What can I do when painkillers don't work? - Pain Concern

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What can I do when painkillers don't work?

Ets01 profile image
22 Replies

Hi, I've had chronic pain since childhood (now in my 20s) and I've been on the same 60mg dose of codeine for about 6 years now, as you can imagine it's not worked for a long time /: I've been referred to and seen by the pain clinic, I've had the movement therapy and mindfulness help, and none have helped. My pain is still awful and I don't know what to do anymore, it's pointless for me to keep taking the codeine, but doctors have always told me that they won't give me anything stronger because I'm so young. Have I just got to suck it up and deal with being in pain?

22 Replies
rabbits65 profile image
rabbits65

I’ve heard that painkillers don’t always work at all . Why don’t you try coming off them completely and see what happens, you’ve got dependant on them. Or ask to be referred to a consultant . I rely on hot water bottles for my pain. I take painkillers often but NOT every day. 😊

Ets01 profile image
Ets01 in reply to rabbits65

I go about 6 months between taking them as it is unfortunately as I keep hoping the long break would provide some help but it doesn't seem to work

greekqueen profile image
greekqueen

If you have nerve pain try gabapentin x

Triptwo profile image
Triptwo in reply to greekqueen

Just a word of warning, gabapentin and pregabalin (especially pregabalin) can give you some very bizzare side effects. Both can be quite effective. But ask family and friends to let you know if you are exhibiting odd behaviours. You may not necessarily know yourself.

greekqueen profile image
greekqueen in reply to Triptwo

I have memory block because of them, I think they stop new synapses forming in the brain 🤔

I had dizziness right at the beginning on building up the dose but it soon went.

Been on them for ten years and they are the main reason I can live with my pain.

Triptwo profile image
Triptwo in reply to greekqueen

Yeah I completely understand that medication for one may not be right for someone else. Pregabalin changed my personality and Gave me anxiety, made me high and disinhibited, agitated and a complete arse at times. I've spoken to several people in real life since quitting pregabalin and all have looked horrified/traumatized when recalling their own or their loved ones experience on Pregabalin. My dad started taking it a few years after I did and particularly since he upped the dose he's been acting very strange. Until about lunchtime it's like he's on speed. He's 80!

It's just a word of caution.

Judo1010 profile image
Judo1010 in reply to Triptwo

I agree with you, one of my GPs advised against gabapentin, or pregabapentin, say they where both dangerous drugs and where developed for the pain of shingles. A friend of mine was years ago diagnosed as suffering from fibromyalgia, and was out on gabapentin and has been on them for years. Two years ago she was told by a consultant that her body was toxic from taking this drug, and she was advised to ween herself of them, but it would take a period of two years to do. She did as he advised, two years on and she is still suffering from the side effects of this drug. I spoke with her a few days ago, when she told me she had spent the last eight days in bed, still feeling the side effects. I myself have been offered this many times, but refuse it, so much so that one GP commented to me, then you are between a rock and a hard place. But I always remember what another GP said to me about this drug, and I also see what having to come off them after years of taking them, have done to my friend. I for one wouldn't take them if offered them again.

Triptwo profile image
Triptwo

I have recently substituted morphine for Kratom. I'm highly respectful of it as it can come with its own problems but I find that both whilst on it and the day after you feel more like yourself than on morphine.

Definitely best to do plenty of research into it and try and get advice from a doctor.

Scotsman53 profile image
Scotsman53

Some of the things you're tried and say don't help are not so much to take away the pain as to improve your ability to live your life around it. Have they really not helped in any way? If not --either way, in fact -- I'd strongly suggest trying some of them again. Mindfulness has greatly helped me deal with both my pain and all the knock-on effects on my life as well.

And you can do other things at the same time, such as pushing for different meds. What are you diagnosed with anyway?

kev60 profile image
kev60

Hi, I to suffer from pain 24/7 in my abs,back and chest been on paracetamol 8x500mg per day for 3 years and various other pain meds , now GP has put me on pain patches Bunov started on 5mg and slowly been raised now on 20mg . my pain has dropped slightly now 7/10 where 0=no pain and 10=hospital , pain level was 9/10 but GP is trying to get levels below 5/10 just keep on to the doctor to try different things. hope youfeel better soon.

