Endometriosis and codeine?

Hello, I have been taking 2 tablets (10mg each) of codeine every 6 hours for a long while. Recently the pain has gotten worse and the doctor only allowed me to go up by 5mg because I am only 15. He told me that I am only allowed to use it every 4 hours and not to exceed more then 8 a day. I have a school camp in 3 weeks which goes for 5 days. I plan on taking the 15 mg every 4-6 hours for the five days. Im still struggling to find the balance however with the pain and constipation. I take 2 coloxyl (stool softener) tablets every night and 1 movicol sachet (gentle laxative) every second day. Will this be enough to keep my stool okay and not get severely constipated? What are some of your suggestions while taking 15 mg of codeine? Is it safe to use it for 5 days straight? xx

17 Replies

  • Hi, yes it should be safe to take it for 5 days straight. Peppermint tea can help with your tummy too and lots of fruit and veg. If the pain is very bad you can take paracetamol with it which is quite effective. Mind taking so much codeine long term - you can very easily end up addicted having to up the dose higher and higher to manage pain. Think about the combined pill if you aren't already on it as it will make life a lot easier once you find one that works for you. Have a lovely time at camp!

  • Thankyou for the suggestions! unfortunately I have been on the pill for three years and I have my period every three months and this week I had to have it which is why I'm in so much pain :( and despite the pain issues I'm very excited for camp! :)

  • You can take the pill a bit longer and have your period after camp.

  • Have you tried buscapan for your stomach cramps? You can buy it over the counter , it's really good for period pains / cramps etc. Codine you can have upto 60mg four times a day if needed but like someone said further up, it's addictive and bungs your bowels up. It's a viscous circle.

  • Hi codeine is known for constipation try not to take sooo many,I no your are suffering, but don't:-( I now have a stomach ulcer from taking them, also I was on movicol Senna, did nothing, it's pricey but well worth it I took aloe cleanse tablets for constipation n go everyday, you can get these from Holland n Barrett about £10 gentle hugs to u x

  • It should be ok for that short time but you don't want it long term as can cause other problems . I would ask about the pill as this may help. Increase fruit,veg and fibre too as constipation as you will know is very painful. Movicol is know to be quite affective. I'm sorry to hear you are in so much pain at such a young age. Have a lovely time away 😊

  • Sadly I have no choice but to take codeine, the doctors spent 12 months saying it was "just ibs" and making me change my diet, the pain would be so bad that I would faint all the time. Codeine was my last resort because I knew of the risks and I spent ages trying out other pain reliefs. I don't have codeine every day but I have been taking it frequently throughout 4 months. Its the only thing that allows me to have some quality of life. Im sorry to hear you have a stomach ulcer, I hope you get well soon! :( if that is the case for me too, then really its the doctors fault for taking 6 years to finally send me to a gynaecologist. They should have taken me more seriously xx

  • Hi jainelle, it will be fine for you to take the codine for 5 days but you need to speak to you Dr about maybe having paracetamol as well so you can cut down on the codine. For constipation prunes, kiwi and plums work really well. has your Dr spoke to you about the marina coil? (which will stop your periods but can be removed when you wish to) or any other methods to stop your pain other than the codine. Remember to eat well while taking yhat high does of codine. Hope you have a great time at camp 😊

  • That's good to know, I was so worried I wouldn't be able to! My gastroenterologist suggested taking one codeine tablet with one Panadol, and even then that wouldn't cover the pain. Though, I made my period come on this week (been on the pill for 3 years) due to having 2 week long spotting and if after giving my body time to 'flush out' and the pain isn't as intense then ill give the Panadol and codeine a try! I eat pretty well and do incorporate kiwi fruit and plums into my diet and have seen a difference. Thankyou for the suggestions and I also hope I have a great time at camp lol :) xx

  • My daughter is 14 and she is prescribed co-codydramol. This dose is a combination of 30mg codeine and 500mg paracetamol. She takes two of those every four hours (no more than 8 in 24 hrs). She also takes mefanemic acid also known as ponstan forte which is a non steroid anti inflammatory (NSAID) which you could also take. Hope you feel better soon. Xx

  • Thankyou for the suggestions I will discuss them with my GP if the pain becomes even more severe. Sorry to hear your daughter is having to take strong pain relief as well :( xx

  • Hi Janelle

    You may need to check with your Dr but I have found taking oil of peppermint (Holland and Barrett) after meals really soothing on my stomach and may help with your constipation. I also take a Wellwoman or Perfectil original as a multivitamin, but again please check with your GP as you are only 15.

  • Thankyou for the suggestions I will discuss them with my GP soon and see if I can take them. I will do anything to stop this constant pain and discomfort xx

  • Have you thought of drug free pain killers? I used to use a TENs machine when my endo was really bad and the codeine didn't touch it, I used to take 60mg three times a day- I don't recommend doing that as it was hard to come off. But you can get a period pain reliever from Lloyds for less than £5 and I found it really helped. You just stick it on for about 15 mins twice a day and it does last for quite a while. I was still taking codeine but I needed less and it lasted longer so it's something to consider.

