Do pain killers make the pain completely go away?

I'm starting to think I'm not on strong enough pain killers, but the dr won't prescribe me anything else. I currently take Co-codamol 30/500mg, but all it does is make me feel a bit woozy but the pain levels are exactly the same.

If I went onto a stronger painkiller such as tramadol will that make the pain go away, or do stronger pain killers just work by making you drowsy and sleepy? Really don't know whether to fight for stronger pain killers or whether I'd be better off without them?

24 Replies

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  • I started off on Co-codamol, that wasnt enough. The only problem I've found is doctors really want to be careful what they give you, that you can become addicted to pain killers. I was on one drug and I needed to come off them and it was horrible. I had sweats and everything. Its all about trial and error, find the drug that works best with you. No pain will ever totally kill the pain, only dull it a little just so that you can cope with day to day things.

  • Hi Lynn, I'm new to the site and glad to be here I don't have anyone who 'gets' fibro around me !

    I have excruciating 'fibro heads' which can last for as long as 3 weeks at a time, I take Dihyrocodiene & Dosulipin on a daily basis, and if I have 'fibro head' I take Maxalt melts which is a migraine medicine which does help 'sometimes' ..... I can't hold my head up, my head is extremely sore, my eye sockets, sinus pain, feel like I have toothache & earache, I don't want to talk or eat........it is the hardest thing to cope with..........So I am intrigued with the 'tennis ball & sock' can you please elaborate ? I will try anything !

  • Analgesics are unlikely to provide complete symptom relief for 2 reasons - 1, they are only trying to cover up the end result of Fibro, not actually treat what is going on with Fibro and 2, any opioids cannot work as effectively in someone with Fibro as they would in someone without Fibro because an aspect of the condition is that we have fewer available opioid receptors.

    Tramadol is actually a mild opioid, like codeine. As such it is recommended for Fibro, because the side effects don't tend to be severe, so the risk-benefit ratio is reasonable. Strong opioids are not recommended for Fibro, although many people do take them because they are not receiving any effective treatment. It is extremely rare to get complete symptom relief from Fibro with even the strongest opioids though and the side effects can be severe or even dangerous.

    As Lynn mentioned, we are finding that comprehensive diagnosis is key as this means you can then use targeted treatments. However, it means you need to take charge of your healthcare (you can't expect your GP, consultant or even a specialist clinic to do everything for you without prompting). Unfortunately, many people need to get some private help as well, because the NHS struggles so much with chronic conditions.

  • Pain killers - in my case, have never taken the pain away completely. Its like my body has a migraine all over. Exercise relieves it, to a certain extent, but it always comes back.

  • hi i tryed co codamol and they dont really do anything for me i find ibuprofen take the edge off the pain they dont completely irradicate the pain i dont think anything does but at least they dont cause dizzy spells i take them four times aday on a bad day and just when needed on a better day and at least with ibuprofen if the pain is really bad then you can top up with paracetamols as you can take the two together !

  • Thanks guys, that makes sense! I'm seeing a nutrionist on Thursday and then will get an appointment with my original diagnosing dr as opposed to the rheumatologist I was referred to. I've got a list now of all symptoms in and out of flare up and other possible medications and treatments I could possibly be referred for or prescribed. Hopefully I can get a bit further this time, just sometimes feel it isn't worth pursueing as the drs don't take it seriously, or mine don't seem to anyway, so what's the point. Its only after a flare up that I get motivated to try and get somewhere with it as I'm reminded of the pain and fatigue that is almost unbearable. I've also got a list of other conditions that I could have that have not been checked yet. I've only had one blood test to tell them it wasn't rheumatoid arthritis! I'll be asking a separate question about that though! xx

  • i have never had my pain go away and i am on oramorph now it takes away a percentage of it, i am on alot of other medications topiramate, pregablin, etc they all help to some degree but nothing helps 100% i just try to push the pain away to the back off my head and deal with life as much as my condition will allow me too.

  • I take Buprenorphine sublingal tablets 400mg 3-4 times a day plus I have oramorph for when I just can't take the pain no more, also on anti-depressants (morning) and amitryptiline at night, never have been pain free for years, feel the pain in my legs just get's worse as the day goes on

    I did have the buprenorpnine based pain patches but the patches burnt my skin, but I felt the best I had ever been when on them, wish I could have stuck with them :(

  • hi lisa ive just been given amitryptilline how long did it take to get into your system and started to work as i have them but dont fancey taking them to to the list of side affect and i want to get my driving test out of the way before trying to tablets any expreince with these that you can share with me please

  • What dose have you been prescribed? It should ideally be the lowest available - 10mg.

    Many people find that taking them a few hours before bed works best to limit morning grogginess, but this something you may have to play around with. Pick a night when you don't have to be anywhere early and ideally won't be driving the next day and see how you do.

    Amitriptyline is a commonly prescribed medication for Fibro in England. Research does not support its use as a treatment for Fibro long term (usually not more than 3 months in one go) or at high doses (greater than 50mg), but it can be a good starter med, and for a few people, it works well long-term at small doses.

  • 10mg low dose thanks for the information im so happy i found this site wud like to say im having a good day but im not i cant not wait untill bedtime with 3 kids its hard work x

  • I am on the buprenorphine patches and found they burnt my skin and made the skin itchy in certain places but the best place they work on is from the elbow to the shoulder and I now have no problems with them.

