Out of the frying pan into the Fire - Pain Concern

Pain Concern

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Out of the frying pan into the Fire

roostercogburn profile image

My doctor prescribed Dihydrocodine for me to try , as Cocodomol 500/30 were making me feel like a Zombie.

I have excruciating Arthritic pain in both hands and frozen shoulder in both shoulders which I have been waiting up to now 7 months just to see a consultant. I`ll probably have to wait another 9 months after eventually seeing one, to then get an operation date.

Well I took one 60mg that night and next morning I felt unbelievably ill.

I felt like vomiting all the time although I didn`t vomit and I actually felt like I wasn`t in control of my own boy.

Well If thats the side affects they can keep them. Its like been asked to choose between being hanged or being drowned. Both are horrendous.

Although I am in dire pain I think I`ll just have to put up with the pain than suffer the horrendous side affects of Dihydrocodine. They are in the waste bin as I speak.

14 Replies

I was prescribed DF118, as they used to be called, twice in my younger days. Both times they had adverse affects. Completely spaced out and aware of nothing but floating.

In later years I took them again with great success. No idea why.

If your GP is trying you on them then back and tell him what you have experienced.

Have you been to pain clinic? They have excellent management which teaches you how to maage your pain with physio, alternative therapies as well as meds.


Ooooh No thanks . I think my body knows best at 70 and when a tablet gives me such a bad reaction I take notice of what my body is telling me.

When you take a tablet and your reaction feels just like you`ve been poisoned, thats all it takes for me to stop ,I don`t need a double dose to be persuaded to stop.

I`ve never had any positive reaction to physio either , as far as my Arthritis is concerned hydrocodine.

Try having your swollen pain racked joints manipulated and twisted to a degree that your body feels like its having your limbs torn off without being under any anaesthetic.

No . I won`t be taking any further Dihydrocodeine or having any tortuous physio .

Physio means exercise to help move your muscles not shred your body. It is these tightening to protect your joints which cause the pain.

Another possibility is acupuncture which uses your body's own pain relief mechanism...endorphins


Well I`m sorry to sound like I`m discrediting everything you say, but I can assure you I`ve been looking for years for solutions to pain relief and I can honestly say I havn`t found a good one yet . And yes I`ve tried Acupuncture in the local Bupa hospital, and all I can say is its great for about an hour after receiving acupuncture ,but it soon wears off and for the time it does give you any sort of relief its not worth the effort or money .

Well thats my findings and all I can give is my findings. People obviously re act differently

No not discrediting me at all but I do find it sad you are dismissive of tried and tested pain management.

You will never be free of chronic pain but hopefully you can reach a level where you can function.

It isn't just taking more and more tablets. Research has proved they do not work long term. They were developed for cancer patients at end of life. So taking stronger doses or more often is a waste.

It is the whole package of managing your own body with whatever treatment helps. No one thing works for everyone so trial and error is the name. Pacing yourself, adapting how you move and what you do to help stop the pain before it starts or gets worse.


Morning I have just read about how you feel that at your age mine two years older ha ha that you know your own body you don’t know how happy I was to read that I have the same problem one with tacrilimus one with Tyler and now I have a problem with water tablets

I have been taking tablets for 30 years now so I believe I am aware of what I am doing I do understand where the doctors are coming from but I am willing to give whatever they say a try but if I feel poorly a few days after I need to stop them but I think we are looked on as know it all but it’s not a bit like that as I said Ian willing to try whatever they say but feeling poorly no got enough problems as it isrant over but I still would like to say a big thank you to the nhs for all they have done

You have a good day and take care

I was not surprised that you felt ill after taking 60mg of Dihydrocodine. I was alarmed that you have thrown such a dangerous drug into your waste bin. If a child got their hands on these they would not need many to prover lethal. Older hands could turn these into ready cash when sold on .

I sincerely hope that your bin was metathorical and that you will read the pharmaceutical leaflet for the medicine. Please try just one 30mg tablet next time. At least then your Doc will have a better indication of what to prescribe you next time.

Kind regards, Rib

The tablets were prescribed to me as follows,......... " 56 x Dihydrocodeine 60mg modified release tablets. one to be taken twice a day. do not chew or break. Warning Do not drink alcohol while taking this medicine. warning this medicine may make you sleepy. If this happens do not drive or use tools or machines. "

That is what is written on the tablet container (I still have it).

