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Codeine Withdrawal
  1. #1
    Tucker63 is offline Banned
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    Default Codeine Withdrawal

    I'm looking for information on long term effects of withdrawal from codeine. I realize the worst of the withdrawal can be expected to be over in five to seven days, but I have also heard it can take months to get over it completely. Does anyone have any advice or experience with coedeine withdrawal? Thank you.

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    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker63 View Post
    I'm looking for information on long term effects of withdrawal from codeine. I realize the worst of the withdrawal can be expected to be over in five to seven days, but I have also heard it can take months to get over it completely. Does anyone have any advice or experience with coedeine withdrawal? Thank you.
    Hello Tucker - welcome to the forum. Give us the detailed background on the codeine usage? How much per day, for how long, etc...? This all plays a factor in the question you are asking! Take care... God bless us all!

  3. #3
    Tucker63 is offline Banned
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    Hi Ricky71; thank you for the response. I have bulging disc in my lower back and I have used codeine for the last 28 years, albeit it hasn't always been large amounts but at times it was. For the last few years, I had a prescription for 100 tablets of Tylenol 3 every 20 days but would usually go through them in 10 days (taking 15 a day at times). Then I would live on Tylenol 1 until I could fill a new prescription. At the moment, I am trying to wean myself off of it altogether. The most I take now is 2-3 Tylenol #1 a day. I have a few Tylenol 3 left but I'm avoiding taking them because I ended the relationship with my doctor and will no longer be receiving prescriptions. I knew if I didn't end the relationship, I would continue the same cycle and I want to stop. I want to stop the control these drugs have. I'm doing okay, but it seems impossible to not take anything, even if it is a couple of Tylenol 1 a day. I don't need a prescription for that but the amount you buy is monitored. My biggest fear is I will never feel normal because I took this drug for so long. In the beginning I would take it here and there but then in the last 6-7 years it was constant; up until the last few weeks. I do have chronic back pain but I don't know what else to try. I've done physio, chiropractors, exercise but nothing takes away the pain long term or completely. Anyways that's the just of my story. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker63 View Post
    Hi Ricky71; thank you for the response. I have bulging disc in my lower back and I have used codeine for the last 28 years, albeit it hasn't always been large amounts but at times it was. For the last few years, I had a prescription for 100 tablets of Tylenol 3 every 20 days but would usually go through them in 10 days (taking 15 a day at times). Then I would live on Tylenol 1 until I could fill a new prescription. At the moment, I am trying to wean myself off of it altogether. The most I take now is 2-3 Tylenol #1 a day. I have a few Tylenol 3 left but I'm avoiding taking them because I ended the relationship with my doctor and will no longer be receiving prescriptions. I knew if I didn't end the relationship, I would continue the same cycle and I want to stop. I want to stop the control these drugs have. I'm doing okay, but it seems impossible to not take anything, even if it is a couple of Tylenol 1 a day. I don't need a prescription for that but the amount you buy is monitored. My biggest fear is I will never feel normal because I took this drug for so long. In the beginning I would take it here and there but then in the last 6-7 years it was constant; up until the last few weeks. I do have chronic back pain but I don't know what else to try. I've done physio, chiropractors, exercise but nothing takes away the pain long term or completely. Anyways that's the just of my story. Thanks again.
    First off, if you haven't already, you need to get some blood work done because that is a hefty amount of acetaminophen use and can really do a lot of harm/damage to your liver! To answer your concern, you will feel normal again, it will take some time but it will happen? Good nutrition, good multivitamin, B-6, magnesium citrate to name a few will all help the process! You'll really need to try some alternative OTC like ibuprofen to help with the pain, watch your acetaminophen use (max is 4000mg per 24 hours). Continue to taper off the codeine! You have made he right decision to free yourself from the meds! Keep up the good work! I wish you the very best! Keep updating your thread and let us know how you are doing? Take care... God bless us all!

