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Dear Storm,

I hope your ok. Just an update, I’m doing really well! I haven’t touched solp since I stopped completely. I’ve had a few rough days but now I feel so much better. I don’t even think about codiene anymore. In all honestly, this time it was so easy. Just wish I had done it like this all the other times I tried to stop, or stopped.

I hope you can quit someday too.

Take care

Dear Storm,

I’m so sorry to hear you are stuck on one tab four-five times a day! How long have you been suffering with migraines? How long have you been taking solpadiene and what was the highest amount you used to consume?

Regarding migraines, I used to get them every month. It all started the day of my sisters wedding, seven years ago. After the day was over I didn’t feel too good. So I fell asleep on my sofa to wake in absolute agony. I’ve never experienced anything like it, not even child labour matched it. At the time I was taking solpadiene but not to the extreme. Anyway, I managed to get to my dads house with hardly any vision and my son as a co-pilot whilst driving. It was dangerous but I knew my dad had tramadol and strong Codeine tabs. To ring him would have been a no no as couldn’t talk. Once arriving I took both tram and strong Codeine. Within half hour I was better. However, what cane after was horrific. I developed labithitis (think that’s how you spell it). I couldn’t walk properly, write or compute. The doctor diagnosed me. It took me three months to write with a pen and walk straight without looking like I was drunk! No help from the doctors. My legs would just go numb and constantly having pain in my head.

Unfortunately, there on every month I would have a migraine. I knew it was coming on. I would feel very unwell with a headache and be disorientated. I would go to bed and the pain would wake me early hours. I would be sick and the other end…sorry. But the pain, oh my god! Then for two weeks I would be disorientated. I tried so many triptan family tabs but nothing would work, not even solpadiene. The other thing was tramadol. This went in for four years! Even through uni. I did an exam with one. God knows how I managed but you just do.

Anyway, I believe it was more of a mini stroke, due to the wedding and my highly strung bossy sister.

What I did to relieve it…just to note, I do not suffer anymore. I have had the odd few. Even in times of stress I’m clear…phew. But, after doing so much research into it and speaking to many sufferers. I started using on a daily basis extra virgin olive oil. It has the same additive as the triptan family. I would put it over my dinner and started adding leafy greens as well. I wasn’t on any medication that could cause migraines. I also used to get Botox in my forehead. All this worked for me Storm. Maybe you could try it!

I really feel for you, I do. I would never want to be like that again.

On my current situation, I struggled last night with my legs. No pain in my head but my body was aching a lot. Today I’m better but I know today and tomorrow are going to be hard, as always it’s the second to third day for me. But this time it’s a breeze compared to other times.

Yes I did half a tab four to five times a day. Every time I cut back a bit it would hurt but for a day or two. The killer was cutting from three to two and spacing them out more. My head in thumping and fuzzy but not painful if that makes sense.

Thank you for the information on the smoothies!

From research, as you probably know, the brain has to learn and compensate without Codeine. So it’s down to will power. You tell yourself ‘oi listen you, this is what’s happening and I don’t care how you feel about it, put up and shut up’. You can train the brain to do marvellous things. I’m hoping your migraines are just your brain giving you pain on your weakest part. Mine is my gynaecology area. But I know that’s what the brain does. Trying to trick you that you need to take it.

I really hope you manage to cut down to half. Maybe, like I did, do half in a shorter space of time. Not to a dangerous level, but so your brain gets used to having smaller doses but your not upsetting it, if you see what I mean. It worked for me.

Do take care Storm, you CAN do this!

I’m always here if you need me, and will keep checking and I’ll update you on my progress.

Hi Tired and Weary,

Thank you so much for laying out for me what you did. I think you have had amazing courage to reduce from such a lethal dose to almost nothing (and soon to be zero). You deserve to be very proud of yourself. It's an incredible achievement.

It's wonderful that you don't even want it now. I think that's the beauty of tapering. It gives body and mind a chance to get used to leaving Solpadeine behind.