So ! that is what I took. I cannot take 30 mg if the tablets are 60 mg tablets . Unless, what the writing is saying on the container , is that the whole 56 tablets are 60 mgs total.

I don`t know,I`m not a chemist. I took one tablet as prescribed.

The usual dose of normal release dhc is one or two 30mg tablets up to 4 times a day. Max daily dose 240mg.

Your tablets are slow release and to be taken twice a day. Max daily dose 120mg.

Although 60 mg of normal release dhc to someone without any tolerance might make them a bit drowsy / itchy / nauseas these side-effects usually diminish as tolerance increases.

If they make you feel that bad then you should tell your doctor and they may suggest something else or stopping them entirely. We all react differently to different drugs and some people don’t tolerate dhc or any other opiate very well.

You are correct that they should not be spilt as this will affect the slow-release mechanism, so therefore you cannot take a lower dose with those particular tablets.

Hope that helps.


Thanks PFKAAde for your understanding of the drug.

After my experience of taking the Dihydrocodeine and the side affect it subjected me to . Its given me such a bad experience , I find myself in the position now that I don`t want to pursue "toleration" of it, no matter how it may well be ok eventually.

Heaving my guts up and retching repeatedly and feeling like I was continually at deaths door is something I don`t want to try to get used to tolerating.

I think rather than going down the road of taking such drastic measure drug, I will just rather attempt to bear the pain, till I can get an operation to fix the problem that way.

It shouldn’t make you feel that bad. Dihydrocodeine was the first opiate I was put on many years ago and if anything (dare I say it) they were more of an enjoyable thing at first, not something that made me feel like that. And that was at maximum dose.

As I recall if I took 8 x 30mg a day then they could make me a bit nauseous by the end of the day, but that soon passed. Personally I think that as with most opiates, part of the pain relief they offer is the wooziness as it stops you thinking about the pain so much rather than actually taking the pain away, if that makes sense? The problem there being that to maintain the effects of them when your tolerance increases you have to increase the dose. With dhc the most they will prescribe is 240mg a day, so in effect that means they become less effective over time and by then you’re dependent on them and stopping can be tough.

I have found them to be a reasonable painkiller and not at all dissimilar to codeine. The 2 x 60 mg tablets you were prescribed were probably a similar level of active opiate as the cocodamol (assuming you were taking 8 x 500/30 tablets a day, without the paracetamol (which some people suggest helps increase the effectiveness of codeine) as, if I recall, dihydrocodeine is supposed to be about twice the strength of codeine (although this figure seems to vary depending where you look).

Another thing I have found with dihydrocodeine is that I find it harder to reduce than I did morphine. Getting off them after long-term use is quite difficult. In my experience. But the same can be said of most if not all opiates to some degree for most people. You certainly become physically dependent on them, if not actually addicted.

All the best.


Quote PFKAAde. " It shouldn’t make you feel that bad."

I think it has to be remembered, that not everyone reacts to a medicine the same way . Everyone can react differently, so it really should not be of any surprise that some one else reacts so much differently to some thing others might sail through with no adverse affects.

Any way bottom line to this is ,I`ve binned them and will not ever take dihydrocodeine ever again, and can I thank all the people who gave their views and comments regarding my experience in this matter.

regards & best wishes R Cogburn

Absolutely, we all react differently and from your description of your reaction to them it sounds like you fall on the wrong side of the benefits outweighing the negatives.

In a hospital setting nausea is often first dealt with by administering an antiemetic to supposedly combat the nausea but they did nothing for me following a hip resurfacing and so the next nurse decided to remove the morphine pump I had attached and replace it with paracetamol (acetaminophen) which wasn’t quite as effective for post-operative pain.

Since being put on an ever increasing dose of morphine during various (painful) ‘issues’ the nausea has not been the issue, obtaining adequate pain relief with a dose that was safe became the issue in a post surgical setting.

Glad to say I’m almost of the lot now, but like I say the dihydrocodeine is not an easy one to get off, for me at least.

If you can manage without it it will save you a lot of pain getting off them in the long run. I could say that for many drugs with the benefit of hindsight though.


Thank you for clarifying the medication that you were referring to. Of course you cannot and should not divide the dose of a tablet without medical guidance.

As I was not aware that you had been prescribed 60mg Dihydrocodine SR , I erroneously assumed that you were taking normal 30mg Dihydrocodine and had taken one dose of 2x 30mg. I am sorry that this has caused any upset and confusion.

Sincerely, Rib

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