Liver pain from Cirrhosis. : LIVER PAIN... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Liver pain from Cirrhosis.

Nictesla profile image


Hello friends I was wondering is there is anything I can get for pain relief for Liver Cirrhosis ? My doctor prescribed Co-Codamol 15/500 for me for diverticular disease but these don't really do anything to relive the pain witch is almost unbearable ?

I have 2 gall stones and a Kidney stone too. I must be just lucky I gauss ?

I would appreciate any advice, I am 61.

16 Replies

I saw my consultant on 20th March and we discussed meds. The liver is not happy with codeine, at all. Same with ibuprofen.You could ask your pharmacist as they know all about meds . I use a wheat bag on aches and pains. Some use a hot water bottle. We are not medically qualified on here but can speak of personal experience. I was addicted to co codamol and went cold turkey. After 2 weeks my GP prescribed a pain patch which is far less toxic on the liver. Hazelx

Generally, I have been told that codeine works best with paracetamol for pain relief. One of them enhances the effect of the other. Co-codamol contains both of these. If they aren't giving you any pain relief, then I think you would have to go back to the GP, since as far as I know anything stronger would need to be prescribed. It may well be that the Dr has started you on a lower strength.

I have been told that the codeine and paracetamol combo is safe for cirrhosis, but it is the NSAID's that are unsafe, ibuprofen and other .....fen products.

Sorry I can't add anything else in terms of pain meds. As far as I know, tramadol and other similar meds would be the next level and they would need to be prescribed. Hope you get some pain relief soon:)

My hepatologist told me never take codeine or ibuprofen. I used to take dihydracodeine for fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis but stopped them when I was diagnosed with cirrhosis. I use a hot water bottle, I sometimes have 2or 3 on the go at any one time.

Hi there. That's quite worrying to hear about the codeine. I've taken co codomol for years, perscribed for a long time, for various pain but mostly for pain from physical trauma. Doctors have more recently perscribed codeine phosphate for Chrons pain, despite cirrhosis, as it can also help to slow your bowel down. I'm pleased you've brought this up. I will have to speak to my gp. Best wishes.


From various posts I've read there seems to be different opinions from one doctor to the next. You can only go with what is best for you.

Thank you all for your replies they are very much appreciated,

CarpeDiem11 profile image
CarpeDiem11 in reply to Nictesla

It might be worth asking about amitriptyline. I was given it after a muscle injury under my ribs. It is classed as an anti-depressant, but is also used for pain relief. It worked great for me, but can make you drowsy. Really helps to take before bedtime though. Not sure about whether it can be given when cirrhotic though. Best of luck.

I take amitripytiline and have done for almost 20years. My hepatologist hasn't told me it's unsafe for cirrhosis.

My doctor wouldn't prescribe me even a low dose of amitriptyline but I haven't asked the hepetology department about it and if it's safe....I think I will though!

davianne profile image
davianne in reply to CarpeDiem11

Hi, had a lot of pain in my upper chest over Xmas, so called the consultant, and he said co-codamol or tramadol were OK for cirrhosis sufferers. I saw the GP and, although I told him what the consultant recommended, he just prescribed paracetamol, which I told him were not effective, so told me to double my amitriptyline, and now I feel hungover every morning, so stopped the double dose.

I find a small electric heat pad works really well.


Much confusion!

My husband has just left hospital after a major liver resection and was prescribed codeine by QEHB.

He has found it difficult in terms of pain management because he’s taken co-codamol for arthritis for 15 years.


I'm on nortriptyline, zomorph and oramorph for pain as I also have other conditions causing me pain which I know the majority of you have too, hope you get some relief soon. Love and hugs Lynne xxxx

Nictesla profile image
Nictesla in reply to

Hello Lynne . I appreciate the hugs etc, sending them back at you

I sincerely hope your life gets better xxxx

in reply to Nictesla

Thank you so much, love and hugs Lynne xxxx

Nictesla profile image
Nictesla in reply to

Thankyou Lynne XX

I would suggest research and find what is suitable for you. My husband was on Dilauda but later as it got hard to swallow gave him small doses of Methadone and everything else intravenously.

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