I was prescribed co-codamol 30/500 tabs back in 2005 when I hurt my back at work.
At first I took them because they made the pain disappear, or at least made me not care about the pain.
As time progessed I took more and more just to have the sensation of being...I don't know what the word is but I felt emotionally numb, completely carefree, and I enjoyed that feeling.
It got to the point where I was running out of the prescribed co-codamol so I'd go to the chemist and buy packs of Nurofen Plus to tide me over till I could get a fresh supply of co-codamol from my Dr.
Things came to a head this year - I was taking around 16 Nurofen Plus at a time, only this time instead of feeling pleasant my stomach began to ache, then it progressed from just aching to an intense pain, from there it got so bad that I couldn't even get out of bed to get to the phone in the lounge to call for an ambulance.
Eventually I fell asleep - or slipped into unconsciousness might be a better way of putting it.
I decided there and then that Nurofen Plus were to be avoided at all costs, I looked on the web and it seems that it was the Ibruprofen that caused me the pain - I was lucky in that it didn't give me an ulcer as I was taking it for quite a while.
So I then switched to Paramol tablets, these contain hydrocodeine and give the same kind of 'buzz' as regular codeine.
Things reached a point last week where I was examining my life and where I was going - and I didn't really like what I saw.
I'm currently unemployed and to be honest, the only thing I live for is taking my precious co-codamol/paramol tablets.
So I've decided to quit, I took my last 18 Paramol tablets at 4am Monday morning, which is roughly 31 hours ago.
I don't have anyone to talk to about this, I'm single and pretty much on my own with no job, so I thought coming in here and writing down everything day to day would be a good way of keeping me focused on sticking to the job in hand.
Right now the 'symptoms' I'm suffering with are:
Mild anxiety/can't seem to sit still/can't concentrate
From what I've read on this blog and others on the web, it seems that after 5 days of withdrawal you reach the downward slope.
I'll update this every day until the symptoms have gone or are so mild they're not worth commenting on.
It's now been 37.5 hours since my last dihydrocodeine pills were taken - I had a 2 hour sleep this afternoon, and my trips to the bathroom have been pretty frequent, if I did have a job right now I'd have to take a week off to get through this simply because of my need to get to the bathroom urgently.
One thing which has come upon me out of the blue is a feeling of becoming very emotional all of a sudden.
I'm normally a pretty solid guy but today I've been thinking about things from my past and have almost started crying - which is not like me at all.
Maybe because I switch from a week of co-codamol (codeine & paracetamol) and a week of Paramol (dihydrocodeine & paracetamol) I shan't experience the extreme withdrawal symptoms that people who constantly take the same form of codeine suffer with?
Hopefully not, but right now I feel bad but it's not an 'intolerable' bad.
I keep thinking to myself, "just get to Monday and it'll be over".
I tried half-heartedly to quit several times previously, but I always found myself unable to stick with it.
This time I really do want to because my life could be 100% better if I was working (tough to find a job at the moment but not impossible) and had the means to get myself out and about - sitting at home all day in a daze of codeine haze doesn't make me want to start sending out my CV to prospective employers, and the other thing is this, what woman is going to want to be with a guy who just sits at home swallowing pills all day.
This is what I'm thinking to give me the kick up the butt that I need to quit taking these things.
I take a lot of heart from Perfect Angel's posts, she's a woman with a family to look after and if she did it then I'm sure a single guy like me can do it!
Well for me this is Day 2, actually it's 52 hours since my last "hit" of codeine and last night was a bad one.
Woke up at 12.30am and could not get back to sleep thanks to a thumping headache, took some paracetamol which may have helped a bit - it's hard to tell.
Managed to drift off at around 3am till about 5.30am then woke up again with a thumping headache and then drifted off for another hour or so.
How long does this last?
It depends on the individual, but feeling awful like this lasts for about 5 days, then you're over the worst of it and start to feel better and after around 8 days you are "you" again.
Doctors are more trouble than they are worth - they know these things are addicitive and prescribe them as if they were smarties.
