Codeine experience ibs-d: Han anyone with IBS-d... - IBS Network

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Codeine experience ibs-d

ScottishDad profile image

Han anyone with IBS-d taking codeine help? I have never so normal. I took some cocodomal form a friend for a migraine and my IBS has never been better, I have had no diarrhoea for 2 days, when I normally can go several times a day. But not just that i also feel calm, even when out at the shops I have not bothered thinking about the bathroom locations. I have a constant worry of needing a bathroom when out, it had stopped for now, I even had lunch then to several shops after it which is not something I ever do.

My question is, is it possible to be prescribed cocodomal or codeine for IBS d in the UK?

60 Replies

Sorry I have no answers for you but it's certainly worth asking, your gp or at least have a chat who knows you might teach him/her something , good luck , btw just a thought could it be coincidence 🤔

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to 1fedup

I do recall once before when I fell in the shower and cracked a rib many years ago. (Dont laugh) I was on call has very little sleep, sorry i digress. Anyway my wife says back then the I had said that the cocodamal was helping but I was off work so maybe put it down to less stress. I will see my gp it has been a few years now.

I have never heard of any one being give meds for it . I do see online that it does give constipation which is the enemies of my IBS-d.

Enjoying having a more relaxed mind and gutmind for now.

Codeine does cause constipation so I guess it could help with IBS(D), I have always steered clear of taking anything that was going to make it go one way or the other, like laxatives or antidiarrheals, but now I am wondering if I should give codeine a try!

See highlighted section of link below. It should go straight to it when you use the link.

nhs.uk/medicines/co-codamol....

Ambazac profile image
Ambazac in reply to Maureen1958

Unfortunately I too find codeine constipating.I take two at night as they also make me sleepy.My problem is every morning at about 6 I wake feeling pain and wanting to make. a BM .Despite eating fibre drinking exercising it still takes a while for anything to happen but when it does such relief! I have found Optibac and Dulcoease help

The only problem with codeine for ibs is it's a narcotic and addictive. For ibs, it might need to taken regularly. But then...so is Imodium. And we have to live. Most of us with the D would give anything for our guts to be calmer

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to Luisa22

Yeah that hazy brain fog, the worrying over thinking gut brain you get use to it and accept it as it is constant well it is for me. Imagine a life without it, would be great. Yeah I dont want to be a drug addict but would be willing to try it over small periods for some rest bite, maybe my brain will realise a life without worry and anxiety. I have nothing to worry I have a great family and a decent job but somehow my brain or gut brain chooses to be a drama queen lol. We live and hope.

I have lactose free milk in morning with my gluten free cereal and 1 codeine at night. My IBS has definitely improved!

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to kenta

I also do not use cows milk. I moved onto soya milk and I can now have some tea,

I have heard codeine works for ibs d but have not tried it as i doubt it would be prescribed for IBS as it’s addictive. I got a similar effect from Citalopram an anti depressant for a while but have found it causing side effects now so am not continuing. I totally understand you feeling calmer when out and not having lunch out usually. People without IBS have no idea how limiting this condition is. Incidentally you can buy cocodamol but it comes in different strengths. 8/15/30mg codiene with 500mg paracetamol. I don’t believe you can purchase the 30/500 strength but you can buy the others although the pharmacist says ‘for 3 days only!” Not much good for IBS sufferers! Anyway good luck - let us know how you get on. 🤞

Like people have said codeine is notorious for causing constipation becareful if you suffer from migraines though as i was in hospital with severe headaches they said it could have be due to codeine induced migraines although I never used it regularly 🤷‍♀️

I get a migraine thinking about a migraine lol. Yeah it's not fun is it. It would be nice to have some rest bite, it's the brain fog, the brain and gut worry. I just sick fed up with it.

I've been prescribed codeine phosphate for pain and it certainly does help with IBS D. However it is an opioid and can be addictive so GPs don't want to prescribe it just willy nilly. Also it can make you constipated. However you can buy co-codamol over the counter at the pharmacy.