Babaika profile image
Babaika

Sometimes one certain med. will not work and they should try something else. Instead of increasing the strength of the med. you are on try something totally different. Other drugs beside pain meds. have worked better for some people. Like antidepressants some seizure medications. So far I haven’t had much luck with meds. at all. I’m seeing a new neurologist now, hope he will try something new. Had emg they thought some pain in arms and hands were coming from my neck but found nothing wrong in my neck, said it was diabetic neuropathy and nothing could be done surgically to fix that and it can’t be reversed. So I’m down to meds. to get relief hope they find something that will help some of the pain anyway. ask your Dr. about trying different types of meds. to see if they might work . They may have to try different combinations of meds. Good luck and hope they can come up with something that works for you. Believe me I know what you are going through, it’s terrible. But try to hang in there and talk to Drs. About your treatment if you are not satisfied tell them and hopefully they will discuss a plan with you, they should do that anyway. Good luck and hope you can get to feeling better soon.

Imagine1 profile image
Imagine1

Hi Ets01. I broke my foot nearly 2 years ago and never got any treatment for it, because of this I have been in constant pain myself. The problem is I am allergic to opiods which includes Morphine and Codeine. I recently saw a specialist and he told me I have developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome which there is no cure for I have to live with it. I would see if you have the same condition then at least you will know what you are dealing with and you will get help with it because it is a condition and it is recognised now.

PainGo1 profile image
PainGo1 in reply to Imagine1

I am in a similar situation, I injured my foot 3 years ago and developed chronic pain in my leg as a result. I think I have CRPS but keep getting conflicting reports from my GP about this. What are your CRPS symptoms exactly as I would like to see if they are the same as what I now live with?

Imagine1 profile image
Imagine1 in reply to PainGo1

Hi. My symptoms are changes in my foot colour, red to white to blue, swelling, very painful, very cold to touch then red hot as though it is burning, I get blue toes a lot and this worries mebecause there is no circulation going through. One time when I went to A&E the doctor actually said that I might lose my toes. This is all because when I fell downstairs and broke my foot the hospital didn't do anything about it, not even a cast or airboot and no followup appointment. To this day I have a limp,I can't bend my foot even when I kneeldown on my knees it hurts. I hope this helps you. xx

PainGo1 profile image
PainGo1 in reply to Imagine1

Do they think that having treatment after the accident that CRPS might not have set in? I also had no treatment for my foot injury which I still believe was negligent but I didn't break anything. Just had soft tissue damage and bruising followed by nerve pain.

Imagine1 profile image
Imagine1 in reply to PainGo1

I believe that because I didn't get the correct treatment at the time and still haven't that I am left with CRPS. I am seeing a solicitor at the moment about it, because it should have been treated correctly and wasn't. It doesn't matter if you broke it or not if you didn't get the correct treatment and you are still suffering from it then the hospital/doctor is negligent.xx

PainGo1 profile image
PainGo1 in reply to Imagine1

I agree. My GP assumed it would heal but it actually got worse over time. Does your solicitor think you have a case?

Imagine1 profile image
Imagine1 in reply to PainGo1

Yes, I do have a strong case. I have had many accidents in the past and been admitted to hospital and received the correct treatment and I have NEVER has CRPS before. The hospital has admitted to not treating me correctly and in my solicitors opinion this is why I have developed this condition now. My solicitors wife has the same condition so he knows what I am living with.

Aoibheann profile image
Aoibheann

Perhaps try paracetamol along with your codeine.

MSTKing profile image
MSTKing

If the codeine isn't working and what was suggested to you isn't working either, then you need to go back to your GP. Maybe try and let them know a bit more about your pain - what makes it worse, what can make it appear better. Score it over a couple of weeks a few times a day to work out how it changes and write notes about that. Giving your GP written information with more detail may help them be more helpful to you.

Aoibheann profile image
Aoibheann

You should try Pernaton cold Gel.

Darko74 profile image
Darko74

Hi Ets01, yeah my situation is due to degenerative disc disease I take a few pills. On gabapentin 100mg x3, Co-codamol 30/500mg x 8, Maxitram 150mg x2 and Duloxetine 60mg x1 sometimes works, takes the edge off the pain then sometimes not nothing works a bit worried about going higher on anything as it may stop me from driving, what about you? I think after taking these for over four years I must be dependent but then what would I change too? Pain management didn’t work for me, people great just a talking shop I thought, maybe you could try talking to a better gp or a more sympathetic one!👍

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