Crohn's and Colitis Support
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Advice on safe painkillers please

I'm currently in quite a severe flare of my UC and I'm waiting to start Infliximab infusions at Hospital. I'm really struggling with my hip pain (that my Consultant has told me is due to my IBD) and it's becoming quite debilitating when I'm walking. I was told by my IBD Nurse not to use Ibuprofen and only paracetamol. Now the paracetamol isn't touching the pain and she has told me not to use codeine as it can constipate me. When I asked what I can use she told me to go and ask my GP, but I can't get an appointment until a weeks time. So, in the meantime I wanted to ask what other fellow IBD sufferers have been told they can take for pain and what advice they have been offered. Many thanks in advance

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Hello ClaireAlice2,

I was told the same - paracetamol only for pain relief. Ibuprofen apparently makes UC symptoms worse, and codeine is not advisable because it causes constipation. This might sound like a good idea, but stuff needs to escape! Have you tried creams or gels externally? Val

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Paracetamol to take but my Gastro doc said it's fine to use topical Ibuprofen gel which I do, a lot 👍 Or you could try one of the long lasting stick on heat packs.

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You can try ibuprofen or diclofenac gel. this can help with the pain/inflammation but is not directly absorbed by the stomach/gut. I currently take paracetamol rregularly for joints and small doses of oramorph when needed. all the other painkillers (opioids) in between put me in urinary retention! I used to take regular codiene (60mgs four times a day) when I first had crohns and would flare up often, the codiene was prescribed by my consultant for pain and to stop the diarrhoea, and it def helped then.

I would speak with the consultant if you can. I was told by one of my IBD nurses to try linseeds as I was a bit sluggish - ended up in hospital as I actually had a narrowing caused by adhesions/scar tissue and linseeds made it 10 times worse and I ended up having a flare up. I'm not disrespectng the IBD nurse but their experience is limited and unfortunately as specialist nurses guidelines are very rigid and 1 cap fits all.

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Thank very much for your replies, I actually got a cancellation at the GP this afternoon and although she was very supportive she admitted there's really only paracetamol I can take. She said categorically don't take Ibuprofen because I'm already bleeding and there's a risk it can cause bleeding. She's optimistic that the pain may be reduced when I start Infliximab so I'm very keen to get started (the wait for the result of my chest Xray is causing the delay).

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Paracetamol is usually enough to get me moving without yelping then movement is the key. Any time I sit around for too long, I tend to seize up!

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Yes it is a lot worse when I've been sat down for a while!

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