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Long term effects in painkiller addiction

I have had an addiction to codiene phosphate for a few years.  My GP is aware of this, and we are gradually coming of it.

But will there be any long term damage to my internal organs?
I have never been above 120mg a day.  Has this already caused me problems, or is it unlikely?  I must say, I originally took this for migraine. . not effective for that now, but still have to take it.  All done through my GP and have never experimented with any drugs even tobacco!
88 Responses
Avatar universal
You should be just fine! Personally, I would worry more about your addiction to codiene and your emotional wellbeing. If you aren't feeling right mentally, your body can surely suffer.

I just had a complete physical done two days ago and the results were considerably better across the board than they were last year. This is in spite of the fact that I've been on strong pain meds for 9 months.

Everybody reacts to medication differently so take what I say as purely my opinion.  J.B.
Avatar universal
I agree with J.B., i really wouldn't worry about it too much.  Concentrate on the mental addiction to the opiates, and hopefully, you will sail through it without too much difficulty.  If you get past this part, you will be fine!!!
Good luck!
Jenny
Avatar universal
Seeing Pain Specialist again tomorrow need help/advise before I see him.  (I'm sorry to jump in but the post's are full, couldn't start a new one.)  I'm 30 yrs old have Rheumatoid Arthritis and have been on Hydrocodone for 10 years.  So of course I'm now addicted and the pain specialist who isn't kind at all, has tried me on 150mg day Kadian w/3norco - didn't help, I still had alot of pain, plus the need to take 2 norco almost every 3 hours.  Then he tried Oxycontin 4omg a day w/3 norco - same results/nothing; so now a month on Methadone 10mg twice a day w/4 norco - Same Thing/Nothing!  Alot of you have said Methadone is the way to go, I dont feel any help, the first day I went until 4pm without taking any Norco, for me thats amazing, I really thought this was going to be it, but the next day the same pain shot throughout my body.  At this point I'm not sure if its the arthritis or my body yelling for more and more Vicodin.  Tomorrow I'm out so I pray he does something for me, I know I'm getting ready to walk that ugly road to no sleep, cold/hot sweats, and getting ready to jump out of my skin.  I'm out off my Norco, I really pray for some good help/advise, I like many of you am so so tired of going through the empty bottles way too soon, and the fear of getting caught refilling too soon, or like tomorrow, not having an alternative but to wait it out.  I wish I could just take Advil for the pain, I really want to, but these Awful Withdrawls From Hell!  I'm already on no energy due to the weather here and the way it flares up my body, not to mention my 15 mth old beautiful daughter who keeps me hopping.  Please, someone, advise to say to doctor tomorrow, he threatened last visit not to see me anymore because everything he has offered has not helped, he made it seem as though I was trying for it not to work, I wish one of those med's did work.  Thank you, sorry this was so long.
Avatar universal
How awful, i really feel for you, pain is such an awful thing, and i can't believe the dr would just leave you high and dry.
How about a new doctor, maybe one that is a bit more compassionate!
I don't know much about it, but i've heard some people really talk up the patches as being very successful.  I would definately try a new doctor, maybe he/she will have some different ideas and you can finally get some relief.
Good luck to you!
Jenny
Avatar universal
The pain specialist my husband sees in Texas told us that doctors don't like to fail. So when they can't help you they blame you because their ego is burised. What about a new doctor?
That seems like a good idea. Are you located near Texas. If you are I would email you the name of the doctor my husband sees. He totally believes in helping his patients. He doesn't talk down to you. He believes that doctors under treat pain. There are also a couple of more doctors like him in the country that specilize in treating pain. You might be near one of them. This doctor had an article in the newspaper and I cut it out a year before my husband needed him. God was at work with that one. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Just like to say thanks to all of you who have answered my question.  And thanks for your good wishes!
