Meds worries . . .

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Meds worries . . .

Postby Fyguy » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:46 am

Hi, newbie here :wave:

I'm 40 years old, male and have been suffering for a couple of years now. I was prescribed codeine over a year ago now and I know that I'm dependent on it. I went to see a new Dr this week and she prescribed me Gabapentin and said that I should try to ween myself off codeine, I thought nice idea and I would love to try but I actually depend on it and think it does make a difference. Any way, never thought any more about it until I received a call from my practice saying that they had drew up a plan for me and prepared my repeat prescriptions. I picked them up and the plan is basically telling when to take my codeine and dropping one or so every day. The repeat prescriptions are weekly and diminish in quantity every week until zero! I'm not sure how I feel about this, I know codeine isn't good for you long term, but to me, any bit of relief is worth it. . .

Thoughts?
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Re: Meds worries . . .

Postby SchroedingersCat » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:54 am

This list would be enough of a reason for me to listen to my doctor http://codeinerehab.com/about-codeine/l ... f-codeine/ but given that I limit myself to paracetamol, I'm probably a little biased.
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Re: Meds worries . . .

Postby InkyBob » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:43 am

Hi Fyguy,

I can understand the nervousness about coming off a medication you've been finding useful - particularly if codeine is the first thing you've found that helped the pain.

However, it's worth giving gabapentin a try. It works on a different mechanism from codeine, actually helping the nerves be less "tetchy" and reducing the pain that way. (there's a good leaflet on gabapentin here: http://www.cuh.org.uk/cms/sites/default ... ervice.pdf )

Has the Dr suggested starting the gabapentin before tapering down the codeine? So there won't be a point where you're without pain relief, it's just reducing one whilst raising the other, also reducing the potential for side effects from the codeine and giving you a chance to see if the gabapentin is working well for you.

Codeine is a very useful painkiller, but it's better for shortish term use because of the way the body builds a tolerance to it. If it's used as a "top up" painkiller when needed, rather than an all-the-time painkiller it can be really helpful.

There are people who find it necessary all the time, and who don't get on with other meds, but the down sides of using it mean other drugs are worth trying before settling on codeine lomg-term.

Best wishes
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Re: Meds worries . . .

Postby Fyguy » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:05 pm

I have started on the Gabepentin straight away. I'd love to be able to keep a box of codeine in for bad days, but unfortunately, I know if I have it I'll use it. . .
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Re: Meds worries . . .

Postby InkyBob » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:09 pm

At least you recognise there is an issue here, and it has become a dependency rather than use for its purely pain relieving effects. Knowing that is a big part of being able to stop using something.

There are support organisations that can help specifically with reducing dependency on painkillers, though I've not had personal experience with any so don't know who best to recommend. I would suggest having a google around though, and finding someone to talk through this with. No one starts using medication for fun, and dependency develops for a reason. Without looking at the role that the medication was taking, and putting something in its place, the process of successful withdrawal will be harder (though still entirely possible).

Best wishes
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Re: Meds worries . . .

Postby whoami » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:52 pm

I hear your concerns. I have been wearing Fentanyl patches for a good amount of years and a reasonably large dose. I have tried many meds over the years but this gives me relief.
I have talked to my Dr and pharmacist about addiction. Yes my body will be addicted to Fentanyl. My mind no! I don't fully understand where that line is crossed from your body needing the meds for pain and then the mind wanting them for some other relief.

I was told that if your pain receptors are using the full amount of medication then you are ok. It is when your pain does not require the level of meds but you like the feeling that it becomes an issue. I have never felt like...when do I get new patches next. Waiting for them or worried I may not have them with me at the right time.

I can't tell you what to do with your meds but you need to have a serious talk with your Dr's. Good luck.
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