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Hi, I'm now 47 and been taking them for an awful long time. 8/10 a day. I even fit them in between 6am and 4pm, it's a sad routine that sometimes I feel runs my life. I'm desperate to stop, I've tried cutting down and tried just giving up completely. Nothing works. I feel the best way would be to have another go at cutting down. I was going to go to doctors for help, but don't see what he can do that I can't do on my own. My partner doesn't really get it. I'm told to just stop taking them. You'll only ever understand if you've been there.
I've cut down in the past and I know it makes a difference to how I think and behave. It sounds easy to just take one instead of 2 each time, but it's incredibly tempting to just have 2 this time and have one next.
If anyone has any advice or ways of helping I would be very grateful.
There are times when I take them now and they just don't have any effect on me. If I can cut them down to 4 a day then I would be very proud of myself.

Ive realised I've got a problem. by Bazm Bazm , 01 Sep 2022 12:44

Hi Storm

Sorry I completely got caught up in life being a bit crazy and didn't check back in for a while!

How are you doing with everything now? I'm really sorry to hear the nerve block didn't work. I heard they can be tricky to get right as they often end up treating the wrong nerve. Migraines love to play tricks!

In answer to your question about detox symptoms while going plant-based, I definitely had a couple of weeks where certain things felt worse before they felt better. It was a while ago, so I hope I'm recalling it correctly!

Back when I first went plant based, I was still taking fizzies, but not to the degree I did further down the line when I slipped back into a less healthy diet, so it's hard to tell if they had an effect. My digestive system was probably the most reactive when I first went plant based. I had bouts of IBS type pain and surprisingly, a bit of heartburn. I toned back some of the citrus foods like tomatoes and limes and that seemed to help. I'm not sure if that was just me personally being sensitive to citrus. I do have a mild tomato allergy, so could have been that! When I returned more recently to healthier eating, it didn't seem to have too much of an effect.

The lower calorie intake that came from plant based eating (I was a bit oblivious to the calorie deficit I created at first) definitely triggered some terrible migraines for me. I was probably also withdrawing from random food I had no idea my body was hooked on! Could be the same reason you were feeling so weird too?

I wish I'd kept a diary of all the things I tried, as there was definitely a combination of factors that eliminated the migraines. I'm still figuring some stuff out now as I had a week-long bout of them out of nowhere, and am baffled as to what triggered them. My only guess is that my sleep schedule got a little messed up and I ate breakfast slightly later than usual. I guess for migraine-prone people, it's the tiny details that get you!

Hope you're doing well, and that you've managed to wave goodbye to those dreaded things. I really hope that awful migraine passed for you too. I'll try to check back in here again soon.

Ugh! Back up to 4.25 again today. I feel really weird. Not sure why. Over the past few days I've felt strange, especially when I'm walking around but also sitting here this evening.

It feels like a migraine wants to take hold but can't quite… I have been going plant-based since the beginning of April. Last week I fell off the rails and ate all sorts of crap: cheese, chicken, lots of sweets, etc. This week, I'm back on track, for the most part, but still feel odd and my Solpadeine consumption has risen a bit again. I was in the 3.75/3.5 bracket over the past couple of days.

Did you feel any detox symptoms when you went plant-based? Were you still taking fizzies at the time?

I'm tempted to think that's what it is but if it doesn't clear up in a day or two, I'll have to go to the doctor. I didn't feel like this when I started going plant-based in April. It has been about five days now but it seems to be worse today. My distance vision was blurry, too, which it usually isn't once I have my contact lenses in.

Hopefully it's nothing serious and just a migraine trying to 'get' me!

I hope you are feeling better.

Hi Mel,

How are you? I hope all is well.

I'm very sorry to hear that you have been in pain. I'm glad, for your sake, though, that Solpadeine didn't relieve it, so that you were not drawn back into the cycle. The downside is being left in pain. I hope you find (or have found) other ways to alleviate it.

It's great that you are sleeping better and are mentally clear - so brilliant! - and also that you can predict a migraine more easily and nip it in the bud. Wonderful, too, that your kidneys and liver tests are in the normal range. That's a big relief.