Don’t know about Co-Codamol but I went back to my doctors last month as I was having terrible trouble with my IBS. I had to go on a long journey and I was constantly worried I would have an urgency to go so I made sure I didn’t eat much. All of a sudden I got stomach cramps and we were on a motorway so we had to get off very quickly and managed to find a field. This happened 3 times. Dr prescribed Codeine Phosphate 30mg to take for the pain or one twice daily for loose stools and Loperamide which I take daily. I couldn’t take codeine but the pain stopped anyway eventually. Only problem is I would take codeine all the time for peace of mind but I’ve been told Codeine can be addictive plus you shouldn’t drive when taking so I don’t bother but I do swallow loperamide all the time even when I’m only going to supermarket. I don’t see why you can get prescribed but it does come with warnings.

Good luck.

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to JayceeJC

I also been on loperamide and I have to dose up just to go to work or shops. I hate them I make myself I'll just getting ready to go out, but the anxious feelings are still there which only when I took the cocodemal I was so calm, I went round lots of shops, ate food and more shops even ones without toilet.

JayceeJC profile image
JayceeJC in reply to ScottishDad

You sound so much like me. I have those behaviour issues when going out but I’m getting to the stage I don’t eat much so I don’t get stomach cramps. Took my first codeine for ages today and will probably do another before bed. Good luck.

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to JayceeJC

Yeah I have been in many fields too. Yeah it takes little bit of hope from you everytime. I use to work in a pickup van, and I would go around building sites, road tarmacing kind of job, it meant I was always on the road and always getting caught out. I went and got a degree in cyber security so now i get to work from home a lot it does help. Stick in just remember there is always someone worse off.

Hi there I take codeine prescribed for pain for arthritis It will constipated you and as its an addictive drug it can have that calm feel to it In the UK Cocodamol can be bought over the counter For me I've had it for years so the calm feeling is not effective now but it does constipated me Ask your GP for it on prescription as you are long term Glad you have found some respite

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to Arpin

Thank you. Yeah it was really good, it's like you never realised it was bad till it was gone, it was like a light switched on and I could see. I think the anxiety attention issues I have stressful job all helps would be interesting to see how I would cope being prescribed.

Arpin profile image
Arpin in reply to ScottishDad

go for it You have nothing to lose and if successful peace of mind Like most addictive things nowadays if you don't abuse them you should be ok Like arthritis IBM is progressive so I have no choice in the hopes of leading a 'normal' life I did wrestle for ages with prescribed medication but they are to be used Feeling bad about taking helpful drugs won't help any symptoms So if you don't get on with them you just stop Good luck 🧡

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to Arpin

Yeah I will go and see dr, see if they are willing to give some as a trial.

I was prescribed co-codamol years ago for pain related to IBS & not specifically for it. After finding that it causes constipation (which is my problem) I no longer take it although it is still listed in my medications. I now buy my own cheap paracetamol.

I was prescribed codine a few years ago for ibs d. I was travelling and was really really nervous about the flight. The dr said to start taking it a couple of days before my flight.

Take with caution as it’s habit forming. Plus you could end up badly constipated.

Speak to a Dr first though please.

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to Angie11

Constipation yeah would not like that, I can get both constipation and diaharria the same day, but mostly due to loperamide I just hate using. I like the calm feeling I got with coidiene. I think my work would improve for the conferences I need to be part of for work. I feel this could be a way of some normality

I suppose the effect is because codeine can cause constipation in some people ..the calming effect will be the codeine as it can have that effect until your body gets use to it that's why it's prescription only I'm sure your doctor would prescribe if you explain it is helping your ibs..although it's recommended you do not over use them..however I know loads that have been on them for years depends on your gp..Good luck jx

Thank you, o have had IBS d for more than half my life now, if being on them was as good as the 2 days peace I got then I would be happy to be on them... I could take my youngest out up the hills go on more trips, i think that would be priceless and more valuable to my family. Yeah I would only take them when required.or.if a constant small does would work? I should book in with my GP

Hi, lovely to have some relief isn’t it! It might be wise though to have a chat to your GP as codeine can make migraine worse in the long run, with rebound headaches. There’s a healthunlocked migraine page which is really helpful. Some have mentioned that Amytriptilene is beneficial for both IBS and Migraine, maybe worth a go if you haven’t tried it already. Good luck.