I'm have been stuck at four per day (occasionally five if I have a migraine coming on), usually in four doses of one tablet each, roughly four hours apart (sometimes less, sometimes more, or a mixture). You're right about the ritual; I have a preference for the same mug and do find the clink clink fizz comforting at this stage, even though I know it's screwing me over.

I started drinking anti-inflammatory smoothies last week and they immediately helped to reduce back pain, literally after the first pint. I have not made them over the past few days, though, because the last one I made tasted so bad. I am working out what kinds of leaves and fruit to use to make them bearable to drink. They have a great effect, though.

I reduced to 3.5 today but just went back up to 4 with a half-tablet. I could feel a headache forming along my brow and as I'm a migraine sufferer, anything like that sends me straight back to Solpadeine, even though I know they are contributing to migraine and making me more sensitive to pain in the long run.

It's fascinating that your vision improved, too. I am very short-sighted and have had quite a lot of eye trouble over the past two years. I hope kicking Solpadeine will help that, too, and the thought of a clear head is one of the biggest things spurring me on.

It also disturbs my sleep, even if I take it early in the day, because of the caffeine or the salt, I think. It seems to irritate my bladder and cause me to retain water, which magically wants to be released when I lie down at night. Then I need to go to the loo, then I can't get back to sleep, and it becomes a horridly vicious circle. Then sleeplessness triggers migraine and it starts all over again.

For some reason, I am finding it very hard to reduce below four a day. I hope that starting the smoothies again tomorrow and drinking more water will help me reduce further fast. It's not a huge amount - the caffeine is equivalent to one cup of strong coffee and the codeine equivalent to only one prescription Solpadol tablet - but perhaps my body is dependent on this amount for the moment. When you say you reduced to half, did you mean four half-tablets (effectively two whole tablets, split up) per day?

When I was younger, I could tolerate more pain but I have found that since I became dependent on Solpadeine, my pain tolerance has diminished. Apparently it can make people hypersensitive to pain, according to the doctor at my migraine clinic. I need to remember - and accept - that any pain I feel upon reducing the dose won't last long and probably won't even be that bad.

Thank you again for writing back. It is such a help to hear what you have done and it's also very inspiring that you have been able to reduce from such a huge dose to practically nothing. If you can do that, I can certainly do this :-) Looking forward to your last dose. And mine.

Take care and all the very best,

Storm

Oh and I will check in once I’ve finished the last quarter!

Speak soon

Dear Storm,

I will be honest, I am very proud of myself. Before when I’ve tried to quid I’ve done it too fast. You know the one, ahh this box and that’s it. I think I’ve returned to it in the past because I’ve missed it. However, cutting back so slightly I’m not missing it. There’s no high when I take such a small amount and really not much in the way of withdrawal symptoms.

Right, what I did was…

At the start I was doing three each time, roughly every two to three hours…terrible I know. So I cut back instantly to two a day. It hurt like hell to start, but only for a few day’s. wanted to rock myself with the pain in my legs mainly and I wasn’t very coherent. But it didn’t last. So I took two for about a month, and tried to space the tablets out rather than every two hours, I would take every three hours or four and rewarded myself with a nice treat, as in a cake. What I also found helped was a nice cuppa as a substitute when I felt I needed more solp.

After a month I cut back to a tab and a half, again it hurt like hell but I knew it would only be for a few days before my brain decided to accept the lower dose. I was thinking ahead of my brain. Trickery! I also would take nurofen to help the leg and back pain. I did this for another month. I didn’t change my diet but did drink plenty of water and kept busy.

Again, after another month I cut back to one tab about 4-5 times a day. Strangely it hurt more. But again I knew it would only be for a few days, and it was. That is when I put this post up. I continued to drink plenty of water and kept myself busy.

After a few weeks I plucked up the courage and cut back to half a tab. It didn’t hurt as bad. I think I didn’t really notice it to be honest. When it came to the dreaded time of needing to take some, I actually felt I didn’t need too.

