sound like you are well on your way to getting your own endorphins back
are you thinking of going back on the codeine for the headaches?
if you were abusing them (taking more than your prescribed dose) were you doing this for fun? or for headaches?
did your body get used to a higher and higher dose every so often?
im in the uk here and when prescribed codeine there is a warning in the box saying taking codeine for a prolonged period of time can cause headaches
so if i was u i wouldnt want to touch them again i knowing they will probably give you a lot more headaches= lots more codeine
i was on codeine for bowel problems i took them fine for 3 years only 2 a day then things just started creeping up on me i realised by taking 2 30mg tablets (nothing else in them) i could have a lovely mellow buzz then it got to 4 then 6 then 8 and at my worst i was taking 10 30mg tablets at a time 3 times a day so id run out of my script within 4 days an have to but OTC meds N + which i was taking 8 of at a time just to have a normal day with my stomach so 32 - 56 a day if i had the  money i am only on day 2 of withdrawals and even though my stomach will be bad for ever an the only med that worked was codeine i will NEVER TAKE CODEINE AGAIN !!
sorry for ranting lol
jen
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Avatar_n_tn
Hiya Jen, I get ya. It's like run and never look back after codeine then...
I never took anything for fun though. I never ever took anything more than panadol no matter how bad the pain was. Maxalon to stop vomitting was the only other thing. I've had migraines since my first menstrual cycle. Then when hubby was at his worst from alcohol I started getting regular headaches which I couldn't budge with panadol. I was having panic attacks so bad I couldn't go the the shop anymore without freaking out.I started having severe palpitations causing irregular ECG's and breathing. I started taking (strong pain) 500mg paracetamol and 10mg codeine. It didn't really take that long to get up to the recommended dose on the packet, but none of ours mentions they cause headaches (I'm in Australia) only not to take for long periods without consulting your doctor as this can be harmful.
I don't beleive I have reached a level you are saying. I don't think my body would allow it. I was feeling nauseated quite often with the dose I was taking which seems minimal compared to you. Last wek this is what I was taking daily.
Morning: 3 x paracetamol 500mg and codeine 10mg
Lunchtime: 2 x panadeine extra 500mg/15mg codeine and 2xnurofen plus ibuprofen 200mg and 12.8mg codeine
Afternoon: 2 x paracetamol 500mg and codeine 10mg/and 2xnurofen plus ibuprofen 200mg and 12.8mg codeine
At night: 3 x paracetamol 500mg and codeine 10mg
So daily my totals were: Paracetamol 5000mg Codeine: 160mg Ibuorfen: 800mg
Not sure if this is even a high amount, but I was feeling so really bad and constantly fuzzt headed. If I had a migraine I also had imigran spray 100mg and voltaren suppository 100mg. I also take Lovan 20mg and Inderal 40mg x2 So I think my body was/is overloaded with toxins.
The dosage of Codeine you were taking is beyond what I could handle without vomitting. Your talking 900mg in one day right? 300mg per dose?
How are your symptoms right now? You doing okay? I certainly hope so!
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1067375_tn?1276362905
it seems to me you were only taking the recommended dose per day of each tablet
but if you look at it over time you body will get used to these doses and wont work as well so then u take 3 paracetamol then 3 n + 3 panadein extra and so on an so on...........
so i think u have done the right thing coming off all the codeine stuff just stick to normal ibuprofen and normal paracetemol for a couple of weeks to let your body adjust then if your doctor advises you may be able to take codeine once in a while when the pain is really bad and it will give you waaaaaaay better relief than taking it regularly every day. your doc can advise u more on this as im no expert lol but taking things at low doses everyday even can lead to dependance as you body tells you I NEED THIS just to keep you going
hope this helps lol
im doing very good so far thanx im quite shocked how ive managed so well but i think the key was i was doing those very high doses over only a few days but honestly got no buzz at all from them anymore (shocking i know)
and this week for 4 days i limited my N+ intake to 8 aday before going ct so i guess im going ct off a low dosage compared to what i was doing the restlesness is the thing thats driving me nuts !!! i cant sit still every muscle in my body wants to move i look like an idiot lol ive been taking kalms (all herbal) during the day and immodium to try to relieve this and amitriptyline only 10mg in the night to help me sleep and ive had 2 good nights sleep!! i dont know which day is gonna be the worst im thinking tommorow day 3 but i dont know how was it for u??
