Log in
Pain Concern
24,067 members β€’ 8,129 posts

Cocodamol isn't working

I am a 25yo male and I have had back pain for the past 3 years since throwing it out at work. I have been given cocodamol 30/500 to take 4 times a day and also 400mg ibuprofen. My main problem is nothing is stopping the pain and the doctor keeps fobbing me off. I am taking over the prescibed amount each day so come near the end of my prescription i am having to but over the counter lower strength which is making my pain unbearable. Can anyone suggest any ways i can get my doctor too listen and hoepfully prescribe me pain killers that are not part of the opiut family so the change may re adjust the pain receptors or something stronger. I just want to be able to do normal things like carry my kids on my shoulders without having to stop and say sorry daddys hurting now so youve got too get down


From desperate man that needs sleep

17 Replies
oldest β€’ newest

You need to find some solution to this quickly - If you are taking over the prescribed amount of cocodamol every day (or even on some days), then you are putting yourself at a very high risk of permanently damaging your liver from the extra paracetamol. Please tell your doctor that you have taken more than recommended in the past, and ask if they can check your liver function to make sure you haven't done damage already. Can you ask your GP if you can be referred to pain clinic? Have you been offered amitryptylline? In low doses this can modify your pain quite a bit and mean you can get away with taking less cocodomol. Have you tried physiotherapy? That can be a really good way of strengthening up the muscles around the painful area to help stop it getting so painful. Also, just googling "back pain" and trying any of the many self help things recommended - including things like pilates, or just ice packs or heat pads (no more than 15 minutes at a time, but you can alternate ice and heat). Another reason for going to a physio is that they can try you on things like a TENS machine (and usually lend you one to try) to see if that helps the pain.


I echo earthwitch's advice completely. There is a very good reason why cocodamol is prescribed at MAX of 8 in any 24 hrs. You have been on that level and more. Dangerous to take more than that.

Get back to your GP and tell him.

With not being able to carry your children on your shoulders - explain Daddy is hurting. Kids understand more than we credit them for. Sadly one of the effects of chronic pain is not being to do what you are used to doing. You adapt to living with pain and find other ways of doing things which don't create more hurt.

Yes pain clinic can offer alternatives and yes TENS are a good way or helping without taking more meds.

1 like

Ask doctor to refer you to a pain specialist.and go to health store find all natural pills that fight inflamation and chronic pain .i take curamed.i use basil and oregeno .google that stuff.and i use icy hot patch and heating pad.

I read the book of psalms.hope you get relief

1 like

Firstly John I would change your doctor this is disgusting that you are suffering pain and he isn't listening You should be referred too for some physio

Can you make am emergency appointment at your surgery? You can bluff it and say you are in excruciating pain it will then get you to the duty doctor which hopefully won't be your own It will give you another opinion

I'm suffering terrible hip pain had it since May but I've had an x-ray MRI steroid injections seen an orthopaedic nurse and today I start physio

I couldn't have had better treatment I had to have emergency appointments as the pain was so bad and they listened

I was prescribed Tramodol too as I'm on the same tablets as you and they don't do much They really work

They do have side effects so now I take 2 mid morning which really helps and the rest of the day Co codomol My doctor is happy for me to do that

I also use Deep Freeze that is brilliant

Please today ring your surgery and get an emergency appointment don't feel bad on doing it the duty doctor is there each day for just that purpose

I would also speak to the practice manager and say you aren't being listened to

Oh dear I do sound bossy !! I just feel for you as I'm in pain myself and if Id just been left like you have I don't know how I would have coped

Good luck


I'm surprised that after this amount of time your Dr hasn't referred you for an MRI as it sound like you don't know whether there is an identifiable cause which could be treated. I echo the excellent advice above re the dangers of exceeding the maximum dose of paracetamol. Stronger drugs may work for a while but you could be trapped in a vicious cycle. If your back problem can't be 'put right' I'd ask for a referral to a pain clinic and start researching posture but I think you need input from someone who can look at you and assess you properly before embarking on stretches or remedial exercise. In my humble opinion!

Wishing you all the very best

1 like


I echo the statements above. I fell down the stairs & broke my back, was a long road to recovery having to learn to walk again etc but what really helped me was Physio & Amitriptyline alongside painkillers.

Go to another Dr & have a fresh set of eyes review you.