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to 1518

Yeah I tried amitriptyline before, I was not impressed with it. I was distant from reality, brain fog and it did not offer much for my anxiety my brain would fight against it. Also IBS was o real improvement.

I can't think of any GP that would prescribe codeine in any form for IBS, at least not in the long term. I can vouch for it working, up to a point, but codeine is addictive, even in small doses, and you need a larger dose over time to keep up the effect, whether that be for pain or to slow your bowel down. Codeine is definitely known for slowing down the gut, so its definitely not co-incidence. You can buy it over the counter, but only a small number of tablets at a time, in our pharmacy it's behind glass so you have to ask. I'm pretty sure they'll notice if you go in often for it, so you have to then travel to other pharmacies, and begin to look like a drug addict. I've tried it, so I know!! You really would try anything to relieve yourself of this constant running to the loo. Presuming you can even find one.

If codeine does work for you, then loperamide might work just as well (Immodium), if not better. Finding the right dose that doesn't have the opposite effect takes a bit of time and effort. You can buy this quite cheaply, if you buy the generic version which is Loperamide. And if you buy it off Amazon, it's very much cheaper than the local pharmacy.

Something else that may help, is fybogel (or cheapie equivalent) psyllium husk. This is counter intuitive in that it's usually prescribed for constipation, but in some people with ibs it has been found to help in that it absorbs water from the stool and make it more bulky than too soft. I am in the process of trying this myself and it's a bit early to tell, but it hasn't made it worse so I'm hoping that the process of starting with a small amount and building up to a bigger dose may produce some results.

I have just joined a really good IBS charity website. It's £24 to join and use online, a bit more if you only do paper. You get access to experts in this field, can send in questions and be sure it will be someone who knows what they are talking about will respond. They also do a phone helpline a couple of evenings a week. The name of this is theibsnetwork.org I only joined a couple of weeks ago, and have already had the benefit of asking a couple of questions.

Sorry for such a long winded response, hope you can find something that's relatively easy to get hold of that helps you.

I have been on loperamide for 15 years. It was the brain part I likes about the codiene I was so relaxed and calm just what a restbite from the norm of constant worry

Ah yes, the mind thing. Any kind of opiate will do that, hence why it's so addictive of course. Personally I don't especially like the effect of opiates, they tend to knock me out even in small doses, but it would be nice to find something that did give you a calming effect without the other side of it!!

I do take kalms, not sure what's in it, some kind of herbal thing I think, and it does work a bit, but breaking this gut brain issue is very challenging. And there is no doubt, as you have found yourself, there is very much a gut brain issue!!

The person who comes up with either a cure, or a very effective treatment, without side effects, is going to make a shed load of money. Best of luck with it all, ghastly isn't it.

Yeah I think I make my symptoms worse, I try and go before I go out even when not needing to and can make.things worse. Yeah the mental setback is a major factor for me. Lifes not always been easy, I am in a good place, with a good family and got a career now, it's not always been this way, I came through the care system, never knew my father, no relationship with my mother, i think are all factors. We live to fight another day. My sole purpose is for me kids to have the life O never had, not financial but the love and support from their parents.

Ambazac profile image
Ambazac in reply to iloveglee

The ibs health site is great we joined some years ago .Through them we got a radar key and can’t wait card

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to Ambazac

Yes heard of these keys, unfortunately public toilets are becomming fewer

iloveglee profile image
iloveglee in reply to Ambazac

Yes, I don't know how I didn't come across this charity earlier, especially since it's located in the city where I live, and many of the experts are attached to our local hospital.

Am currently awaiting my welcome pack with the can't wait cards, and I am definitely going to get a radar card. We have hardly any department stores left in this city, and toilet facilities are rare. It's a case of having to go into a cafe and buy a coffee or something to use their toilets. Apart from McDonalds where you can, or could last time I went there, just walk into the toilet. Some though these days have a code which you only get from buying something.