    Hope this helps:) 

  • Thankyou! I'll look into it for sure xx

  • I have some really good news! I have some advice that I think you will love, so I hope that you read it, and consider using some of my advice. :) 

    First let's talk about constipation, and healthy bowel movements.

    The safest, and the best, gentle stool softener there is, is ducosate sodium. These are even safe for women to take during pregnancy! They come in a soft gel form that is wonderful and easy to swallow, which are 100mg each. You can take these 1 at up time, up to 3 times per day, with a glass of water. They will give you the bets results, and you won't ever want to use anything else. :)

    Also, making sure you are getting all of your food groups, and the right amount of water, and also lots and lots of Vitamin C is extremely helpful. Vitamin C is something that I take extra of, in orange juice derived form, in yummy chewable tablets of 500mg each, up to 3 times per day, 1 at a time. The Vitamin helps your body to absorb the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from your food as you are trying to digest it! It will also help your body to facilitate the removal of toxins in your body, AND helps to balance hormones and fight allergies and strengthen the immune system! :)

    As for pain management, I would NOT use codeine. I would stick to plain acetaminophen, and write down your dosages and times. This is similar to codeine, and other Rx pain medications, except that you leave out the addictive and constipation causing opiate component, while increasing the pain relieving dosage amount of acetaminophen! :)

    If you are not feeling like your bowel movements and pain are under control, I do not think you should go to any sort of camp or vacation. :) Instead focus on your health. Has your endometriosis been diagnosed with a surgery yet? Is it possible that you might have developed ovarian cysts, and these could be adding to your pain? This is what happened to me. I developed complex ovarian cysts after over 10 years of NOT receiving the proper diagnosis of Endometriosis. It is believes that at the Endo progressed, that it damaged my surrounding organs as it spread, and resulted in ovarian cysts, scar tissue, adhesions, and worsening endo.

    I had my first surgery in November 2015. I am meeting with my doc to discuss the possibility of having my uterus removed, but keeping my ovaries in the next year or so, maybe in the next few months. (It is March 2016 as I am typing this now.) My November surgery was done to repair my ovaries, because they could see the cysts persisting for many months on ultra sound tests, but it was not until they opened me up during the exploratory surgery that they were able to see the destruction that the endometriosis had caused.

    I have written an article about Endometriosis, and about my ongoing research and involvement in it at awfhj.com/tuesday-march-22n... if you would like to check it out. I will be posting updates on my personal endometriosis article regarding my surgeries, treatments, and work with doctors and even veterinarians in research projects. 

    Also, I would like to add that I take clonazepam in low doses (.5mg pill 2 times or 3 times per day depending on my pain or flare up), and it is often Rx'd to people who have nerve pain, chronic pain, anxiety, and even bowel problems. It's good for a lot of things. Research is showing that it helps many soldiers after war to cope with chronic pain from injuries and to sleep more peacefully.

    I am very sorry to hear that you are having to deal with this. :) But, I think that if all of our world's women stick together and keep sharing our stories, we become one united powerful voice, and we will finally end all of our suffering in this world together. 

    God bless you! :)

  • I am stunned by how much support I have received through this group, your overwhelming care and concern for girls you don't even know but know what they are going through is just beautiful. I had to make the decision of cancelling camp for me as its just only gotten worse. I have been on the waiting list to see the gynaecologist for 4 months now which hopefully he will arrange a laparoscopy (yay more waiting time!). I have been dealing with this pain for 15 months and am beginning to become deeply depressed from the quality of life I have lost because of this - all at 15 years of age. Honestly, I know its endo and its just a matter of it being confirmed. Its like a never ending period that stops you from day to day activities like walking or sitting down and even eating. I cant breathe, eat, urinate, sleep, walk, talk, run, bathe, cook without horrific pain. I am so over being told its all in my head. I am so over being told that its normal. I am so over being told by my peers that they know what its like when they don't. I am so over being told its just irritable bowel syndrome. And I am certainly over the waiting lists and years of misdiagnosis. It feels like there is a hot sword singing off my ovaries and uterus non stop. It feels like someone's is trying to rip out my bowel and reproductive organs when I walk for as little as a minute. It feels like there is a bomb being set off in my bowel, colon and intestines when I eat. I have always thrived for social justice and activism and right now all I want to do is raise awareness and better the health system so that us girls no longer have to suffer in silence. I have never ever felt so loss of life as I have over the past 15 months and I will continue to cry in pain and depression every night until something is done. I have gone to the doctors three times over hurrying up the gynaecologist appointment and all tell me there's nothing they can do. To me that's like a massive slap in the face, as I am contemplating suicide every day because of this and I don't know how I can go any longer. Im tired, Im weak, and im losing hope.

    I appreciate your suggestions like you wouldn't believe, I will be trying out every single one of your suggestions from everyone whos commented.

    You are all so kind, and I feel as if you are the only people who believe me. bless you all xxxxx

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