Confused by medication

Hi haven't been on for AFEW days since got letter from hospital have been really down and quite poorly still am but need some advice .last week I ended up in a@e with fast heartbeat Aldo having panic attacks due to lack of sleep sweats and not having oxygen so hubby can get me out I feel like a caged tiger and just can't cope but really feel down and Ill .The lovely doctor at hospital told me to contact my doctor and ask for copD nurses to visit .My husband phoned surgery and I was told he wood visit on Thursday 2 days later then next day was told he would not be coming the district nurse would call on the Monday Monday came no nurse she came Tuesday said she wasn't told till Monday evening ..Today my husband emailed surgery to ask for my mitrazapine to be upped and asked for something for pain relief paracetamol not cutting it and lack of sleep driving me potty anyway doctor phoned me and asked if I allergic to codeine I don't know .my question after long winded moan is I read the leaflet and looked it up and it seems dangerous to take for people with copD

30 Replies

  • Codeine is an opiate!

    I think this report is what you may be looking for:

  • Thanks that was a pretty scary article I don't think I will be taking them just yet

  • That kind of research is all very well, but you have to put it in perspective. You are ill, in pain, & cannot sleep. Pain relief & refreshing sleep would surely be of benefit to you. There are many drugs which carry an increased risk of complications & therefore death, but it's possible that NOT relieving the symptoms could be more damaging. Your GP has probably taken that into account when prescribing codeine for you.

  • I would love refreshing sleep I know what you are saying but i have read the link that 2 greys sent me also and it is really frightning the thought of not being able to breathe more than I can at moment is awful

  • Hi I take opiods for pain and are currently discussing the fors and againsts on another site, opiods do affect the breathing, but can relax you somewhat in low doses enabling sleep. I find they help the breathing when I have a flare up of my chest condition as they relax the cough muscles giving the lungs a rest. However this can result in germs thriving in the lungs too . So there is no perfect solution, each patient has to try and test to find what is best for them. I cannot take other painkillers like aspirin so it is about finding what suits. Happy Anniversay & birthday to you Time -2-drink

  • I will soon have to decide whether to accept or decline a treatment because it is going to affect my breathing which is going to affect my active lifestyle, maybe permanently, as I may not be able to work at all and my business will fail. On the bright side I am slowly regaining the ability to walk once more without those meds so will probably decline, at least for now.

  • I can't even imagine ever being active again chained to this oxygen in pain and everyday I pray I will not wake up I don't want to leave my husband or son but I just can't cope the speed I go from hot to cold is unbelievable this was to be our big year 40 years married next month and my birthday I am pleased you are starting to walk .I wish I was strong like a lot of people on site but I am not forgive me

  • Hello Time_2_drink . I can't help with your question about the drug but I want to tell you I for one am not strong. And there is no need for you to be. You are doing the very best that you can. You're going through a really dreadful time and have every right to moan. Don't be hard on yourself. Talk with your nurse, doctor, friends and family. Tell them how you are feeling. I hope you get relief very soon. Remember you are loved and needed and still have much life to live.

    Much love to you.

    Cas xx 🌷

  • Haven't got a nurse yet doctor won't come out seeing respiratory nurse next Friday. Thanks for kind words

  • Time2drink, I know from experience, there's nothing worse than a string of sleepless nights to sap you of all strength and spirit, so no wonder you feel so desperate. There seem to be plenty of people here who take opiates for their COPD, and are on O2, and yet have a reasonable quality of life. Once you get past this bad spell, with proper pain control & decent sleep, I'm sure you'll feel different altogether. With respect to 2greys, I don't think that article was very helpful. You're obviously terribly depressed and anxious and - excuse me for saying this - being so desperate for sleep means you can't think rationally. I don't think you can make decisions based on one rather alarmist source of information. I can't tell you what to do but in your shoes I'd take the codeine prescribed by the GP (who knows you) & get some pain relief and sleep, then see the GP on Mon. Your husband must be at his wits' end too.

  • Part of problem is doctor doesn't know me until I went on oxygen I just used to see nurse practiser when I went for antibiotics or spiro test can't go to doctors no portable oxygen but thanks

  • S/he will have looked at your notes though and taken your condition into account before prescribing. Why not phone the BLF helpline on Monday 03000 030 555 and talk things through with them.

