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Codeine for Back Pain?

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Old 03-15-2005, 12:01 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 23
primavera HB User
Codeine for Back Pain?

My doctor prescribed me codeine for lower back pain and nerve pain. Are any of you on it, and is it working? What you can expect from it?
I'm supposed to take a NSAID plus this.
Thanks, and take care!

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Old 03-15-2005, 08:10 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,291
Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Codeine for Back Pain?


Last edited by Quietcook; 07-16-2005 at 04:54 PM.

Old 03-15-2005, 11:43 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 92
arkansas_tracy HB User
Re: Codeine for Back Pain?

I am on codine and it works sometimes and sometimes it don't. It depends on the day and how much my pain is.. But usually it helps. One thing though it makes me sleepy.. Tracy

Old 03-15-2005, 06:50 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 342
Rampage HB User
Re: Codeine for Back Pain?

Here was my experience, for what it's worth:

I was on it for 2 months (first night was the best sleep I'd had since May 2000). When we "thought" we found my problem (ah, how naive we were then!), I decided to quit. Cold Turkey. Let me just say, I don't recommend that method.

My first symptoms of withdrawal were flu-like in nature. I basically had 5 days of alternating shakes and sweats (I think the first 3 were the hardest, obviously).

I went online to research (to see if I was going through was I supposed to know?), I saw postings of people who'd been on it for 8 years and wanted to trade needles for more, and I said "Whoa, Nelly!" and never took another (that was 4 years ago).

Although I understand the need to be on this stuff long-term, and support those who really need the meds, I just got worried about myself. I don't have an addictive personality, so that was my glimpse into the potential and I thought it'd be easier after 2 months than 8 years. I chose to take other kinds of meds, if at all possible, and have managed to do just that.

But everyone's just keep the dependency potential (for any med) in the back of your mind, work closely with your dr to ensure what you're taking is the best for you, and if you do eventually quit don't go COLD TURKEY!!!

Good luck, and please keep us posted!

(Sorry, Quietcook, that you had to hear this from me again so soon!!!)
Accident '00
Sciatica, L3-4 Tear, Spinal Stenosis, DDD L3-S1
IDET '04
Laminectomy '06
Fusion (BMP) L4-5 '11
Anterior Fusion (BMP) L3-S1 '13

Last edited by Rampage; 03-15-2005 at 06:51 PM.

Old 03-15-2005, 11:04 PM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 424
Re: Codeine for Back Pain?

Codeine is a narcotic analgesic. Some Dr still prescribe codeine (Usually Tylenol 3). Codeine is a rather weak narcotic. However, if you have never taken any other Narcotics, then Codeine will probably work. To give you an example of its strength, 150mg of Codeine would be approximately the same as 45 mg of Morphine. If Codeine works for you thats great. Most people however that use pain meds on a regular basis don't use Codeine just because its a weaker drug and you would have to take alot. Years ago, they used Codeine as a primary Pain med (Tylenol 3, Tylenol 4). More commonly prescribed now is Hydrocodone/APAP (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco), or Percocet, Percodan (Oxycodone). These drugs are more potent. The problem with any narcotic analgesic is that the body quickly becomes tolerant to them meaning that you will require more of that drug for the same analgesic effect. My current dosage is 40mg of Oxycontin (Oxycodone) and Percocet 10/325 for break through pain. This dose would knock someone out that has never taken any narcotic analgesics before. However my dose is low compared to others on the board. Either way, find what works for you with your doctor. You just may find that you will have to up your dose of Codeine to get the same pain relieving effect. IF that is the situation, you may want to speak with your DR about a different med that will allow you to lower your dosage.

Good Luck

Old 03-16-2005, 04:22 AM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 23
primavera HB User
Re: Codeine for Back Pain?

Thank you so much for your replies!
I haven't started codeine yet and seriously doubt I will (Rampage, I'm glad you told me your story!). I hate the idea of being on anything so addictive, plus it sounds like something that may interfere with my other meds (Topamax, Depakote for epilepsy).
Finding meds that agree with my body is hard, because I have asthma and I can't take high doses of NSAIDs. Plus I've got nerve pain, I think this is why my GP prescribed me codeine. I'll see what I'll do about this. --- I'm so sick of doctors at the moment, I feel like they just prescribe you this and that and they don't always take time to check how all these drugs interact in your body, whether your body can take it all. Ah, sorry, just venting!

Thank you all for your advice, your posts were really helpful.
I hope you are having a good day!

Old 03-16-2005, 05:21 AM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 92
arkansas_tracy HB User
Re: Codeine for Back Pain?

That is what I use hydrocodine/apap... It is ok but sometimes it seems like it is not strong enough.. I hope they give me something better then that to control my pain when I leave the hospital next saturday afternoon.. oh boy,, love ya.. Tracy

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