  5. #5
    Smilingstorm is offline Senior Member
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    Hi, Tucker. I am day 8 off of Vicodin. 13 years ago I had back surgery for herniated and bulging discs. I was in pain meds for two years then. I do understand your physical pain. The pills give us a false sense of "functioning without pain" but in fact we are still in pain just numbing. I was able to wean off the meds after the surgery without too much WD. I was younger and wanted to get pregnant so perhaps it was easier? In the last two years, I have had three knee surgeries and got back on the pills. Taking more than I should and feeling like I have to have them to just get through the day. On day 8 without any opiate. Keeping busy seems to really help with the brain and body withdrawals. I have to admit, I am not being stopped from doing anything because I don't have a pill. It's almost the opposite. The physical WD is annoying and sucky. But not as bad as I thought. Wishing you much luck. Weaning is a good idea in my opinion if you have been on them that long. Your liver will appreciate the lower doses. Ibuprofen does help. Keep us posted!

  6. #6
    Tucker63 is offline Banned
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    Thanks for the reply Smilingstorm. I will continue to try to get off this drug. I haven't got a choice as soon I will no longer be getting prescriptions. I felt like I had to end the relationship with my doctor to stop the cycle. If I had access to them I would never stop. I am going to start exercising more and plan on forcing myself to get out and walk every morning starting tomorrow. I am also looking for a new doctor to start fresh. You're right, the pain is real and I am in pain 24/7. It's annoying and I truly can't stand it anymore. I do take Advil but can only do that for so long because those types of medications start to bother my stomach. Does anyone know if my liver, and the rest of me, will still heal if I'm taking 2-3 Tylenol #1 a day? They are 300 mg acetaminophen and 8 mg codeine per tablet. Thank you for the well wishes. Good for you for reaching day 8!! That's awesome; it really is because I know it's not easy.

  7. #7
    Smilingstorm is offline Senior Member
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    Good morning, Tucker. Please know I understand your pain. Have you considered surgery? I had a laminectomy and it was very successful. Lasts only 10 years but I am on 13 since surgery for my back. Also, I did go to accupuncture. It was cool, it didn't take away the pain but it moved it from the front of my mind to the back of my mind. Of course, I do feel much of our pain is fear of the pain. But that's just me. We worry we will be in pain so we med up. We convince ourselves that only the opiate will work. It's not true. But you need to figure that out when you are ready. Exercise and Thomas recipe is super effective. The first 5 days are hard physically and emotionally. But you really seem ready. I will be here to support if you need it! Today I woke up day 9 feeling so good. My back and knees didn't stop me from getting out of bed. I felt alert and happy. No idea if it will last but it does give some hope! In the meantime, keep tapering and stay in touch. I don't know about the liver question. I have had mine checked and believe it or not it was fine. I have been on meds and drank! So I would just have the blood test done to see if it's even an issue. Tylenol is very hard on the liver. So the less the better!

  8. #8
    Terry77 is offline New Member
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    I have been taking codeine based tablets for 20 years and have just had to stop because they have finally been upsetting my stomach too much. I was down to 2-4 tablets a day so it meant the withdrawals should've been not too bad, but I was wrong. The nausea, diarrhea, and depression did get pretty bad for a week to 10 days, but after that, it has died down quite a bit. You will feel like it's never gonna end and it will be like this forever. But it won't. With such a long term use, it will take a long time for your body to get used to life without codeine, as it will mine, and it is small baby steps every day, gradually getting better, but it may feel bad for a couple of weeks before you notice an improvement. But it will be worth it. But just remember the improvement will be ever so gradual, feeling only slightly better each day, and it may take weeks, possibly even months to get back to a normal way of living, but for the amount of time you've been taking it, sacrificing a few months of feeling a bit ill is definitely gonna be worth it.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 06-27-2016 at 12:14 PM.