  • I been trying. To pluck up courage to ring doc,tor at a @e. Said I needed to speak to my doctor or copD nurses but like I said earlier doctor lwouldnt come out and I mentioned urge on phone to. Him but don't think he heard About them

  • You have just given 4 reasons to fight back. You are lucky in the fact that you are not alone, you have your family, you have this forum and you have medical staff working for you. Make them all smile, as you get better.

  • Thank you

  • I don't know if this is any help I take cocodamol 30/500 for arthritis pain they have codeine in them and they don't affect my breathing I have COPD

  • Thank you

  • I have copd. I take codeine. No problems. That said your doctor needs to make proper time to see you and discuss everything

  • I wish he would or there was someone to talk to

  • I think you are right to keep track of your meds, TDF and to question a decision that you feel is not in your best interests. But I would very much balance this against the awful situation you find yourself in now, sleep-deprived and in pain. How about taking the Codeine for a short period -maybe just for a few days - and seeing how it affects you ? I hope the discussion here has helped you to see things more clearly and with the points you need to discuss with your doctor. I do hope you get something that makes you feel a bit better.

  • I think that is what I should do hopefully when the oxygen nurse comes on Friday she will be able to tell me something although I am scared to hear the results .I never could do the spiro test even before I had oxygen I hope I will get some oxygen to go out although I am worried about people looking but what choice is there just hope I am well enough

  • Hi I am sorry you are going through all this and I wish I had a magic wand I could wave over you. Every one of us gets down at times when it all seems too much to bear, so please never apologise for that. We are here for support and encouragement so feel free to post whenever you need to. Ok? We are one big family on here and we look after each others. I hope you are feeling better soon and a big hug for you. x

  • Thank you for your kind words it is so nice to know people care .

  • We all do on here. x

  • Hi time2drink, I am so sorry to read what you are going through.

    I can't really comment on the physical side, having not yet experienced complications but,I totally agree with Hanne, that you need some help with your anxiety.

    I have never been through what you have, but, I do recognise the sheer terror in your posts because I went through that nightmare too and I wouldn't wish how it felt, on my worst enemy.

    It was like PTSD, and it started, out of the blue and more than a year after my COPD diagnosis.

    The nurse did my yearly Spirometer and then started talking to me like I didn't have long to live.

    So that made me go on the net and scare myself to death.

    I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep and felt guilty for what I thought I'd done to my family.

    I looked like a skeleton, was weak as a kitten and felt ashamed because I felt like a complete and utter wimp.

    I got so low, that one day, I gave in. I couldn't take anymore, that was my rock bottom.

    Thankfully, I decided to give it one last try and went to see my Docter to tell him about the torment I was going through.

    It took a couple of attempts, to find the right antidepressant, but I'll never forget the huge sense of relief when it finally kicked in and calmed the horrendous panic attacks.

    So, yes, you must go to your GP or A&E, about your pain and breathing but, every bit as important, you must get your anxiety under control because that is why you are not sleeping and because your sleep deprived, your mind can't see anything but doom.

    Your sort of PTSD was caused by the shock of suddenly becoming so ill.

    You discharged yourself and that meant they couldn't explain to you, what your problem was and how they were going to treat it.

    The unexpected letter and your search on the internet, has sent your anxiety out of control. Altogether, it has all traumatised you.

    First of all, your Docter is a prat and you need to find another one in the practice, that has more compassion.

    Then, you need to tell them how you feel and that you need something to put a stop to the anxiety attacks and that will let you sleep.

    Believe me, once they start sorting you out, you will realise, things aren't as bleak as they seem.

    Please, go see your GP and keep us informed how you go on. We are here for you so please believe what those members told you, they are living proof that you can and will, come back from this. It just takes a little time. xx

  • What you have said is right it is what doctor at A@e said which is why my husband phoned surgery to ask him to come out which he didn't and asked about copD nurses which he doesn't know about. .Like I said earlier he sent district nurse who came and did Ecg on tuesday should have been Monday .Had to ask on phone yesterday what results where he said my heart beat was still fast but probably caused by my breathing sorry to ramble

  • I have read your reply several times and it is like reading about myself in parts except for pain which I glad you don't have .I will not hopefully be reading the articles on internet because as you say they scare the hell out of me .Thanks once again

  • Hi there you are correct Codeine is not recommended as a long term pain releif for COPD sufferers. But it is often prescribed. Take with care, if it works for you then that is good any sign of side effects stop immediately. Hope things get better for you soon

  • Thanks for your reply I will

  • I have been taking cocodamol since 2012 and have never been told that is not recommended for people with COPD. I used to take ibuprofen. And had to stop taking tha because it bid effect my breathing

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