Codeine use : Hi all, Over the last... - Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK

53,646 members43,437 posts

Codeine use


Hi all,

Over the last 6 months my pain free days has gradually reduced from 2 days pain around ovulation and 4 days pain around the start of my period to now I have no pain free days.

The doctor has prescribed me codeine without paracetamol because I'm allergic and I'm finding that I need to take it 4-6 days a week usually a 30mg dose just once in the day. The rest of the days I just push through in pain because I'm worried about getting addicted to the codeine.

I do try to just take an ibuprofen but it doesn't touch the pain so then I end up taking a codeine.

I tried the mini pill but ended up with erythema nodosum which gave me horrific leg pain and swollen bruise like lumps so had to come off that. I am scheduled to have the mirena coil fitted in mid October but I'm terrified it will give me more side effects.

Basically I feel at a loss at the moment, the days I take codeine I can live my life normally but I just don't want to become dependant on medication.

The Dr's will not give me another laparoscopy for a year at least because I have had 2 already 2 years ago to remove a cyst and then my ovary and I have a lot of adhesions so they say it could just make the pain worse.

Can anyone recommend any other pain relief that may help as much as codeine does? I am currently eating along the Endo diet lines but know this can take time and am taking B vitamins, omega 3 & probiotics to help with the bowel symptoms and give me some more energy.

Sorry such a long post I'm just so sick of being in pain all of the time, I just want to be the person I used to be its soul destroying.

15 Replies


It can be so difficult to get pain under control. It feels like a losing battle sometimes.

I'm not sure what type of pain you're struggling with but for me, I have awful chronic lower back pain that I find very difficult to tolerate. I have other pains too but the back pain is unbearable. Towards the end of last year, I was taking codeine all the time. It started off just as and when, maybe once a week but it gradually became every day. I was worried about it being addictive and felt that taking it was actually making me more sensitive to the pain. The dr prescribed me low dose amytriptaline for the pain (at the time we didn't know I had endo, I was waiting to see orthopaedics as it was looking like arthritis). I took it one night and was so sedated, I decided I didn't want to go down the road of heavier medications. In pure desperation, I went to see a chiropractor. It was the best thing I've done. Its helped me so much. I had about 5 months of hardly any codeine use at all. Things have progressed and I'm now in more pain so I'm now taking it about a couple of times a month. I don't take any other painkillers (I never touch nsaids like ibuprofen because they mess with the gut). The chiropractor has seen a few women with endo. She's like a magician for me!

The other things I've found help is a tens machine, meditation and yoga (very gentle).

I've been doing the diet for a while too. It didn't help my symptoms but I believe in it helping the body heal and have less inflammation so I will definitely continue.

I've also just started using bio identical progesterone cream. I'm on day 5 now so it's too soon to say if it's helping but I'm definitely feeling things happening... Hopefully for the better!

I’m so glad to hear you’ve found some relief, I get pelvic pain and back pain. I really want to try yoga but it’s hard to do when I feel rotten all of the time. I will definitely look into a chiropractor for the back pain

Sometimes I'm hobbling onto my yoga mat. It's really not very graceful yoga, pretty basic but I'm always moving better afterwards and there's all the mind/soul benefits. There are some amazing videos on YouTube. That's all I ever do as I can't manage to get to a class with my fatigue, I'd be wiped out just trying to get there! I use yoga with Adriene. She's brilliant & has some good ones for back pain.

I hope you find something that helps. X

Yeh the fatigue is so bad, being in pain just sucks all of the energy out of me. Six months ago I was at the gym 4 times a week lifting weights and now I can barely walk my dog! Thank you for replying I will definitely try harder to do yoga xx

I was a serious weight lifter too. It was crazy what I used to do in a day- gym at 6am before a long day at my full on job and do things in the evening and have a fun packed weekend...I can't even imagine that life anymore. I'd like the energy but maybe not quite doing as much as all that! The yoga has helped me have some feeling of control and connection with my body, which is what I loved about wieght lifting. I may not be able to squat my weight now but I can forward bend and breathe like a bad ass! Ha ha! xx

You sound exactly like me I used to go to the gym before work and then work all day and feel great from it, it was literally one period that changed it all! X

Chrischris24 in reply to weekari

Hello.thank you for your helpful information.

Would that be possible to be in contact privately as I would like to have further information regardind the chiropractor?

Many thanks.


weekari in reply to Chrischris24

Yes, of course I ask away. I'm happy to help if I can.

Chrischris24 in reply to weekari

Thank you so much.

Do you have an email address?

weekari in reply to Chrischris24

You can direct message me here, if you just click on my profile.

You could try a tens machine works for some but not all. It's a little machine that sends little electrical currents via pads that you place on the areas that require it, the science behind it is that these electrical currents inturupt the pain signals and ease the pain. I find it helps with my day to day pain and means I'm not pumping myself full of pills each day, which I prefer as I'm conscious of the side effects long term use can have. I still need strong pain killers during my period which is when I get my worst pain.

You can pick them up from places like amazon for less than £20.


Ask GP to Rx mefenamic acid anti inflammatory or naproxen - both better than ibuprofen

Also take magnesium and B6 tabs

1 tab codeine not that addictive - some people take 6 daily -

If GP is agreeable ask to prescribe for each month 1-2 fentanyl patches at very low strength of 12 mcg-25 mcg to affix to skin for 72hr per patch to reduce pain transdermally and also does not constipate as codeine does.

Constipation- senna,bisacodyl,lactulose,exercise ,fluids and fibre help.

If really bad - micralax or fleet enema.

Hope this helps

Hi have you tried buscopan? It helps with the cramps. You may want to ask is you could try the tablet form of hormone that is in the coil so that way if it is not suitable you can just stop taking it rather than going through an invasive procedure like the coil.

My daughter take mefenemic acid which I can’t tolerate but she finds relief from it,

Once this prostap is out of my system I’m going to try a totally holistic approach and try to give my body everything it needs naturally.

I think we often want & need pain relief quickly so we opt for the medication but as you rightly pointed out this can lead to addiction and side effects.

I’ve been reducing my medications daily for almost a week and I’m starting to feel human again.

I really do not want anymore surgery as that comes with it’s risks and long term side effects too.

I’m going to try cbd oil as I have heard from others that it really helps.

You can order a free sample from cbd brothers that’s what I have done.

I truly hope you find some relief - yoga is a wonderful way of giving your body what it needs and some time for yourself too.

You need to take codeine with either paracetamol or ibuprofen to get any effect on pain . Codeine alone does nothimg at all ! Xx

I am the same, nothing takes pain away, but acupuncture really helped me and reduced my pain to a manageable level for 6 months. I had 5 sessions, 1 a week for 5 weeks but even after the first I noticed a difference. Time to go back and see if it works again x

You may also like...