Mixing heart drugs with pain killers - British Heart Fou...

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Mixing heart drugs with pain killers

ChristineK profile image

I wonder if anyone out there is suffering from Osteoarthritis and taking pain killers (in my case cocodamol) and also on heart meds?

I was told by my cardiologist at my follow up after my heart attack that it's not good to take heart meds and pain killers as they interact with one another.

I am now on my fifth blood pressure medication and all of them have had horrible side effects and made me feel really ill.

I have to take the pain killers as I an awaiting the replacement of both my hips and I am in chronic pain.

Whilst I appreciate that there is no magic solution to my problem, I just wondered whether anyone else may be in the same predicament as myself?

I am nearing the end of m tether and would be very grateful for any helpful replies.

39 Replies

Hi Christine,It's strange how different professionals have quite different views on medication. When I was in hospital after my HA I was on co cidimol, gabapentin, perindopril and omeprazole. I was also on naproxon for inflammation, as like you I have osteoarthritis and also sciatica in my left hip. My cardiologist said these pain meds were co.pletely fine apart from the anti inflamatories which can cause stroke/ heart attack. I am now in the process of changing all my meds as I'm not coping with the pain now that I'm off the naproxin. Ive weaned myself off gabapentin and am taking tramadol instead of co codimol then pre gabalin instead of gabapentin. I've told the cardio rehab team and they said it's perfectly fine, as did my gp. Its awful when you get conflicting opinions isn't it. What does your gp say? I hope you get good pau relief and get things sorted out.

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to Doora

Thank you for your reply Doora, at least I know that I am not alone in this scenario. I think my GP is running out of options, as she says we may have to try some of the earlier BP meds that at was on at the start.

It was January 2020 when I had the heart attack, but I was not on the pain killers at that time.

I started the cocodomol two months later in the March.

Hi Christine sorry to hear your in pain it’s horrible I too suffer osteoarthritis I’m on BP treatment and always worry about what pain relief to take I was in hospital earlier this year and they gave me ibuprofen which I queried as they always seem to say it can elevate your BP but they said only if you take them long term the surgery I’ve recently joined as we have moved to a new area are very particular about pain relief they were not happy I was taking co-codamol which was the low dose bought from the pharmacy at the supermarket whilst I don’t like having to take painkillers and resist as long as possible I do worry there stance on this as I worry about patients like you waiting for a operation and need there pain managing in a careful way I also use heat pad on my hip that helps a lot hope you find something that works for you soon take care 😊

Hi, Retirement 65Thank you for your reply. You seem to have a very good GP.

Mine don't seem to worry about the amount of meds they prescribe. I am on the stronger dosage of Cocodamol as the lower dose don't relieve the pain.

I spoke with the GP this morning and she suggested that I come off BP meds for three weeks and then do readings for a week. The last time I did this readings averaged out at 150/80, so had to go back on meds again.

She now says that the readings are not life threatening unless they head towards 200 sys. and if dia. goes over 90.

It seems a bit high to me and it amazes me how different doctor's opinions can be, but I have to give it a try again, as I feel much better in myself when I am off these drugs. I will definitely give the heat pad a try, and thanms again fkr yoy helpful reply.

Hi Christine it’s all very confusing isn’t it no wonder we check in on forums like this I worked in general practice and I’m confused about the different situations people are in since I joined everyone on here! - I think the best you do is what’s right for you and depends on how you feel I’m one of these people that soon know if bp not behaving thankfully at the minute I’m ok - take care and I hope your sorted soon it’s so vital that your pain relief is managed 😊x ps I’ve also bought a heating gel from home bargains it’s main ingredient is capsicum derived from the chilli so natural ingredients I’m not saying it’s a cure but it seems to help think it was something like 1.99 it’s near deep heat and voltorol in home bargains x

Thank you Retirement 65, I will have a look the next time I'm in Home Bargains.

Hiya I am dreadful pain at the moment with my hip so fully understand. Had a hip replacement 5years ago and now the other needs replacing. I've also had a bypass 3years ago and am concerned about the pain relief I need to take. Cocodamol for me sort of works but just takes the edge off. My issue is I feel I need to walk to keep any level of fitness. I was given some brufen gel but not sure it's ok to use. I like the idea of a heatpad. Where do you get them?

Hi billyjean so sorry your in pain it makes you feel miserable my heat pad some days is constantly in the microwave 😂 you can buy them online type heat cushion/heat pad in or I bought mine from home bargains think it was a fiver it’s been brilliant hope this is some use take care 😊

Hi Christine

I have severe osteoarthritis in both knees and have just been told I also have it in the spine. I was told to take paracetamol but this doesn't really touch the sides so I also have co-codamol. Even that doesn't do a whole lot although it sometimes takes the edge off. I don't tend to take it every day as it can be addictive. My Cardiologist told me not to take anything from the Ibuprofen range as it would interfere with meds and could cause stroke etc.

