In the wake of the death of Prince a pain specialist doctor was speaking on radio 4 this morning about the danger of certain painkillers especially tramadol which has been linked to 240 deaths in the U.K.

She warned about the danger of increasing drug doses because taken long term most pain killers cease to be effective and do damage to vital organs.

It is so hard living with constant pain but from experience I feel it is better and more healthy to find other ways to distract oneself from pain than drug dependency.

I wonder if others share by view and have abandoned the so called pain killers that are dished out like smarties to us dopes.

24 Replies

  • Yes I agree that the pain killers & antidepressants are being used too much.

    If only Dr's and specialists would prescribe things such as massage therapy bowen technique or & or herbal remedies more often I think we wouldn't have so many deaths.

    I'm aware that there are people who need these medications but are being prescribed too often to people.

  • Not sure exactly what you disagree with but it is a fact that many people have died from taking tramadol long term and in excess. Never heard of anyone dying from daisy juice though.

  • I think most people try anything they can to relieve chronic pain without having to take medication but when medication is the only thing that helps they don't have a choice. All medication needs to be taken strictly to the book. No different to anything else in life to keep healthy. Everyone's pain levels are different so if medication is the only thing to get relief long enough to have a life then go for it but don't take more than needed. I take tramadol only when needed but I take at least one every day.  By doing that I can keep a bit more active which is also good for my health.

  • I agree with you and one tramadol a day shouldn't be too harmful but sometimes doctors prescribe very high doses of pain killers and even paracetamol taken at high doses can be dangerous.  

    I'm afraid trying to live a normal life whilst coping with constant pain is not easy.

    I tend to treat my pain as an annoying inconvenience which I try to block out mentally as much as possible and just get on with things.  Finding distractions from the pain instead of focusing on it is important.

    Good luck to you and Bon continuation as the French say.

  • Paracetamol in any dose can be dangerous for some and actually kills a number of animals.  Fortunately there are more and more concerns being raised about the overprescription of pain medications - particularly as awareness grows of alternative treatments that can be more effective.

  • agree about paracetamol - its now well known to have a cumulative effect so the longer and more regularly you take so called "safe" daily doses, the more likely you are to get damage from it.

  • Thanks for that reference .  Everybody using this forum should read this article.

    It confirms exactly what I have come to believe.

    A French medical journalist wrote a book on the pharmaceutical industry a while ago suggesting that 85 percent of prescribed drugs were pure poison and best avoided.

  • I think that there is a growing awareness of the damage that medications are doing to our health.  Australia's Dr. Maryanne Demasi inspired a controversial documentary investigation into the over prescription of statins.  What we need now is a similar investigation into pain medications and antidepressants.

    The pain-cycle is a terrible situation to be in and anyone thus caught has my utmost sympathy but the medical profession does little but treat the symptoms rather than the cause - it makes life easier!

    More than half a lifetime ago I was crippled with arthritis.  It influenced every aspect of my life, which was gradually becoming more and more confined, and painkillers provided very little relief.  Purely by accident I started eating a vegetarian diet and all pain disappeared.  Needless to say I stayed vegetarian despite the fact that meat was my favourite food.  Food sensitivities can be the cause of a wide spectrum of chronic pain.  Because there is no obvious reaction - vomiting or diarrhoea - and often a gradual degeneration, the association is frequently not made but following an elimination diet could help identify the answer for many.

    An amazing number of problems can stem from digestive issues. If these are sorted out the problem miraculously disappears.  Antibiotics are a common cause of these as they destroy the natural microbiome.  Healthy eating can resolve this problem but not always.  The addition of probiotics like kefir or kombucha to the diet can resolve all kinds seemingly disassociated issues.

    Whilst a teenager I started to suffer migraines.  They got so bad at one point I spent a number of years suffering 5 to 6 days a week.  A chance conversation with the proprietor of my favourite tea shop introduced me to the herb feverfew.  A spoonful of infusion in a cup of tea (sweetened because feverfew tastes ghastly) taken at the onset of an attack stopped it from developing.  Or if I missed the start then the same every hour stopped it from getting unbearable and shortened its duration.  Over time the incidence of attacks reduced to the point of just one a year.  Now I haven't had one for ages.