I take Co-codomol for other pain, and have taken it for IBS when I’ve had a bad bout of diarrhoea after consuming high FODMAP foods by mistake. I was originally prescribed codeine for sciatica/back pain, but asked to come off it as it caused nausea and constipation and that’s why I take co-codomol instead. (There used to be a diarrhoea mixture you could buy over the counter years ago which contained codeine so it can be useful. ). As has been said though, it can be addictive so you need to use it with caution, and if you take it too regularly, it can cause horrendous headaches, so not something to be doing often. I have taken Cocodamol for migraines, and it definitely causes rebound headaches if you take maximum dose in 24 hours. I would speak to your G.P. for advice on this, as you could end up replacing one symptom for another.

Yeah. Had migraines beat 25 years now started in high school. I get them on and off never seen a pattern, bright lights is a problem, even driving at night I hate. I do have photoscopic sensitivity, which might be the reason I find bright lights difficult. But yeah will look more into the codeine for ibs

You have my sympathy, I’m the same with migraines, and I also have the same problems with bright lights etc., like you. I tend to wear sunglasses a lot, even in winter. Good luck with your quest to control your IBS, I know it’s not an easy path. Have you ever looked into the FODMAP diet? It’s a more natural way to cope with it.

Yeah been on it a few times, I find it difficult to be on... might have to find the fighting power to try it again.

Have you heard of Migralenses? I wear them when I get migraines, they are great for cutting out a lot of stimuli. I would be without mine now.

No I have never heard of these however I do have coloured lenses was more to help with dyslexia. But when I moved to my new house I misplaced I really need to get that attic sorted. I will look into these lenses though.

You can buy them on Amazon, they look green, but don’t really change the colour as much as you’d expect, they do tone it down a lot though, getting rid of blue light. I wouldn’t be without mine now.

It’s interesting that you say you have coloured lenses for dyslexia. Can you tell me more about what kind they are? (I hope you find yours by the way) I have a relative with dyslexia and don’t know if he’s heard of those.

Colourmitry assessment. Mines was done by black and lizard. Also worth looking at Arlene syndrome. Its colour lenses for dyslexia, you can also buy coloured overlays, sheets of plastic for reading. The light in a room can determine how stressful I find reading and helps with the white background on black text.

I will look more into these lenses on amazon I did email the company who got back to me saying to look at the Titan Horizon frames.

Thank you for the information, that’s very helpful. I hope you find the Migralenses helpful for your migraines.

Please do not take Cocodamol in any strength at all. It is not good for your bowels. I was on a 30/100 @ 500mg x2 each day. Each complaint about pain just got me more drugs by my ex despicable gp. I was topped up with Macrogol (laxatives), then Gaviscon Advanced then Peppermint Oil Capsules. The pain was so bad that out of the 7 years that gp had me on it I was taken by ambulance to my local A & E and put on Diamorphine drips which I've just recently discovered is Heroin. 😡 Each time they'd question why the gp had me on Cocodamol plus a cocktail of other drugs instead of referring me to a hospital clinic. I left the practice and was called in almost immediately by my new practice. They were stunned and disgusted at the dosage and length of time I'd been prescribed Cocodamol. I was told to immediately begin withdrawal from it and would be supported to do so as on top of all the pain and issues I had acute pain at the left side of my navel which was travelling down my tummy. Every day, I had to wear nappies for 7 years I took those Cocodamol tablets. I was told I had the beginnings of Diverticulitis by the new gp and the NHS Pain Clinic. When I looked it up I was petrified so complied that night and began withdrawal. I spoke to or saw my gp every 2 days as well as the NHS Pain Clinic. It was a little hard but I'm glad I did it as I discovered it takes about 92 days for each tablet to be completely out of your system. The gp told me I'd have been lucky if all I had removed was my spleen.

I still had issues with a lot of foods though and began to research as well as stopping then starting certain foods. To my horror I discovered I had an allergy to gluten. Since going gluten free I hardly have any tummy or bowel issues. 30+ years of pain, nappies, inability to go out, inability to plan anything with my grandchildren, etc. The worst thing is how good that Cocodamol was at masking it all. I quickly adapted to the gluten free diet and still do. 😍

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to Evonne02

Seems like you have had a tough time, glad you managed to get into a good place now..