Now I am on a quarter of a tab, I don’t really need it, maybe only the first thing in the morning. I have 4 tabs left, so after them that will be it. I know it will hurt again but I honestly feel it will only be for a few days.

It’s funny, when you are addicted to solpadiene you find that the whole going to the pharmacy, the clink clink clink fizz, the same cup, all the routine you go through while taking them is also addictive. It’s hard to break any routine, therefore breaking all those little routines help! And I did that without even thinking about it.

At the end of the day, solpadiene holds you back in more ways than one. I was just fed up with it! Since cutting right down, I have regained my friendships, my studying is improving, I sleep better and do not wake up feeling like I have a damn hangover, and my vision had improved.

The way I have tackled it this time is defiantly better than before, mainly because I don’t miss it, even while taking such a small amount.

Sorry if the grammar is slack, I’m trying in the middle of cooking a dinner for 6 lol.

I really hope you defeat solpadiene Storm. I honestly feel you can.

I’ll keep checking on the thread and here if you need me.

Take care.

Hi Tired and Weary (hopefully not so tired and weary now :-) ),

I am so happy for you that you are now down to half a tablet a couple of times a day. That is absolutely fantastic. Brilliant that the side effects are minimal and that your liver no longer hurts, too. I think you truly dodged a bullet there. I think it's a good idea to get bloods done nonetheless, though, yes, just for confirmation. Luckily, the liver is capable of great regeneration if it hasn't been pushed too far and it sounds like yours in on the mend.

Brain fog is a HUGE symptom for me, too, compounded by the fact that I am also on blood pressure drugs that cause brain fog! People don't believe me when I say I can't remember anything because my long-term memory is good. My short-term memory is abysmal, though, as is my ability to think or take on new challenges. I am so looking forward to being clear-headed. I can barely remember what that feels like.

It's wonderful that you are going to take another degree. I also had a hard time getting through my primary degree, many moons ago, when I was taking a lot of Solpadeine non-addictively but frequently for severe migraine. My head was like mince. I don't know how I got through it. I am looking forward to my brain fog lifting when I am finally free of this menace, which I hope will be within the next fortnight.

Just with regard to tapering, how fast did you do it? How much did you cut down by per day? I'm still trying to find the right reduction dose for me. The smoothies are helping but trying to cut down too fast has sent me backwards in the past and other factors like insomnia can get in the way by triggering migraine.

Thank you for your reply. I am so happy for you. Take care, too, and stay safe.

All the best,

Storm

Dear storm, thank you for your message. Just like to let you know I am down to half a tab a couple of times a day. The side effects are minimal and my liver no longer hurts. However, I will take your advice and have bloods done to see if there is any damage. I only have 10 tabs left, which I will be quartering as of tomorrow- as it is in my weaning plan.

I would like to say, I am loving the fact the brain fog has lifted. I remember so much now. I honestly do not know how I’ve made it through my degree. This determination has spurred me into taking another degree. My future is looking bright and I feel so focused.

Take care and keep safe

Hi,

First of all, congratulations on reducing from 21+ a day to four a day (and possibly less now, given that it's nearly a month since you posted?). That's a fantastic achievement. It took me ages to reduce from eight to four tablets. I think the half- and quarter-tablet way can be very helpful and I am very glad it's working for you.

I haven't had the liver symptoms you describe. I have swollen ankles but it's from a high blood pressure drug (maybe Solpadeine is contributing, though?). But please, please, please book in for more blood work if you are worried about your liver.

I totally understand your feeling embarrassed but please don't. So many people end up dependent on Solpadeine. You are not alone. I can't count the number of times I've been in the pharmacy when the person in front of me is also buying 24 Solpadeine. It is an insidious drug, which should be on prescription.

