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Old 11-23-2009, 02:40 PM   #1
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What do I take for severe pain if I'm allergic to Codeine?

I have fibromyalgia and had a terrible flare-up last week, the pain being the worst it's ever been. The pain med I've been taking, tramadol, was doing nothing to help other than taking the edge off. I called my rheumatologist and he did not want to prescribe anything stronger other than tramadol ER. He said the only other pain medication would be narcotics and he didn't feel comfortable with that. Does anyone else have codeine allergies and how have you handled your severe pain? I was so angry but felt powerless to do anything about it... Thanks!

 
Old 11-23-2009, 06:57 PM   #2
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Re: What do I take for severe pain if I'm allergic to Codeine?

I'm sorry to hear about your pain. It sounds to me as if narcotics is the only med that may work. Your choices are very limited....It's either OTC meds such as Tylenol, Motrin and etc., or narcotics.

As far as the narcotics go, Codeine is the weakest available. It is a very old med and was once a heavily used agent. As a result of many having allergies and etc., as well as other side effects (hangover can be really bad with codeine), a narcotic called "hydrocodone" was developed. It is the main ingredient in meds like Lortab, Vicodin, Lorcet and others. Refills are available because it's CIII med.

As an example, Percocets would be the next step up from hydro. No refills are available on Percs because it's a CII med. The active base ingredient is an agent called "oxycodone."

I guess what it comes down to is finding a Doc who is willing to support you on some type of adequate pain mgt plan. If you Rhuemy is unwilling, how about your GP? If neither, then I would ask for a referral to a PM Doc. I respect the fact that the Rhuemy Doc isn't a narcotics prescriber, but you deserve adequate PM care. I would talk to either Doc and see what they say. I would stress how uncomfortable you are and that you suffer at times.

The biggest mistake prospective CPers make is not being their own best advocate....You have to stress how you feel at times in order to get the meds you need. Sometimes, it can be very helpful to take a spouse or someone very close to you, with you to the appointment....To tell the Doc how they see you....From their perspective. Sometimes, hearing it from another person can often seal the deal. Additionally, in adding a little bit of human psych to the situation, it's often harder to say "no" to two people sitting together than one. Just a thought. I've heard others say that this recommendation worked well for them, so that's why I pass it along here.

Best of luck to you.

Regards,

Ex

 
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:36 AM   #3
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Re: What do I take for severe pain if I'm allergic to Codeine?

I have an allergy to codeine and hydrocodone (the narcotic in Vidocin Lortab, etc), and would break out in a nasty rash. While your rheumatologist might be uncomfortable with prescribing narcotics, I would talk with your primary physician and see what he/she thinks. There are other rheumatologists out there, and if yours isn't willing to see that your pain is controlled, it might be time to find another one. Tramadol is way over-billed as being a good substitute for narcotics. Doctors will tell you that Tramadol acts like a narcotic, which is what the manufacturer claims, but in my opinion, it isn't appropriate for chronic pain.

 
Old 11-24-2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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Re: What do I take for severe pain if I'm allergic to Codeine?

Thank you so much for the information! I have an appointment with my primary care doctor next week and will be able to use the information you gave me to talk about the issue with him. I've been a patient of his for 5 years and never once asked him for pain meds so feel comfortable I would be able to have a good discussion on the subject.

 
Old 11-26-2009, 09:41 AM   #5
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Re: What do I take for severe pain if I'm allergic to Codeine?

Hello. You have fibromyalgia?. You need to try: Lyrica, Neurontin(gabapentin) and there is a new med for fibro, it's called savella.

Try each for at least one month and see if it helps.

(Codeine is nothing for chronic pain. I've tried it, it did nothing by the way, so you don't miss much).

I wish you all the best

Last edited by nochange; 11-26-2009 at 09:42 AM.

 
Old 11-26-2009, 09:52 AM   #6
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Re: What do I take for severe pain if I'm allergic to Codeine?

As far as Codeine it depends on what the allergy is...they give me an itchy rash but It is something I am willing to put up with so I take it when I need to.

 
Old 11-26-2009, 01:08 PM   #7
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Re: What do I take for severe pain if I'm allergic to Codeine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnD View Post
As far as Codeine it depends on what the allergy is...they give me an itchy rash but It is something I am willing to put up with so I take it when I need to.
Ann brings up a good point in that "itching" is a very frequent side effect of narcotics. Many think they are then "allergic" when it's really a side effect. And as Ann says, it's just a matter of how much one can tolerate the said side effect, whatever it may be.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 11-27-2009, 02:59 AM   #8
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Re: What do I take for severe pain if I'm allergic to Codeine?

Hi. I have a relatively severe allergy to codeine. I swell up and get huge welts and hives. So just because you're allergic to codeine doesn't mean you'll be allergic to another narcotic. I am not allergic to any others.

But yes, itching is a common side effect that does often subside with time. I used to itch from my long-acting med., but it was only for a few weeks. It was bothersome but it's fine now.

 
Old 06-07-2010, 07:05 AM   #9
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Re: What do I take for severe pain if I'm allergic to Codeine?

Hey,
I am allergic to codein and hyrdrocodon as well, but my reaction is anaphylaxis. My tongue, face and throat swell to the point I can't breathe. I am having a partial nephrectomy and I'm not sure what to take for pain. The idiot nurse at the doctors office suggested darvacet, but I know I am allergic to that.
Got any ideas?
Thanks,
Mary

 
Old 06-07-2010, 04:47 PM   #10
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Re: What do I take for severe pain if I'm allergic to Codeine?

NSAID's such as ibuprofen are great for post op pain - you could then add a narcotic on top of that that you arnt allergic to, such as tramadol or oxycodone (are you allergic to this?)

 
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