Avatar universal
I guess this comment would be for Thomas since I
Avatar universal
Hi Cindi,
No, I don't have any intentions of going off my pain meds at this time.  I just ran out early and happened to have some Darvocet that I'm using so I don't have to go through withdrawals. I was just asking Thomas because I remember him taking them.  They really don't take care of my pain.  I'd be afraid of taking 3 or 4 at a time because of the 650m tylenol in them, although I tell you I am really dragging.  Hope you have a good trip.
Avatar universal
Hi Pixie I felt so bad when I read your post just now.  I can only imagine the kind of pain you are in and how hard it must be to take care of your son when you do not have any relief. I get horrible headaches that put me in bed for a good 24 hours and I have a 15 month old son so I know how that is.  Is there any way you could talk to another Dr. or a pain management specialist?  You have a legimate reason to take the vicoprofen and somebody should be able to see that and help you.  I do not ahave a lot of great advice but I wanted you to know that you have a listening ear in me.  Take care
Avatar universal
Hi Wizard I am not sure if you have read my posts or not but I am addicted to Ultram and Hydrocodne and want to stop!  I am going away for 5 days and when I come back I am ready.  I hope I can write to you and have you give me some encouragement when the withdrawls start.  I am so proud of you 35 days is great!!!
Avatar universal
Bless your heart -- I can only tell you my thoughts & prayers are with you, reading about your terrible situation. I'm sorry you're in such pain & having this trouble w/the doctor. It does sound like it may be time to try looking for a new doctor. I know how intimidating that can be, trying to find a new doctor to treat a preexisting condition that requires these kinds of meds...Hang in there. I'm sure some of the others here will have good ideas to help you out.
Bless you, Milo
Avatar universal
Hi Pixie,  I have 2 little kids and Fibro as well and unfortunately your situation is not at all uncommon,,the doc's thoughts are stoneage...and really are angering...I agree about finding another doc for pain management..no human should be allowed to suffer the way some of these docs let us suffer..please   find someone else to help you    good luck      love to all cin
Avatar universal
I guess this comment would be for Thomas since I believe from reading the forum that he has had alot of experience with Darvocet, is that right?  Anyway its that big pink pill 100m - 650 Tylenol.  I'm addicted to oxy's and hydro.  I don't get that many a month and of course I always go through them to soon but I usually have something to tie me over until my prescription is due, in this case its the Darvocet.  Thomas you said you were addicted to these for years and my question is why was this your drug of choice?  I read in The Pill Book that Propoxyphene is a chemical derivative of Methadone and is used to detoxify narcotics addicts. Now I have some big pain issues and I said I was addicted but I don't see myself personally going off my pain meds anytime soon.  The addicted statement comes from the fact that I use more then I'm suppose to, but if someone wanted to get off oxy's and hydro's wouldn't this be a option to get off them?  The Darvocet only makes me tired and sleepy and of course I won't have to go through the withdrawal thing.  I haven't taken more then 1 of these at a time and just can't imagine how you could get high off these things, not to mention what it would do to your liver.  Anyway if anyone has any comments I'd like to hear what you have to say.  Hi Cindy (I think your still in Florida though).
Avatar universal
Hey there,  I did use darvocet to get off ultram at one point and I do know other people who have used them to get off the hydros  I don't know about oxy though   anyway  do you really want to get off of the pain meds?  If they are helping your pain and helping your quality of life  the darvocet will probably not do much in the way of pain relief if you have been on oxy's and hydro..if you really want to get off of them then maybe taper then go to the darvocet...Thomas could probably help you better than me in this department...let me just tell yo this..my sister has been on hydro for a few years and she takes about 8 a day maybe a few more here and ther  she has worse problems with pin than I do....anyway she ran out and has darvocet  she has to take at least 3 or 4 darvocet to even stop the withdrawal feelings completely...she takes 2 just to take the edge off.....anyway whatever you decide good luck   and Yes,,I am on my way to Florida,,,i am in NC with my sisiter now and heading to florida on Saturday morning  dad is coming up to get me....sao I'll be popping in and out   Love to all    cindi