At my dr's surgery I don't even have to see my dr to get more co-codamol, I just phone the repeat prescription number every 2 weeks and then collect the prescription 2 days later.
Dr's must love people like me - they don't have to spend 15 minutes listening to me complain, they just sign the prescription!
These are the things I'm taking which seem to ease the discomfort, some more than others:
Paracetamol for the headaches
Diarrhea capsules to stop running to the bathroom every 5 seconds
Cod Liver Oil 3 TABLESPOONS per day it's packed with nutrients and can only do your body good
Vitamin C tablets, 4,000mg per day
I found taking these things is definately better than not taking them.
Remember Izzy, get to Day 5 and it's all downhill - that's what I think over and over to help me get through this.
Also I think posting your thoughts on here seems to help, sounds weird but it does, it definately helps me.
I mean immediately as in TODAY!
I was taking Nurofen Plus, as I mentioned in an earlier post, but maybe I didn't emphasise the extreme amounts of pain I was in for a 23 hour period.
I used to take 16 tablets in the morning and 16 tablets in the evening - that was on the days I had ran out of my prescribed co-codamol tablets.
One morning I took 16 as usual and after half an hour I had some mild stomach pain, a kind of bloated feeling you get when you've eaten a huge dinner.
Then it got worse, I thought about taking some more Nurofen's to ease the pain (damn glad I didn't) but thought better of it.
It got bad, so bad that I thought it would be best to go to bed and try and sleep through it.
I couldn't lie in any position that would ease the pain.
After 5 hours or so I started throwing up, I was sick about 9 times in total.
Near the end there was nothing left in my stomach but gritty white stuff, which I assumed was the residue of the tablets I'd swallowed.
If my telephone was in the bedroom I would've dialled an ambulance and would have asked them to kick the front door in because I was in too much pain to get out of bed.
At one point I remember praying to God to stop the pain, I was absolutely delirious with it.
Eventually I passed out and when I woke up the pain had gone (after around 23 hours of absolute agony), I was nearly crying with relief and from that day on I have never taken Nurofen Plus nor anything that contains Ibuprofen.
These withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant, they make me feel emotional, I have a bad case of diarrhea, headaches, hot flushes, sweats, stomach cramps and more, but this is NOTHING compared to the pain I was in when I took those Nurofen Plus tablets - this is kids stuff!
In my 40 years on this earth nothing comes close to matching that pain - nothing at all.
I truly thought I was going to die, and I was scared out of my wits.
It's the Ibuprofen in the Nurofen Plus that causes the pain.
There's not a lot more I can add except this - eventually you'll have the same kind of experience I had, and if you read this and still continue taking those Nurofen Plus tablets then I really do sincerly feel sorry for you, because I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone.
I say it once more - the discomfort of withdrawal is absolutely NOTHING compared to the agonizing misery of Nurofen Plus abuse.
Headaches have subsided a bit but diarrhea continuing to be a pain.
The real thing which has hit me is my emotional state, I don't ever remember being this emotionally fragile, but I've read that this is yet another of the wonderful side effects of withdrawal.
What a sorry state to get in.
All because I wanted to get carefree stoned every day.
I think if people treated casual codeine abuse in the same way as going to the pub - ie, a few pills on a Saturday night, there wouldn't be a problem. IF you could keep it strictly to a few pills on a Saturday night.
That way there'd be no addiction, so no withdrawal and you'd not have to take very many to get the feel-good buzz.
But I suppose us humans are a bit daft - as in, enough is never enough.
Feels like today I've turned a corner.
Headache has gone, trips to the toilet not so frequent and I don't feel quite as depressed/emotional.
I did wake up at 2.30am and struggle to get back to sleep but after a couple of hours I did.
Anyone wondering about the strange times of my posts - I'm in the UK and over here right now it's 08.17am.
Not much else to add except stick with it, I know you feel awful but it will soon be over IF you stick with it.
Just one word on the method of tapering off codeine - as I see it you'll still have withdrawal symptoms which are going to last a lot longer than a week because you're still putting codeine into your system.