The codeine is addictive, so you need more and more to stop the negative side effects of withdrawal. Caffeine is also addictive in a way, as quitting it leads to vicious headaches for many people. Paracetamol is the most dangerous of the three, though. Anything above the maximum recommended dose in 24 hours (i.e. eight tablets) puts your liver in danger of failure. The line between a therapeutic and a toxic dose is very thin. So it's an incredibly important achievement to have got down from over 21 tablets a day. Don't let your doctor or anyone else make you feel embarrassed or ashamed. Some people dismiss Solpadeine dependency and addiction but it is a powerful drug and it is no joke to quit.

I have experienced back pain, funny tummy, headache and the odd sneeze when quitting, too. I think those are just withdrawal symptoms. Back pain is a common codeine withdrawal symptom. Headache is typical of caffeine withdrawal.

Adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet can help with pain. The Forks over Knives film on Netflix is a good place to start, if you are unfamiliar with the concept. I'm also drinking *very* green smoothies with added omega-3 fatty acids, made in a specific way recommended by Dr Brooke Goldner, a US medical doctor who accidentally reversed her own lupus through diet and now helps others with autoimmune and other conditions. They are very anti-inflammatory and help with my back pain. They are also helping me to quit Solpadeine painlessly.

I'm sorry I can't help specifically with your liver tenderness, only to say that I think you need to get it checked out by a liver specialist, if possible, to put your mind at rest.

And remember how many of us are out there, quietly addicted to - or dependent on - Solpadeine. You're not alone and many migraine sufferers get drawn into this world of pain. I took Solpadeine for years in a non-dependent way for migraine and only became dependent after a very serious car accident.

I'd also like to know how many medics rely on a daily dose. I'd say quite a few… ;-)

Take care,

Storm

For MelMelMel
StormAtSeaStormAtSea 22 Aug 2020 13:06
in discussion Forum / My story » For MelMelMel

Hi Mel,

Just in relation to some of the issues we were discussing on other threads, I found an online doctor, a rising star in the plant-based world, called Brooke Goldner MD, whose work I think might be helpful for you, especially with EDS, pain and migraine.

Dr Goldner accidentally cured her 12-year-long lupus nephritis via an extremely healthy diet her fitness trainer fiancee had devised to help her get in shape for their wedding. Much to their disbelief, after a few months her lupus markers started to show up negative. They eventually worked out that his dietary protocol was highly anti-inflammatory and effective at reversing all sorts of autoimmune conditions and other illnesses. It is also very simple to implement, as it's created entirely from supermarket foods (might be a good idea to take B12, too, as it's a vegan protocol).

Dr Goldner's entire practice is online. She offers the information she teaches for free, though, via her websites, social media, and online classes she gives every few weeks.

If people need more intensive or personal coaching, that costs money.

As you are familiar with plant-based nutrition, you might be able to do it yourself, as I have started to do. I began making her smoothies last week and even though I'm drinking only half of what she recommends so far (I'm on a lot of medications, so am taking it slowly) my back pain is getting better and I even think my brain fog is starting to lift a bit. I am optimistic that it will help me kick the last of my Solpadeine dependency.

Her websites are goodbyelupus.com (social media tends to be Dr Brooke Goldner - Goodbye Lupus, or Vegan Medical Doc) and smoothieshred.com, where there are tons of very short videos answering loads of questions that pop up in her practice. Her husband also has a section on smoothieshred but I haven't got to it yet. He's a fitness trainer and sports scientist, if I have understood correctly, so his work complements hers beautifully.

I thought of you when I started doing this and hope that it might have some value for you, too.

I hope you are doing OK.

