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Abdominal pain after taking codeine post cholecystectomy
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The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ underneath your liver that stores bile and most often gives you trouble when something, like a gallstone, blocks the flow of this bile. Discuss topics including gallbladder attacks, gallbladder removal, gallstones, and inflammation.

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Abdominal pain after taking codeine post cholecystectomy

Hi there, I'm 39, I'm 5ft 10", and have not had weight problems and have enjoyed a balanced diet all my life.  In 1999 after the birth of my first child, I began to experience terrible pain after ingestion of fatty foods when people came to visit me in the weeks following the birth- I was diagnosed cholecystitis (which I was told developed in pregnancy) and had a laparoscopic removal of gravel from my gall bladder.   When my baby was 4 months old I had a severe headache and took paracetamol with codeine (16mg codeine) which I had taken episodically during my life with no adverse effect. Within 30 mins of ingestion I began to experience symptoms the same as when i had a gall-bladder attack and I went to the ED thinking I still had a bile stone trapped somewhere - the ultrasound of my liver was normal. I have take codeine at random times for severe pain  over 12 years since then, and every time I take codeine the same thing occurs - sudden severe abdominal pain that feels exactly the same as with cholecystitis-excruciating!  Milk helps a little but not much.   I've read a few things on the net and I now know there is a relation to Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction after gall bladder removal that may be triggered after ingestion of codeine, and there may even be a link to pancreatic cancer in later life.  I'd like to contact others experiencing similar problems.  Obviously I no longer take codeine and have not experienced an episode since.  Why don't doctors warn us post cholecystectomy of this possible occurrence?  A warning may have saved me one trip to hospital.  I'd like others who have had their gallbladder removed to know that this is quite a common occurrence and there is more documented evidence of this occurrence than there ever was in 1999. It may even be very bad for you.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I had my gallbladder out 2-1/2 weeks ago and was prescribed tylenol with codeine for the pain.  I took it for 2 days after with no real problems, but then yesterday i woke up with a migraine and took one of the pills.  Exactly 30 minutes later i was in excrutiating pain and went to the ER.  They did an ultrasound and ran blood tests on my liver and all was fine.  I was conviced it had something to do with the medication.  As soon as i felt it kick in (the headache disappeared) is when the pain started.  After doing some reading on the net, I see other people having similar problems with codeine after surgery.  I will definitely not be taking it anymore!  
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Avatar_m_tn
I had my gall bladder removed about four years ago. From that day on, i have not been able to have codeine in even the smallest amounts. After suffering a migraine recently, they gave me morpheine and the same reaction occurred. It felt the same as a gall bladder attack. The pain was indescribable. I screamed the hospital down, writhing around the bed, not able to keep still. The doctors thought it was my heart and did an ECG. I told them no it is a reaction to the morphine. They said they have never heard of such a thing. It is very frustrating. I am now searching for a medical article I can carry with me so that if I am in that situation again I can whip it out and show them!! I have read so many similar accounts yet the doctor did not warn me and it is very frustrating as ther are not a lot of pain relief options left once you take out morphine and it's derivatives eg codeine!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your replys.  I tell medical staff I cannot take codeine now,   and i no longer experience this dreadful pain., Here's another link:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11095359/
to support our claims.  Please post if you are affected by this...... Someone might just research this and officially validate this adverse effect.
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Avatar_m_tn
Here's another reference to a french article:  [Biliary pain after ingestion of paracetamol and codeine].

Authors
Delonca O, Barbe S, Cassan P, Pariente EA.
Journal
Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 1995 Jan;19(1):137-8. Article in French.