A friend gave me an electric heat pad which I have just started using this morning so not sure how effective it is yet. I think she said she got it from Argos. A mix of heat and cold (ice pack, frozen peas in a tea towel) has also been recommended, not sure if you've tried that.

I'm finding it really difficult to lose weight as the arthritis is making me so stiff plus it hurts and I'm also struggling with angina (MVA) so I get chest pain on exertion as well as resting. Falling apart at the seams at the moment🤪. Hope you manage to find something that works for you and maybe a chat with a cardiac nurse or something to put your mind at ease? Good luck with it all.

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to Divasong

Hi Divasong

Thank you for your reply. I also have Osteoarthritis in both knees and Osteoporosis in the spine, plus a bulging disc, so you are right about falling apart.

I know what you mean about losing weight as it's not easy getting a lot of exercise when you are in constant pain, and you seem to be going through a lot as well. I wish you luck with your problems.

I was told to avoid Ibuprofen. Paracetamol is OK. Currently prescribed 30mg Codeine for pain relief...

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to FrankAF

Hi Frank

Yes, I am on the Cocodamol 30s as well, but only take them three times a day but I might try to take less of them if I can, as they do tend to make me nauseous.

Many thanks for your reply.

Hi Christine. The cardiac rehab nurse told me i was able to take cocodamol for pain. Same as Doora,stay away from the anti-inflammatories.x

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to Jules2021

Hi Julie,

I was on Naproxen at the start of my pain and the cardiologist did say that it was OK to take them every now and again, but not on a long term basis. However they began to cause me stomach trouble, so I don't take them anymore.

Many thanks for your reply.

MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star

I was told Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs were a nono. Cocodamol and related drugs disagree with me. As a result I am on Gabapentin for ongoing phantom pain post amputation and Oxycodone as a PRN for occasional lower back pain and ulnar nerve shoulder pain. Paracetamol only works for headaches for me.

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to MichaelJH

Hi Michae

Thank you so much for your reply.

You really have been through a lot and I am sorry to hear of your pain. I had an uncle who was am amputee, so I am well aware of phantom pain.

I have not heard of Gabapentin, but I will look it up.

I agree with you about Paracetamol.

Thanks again for your reply and I wish you good luck with your pain relief.

I Have been prescribed 6 paracetamol tablets per day. They seem to keep the knee and hip pain clear that I have. don't take nsaid tablets, They affect your liver.

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to tamariki

Hi Tamariki,

Thank you for your reply.

I wish that would work for me but Paracetamol on their own don't touch the sides. I'm glad they work for you.

Take care and good luck.

There certainly is a problem in taking anti inflammatories with heart meds but other painkillers seem ok. They may affect how you metabolise the drugs but they can be adjusted. I would suggest you ask to be referred to a pain clinic who know a lot more about how they work than a GP does. I too have chronic pain for well over 30 years now and am on opiates with no problems but then the cardiac team knew that when I had a heart attack so they arranged my medication appropriately.

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to Qualipop

Thank you for your reply Qualipop.I will ask the GP about referral to a pain clinic, but I am surprised they have not suggested this already.

Some days the Cocodamol doesn't work at all and I must admit I am struggling to get around today, so anything is worth a try. I an glad that you have your problem under control.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to ChristineK

Oh goodness my pain isn't under control by a long way despite about 6 different pain clinics but at least I have no problems with painkillers and heart tablets. NO one should remain in intractable pain. I'm yet again waiting for a referral for a new problem with my legs but at least it's in the process. Pain clinics vary massively and I've found tend to just throw gabapentin and amitriptyline at you but they can do so much more. If you go to one that doesn't seem right for you, try another. I ended up withy an hour's journey but they we re brilliant ( unfortunately my consultant has now retired) It had taken me 10 years to get a diagnosis that I already knew but no doctor would listen to. I walked into this one and within 5 minutes he told me exactly what was wrong - exactly what I'd been saying for 10 years. It didn't get me treatment as by then it was too bad but it did get pain relief. Insist on a referral and as I said, if they can't help, go somewhere else.

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to Qualipop

Sorry, that you have ongoing problems and I hope that you eventually get sorted out with your pain.I have had amitriptyline in the and it did give me a good night's sleep but made me groggy in the mornings. I presume I will need to get my GP to refer me to a pain clinic?

