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Pain Killers + Headaches

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You've maybe already discussed this so apologies if duplicating.

Did anyone listen to the Radio 4 Prog last week. It seemed to be suggesting that some pain killers caused headaches. "Analgesic rebound headaches. Especially those containing codeine. I'm on a codeine paracetamol mix.

Until last week I was still taking 8 approx per day. Didn't dawn on me to question it, had mentioned to the Neuro that was still having headaches and he stated that It didn't appear to be anything sinister.

Just dawned on me before I listened to the Radio 4 programme, that the headaches were like my days of caffeine withdrawal. I have been weaning myself off and am now down to 1 - 4 per day. I don't recommend anyone else doing this unless you have the approval of your Doc

I'm seeing my G.P next week and will discuss it then. Just wondered if anyone else has gone through this.

Will let you know what the G.P has to say.


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Hi Slim

Rebound headaches are well documented .... just type it into Google and you'll see what I mean. I used to take paracetamol and codeine (separately) and never had a problem, but I think one or two of the others here have had problems with codeine.



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Hi Aine

I was told by both my G.P and Neuro that taking codeine long term can cause headaches. I did stop taking the codeine altogether in March then in May when my headaches got worse the G.P prescribed me some more but told me only to use them if I felt I had too.

I took them for about a fortnight and found that my head pain gradualy got worse so stopped taking them again.

My Doctor has now prescribed a low dose of Amytriptilene its an anti-depressant that in low doses can help with the nerve damage and I find that unless I'm really tired I don't seem to get as many headaches. I just use the normal paracetomol when I do.

Janet x

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Hey there

About two weeks after my SAH I was readmitted to hospital with an analgeasic headache due to taking codeine. They took me off it and gave me Tramadol - which is still an opium based drug :roll: I went 'cold turkey' ie just stopped taking them and have the headaches subsided by themselves. I'd never touch codeine again. It just doesn't agree with everyone I guess.

We have a nurse living across the road from us and when I told her what happened, she was shocked that they'd even suggested codeine as they (where she works) never give it to patients with any kind of head/brain injury. My Doc suggested that I take Ibuprofen which is fine so long as you don't have high blood pressure or are susceptible to high blood pressure - which I haven't got and have never had.

Anyway, away to do some work now


Sami xxx

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Thanks folks, now I vaguely remember the codeine discussion before. I thought I was safe enough as had stopped taking the single prescribed codeine. Only just noticed its codeine phosphate in these pills. What an airhead.


Aine :D

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Hi there

I was discharged from hospital on a codeien/paracetomol mix, and was told a few weeks later that the increasing headaches I was getting were rebound headaches. I stopped this medication (at my doctors request) and I was given low dose ampityptaline (exs spelling) and the headaches cleared. Always check with your doctor before stopping medication.


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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest 6shooter

I never got rid of the headaches until I got rid of the narcotics, they had their hands full when they tried to get me off morphine because I was hooked. It took the pain away and then brought it back again, it took me a while to figure it out. It took me a few weeks without the medicine for the headaches to clear on their own but during that time I had some intense pain. I hate taking pills even more now that I know what they can do. I still get a couple headaches a month but I'm seven months out now and working full time again and working hard.

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