Personally, I've chosen to go "cold turkey" for the simple reason that if I had codeine in the house I would not trust myself with it!
I know that as soon as I started feeling bad I'd just take a load of them and then where would I be.
Back to square one!
PS. Izzy, if you're really struggling with this, try doing what I started to do yesterday morning.
I've began a diary, starting in 1970 when I was born, I started writing all the earliest positive/happy thoughts I could remember.
I don't mean write your diary in here, just write it on your computer, remember to not include any negative or unhappy thoughts, just the positive/happy ones.
You'll be surprised as you go through your life how many happy times you've had, writing them all down, year by year helps you feel good about yourself - try it, it works for me.
Woke up at 5.30am but other than that I'm feeling much better - not so emotional although I still do feel a bit weak in that area.
I feel much more in touch with things.
I think a couple more days and I'll be back to normal.
I'm pretty sure I've not had as bad or as long a withdrawal period as some people because I kept switching from dihydrocodeine and codeine from week to week, maybe I was never really properly addicted to either one of them.
That's about it.
Stick with it - if a 40 year old like me can beat it so can you!
Feels like I'm nearly through this.
Symptoms have almost gone completely although I did struggle to stay asleep last night - no biggie.
Emotional state has improved, I'm not beating myself up (as much) anymore over things that have happened in the past that I have no control over.
By Monday I'll think I'll have cracked it.
Good Luck and don't give up.
i decided enough was enough and decided to come of them myself as i was getting dependent on them
i have took this action several times but always went back on them because of the side affects of comming of them
I always take a cold and a caugh get really nausiated i feel like someone had kicked lumps out of me as i am that sore
all over i get sweats and feel really iritable but i am determined not to take them again.
This was the reason i started taken them again because of the caugh as i cant sleep at night.I only took about 4 a day 6 at the most
I also suffer from asthma and i feel really wheazy i have taken my inhaler.
how long will this bad cold like symptems last? it has been a week since i took
the painkillers.. i wil just keep the pain, as the side affects from these are worse.
very seldom took any more than that and i still got hooked.i have been on here looking for answers for hours now as i cant sleep i came on here at 3.30 and its now 6.52 :-( caugh and cold is keeping me awake aswell..my family dont have a cluw what is going on with me i suffer from depression anyway so they think that is the problem. but i think i need to tell them today.
just dont give in pet and try your best to do without them all together..i will handle the pain.
we can beat these monsters..GIRL POWER
LOVE MAGGIE XXX :O
Very soon I will be travelling to another part of Australia where I will not be able to go from pharmacy to pharmacy buying packets of 30 Nurofen Plus and I am going to need to be able to work in a responsible capacity. Thus my gradual withdrawl over these days and weeks.
Day One: I went from 30 tablets a days down to 10. I had feelings of discomfort, aches and pains in joints and muscles, diarrhoea, anxiety and sleeplessness. I took the 10 tablets in the morning and went through until the next day.
Day Two: I have decided to reduce the quantity of tablets by 1 per day rather than go cold turkey. I just don't think I could do it the way Perfect Angel did. Took 9 tablets divided across the day and my main symptoms have been aches and pains, anxiety and sleeplessness. I did wake during the night and had to take 2 Panadeine with a total of 16mgs of Codeine as the sleeplessness and hot and cold flushes have been pretty challenging
Today is Day Three and surprisingly i don't feel too bad. I have taken 2 Nurofen Plus so far today and plan to spread the remaining 6 over the day. Hopefully I will have the strength to hold one back so I can use it tonight if I can't sleep. I don't feel like going out but I plan to go to my very first NA meeting today. Who would have haver thought!!! I have no difficulty acknowledging that this addiction is something I need help with and that "higher power" is very real for me. I don't drink alcohol or smoke tobacco but am able to see that my alcohol intake in previous years and my codeine addication indicate a personality trait within me that make me susceptible to becoming addicted. After I get off this stuff I hope to never go back on it again.
Wish me luck and I hope all you out there in the blogoshpere who are trying to get off this stuff will be successful