Avatar universal
Last week I ran out of my Vicoprofen. To summarize my situation:
I have Fibromyalgia and the kind of menstrual cramps that feel like labor (had a baby so I know).
I found a doc (been in my family for a while) who would prescribe the Vicoprofen for a few months because he thinks that I can taper off them eventually and get rid of all my pain with antidepressants and getting out of the house more often.
He subscribes to the school of thought that pain is largely in your head and therefore can be controlled by psychiatric means.
So I ran out early-happens every time-I called him and he was on vacation. I called the doc (biting my nails) that he left on his machine for emergencies. I consider opiod withdrawal an emergency.
He sounded shocked that I took these kinds of meds on a regular basis-I had to give him all the backround info, I told him that I have pre authorization letters from the state for Vicoprofen (and a few others), that I have a legitimate case, and he may call my pharmacy to confirm dosages and what not.
I understood his reluctance. He called in one days worth (my doc would be returning in approx 1 1/2 days at that point)
My husband went to the pharmacy (the doc called it in to one in the same chain but not mine by accident) and they refused to fill it.
My husband (bless him) gave them no small amount grief for that.
THE PHARMACIST WOULD NOT FILL 5 PILLS
I HAVE AUTHORIZATION FROM THE STATE
plus I have an illness that nearly cripples me if left untreated
I borrowed some Darvocet from an aunt for the day, but I had withdrawals anyway. My doc came back and decided to call in Darvon 100's instead of the Vicoprofen. He said that now would be a good time to drop the Hydrocodone to a lesser narcotic such as propoxyphene
ie; The pharmacy situation spooked him.
He said things like "one would have to wonder what folks did before all these meds and technology existed" and
"Could you just get up and go out somewhere to take your mind off it" and
"somehow you managed to call me so you can in fact manage the pain"
So I abruptly jumped from Vicoprofen 7.5 to Darvon 100
I had a sobbing spell today because I couldn't open a bottle of juice for my son. (I didn't break down in front of him) The pain and stiffness in my hand rendered it useless. I've had steady relief for so long that this is like beginning the disease all over again. I forgot how much it hurt.
I AM SO SAD
I don't want to take Darvon. This stuff is such ****.
I really wish I didn't have an illness. I hate pills. I hate chemicals and drugs. However, neither can I tolerate grinding my teeth against unholy levels of pain day in and day out. I don't know what to do. I suppose it will work out somehow.
Sorry so long-had to vent.
Pixie
Avatar universal
Look at what the methadone did my friend it took away your cravings for Norco! That is what it will continue to do if you give it a chance. Methadone will remove all cravings and pain if you increase and find your therapeutic or adequate dose. It is the safest and most effective pain med for chronic pain. Absolutely let methadone work for you and you will be amazed at the results. You must quit all short acting opiates and let methadone work its magic. Methadone helps stabilise your endorphin imbalance and restore the normal balance of n/transmitters in your brain. Stop  your consumption of short acting opiates and get on the proper medicine for chronic pain!
Lots of Luck and Best Wishes,
Dan..
Avatar universal
I'm sorry to hear about your mountain driving experience!  I lived in Colorado for over twenty years and drove the mountains everyday.  Colorado is a piece of cake compared to the mountains of the eastern U.S. Talk about the death grip on the steering wheel and spasmotic foot on the gas pedal! Hah!  I wouldn't blame you for taking a boat to get around that mess coming home.  Hope you are finding Florida all you expected it to be?  J.B.
Avatar universal