    Lavender is brilliant for a number of aches and pains, including headache and especially burns.

    Red sage is great for period pains.

    Ginger and mint both work well for the discomfort of dyspepsia amongst many things.

    To be honest I believe that nature has a cure for every ailment she creates - we just haven't found all of them yet

    Heat or cool pads can be very effective in the control of pain and/or inflammation.

    I have a stick (like a shortened broom handle) that I use when I get pain from a stiff back.  I simply catch it, behind my back, in the crook of my elbows then, pulling it in as tightly as possible, bend backwards.  I gradually work down from as high as I can fit the stick to as low as my elbows will reach and get great relief from this.

    Core stability exercises are a great way to get control of back pains.  Building up those muscles give a lot more strength to the back.

  • Just ordered some Curcumin on line.   Like you I am determined to turn my back on prescribed drugs and stick to natural remedies.

    Also important to stay mentally positive.  All the best Suzy

  • does it contain piperine?  Piperine is the active ingredient in black pepper and activates the curcumin.  Its potency is greatly reduced without.

    Take a look at turmeric tea or milk too.

  • Yes, I got to the point where painkillers weren't killing pain sufficiently, but were fogging me to the point where I had difficulty managing daily activities.  I had wanted to come off (max daily doses of codeine) them, but it wasn't until I got a nasty flu and was too sick to take any pills that I ended up cold turkey coming off.  At that point I refused to take any more, and went onto low dose naltrexone (LDN) as an alternative.  You can't take LDN with any kind of opiate as it is an opiate antagonist, but it really does seem to work for me in modifying my pain responses so I can actually cope.  My pain is inflammatory in nature, so I was lucky enough to be able to use a short course of steroids (which are antiinflammatory) to tide me over between the codeine and the LDN.  I'm not sure how you would manage a transition between stopping opiates and LDN if it wasn't inflammatory pain.

  • If your condition is inflammatory have you looked at doing an elimination diet to see if it is one or more foods that is causing you problem?

    Do you eat or have you ever considered eating fermented foods like kefir or kombucha.

  • There is no such thing as 'a pain killer'. No pharmaceutical company has managed to make one yet. There are medications to help reduce pain or cause an effect in the brain that means you don't care so much about the pain ie, Ketamine or Diamorphine that's used in acute trauma cases, but no drug will 'kill' or stop pain.

    The advertising and promotion of pain medication, whether OTC or prescription, cannot claim to be a painkiller. The leaflets that come come with drugs will maybe say the drug is in a group called 'painkillers' but this is just to explain the drug to people who wouldn't otherwise understand what a med is. We've all grown up with the term 'painkiller' but it's just a turn of phrase.

    People's expectations of drugs are so high, through the sheer desperation of wanting their pain reduced but you've either got to take the weaker ones to 'get on in life' or the stronger ones that render you unable to function in 'normal life'. We have to make a choice which one it's going to be.

    The pharmaceutical company that comes up with a drug that kills pain but let's us work full time, drive, socialise etc will be multi billionaires so believe me, they're trying to manufacture it; that drug isn't being kept from us!!!

    I'm accepting that by taking the stronger meds, I'm probably shortening my life and am definitely curtailing my quality of life but I need to take them. And to be honest, I really don't care if my life ends prematurely through them; at least I'd then be pain free!!

    Happy thoughts everyone!!


  • Yes, I absolutely agree with you on this, Suzyhayes! I've always been very wary of drugs since my mum (also a chronic pain sufferer) ended up on a cocktail of prescribed anti-depressants, sedatives, sleepers and OTC painkillers. In the end, we didn't know if she was worse from all the side effects of the meds rather than the illness itself.