All the best,

Storm

For MelMelMel by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 22 Aug 2020 13:06

Needing advice. I started abusing solp max seven years ago. At the start I didn’t over do it (much) but of course the dose increased. There was no medical reason really to take them, they helped migraines and an awful marriage break up. In the end I could take up to 21 a day in groups of three. The clink clink fizz was just not enough, so it increased another clink! The premature death of my dad caused me to increase them also, however, I did come off of them soon after for nearly a year. I have gone cold turkey twice and weaned three time, only to return to the evil things! This time I’ve ever so slowly weaned which has been great in all honesty. Breaking up the tabs into halves then quarters. Now I’m down to four a day spaced out throughout the day. The only side effects I’m getting are back pain, slight headache, sneezes and slightly iffy tummy. We will see when I’m off completely. My concern is the damage I’ve caused. My ankles would swell slightly and I would get a full pain in the site of my liver. I did have a liver function test in March, which was ok. I can feel my liver, if that makes sense, it’s swollen only slightly and is tender to touch. It has been like this for 9-10 months. I do check my urine with dip tests and all is ok. Has anyone else experienced these symptoms? I have no jaundice and since cutting down and my ankles aren’t swollen now but still have the pain in my liver, which seems to be worse. I know I need to book in for more blood work but I am embarrassed! I have admitted to my doctor my addiction and the quantity, which he just looked at me to say how are you still alive and then booked me in for blood work. Many thanks

I meant to say the aftermath of addiction or dependency.

Re: Quit 137 days ago by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 17 Jul 2020 22:06

PS Looking at the picture of the conference participants, they are mostly doctors, with a couple of health advocates, scientists and specialist chefs included. No woo-woo. Their recommendations are grounded in science, in spite of the name of the conference.

Re: Quit 137 days ago by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 13 Jul 2020 16:25

Hi Roose

For a few weeks after quitting Solpadeine, my body can really ache. My neurologist said that chronic Solpadeine overuse can make the body temporarily super-sensitive to pain because the body's own opiates, or endorphins, are depleted by codeine. After we quit Solpadeine, it can take time for the body to replenish its natural painkillers.

I don't know how long that takes for each person, though. 137 days sounds like quite a long time but it might not be for you. Maybe it varies from person to person, depending on diet, lifestyle, genetics, and other variable factors between people?

Not much you can do about genetics but you might try an anti-inflammatory diet to help dial down the pain overall? I'd suggest looking into a whole-food, plant-based diet. There's an online conference on soon with the biggest names in the field and it's free if you watch the videos when they air. You can sign up for it here: http://virtual.holisticholidayatsea.com/ It runs from 26 July to 1 August 2020.

Switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet won't necessarily cure your painkiller issue but it might help you get to the point where you don't even need any, or very rarely, e.g. after surgery.

Just getting back to other painkillers not working, have you spoken with a neurologist and/or a doctor specialising in addiction, rather than a GP? I think that would also be a good idea. Someone who specialises in the brain and/or the aftermath of addiction should have some answers for you.

Wishing you all the best and congratulations on staying off the Solps,

Storm

Re: Quit 137 days ago by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 13 Jul 2020 16:14
Re: I'm back :(
StormAtSeaStormAtSea 18 Jun 2020 17:49
in discussion Forum / My story » I'm back :(

Hi MelMelMel,

Just wondering how you are doing now? I hope things are going well for you and that you are keeping safe during our Covidian dystopia.

I'm back on Solpadeine again, unfortunately. I was in hospital in March and got an awful migraine from hunger in A&E plus two Solpadol, to which I reacted badly, getting sick for most of 48+ hours. Migraines brewed every night for 12 days while I was there, so I took Solpadeine. When I got home, the dose increased and I have been trying ever since to bring it back down slowly. I'm on 4-5 per day now but can't seem to go lower.

I hope you are doing better than I am. I'm on heavy medication for high blood pressure and although I'm eating about 80% plant-based, I feel that Solpadeine is counteracting the benefits, especially in terms of energy. I am considering taking the plunge and going cold turkey. It might be bearable at this dose.

Wishing you well and hoping that your migraine and other health issues are not plaguing you.