  • Over the last 15 years I have had to take more and more painkillers. I now take Co-codamol, Oxazepan, Diclofec and Tramadol. I have also 3 worn discs in my spine so I am always in pain but I seem to have learnt to live with it as being the norm. for me now. On the odd times it disappears for a few minutes it is heaven. I then had a spell when I had Polymyalgia Rheumatica and was also put on steroids which also helped with the pain. Just been weaning myself off the steroids and the problem as returned. Is there no end to this. Also I suffer from Dry Eyes so use drops for this and now I have been informed I have blood spots behind the eyes. Best of luck to you all. Lets hope they find a cure before long. Keep smiling.

  • I take 50mg Amitriptyline daily and have been taking this dose for two years now with no side effects that I am aware of. I also take 1.5mg Pizotifen to help with my migraines and I have Methocarbamol (2 x 750mg) for my leg pains/restlessness/aching etc., I only take the last meds when it's really bad. When I was first diagnosed I took dozens of tablets daily, but I find the above three meds work really well and my pain is well controlled now. I used to take Tramadol with no effect on my pain at all, and also Solpadol (same as Co-Codamol) which helped to some degree. I still take the odd Co-Codamol at night, it helps to calm the shooting pains in my arms and legs. I personally feel that our pain can be eased, some things work better than others, some things don't work at all. It's all a juggle trying to find what works best for each individual case. Hydrotherapy was suggested for me and it didn't help at all, but it works well for some cases. :)

  • Hi, I found taking co-codamol was like taking smarties without the effect of the blue one! I'm on Amitriptyline times 3 tablets, not sure what dose that is but if I take four which I was told I could, the nightmares are terrible and with no additional benefit. Had a really bad flare up (not sure if that is the right term as its lasted about 8 months now!!) which started last year and I was put on Naproxen (not sure of the spelling) which has really helped the back/shoulder pain but not my legs. I didn't realise though the Amitriptyline was a short term measure as I have been on it a about a year although I am finding that it isn't now as effective as it was at the beginning.

    Yvonne

  • That's the common problem with Ami - the effect wears off, you need a higher and higher dose, but even higher doses start to not work so well. And higher doses tend to have worse side effects. Ami side effects may also get worse over time. So in many people Ami ends up causing more issues than it helps.

  • I find no painkiller takes away the pain, the stronger they are the more brain fog, that's fibro, so cruel, let's hope day there will be meds that really work. x

  • I have an incredible tolerance for pain medication. The pain never really goes away but it takes off the edge so I can do other things. It means its not where all my focus is. Without them i could not work part time or exercise or anything. They do serve a purpose for me. They let me have a bit of a life and I really appreciate that. The last surgery I woke up from I heard the surgeon say how can she even function with all these meds, i woke up from the anaesthetic totally fine and rested lol. But I do take the meds , and I am alert and clear thinking! I work Wed half day and all day thursday and friday, by Friday at 4pm I am a zombie, cant think, can hardly talk or think and I love my long lay in saturday morning. Its hard for me to work but I really need it mentally. And I live in fear of a doctor deciding one day that I dont' need the meds. I dont' want to let the pain win! hugs all

  • I was on morphine 220mg x twice daily, plus Co-codamol 30/500mg x 8 daily, 20mg x 2 Amitriptyline also, and the pain still broke through. I do not think there a medication, nor exercise jointly that keeps the pain under control. Even cognitive behaviour treatment didn't help.

  • I too am on co codamol 8 a day 30mg/500 and pain patch 20mg and also amitriptiylne 3x a night and citralopram 40 mg a day but to be honest i am never actually pain free which is a shame, hope you find some comfort in your meds even ifit takes the edge off love to you Diddle x

  • Thanks for the input everyone, I have been back to the drs about this several times, but she won't prescribe me anything else. There is a part of me that understands and I don't want to be on strong pain medication, but there are some days (that seem to be getting more frequent) that I really need something to either knock me out so I can sleep with no pain, or at least that I could take of an evening so my body can get some respite from the pain. I'll try again and just keep pestering her about it, as I'm on co-codamol 30/500 as and when I need it and then 50mg Ami and 40mg Citalopram, which I can't say is helping much at all, but obviously won't stop them as I know that can be really bad too. :( I hate this illness!!!!!

  • Have been through all meds over the years. At one time was given ibuprofen this did not work either. In desperation I was so inflammed with pain visited the chemist and came across RAPID IBUPROFEN LYSINE 342mg tablets. Yes they help better than all the other meds. The normal Ibuprofen docs give us are not strong enough. Will be seeing specialist this week and mention these to him see what response I get

  • PAIN MEDS DON'T WORK FOR FIBRO. I WAS USING 10 - 12 A DAY, WHICH MADE MY STOMACH BLEED AND IBS OFF THE CHARTS. I USE VOLTAREN PAIN GEL WHICH WORKS. BUT SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR AS THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHATS BEST FOR US. TALK TO OTHER SUFFERERS.

    I HOPE THIS HELPS A LITTLE.

  • Viking, I personally think you were given the wrong type of pain meds because they do actually work for most of us, it's just a question of finding the right med. We tend to go through what I call the guinea pig phase where we try a multitude of different tablets to see which work better for us. Eventually hopefully we find something that helps us to manage our pain.

    I have a very strong constitution and most pain meds didn't touch the surface but it's still worth persevering as there is pain relief for us, sometimes it's a combination of meds that will work better for us. My pain is well managed now, so it is possible.

    Please speak to your GP's about pain control and you can also ask for a referral to a Pain Clinic. I am sure there is something that will help you to manage your pain levels and also relieve your symptoms.

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