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Avatar_f_tn
Codeine is not the only drug that causes rebound headaches,ibuprofen and paracetamol also can if taken in high doses all the time.
I withdrew from 8-10 acteaminophen 325 with 30mg codeine tabs(Tylenol#3) daily 5 months ago and feel great.I was taking them for rheumatoid arthritis pain,but also realized that I was looking forward to the buzz more than the pain relief.
I now only take tylenol and ibuprofen for my pain and it works well.
The codeine should be out of your system in about 5 days and your rebound pain should subside in about the same time.
I used to wake up with a headache every morning and now do not.
Even the triptans can give rebound headaches if used too much.
All pain relievers can cause rebound pain is used too much and opiates are the worst.
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Avatar_n_tn
Morning Jen, I'll tell you honestly that day 2 for me was extremely hard. I kept myself super busy but all the while had sweat dripping down my armpits, my legs were even twitching. I took imodium (immodium) only once as I had gone to the loo too many times. I felt I couldn't go to the shop without a mishap!
I will tell you truthfully that hubby gave me HALF of his 5mg valium. I refuse to take these as I do suffer with anxiety but I have only ever had maybe 5 in my life that were broken in half. I even gave a prescribed box from my doc to my hubby. I don't like them. But he said you look terrible. I was bouncing my legs and rubbing my hands together so bad by the end of day 2.
The next day (d3) felt better physically but mentally was challenging. I tried to keep out of the house because they are in the cupboard and I had woken with a bad headache.I feel there is a ritual to some extent with taking these. like the morning cuppa and the morning cigarette, also comes the morning tablets..
I'm hoping that coming into day 3 for you that you will be over the majoirty of the physical symptoms. Drink heaps of water too. I'm not a water fan but have forced myself to drink lots in the hopes of helping myself through this a little quicker.
Please let me know how your going, I really hope your better than yesterday. Every day seems to be better in some way.

                                              *     *     *     *     *     *

Hi Pharma, thank you for your advise. I aqgree with you that paracetamol and ibuprofen also create rebound pain. I wouldn't have but now I do.
I asked my doctor who said codeine was the culprit for addiction moreso than the NSAIDS and paracetamol.
I only use the triptan (Imigran) when I know it is a migraine which of course is very different to a headache which is more central or banded.. With migraine it is always on the left side, always behind my eye and always comes with excruitiating stabbing/piercing pain. Nearly always nausea develops as the pain increases.I can't see properly out of the left eye and my nose blocks on that side. I get tingling down that side of my face in waves and sometimes numbing.
In July 09 hubby took me to hospital with a migraine attack. I went into shock after hyperventillating. I didn't know anything. This is when I increased my dosage to the higher frequency during the day as I am petrified of migraines. I get about 3 migraines a month, so I don't think I am abusing the triptan?? I have not gone over the recommended dose and only once used it twice in one day as directed.
When you say you don't get the morning headaches anymore, where you taking the tablets for headache relief and it became a daily chronic headache on waking?? And now 5 months in, you no longer get them. You must be so happy! So worth the days of withdrawing :) Easy to say now though, Day 2 is over :)
Do you have any idea how the endorphins come back in? I'm wondering if it is in waves, as the headahces that I have had these few days seem to come and go. They almost lift or go away yet return later.
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Avatar_f_tn
I took the tylenol#3 mainly for the pain in my feet from rheumatoid arthritis and working on my feet all day.I do not normally get headaches,but I did wake up with a headache almost every morning while taking the tylenol#3.
Since I have stopped the Tyl#3,I only need tylenol extrastrength or ubuprofen for the pain.Thses drugs can causr rebound headaches ,but not nearly as much as the codeine.
