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  • Codeine/dental work warning

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    Old 11-08-2005, 02:16 PM   #1
    Jude C
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    Join Date: Nov 2005
    Location: San Diego, CA
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    Jude C HB User
    Codeine/dental work warning

    Hi all,

    I'm new to these boards, and joined up specifically to post the experience I just had, as I feel it might be helpful to others.

    I went to the dentist last week with a terribly painful tooth and a slight swelling in my lower jaw around that tooth's area. It was pretty obvious what the problem was: a severe abscess (infection) in the tooth that had spread to the surrounding tissue. So the dentist did what he had to do. He surgically extracted the offending tooth (I didn't mind much; it's a back tooth anyway, not visible in the smile, better out than in considering the condition it was in, and I can get an implant later if I feel like it), then did an incision and drainage to remove the nasty pus/infected tissue beneath it.

    All seemed to have gone fairly well, and he prescribed penicillin for the infection and Tylenol-3 with codeine for the pain.

    This is where things went wrong.

    The facial swelling, which he had told me should go away within a few days, instead of going away, got progressively worse and worse, spreading to the other side of my face and down my neck, accompanied by increasing pain so bad that I ended up completely incapable of doing anything except holding an ice pack to my face and weeping. I was taking my penicillin and pain meds on schedule and kept on waiting for it to go away, but it just didn't.

    When I ran out of the codeine and switched over to regular old Advil, I figured out what the problem was: the codeine. I think it's pretty obvious, given that within hours of me stopping the codeine, the swelling began slowly but visibly to go down and the pain is now almost next to nothing, I can move around again and my face is no longer twice its size. I did some research on the acetomeniphen/codeine combo and discovered that one of its side effects can, indeed, be face and neck swelling such as what I had experienced.

    So the point of my warning is simply to be careful with the pain meds. I know it seems to be a catch-22, given that you won't know what medications you'll react poorly to until you've had them, but if you've had a dental procedure like mine and are suffering the same kinds of problems, check with your dentist at once and consider switching pain meds, instead of doing what I stupidly did, rolling around in pain for days thinking it would go away. It's only been half a day that I've been off the codeine, and I'm so much improved already that I had to share.


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    Old 11-08-2005, 05:48 PM   #2
    Join Date: May 2005
    Location: West Central Ohio
    Posts: 453
    anitak1982 HB User
    Re: Codeine/dental work warning

    I do not swell with codeine but puke my guts out. Same with Vicodin. I will puke violently. Not fun stuff to take. Glad you figured out your problem and feeling better.

    Old 11-10-2005, 12:21 PM   #3
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Posts: 76
    jectac HB User
    Re: Codeine/dental work warning

    How about this... they gave my daughter Vicodin as a pre-medication to combat nausea with chemotherapy. Only to have her be ill for the 2 days she was on it. Once we stopped it, she felt perfectly fine. Chemo drugs and all. We wouldn't let them give it to her any longer!!!

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