Hi Heyrae, 1st let me say there is Hope and Light at the end of the long tunnel most of us have walked many times and don't even apologize for a long post. A lot of us have written books here to help ourselves keep our minds on something more than our pain. I don't know what level of arthritis you have but I know ALL levels are painful. Without getting into how MUCH hydro, oxy, morphine and Soma I was taking (it was a lot) I want to tell you what has worked for me so far since I went "cold turkey". It's now been 53 days and after the W.D.s started to cease physically, (the mental whispers never stop) I have been taking Vioxx daily for arthritic knees, hands and feet. I also have had 2 disks removed and have endured chronic backpain for a long time. When I would run out of "meds" I thought I'd never make it to the next refills because of the pain but I finally made up my mind that I had to find out if the high level of pain was my joint problems or withdrawels. I had to know the difference. Once I got the "Dragon" out of my system I found out that by using the Vioxx I was able to get myself most of the time to a managable level of tolerence to the pain. Now I'm not saying that I don't have my bad days but when the threshold starts to get where I WANT THE "DRAGON" I add 1600mg of Ibuprophen at one time (few hours after the Vioxx)and it works! Now this works for ME I have a very strong stomach and we all have different systems. For me this is better then the constant W.D.s of the opiates and I have a clear head. I found that after my body was free of the opiates my pain wasn't as bad as I had made it. Any way you go it's not easy in the beggining but with the prayers and support of the "Angels" on this forum I FOUND the way to peace and quality of life. I will keep you in my prayers Heyrae. Never despair. Never give up HOPE! Reach for the Light. There are other alternatives for some of us. I'm one of the lucky ones. With Gods good graces maybe you will be to.
Power & Magick 2 U,
Peace & Light On us all,
Wizard
Avatar universal
Pixie what a terrible situation for you!I'm so sorry that any person would have to go through that for any reason. I do know that Darvon is in the same class of narcotics as Methodone. I believe it's a deravitive of it in some way. As far as his statement as to what people did before all the technology you should have told him "they just took "laudlum" that they got over the counter or smoked opium that they picked" What the hell kinda **** is that to say to someone hurting? Sometimes I think we know what's best for ourselves. If your Doc or one of his family members was in the same pain would he think the same way? NOT.......Dear, I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts. Do not despair! Lean on us at any time and try to find a more compassionant Dr.
Power & Magick 2 U,
Wizard
Avatar universal
jbear, you lean on me anytime for sure. Yes 35 days was great but it's 53 days now and that's even better! I hope you have a fine vacation and gear up to be FREE! I was working my way down the posts to answer all my friends but eveytime I post they get ahead of me LOL! CIN!!!!!!!! Sounds like you took the wrong yellow brick turnLOL I hope you are well and I'm stirring up some of my Wizard dust to send to you now! I hope you know I'm thinking and praying for every day love! I may not get to write to you as much sometimes but just KNOW my Magick is AT YOU! LOL......Even on the road your here helping people more then I am! You got one of my missing flying monkeys with you? ROFLMAO.Sweet dream to you and the little"chillins".
Milo, My brother! You keep hanging in there for sure. Your last mail to me tells me some fine things about you my man. You keep digging for that special "knowledge" and believe me the truth will set you FREE! You GO dude! Remember every time you post to help it takes one more "Dragon" claw out of your back! Every time you post seeking help you take one more "Dragon" claw out of the backs of the responders! Like the song says "We are FAMILY" don't you see? Heeee Heeee! I gotta tell you the "dragon" was whispering a bit today again and here I am typing away and that little ******* is GONE. I replaced one negative habit with a positive one! Praise God!
Thomas, I'm thinking of you too brother! Your in my special "Angel" request prayers. Keep on Keeping On!
Angelica, you too! Wheweeeee! My fingers won't stop tapping the keys! Wow I'm cracking myself up again LOL!
J.B. you're there too! Wizard dust on all of you! jennyfla,susanlea,Shane where you been? Hope i haven't left anyone out ...You all Know who you are! God Bless  all us Little addicts! Geeze people, I think I've worked up some lightning here. I'm feeling some Divine energy flowing. Cin, I think I'm turning into "Cosmic Wizard Surfer Dude" ROFLMAO again!
Well, I better go chang my key board I think I burned this one up!
Power & Magick 2 U all,
Peace & Light upon us,
Luv,
Wiz
Avatar universal