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    Tucker63 is offline Banned
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    Thanks Terry. My usage was not consistent. Some days it was a lot and some days not. One week too much, three weeks, not so much. I think that is one saving grace. If I was taking large amounts consistently, I think things would be much harder. I have been weaning for about three weeks now. I used more than I should have today but not a crazy amount. I used 3 Tylenol 1 and 3 Tylenol 3. Bad day I guess. But to be honest, I think I can do this. I have to. I can't stand the control it has anymore. I will find another way to cope with the pain. I think the worst symptom I have now is just a general weakness. I still have some Tylenol 3's left and I will no longer be taking those after today unless I absolutely have to. They are within my reach but I figure part of this is about willpower. I want to prove to myself I can do this. I'll get there. It will be hard. But I will no longer have something controlling me.

  10. #10
    Tucker63 is offline Banned
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    I don't know if I can do this. My back is killing me. I broke down today and used some Tylenol 3. Even without the back pain, I didn't feel right today. Not sick, just off. I also have developed another issue that's concerning but I'm going to see if it was a one time thing or if it continues. If it continues, I think I may be in trouble. I hate this. I wish I never would have taken this stuff. I have an appt with a new doctor tomorrow and I don't even know what to say. I'll talk about my back issues obviously but I don't know if I want to get into taking about long term pain med use. I'm scared if I do and I really need something one day, I'll be refused. I'm so frustrated. I hate this....

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    Tucker63 is offline Banned
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    Not sure if anyone is even reading this thread anymore. Day 2 with nothing. Yay for me.

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    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker63 View Post
    Not sure if anyone is even reading this thread anymore. Day 2 with nothing. Yay for me.
    People are reading your thread, trust me! You can see the view count before you click on your thread to open it? Anyways, good job on getting through two days with no meds, you are well on your way my friend. Keep it up! Stay strong and stay positive! Keep us posted? God bless us all!

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    Smilingstorm is offline Senior Member
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    Congratulations on now day 3! You can do this! Let us know how the next couple of days are. How did the doctor appointment go? Did you speak about the opiate use along with back issues? I don't know if I would have told mine the whole truth, either. You aren't alone.
    Wishing you a clean day. Stay strong!

  14. #14
    Tucker63 is offline Banned
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    Hi Smilingstorm. Thank you. I think one thing I discovered is tapering is harder than just saying that's it. The appt went well. I did not discuss opiates I just said I was looking for pain relief for my back and asked for an anti inflammatory type of medication. I feel okay. Day by day it will get better. I've been keeping busy and have probably done more in the last week than in a long time. That's one thing I noticed too...my motivation is returning. Imodium and the heating pad were my friends. Sounds silly but it helped. Thank you again. I appreciate the well wishes. And good on you for how well you've done!! That damn merry go round is not a fun ride and with any luck I'll never get back on again.

  15. #15
    Smilingstorm is offline Senior Member
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    Wahoo! You are doing it! Proud of each day. That's all we have is this day. You being busy is a blessing. Imodium too

  16. #16
    CarriesManolos is offline New Member
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    Keep doing what you're doing Tucker, even just asking the doctor for a different pain med takes a lot, I know I'm not in a place to be able to do that yet - you should be proud.

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    Tucker63 is offline Banned
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    The worst may only last five days but I realize now this is going to be a long haul. I still don't feel great. No energy; anxious, weird feeling at the top of my head, just not right. I guess given length of time I was taking them has a lot to do with how I feel. I have concluded I won't feel right for weeks if not longer. I feel okay some days and then it's like I'm going through withdrawal all over again. I don't know if this is normal or not. The cravings are still there. For me, they don't go away after five days. They're still there. Some days not as strong; some days quite strong. I hope I feel okay soon. My energy is almost none existent. And my back pain is constant. I'm tired....

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    Smilingstorm is offline Senior Member
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    Hey there! You need to do an update on you! Just wanted to quickly stop by and say thank you for your support yesterday.

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