Codeine is addictive if you take too many. I've been on it for years now. I've weaned myself off it and only take one a day in the morning. It also can cause constipation so will probably help with loose stools.

Hi i had constant bowel problems following a twisted bowel and various operations. I was not officially diagnosed wit IBS but had many of the symptoms. Loperamide didn’t work for me but my GP agreed i could try codeine phosphate. I take 2 at a time 3 times a day. I must say they settled my system and no constipation. They are supposed to be addictive but so far no problem. It is worth trying if you can then get on with your normal life.

Yeah a normal life, what is that? I can but hope, everytime my IBS flares up I loose a little bit of my soul. Any rest bite would be great right now.

I used to have a life, and was able to go out with friends, when I had hydrocodone prescription. Until the drug addict criminals ruined it for us here in the US with the "Opioid Epidemic" hysteria.

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to Phil865

Yes too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. I do not want to be addicted to anything, but would be nice to get some rest from IBs

I'm prescribed Mebeverine (Colofac) for my IBS-D. Like you I was afraid to leave the house because of uncontrollable diarrhoea....but these have given me my life back!!! I still have to be careful with some foods but life is brilliant now!!

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to sue32

I will look into this Mebeverine

sue32 profile image
sue32 in reply to ScottishDad

Please do....you can buy Colofac off the shelf actually.....you take 1 Mebeverine tablet 20 minutes before food....maximum of 3 tablets a day. I only take 2 cos I’m not a breakfast eater. I Googled it before I rang my GP as I read you can’t take it long term but he assured me that it’s fine for that. There are still some foods I can’t tolerate.....celery, onions, dried fruit, and I have to peel tomatoes but I can work with that! I do hope you find some relief....it’s such a debilitating and horrible thing. Good luck....Happy Easter

Lamly profile image
Lamly in reply to ScottishDad

Mebeverine is very good for I B S Symptoms, I can vouch for it.

Hi well as normal as can be. Like others, I sometimes had to wait hours before i judged it safe to go out. Now i am on codeine i find that the mornings are difficult and i dont make any arrangements to go out early. Usually by noon, i feel ok to go out but i never go far. I also experiment with my diet and try to avoid lactose, high fibre foods etc. I think stress is also bad and makes symptoms worse. When I explained to my GP that i had to keep rushing to the toilet etc she was very sympathetic and prescribed the codeine to see how it worked. I would recommend that you talk to your GP, as you know you have to have a prescription for codeine. Good luck and i hope things improve for you soon.

Thank you

Yes mate I use codeine every day, small dose of 30 mg in mornings and it helps so much 👍🏻 It’s an opioid so there funny about giving it out on prescription, I’m on anti depressants too which help.. I have severe IBS 🙈

ScottishDad profile image
ScottishDad in reply to mad71

Yeah I will ask I do not feel confident of being prescribed it, but I do believe it would give me some rest mentally. I have done it a couple of times now and everytime I use them what a difference it makes. I can go for a meal and not rush, it's strange, I normally rush to get home, even my partner rushed knowing I want to get home but when on them I dont have to.

Hi Scottish Dad, I have a prescription for codine and take 2x30g along with 2 loperamide each morning. I have suffered IBS-D for nearly 40 years. I have never felt so good. Don’t get me wrong I still feel a bit anxious at times and know where all the loos are but I don’t have that inner monologue every time I go somewhere! We all have to do what’s best for us, I take Codine because it makes my day to day life much better/ easier.Go and chat to your GP and good luck ….

Thank you, yeah you described it well, that inner mind, inner mental anxiety goes away when I am on the cocodomal. I took one this morning and I went out, had food drive home all good, not a care in the world.

I have not been to Gp as yet, I need to as I have been using some afriend gave me. I am worried though that the Dr refuses to give me these tablets. I have taken 1x 30g today and is all I need, no loperamide, but always carry some.

I can take loperamide and they stop from running to the loo, but it does not stop the anxiety of thinking I need to, to a point I believe I need to go and force myself.

Thanks for the reply and taking the time out of your day

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