Yesterday,I bent over to pu on my boots and pulled muscles in my back.The most effective pain relief was 800mgibuprofen every 4 to 6 hours with food.I was able to put in a full day yesterday and today at work.
Your triptan use is not excessive.I see customers who use 1 every day and don't believe me that those triptans can cause rebound pain.
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Avatar_f_tn
You have done well, very well... This is my secret addiction: I am on day 2.5 of my Codeine withdrawal and I have had achy back, legs, hot /cold sweats, sleepiness, bad stomach and feeling highly emotional. Try not to worry about the liver damage yet. The liver can repair its self....(eventually).  I got hooked as the doctor prescribed me 30mg codiene/500mg paracetamol for a bad back. I then took many more than the recommended dose as I liked the warm high feeling I got as well as the pain releif. Then the doctor stopped my tablets abruptly after 1 year. I have now resorted to taking 32 Nurofen plus a day, and is a £6 per day addiction. I realsied I have to stop, as I am young woman, only 33, in full time work, with a lovely fiance who is oblivious to my addiction. I have been going to work with my withdrawal symptoms and trying to work through it, although I really want to be in bed or beside a toilet due to the upset tummy it is also giving me. The only comfort I am having is that this will eventually go away and I will be back to normal within a week. I just wish the doctor had chosen a chiropractor instead of hard opiate drugs to treat my back pain. Doctors can be like legal drug dealers then look down and judge you when it gets out of control.
Whoever else is goign through a withdrawal at the moment, I wish you all the best..and remember...work through it...its 1 week of feeling like hell, rather than a lifetime of addition battling!

I hope i never relapse! early days, early days...
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2024017_tn?1328800268
hi i am the same as you at the moment i take 32 nurofen a day and  really need to get off them, i am thinking of starting next week as i have a few days off, its just hard to hide it from my wife
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2024017_tn?1328800268
hi i am the same as you at the moment i take 32 nurofen a day and  really need to get off them, i am thinking of starting next week as i have a few days off, its just hard to hide it from my wife
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello there. I have just read your article with interest and if it helps, it has helped me to some degree. Anyway, a little bit about me; Ive been addicted to Codeine for over 16 years. I joined the pharma industry as a drug rep selling a mild analgesic but obviously my training gave the knowledge of all other painkillers...including Codeine. My addiction started when someone gave me a couple of Solpadols (500mg Paracetamol and 30mg Codeine) and yes i did like to effect. Being in the industry i became very friendly with some GPs who seemed happy to give me a prescription, so i was never out of stock. Don't get me wrong i never took beyond the safe use (8 per day) and even then this was rare. Anyway as time progressed, my career developed and i moved up within company and lost the opportunity to get my prescriptions anymore....so i just adopted Co-Codamol OTC (My GP would never give me any....i think secretly he knew but he was not interested because i knew more about medicine than him). I have literally just stopped taking them (well since the new year). i have gone cold turkey as i know if i had some in the house i would pop a couple. At the moment my i have an headache, i feel odd, anxious and last night i had the weirdest night. My head was in all states!!!. It was quite scary but I'm convinced its because of the withdrawal of Codeine so I'm just going to get on with it. There is one thing to remember, Codeine is not that dangerous when taking the correct amount and nothing above. Its when this amount is not enough and you start taking more. BUT and its a big BUT, the reason I've stopped is because who knows what really long term damage has been done. i don't think any clinical trial has ever taken place the amount of time I've been on Codeine. Ive never taken NSAIDs with Codeine because i know over time that NSAIDs will burn an hole in your stomach. Its very unlikely that you have liver damage as well unless you took too much paracetamol. As you know, an overdose of this is very toxic to the Liver. Obviously this is why you are only allowed a couple of boxes from the chemist as its for common for people to do you know what. My suggestion is go to your GP and have a LFT (Liver function test). Ive just had one and its fine and thats with over 16years abuse. Anyway, thanks for your post. I would love to know how you are getting on now?
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