First the main post, [Medievelable], long title, maybe that's why some did not respond, anyway I take 320 mg of Codiene Sulfate every day broken up 2-(30MG)pills every six hours or three and then change the remaining dosages if I awaken in extreme pain like this morning after last nights disgusting 15 minute seizure where I felt like I was in below zero weather, first time I have had a seizure where I felt cold, but that was much worse than just the violent shaking. I woke up shaking and thought it was just because I was cold because me teeth were chattering like when I used to live in Illinois over 25 years ago.

I tried to get up to get a blanket and was shaking violently from the coldness, so I thought, but then realized it was a seizure because I could not move my body. It really sucked!!!!!!

Anyway enough of my problems, I don't think you have to worry about your Codiene as I have been on the 240 mg daily with no problems, except it lowers the seizure threshold, uuhhgg.


Now to [Pixie], I know what you are going through it took me along time to find a good doctor who was willing to give the pain meds. It took becoming an alcoholic for my own pain management, improperly being detoxed and going through seizures and DT's on and off for three months, then in-patient detox, another relapse with seizures and DT's, and another detox, and then I finally got it through my thick skull to stop drinking booze forever. I now have a permanent partial complex seizure disorder.

The pain was still a major issue and my psychiatrist found a good doctor and they did all sorts of tests because they say the pain is from Fibromyalgia,,,,I say Lupus. I will receive a battery of testing next week called cognitive functioning something or other to see my brain function and it is supposed to show a number of things about what my brain is doing and it can even determin things like if it's Lupus or not. Then after they do that they, if they find brain damage, they try to do things to re-route the brain circuits, kind of like what the brain does on it's own after a stroke.

I hope you can find a good doctor like mine. Try a good psychiatrist. I have found women to be more compassionate then men. And tell her or him you need to address the pain issue because it is causing you severe anxiety, depression and it is making your life unfunctional and unbearable. They know people cannot struggle with severe pain for very lomg. I think you can find someone if you trust in God to help you and believe in our prayers for you and keep looking. I know how frustrating looking is, I almost killed myself over it many times in the past. God Bless You and We'll all be praying for you.

To [Cindi]- How's Florida??? Are you there yet. Yah, those mountains suck for driving, I would not want to try that especially in my mental state now!LOL Hope you are having a good time. Any nice looking hurricanes floating around?LOL Nothing over here yet darn it but the good ole Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone is finally doing what it should be doing across Micronesia!LOL

Sorry for the long post, I guess I am in a state of the Temporal Lobe Babble Syndrome again.ROFL
Avatar universal
Thank you from the top of my heart for words of encouragement, I desparetly need words of incouragemnt.  I saw my doctor today he said that I looked better, but of course I dont want them to toss me away, so I made sure to go in with a positive attitude, anyway they kept me on 10 mg of Methadone twice a day, and 4 norco which I am completley out of because a week ago I got a over seas doctor to wright me one up and I filled it at my local pharmacy so now they dont want to fill the vicodin anymore.  So this is the point I'm at today.  I'm pretty sure the withdrawls are going to start to kick in cause of not having any norco/vicodin, but at this point they haven't yet.  I'm praying day and night for strength to get me through this.  I know I cant keep going on like this chasing doctors and differnt pharmacies trying to get more and more vicodin.  I wish I would have never ever started to take it!! I hate the damn drug, I want to so bad just take Advil or ibuprofen, and alot of times my pain feels like thats all I need.  But those Damn Withdrawls.  Do you really think this Methadone is gonna start to kick in and take my mind off of popping norco/vicodin every 2-3 hours of the day every day.  I just took 2 clomazapine to help me sleep tonight, that too should help the uglies, and at least maybe I'll sleep.  But tomorrow is another day, pray for me I have another 3 weeks before I can refill my norco.  My favorite pharmacy that I took this prescription refill too caught on that I had already filled it at another store.  You see all that, I cant live like this anymore.  Please tell me this.  If I stop taking vicodin completely, I'm gonna start to go through withdrals, and bad cravings for it even with the Methadone?  At the dose I'm on shouldn't that help me get through the day without the cold/hot sweats and thoughts of loosing your mind.  Is that a strong enough dosage that I'm on.  One person told me to go to some site that'll send you some prescriptions that have codeine phosfate in it, I ordered some to get me through these next 3 weeks.  I hope it does something for me.  I dread going through withdrawls, but I'm starting to think that I need to just go through it and then afterwards I wont be as bad off as I was before, I know I'll still crave but will my stomach ache for it and make me just want to crawl out of my skin??  I want to just not take anything,  I feel sometimes that the pain isn't that bad that I need to take the Norco, its just a habit now.  I dont know what its suppose to feel like to be normal.  I love hearing your advise, it helps me.  I also asked my Pain Specialist about the patch and he said "NO" thats not an alternative.  

To whoever asked if I live near Texas, Yes, I live in Dallas, right by Downtown.  I love to know what doctors you could recommend.  I'd really appreciate.  God Bless all of you for responding, helping and caring.            Rae.
Avatar universal
The doctor my husband uses in Texas believes in making sure his patients have the right kind of meds at the right dose. The sign on his wall says "Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional".
This is all he does is treat people for pain. People come from all over the state to see him. I am not comfortable giving his name out here because I have heard him comment about people listing his name on the internet. But I would be glad to give it
if anyone one wants to email me. I can give his phone number and name. You can email me at ***@****.  I have one brochure from his office. If someone would like it I will mail it to them. Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Someone posted that they had a note from the state saying they can have pain meds. What is this? I have never heard of a note from the state. Can someone educate me please? Thanks.
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