All the best


1 like

Oh dear God you poor man I'm with you on the back pain it's excruciating my dr has done x ray blood tests I'm on amytryptiline could co codamal gabapentin I'm waiting to go to physio where I should then be referred for mri kids do understand just tell them and make the urgent call to your Dr's surgery keep us all posted x


You really need to find out what is causing your pain. Ask to see another Doctor and demand further investigation. I was told that my back pain was wear and tear but 6 months later I had a private consultation and MRI only to find that the damage was so bad to the discs and vertebrae that I would have been paralysed within 3 months. Major surgery sorted it out and if I do get any pain now a dose of Tramodal eases it. Physios only made the pain worse, you need a really good physio who understands severe back pain. Unfortunately they don't seem to exist on the NHS. If you can't afford one Private Consultation with a Spinal Specialist (you can then follow this up on the NHS) insist that you get further investigations. Don't let the Doctor fob you off.


i agree with everything what has been said above. Do not take more co-codimol than prescribed. You really will damage your liver. You must be referred for pain assessment and for both x rays and anMRI test and be referred to a consultant. Perhaps patches might help you but you don't get them over the counter. Only specialist prescribe them. You need to be open to your GP for an assessment and then a consultant. Good luck. I went through all of this.


I would definitely push your GP. As mentioned previously booking an emergency appointment may help. I did this and spoke to a different GP who took me more seriously and gave me stronger meds which has been a godsend. I am on opiate based meds, but depending on the pain there are a couple of other options (medication wise). You say you are currently on ibuprofen, well there is diclofenac or naproxen which are stronger versions of non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs that may help. If the pain is affecting the nerves then gabapentin, pregablin or amytryptiline may also help. I've been through these and unfortunately they did not help, so I am prescribed oxycodone now after being on tramadol for a year or so.

When you see the doctor, don't underestimate the pain you are in, if anything make it worse than it is. Make a list of everything you want to say, I find this really helpful. Include when the pain is at it's worst, the type of pain you are experiencing and tell them about being short of relief at the end of the month. Also push for a physio referral, but make sure that they do an Xray / MRI to try to get to the route cause as physio can make things worse.

Good luck, I hope you get some relief soon.


You may need to go "up the ladder" a bit to get enough relief. I started with Paracetamol, then Cocodamol, then Solpadol, then Tramadol, the untimately got relief with Zomorph.

If taking the max amount of one pain relief medication, but finding it ineffective, then perhaps is the time to move one step up with, of course, the agreement of a GP or Hosptal Consultant.

Can you get a referral to your local Hospital's "Pain Clinic", or if willing/able to see a Consultant privately get your GP to give you the necessary referral.

Sometimes you have to plug away on several lines at once.


Thanks all i will be booking the doctors soon. As for tests i have been for multiple scans blood tests physio. I have tried tramadol and napraxen but the side effects were soo bad i couldn't even bare to get out of bed. I may go back to these tho as now the pain has radiated from local to a vast area including my legs and my arms.


I agree with everything that`s been said DO NOT !!! put up with it. I was like you a few years ago, a G.P. who was quite happy to feed me Co-codamol 30/500,as many as I wanted. It was only when I moved house and G.P. that things started to move for me. I had test, scans M.R.I., sadly my back is in such a state now that there is no way can I have surgery, too much of a risk. I am coming to terms with this....hard. I use my pain management team, there are a lot of meds out there that can help, yes there are side effects, some worse than others it`s just finding the right ones. You may never be 100% again but you can get some quality of life back and with a bit of luck play with your children again. GOOD LUCK.


I've suffered for years with chronic back pain I can honestly say chiropractic treatment and deep tissue massage is a must to improving pain relief and muscle spasms. I'm now taking 500mg twice a day of naproxen 20mg baclofen 3 times a day and tramadol when I have pain. Also on my good days I try to do some gental swimming.


I take co codomol on an average day when my pain is not so bad but if its a bad day i tak Tramadol x2 50mg four times daily with Paracetamol have u asked your gp they may let u try them.


I have same prob co codemol.doesnt work.i can say you prob have same liver as me .I was told that some livers can't break down the enzimes to make the drug work 20 percent of people have same prob

It's on my record at docs.

Laugh went docs other day told doc doesn't work

Left me prescription for wait for it

Co codomal


Thank you everyone that has replied. I have now finally got myself booked in for a spinal block to see if that helps along with a change in medication.

Hopefully this works. If not await my next post πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


You may also like...