All the very best,

Storm

Re: I'm back :( by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 18 Jun 2020 17:49

still clean

every day i think less of them

Re: TRYING TO QUIT FOR GOOD by nobuenobue, 04 Apr 2020 13:51

This is my third day without fizzies

been taking fizzies for 15 years, but only in the last 3 i have became supper addicted, of the 365 days of the year maube i spend a week without fizzies

yesterday i woke up in the middle of the night with all my brain synapsis screaming for codeine. I felt like a dirty junkie, i didnt want to use, i wanted to stop go back to sleep and not feel such an awful anxiety, was rolling in my bed like a tasmanian devil, i wonder how heroine junkies must feel on their cold turkey

we forget codeine is a derivative of same puppy plant, being addicted to codeine aint that far from being addicted to morphine, callin em fizzies can be a way of minimising our addiction

drinking coke zero helps as it has bubbles, sound stupid but it is

i am trying to make something positive of this period of quarantine, i know i dont want to fail this time because then you stop believing in yourself and thats the worst can happen

TRYING TO QUIT FOR GOOD by nobuenobue, 28 Mar 2020 21:40
Re: I'm back :(
david_gambledavid_gamble 04 Mar 2020 12:35
in discussion Forum / My story » I'm back :(

I am also experiencing the same and has no ideas what's wrong going on with me. your experience has something to do with my problem. Thanks for sharing.

Re: I'm back :( by david_gambledavid_gamble, 04 Mar 2020 12:35
Re: I'm back :(
MelMelMelMelMelMel 14 Jan 2020 17:35
in discussion Forum / My story » I'm back :(

Totally making a note to reply in more detail here! I'm a bit foggy brained today, but I'll reply with more info about what I've tried so far, and how I've done with the plant-based stuff (definitely helped).

Re: I'm back :( by MelMelMelMelMelMel, 14 Jan 2020 17:35

No problem at all :) Migraines add a whole new level of difficulty to getting away from these dreaded things! Glad to hear you're nearly off them though, well done! Great that you're making progress with the plant based approach too. I hope it brings you awesome results. I'm sticking to that as best I can too!

I've had a little bit of a pitfall with pain as of late. I recently have been diagnosed with suspected Ehlers Danlos syndrome (they're 99.9% sure I have it, just need to officially diagnose via a specialist which takes ages here). This kind of adds more pain on top of the migraines in the form of joint pain and nerve pain, so I've unfortunately had to reach for pain relief more often than I would like due to spine and joint pain. The irony is, my doctors say to go ahead and take the codeine if it's working for my pain, as there's no real treatment for Ehlers Danlos symptoms. Even though I have more pain, I'm still taking way less than I used to though, so I'm counting that as half a win!

I really hope you're able to kick these things completely and find a resolution for your migraines too because I wouldn't wish them on anybody! They really are tricky aren't they. I've been trying vitamin c, magnesium and aloe vera juice along with the healthy diet. I'm not sure if it's a placebo, but they do seem to be less frequent. It's about finding what triggers an attack which is so varied for everyone, so it may be that we each need a personalised treatment plan!

I do think that doctor is right in that Solpadeine makes us perceive main even more, making it a serious vicious circle. I've noticed it sometimes makes a migraine worse :(

Re: Cold turkey (again) by MelMelMelMelMelMel, 14 Jan 2020 17:31

Hi MelMelMel,

I did miss your post, yes! I don't know how. Thanks so much for replying to me about your plant-based lifestyle and for alerting me to your post :-)

I got completely caught up in a Solpadeine cycle again. I have just had another monster migraine.

I am almost off the fizzies, though, and am gearing up to go mostly plant-based. I'm just coping with the tail end of the migraine at the moment.

You are right that migraine adds an extra layer of pressure. I have other pain issues, too, but migraine is the big one.

The doctor in the migraine clinic said that Solpadeine can make long-term users hyperalgesic, or more sensitive to pain over time, so that the pain is worse than it would have been minus Solpadeine :-(

I hope you are doing well at the moment?

Take care,

Storm

Re: Cold turkey (again) by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 11 Jan 2020 22:25
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