Affiliation
PMID 7720982 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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Avatar_m_tn
Here's more!:

Morphine and biliary pain revisited
Gut 2000;46:750-751

And:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/2485009/

And:
http://www.anzca.edu.au/fpm/events/fpm-events/1-CBell.pdf


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Avatar_f_tn
to whomever this helps! omg NOW I KNOW WHY!!! I've had my gall bladder removed like over a year ago and have not had any symptoms until i got sick and was given tylenol with codiene OMG ! thought someone was crushing my chest and squeezing my ribs! had to go to ER for that they didnt find nothing and stupidly took it again cuz i forgot!!! like 6 mos later and when i had the old familiar pain again inflamming my chest I said what the heck i never had problems before taking codiene! so now I know why. Lately too i've been noticed i been having bad pains when i had something too greasy so i now i decided to look it up. The doctors never said what i can and cannot eat ! ugh!! now i know why!!!thanks guys
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Avatar_f_tn
I had my gallbladder removed a little over 2 years ago. I am having random severe pain as well. The pain comes usually after taking Tylenol and just last night I took 2 Advil for a headache and I got the same pain. It feels like the same pain I had before I had my gallbladder removed. I have been hospitalized a few times for this reason and the doctors think I am there just to get some dope. I took a CT scan and nothing came up. Now I do not go to the hospital when the pain comes. I am always anxious now because I know I can be anywhere when this severe pain occurs. I am thinking about seeing a neurologist because I do not know what else to do. I wish i could just warn the world not to get this surgery because there are natural alternatives. Has anyone found any technique that at least reduces the pain? Any suggestions?
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank good ness.for google
Currently waiting for codeine to wear off... In agony  ...at least.i know now why

I only get it with higher doses.of codeine... Cold relief.capsules not a problem
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Avatar_f_tn
THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!! I had my gallbladder out 5 years ago, even though I had no gallstones, just general discomfort, and gallbladder "not working".  General discomfort went away.  
Twice since then I've had these horrible attacks, breaking out in sudden cold sweat, nausea, feeling of suffocating, and feeling like a vice is around my midsection. Once after high fat meal, once with the flu, and now the 2nd time exactly 30 minutes after taking tylenol with codeine.  Thought the first time was a fluke.  Took this time for an abscessed tooth.  The side effects MUCH worse than the tooth pain.
I searched the internet for side effects, didn't find anything until this.  I feel better, but am concerned if I ever get an illness with intense pain requiring a narcotic.
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Avatar_f_tn
THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!! I had my gallbladder out 5 years ago, even though I had no gallstones, just general discomfort, and gallbladder "not working".  General discomfort went away.  
Twice since then I've had these horrible attacks, breaking out in sudden cold sweat, nausea, feeling of suffocating, and feeling like a vice is around my midsection. Once after high fat meal, once with the flu, and now the 2nd time exactly 30 minutes after taking tylenol with codeine.  Thought the first time was a fluke.  Took this time for an abscessed tooth.  The side effects MUCH worse than the tooth pain.
I searched the internet for side effects, didn't find anything until this.  I feel better, but am concerned if I ever get an illness with intense pain requiring a narcotic.
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Avatar_f_tn
i too have had the same pains.  i also cannot take many other pain killers and it appears that nurofen and paracetamol are pretty much the strongest i can take which makes it difficult following surgery.  i find that when an attack does occur that Buscopan helps relieve it pretty quickly.  some foods trigger it off too.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had my gallbladder removed May of this year, after developing gallstones during pregnancy. Yesterday I was prescribed Tylenol #3 by my dentist after starting a root canal. A few hours after taking it, I started having severe upper abdominal pains. I was actually driving, the sitting seemed to make it worse. I haven't felt pain so bad in a long time. It was almost worse than gallstones. I got very sweaty, felt some flutters in my chest. It was so scary. I took a Nexium, & Tums, nothing helped. It lasyed for hours. The awful pain went into my back. I woke up with it, still having it but not as bad. I took tge same pills during my pregnancy for the stones & had no issues with it. I read this is very common. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one. I go back to the dentist today, I hope they don't think I'm crazy when I mention this!
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Avatar_m_tn
Had my gall bladder removed in 1990. Went to hospital last week to have neck surgery. Was giving a shot of morphine. 10 mins later I had crushing chest pain clammy, sweaty, painful. I was rushed to the ER my surgery was canceled. Stayed in ER 6 Hrs then into hospital. Everyone said heart attack. Then I was cleared no heart attack. They said it was because I got a shot of morphine and no gall bladder. I lucky to be writing this...
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