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to ChristineK

Yes referrals have to be done by a GP although you could see a pain consultant privately ( not cheap). When I was desperate I saw one privately who I had already seen on the NHS but he had retired. Afraid I can't tolerate amitrip[tylene; it makes me like a zombie; even half dose and gabapentin made me so dangerously suicidal my GP insists I never try it again - or the newer version, pregabalin. It didn't do a thing for the pain anyway. I'd worked up through everything like tramadol which also did nothing and it was only when I was admitted to a neurosurgery ward that they sent the pain team to me who put me on liquid morphine. Unfortunately next day I asked the sister whether they starched the sheets because I itched all over. She had the pain consultant with me in 5 minutes- I was allergic to oramorph so now it's oxycodone or nothing. I tried every alternative therapy I could find, umpteen sessions of CBT ( ended up teaching the counsellor about chronic pain). Nothing else worked. Unfortunately your body gets used to opiates and the dose increases slowly but steadily for it to work. I'm now on maximum dose. The only "alternative" therapy hat ever helped me was Bowen therapy. Google it. A strange treatment, doesn't hurt at all but I've seen surprising results from it. It got me from being bed bound for 9 months, to on my feet again and able to drive. Acupuncture can also help but only for a short while.

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to Qualipop

Hi Qualipop,That's a wealth of information you have given me and thank you so much. i can see that you have suffered for a long time and gone through a lot of pain. I have had acupuncture in the past but it didn't really work for me. Although I have heard of Bowen Therapy, I have never tried it, but after googling it, I see that there are three clinics offering this therapy near to where I live, so I will investigate. I have also had CBT and found it worked whilst I had the counselling, but when it stopped, things went back to how they were before.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to ChristineK

I think acupuncture is more about relaxing you so you cope with pain better. For me it only lasts for a day or two. If you try Bowen, make sure the therapist is well qualified; some people try to start up after just a 4 day course. My therapist who has sadly now moved actually taught Bowen to others. He was superb. They should tell you right at the start that if 3 sessions don't help, they won't waste your money doing any more. Anyone who tries to treat beyond that should be avoided. When my therapist asked me on eth third session I was going to say no improvement then I suddenly realised I'd actually slept for 12 hours as opposed to my usual 3. So I carried on and two sessions later I was on my feet. Not cured but far, far better.

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to Qualipop

Wow, that's great. It sounds good and thanks for the advice. I will look out for charlatans.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to ChristineK

Since my therapist moved away there are now two people in the area. One of hem i know has no training to speak of. The other I tried. She was ok but she did too much work on me and made me worse. I would travel out of the area next time and find someone with previous experience in anatomy like a physiotherapist who also does Bowen treatments.

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to Qualipop

I hope you find someone worthwhile soon

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to Qualipop

Thanks again fkr tge valuable info and take care.

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to Qualipop

Sorry, I meant to say Thanks again for the valuable information and take care.

Hi, I’ve had spinal issues for many years and was prescribed many different anti inflammatory tabs but since I had my cardiac arrest and heart attack nearly five years ago and was taking gabapentin or diclofenac at the time, they were stopped and I was prescribed also co codamol which I’ve been fine with along with my heart meds. My worst complaint with my mix of tablets is fatigue !!!!!

All the best xx

ChristineK profile image
ChristineK in reply to Saffysaf

Thank you for your reply Saffysaf, You are spot on there, I really suffer from fatigue, but when I chatted with the cardiologist, he said that it was coming from the Cocodamol. As far as I am aware, it is a known fact that BP meds make you tired but he wasn't having any of it. All the best.

Amitrip and some BP meds can both make you very tired.

Hello. Yes, I am, and it's getting me down slowly. My Doctor has now prescribed me Co-Dydramol for Osteoathritis in the Knees. They take the edge off for a bit and that's about it. I'm on Heart Tablets as well. They are also swelling up so he has increased my Water Tablets. From here. I agree with you though, it's painful. I haven't yet spoken to my Cardiologist about them yet and I really don't know what he's going to say!!

Yes, it's a problem that the medics aren't able to solve. In thues day and age, you would tbinrk that they could come up with a solution to our problem.

Sorry about the typos, my keyboard is playing games with me.

Hello again Christine. I am going to see how long this goes on for and if it doesn't improve with the pain I'm going to be asked to be referred to Orthopedics again. I had them cleaned out a couple of years ago which didn't do much good either to be quite honest! With the increase of the Water Tablets, they are starting to go down a bit, hooray lol! 😀 My Doctor is extremely good so that's one thing. When there is something else available, I'll probably be in a Box. Have to laugh, or you would cry!! Take Care and don't worry about the typos, I couldn't care less 👌

Hi MucicLover,

One of the replies on this post was from a lady who advised me to ask my GP to refer me to a pain clinic, which I thought was a good idea. I had my left knee cleaned about ten years ago and it did work for me but now it is worn out again and the right one is going the same way. It doesn't help having to wait for both hips to be replaced, as the knees are taking the strain. I think I am on the scrap heap. 😀Take care

Yeah - Me too ha ha 😂!!

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