    So, when offered tramadol by the pain doc, I refused. I'd much rather do things "naturally", so I use distraction techniques, relaxation and gentle exercise. I was put on pregabalin for fibro (though that diagnosis now looks to be a wrong one) but never went higher than 175mg per day. Even then, the brain fog got so severe I had to cut down on my freelance work. I'm now cutting down gradually - I'm on 75mg per day now and feeling much less "foggy". Oh, I also take the occasional 250mg of naproxen - maybe two or three times a week, if I get desperate for some pain relief and really can't cope.

    It scares me when I see people talk about how much strong meds they're on - and such a mix of meds too. :-(

  • Dear Dan,  By talking about my rejection of prescription meds was in no way  .meant to be an attack on you or anyone else who depends on certain drugs in order to have some quality of life.  

    I have been criticized on this forum for turning to alternative remedies such as krantom.   For me it helps and since the other meds were affecting  my liver I think I am doing the right thing.

    I don't think you are weak and I admire you for carrying on working with your health issues to cope with every day.

    You are I know very knowledgable on drugs and I am sure you are doing what is best for you.  

    I wish you well and hope especially as you are so young that there will be a cure for your condition in the future.

    Gros bisous. Suzy 

  • Thanks Dan,  I've just checked and at the moment Krantom has not been banned in the U.K.  The suppliers are still in business.  Have you thought of trying it?

    I can't imagine why anyone would think you are weak.  Constant pain is so debilitating and I think you are very brave to keep going  as you do.

    All the best. Suzy

  • I take 29 pills a day and it's not what I want, it's hard to find ways to take away the pain but have found sometimes meditation works. I thought it was a load of rubbish untill I tried it just wish I could last.

  • I do understand that many people suffering chronic pain feel obliged to take strong drugs to get some relief and improve the quality of life.    This is not to say that we shouldn't explore other ways and means to reduce pain.

    I abandoned prescribed meds because they simply had no effect on reducing the pain and I discovered they were also  doing me long term harm.   Perhaps if they had worked in the short term I might have continued taking them.

    There are no easy answers and everyone  is different so I certainly wouldn't judge the decisions that others take.

    I just think we need to be wary of the effects of prescription medicines and not to dismiss alternative medicine before trying it.

  • I turned to alternative therapies because I am highly sensitive to chemical medications and usually suffer badly from the side-effects.  I don't forswear tablets for all conditions but I do limit what I will accept.  It is usually my luck that the ones I do well on are the ones that are withdrawn!

    My uncle was given 6 months to live. He was in a terrible state and could barely stand on his own let alone walk.  He said 'right, no reason to keep taking all these then' and threw all but one of his meds away. Within no time he was sauntering off down the streets on his own and ended up surviving more than a decade.

  • I hate tramadol it is an awful drug. It reacts with so many other medications including anti-depressants. I have had drug induced seizures caused by tramadol reacting with venlafaxine. It is completely artificial and handed out like smarties. Safer off with morphine but it's cheaper to make. Horrible horrible drug that should be banned.

  • if you read the instuctions for using tramadol you would and should have know that you should never use antidepressants with tramadol, so thats why you have seizures, also your doctor should have known that and for your information morphine is also very addicitive and some people actually find tramadol as useful painkiller, so please dont say that it should be banned, as I say again you and your doctor should have not let you take both antidessants and tramadol at the same time, this is a well known fact about tramadol as they interact with each other badly.

  • Are you a doctor Daniel?

  • I've been on tramadol for a decade now after having been weaned off Oxycontin. I was on a bottle a day of the stuff and it's effects had become redundant. I took it for multiplereasons of which I'll spare the boring details! I was on 200mg of tramadol 4xdaily but soon I didn't benefit. Now I'm on 150mg slow release twice a day. It's negligible effects are realised when I don't take it - pain increases. 

    Anyway, I tend to use distraction techniques to help deal with daily struggles. Absorb myself in films and video games! A distracted mind seems more beneficial than a handful of drugs. Sometimes.

  • Yes I think when drugs fail to reduce pain distraction techniques are all that is left.

    Anything that takes the mind off the pain instead of focusing on it can only be a good thing.  Sadly there are no magic bullets.  A glass or two of red wine might help.

    Good luck.

You may also like...