Things are OK-ish here, thanks. I have been on four a day for over a year. I managed, in April, to reduce it down to two a day, which was great, but then a few instances of pain brought me back up to four. I am now on 3.75/3.5 (hopefully 3.5 today) and hoping to reduce it back down as soon as possible. I have found that once I get below three, it's a lot easier because caffeine withdrawal becomes less of an issue.

I visited the migraine clinic recently. The doctor gave me an occipital nerve block to help me give the rest of the fizzies the boot. After careful consideration, and consultation with me as to the most tender spot on my head, she injected it into the nerve that seemed correct on the day. We thought it would work but was a different nerve to the one my usual doctor had injected before. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked. The point of it was to help me go cold turkey more easily but I could feel the throbbing the next time I left a long gap between doses. The vagaries of my body…

I have decided, anyway, that weaning is better for me. Cold turkey leaves me with strong withdrawal symptoms. I've noticed that once I get down to three or two a day, those effects lessen and my body actually wants half- or quarter-tablets instead of full tablets, which is amazing. It's just a pain that I went up again to four for a couple of days but I was feeling very ropey. It's so easy to increase and so hard to decrease.

Anyway, I feel I'm doing OK. The very fact that I could get down to two without a migraine means that I can do it again, which gives me hope.

I'll post again soon. Thank you for asking.

In the meantime, I hope you feel better soon and that you find a non-fizzy way to kill the pain.

Take care,

Storm

Hey all,

Still doing ok, though I've had a couple of fizzies since I last updated this post. I pulled about four different muscles in my back and neck a couple of weeks ago and it triggered some horrendous nerve pain across my scalp. That being said, when I took the fizzies, they didn't touch the pain, and I wasn't tempted to have anymore. I'm happy that I was able to just stop after trying them again. They really did nothing for me. All they did was leave me feeling disappointed that I had even considered them.

Still dealing with regular migraines, but not taking anything for them, and they do feel a lot easier to manage now. I'm sleeping better, am mentally clear and I'm usually able to predict a migraine a lot sooner without codeine clouding my mind. This lets me take a break from what I'm doing, rest, and make sure I don't push myself. So far so good, no really severe attacks. My liver function and kidney tests are in the normal range too, which is great.

Would love to know how you're doing Storm! I hope you were able to get started on giving fizzies the boot too?

Hi Mel,

Don't worry at all. Life takes over :-)

I'm delighted to hear you're still off the fizzies and that you are in less pain now. Maybe your body has started to create its own endorphins again. Great stuff!

I'm OK, thanks, but haven't managed to start cold turkey yet. A couple of urgent things have got in the way. Time of the month this week, too, which has been a bit rougher than usual and caused me to increase my dose to five yesterday but I am back to four again today. I want to taper a bit more before I go cold turkey to mitigate the misery! I am finding that I can go quite long between doses now, though, which is great.

I have a deadline - an appointment with the migraine doctor in April. I have to be clean by then. I can't bear the thought of telling him that I am still taking them. Good motivation to clear it out of my system ASAP!

You explanation as to why I reacted badly to magnesium is very interesting and makes sense to me. Dicky heartbeats are no fun at all. Very scary. It was a horrid sensation. I'm glad you find magnesium helpful. I thought it might just help your neck, or muscular issues around your neck and shoulder area.

I haven't tried the Koko brand of coconut yoghurt yet. I must give it a shot. I like CoYo but it's expensive here. I usually eat Sojade plain soya yoghurt. Unlike most unflavoured soya yoghurts, it's pretty nice and lends itself equally to savoury and sweet dishes. It's great mixed with fruit puree, a little maple syrup and oat cream. It also makes a good raita-type dip with cucumber, fresh mint, salt and pepper.

Thank you for your encouragement over cold turkey. I just need to choose the right few days to do it when I have no commitments. I'll let you know how I get on. I'm so glad you are on the mend :-)

Take care,

Storm

Hey Storm,

Sorry for the delayed reply. It's been a bit hectic with work/life stuff!

Hope you're doing ok?

I'm a huge magnesium fan! I used to take mag citrate in powdered form as that seems to be the best way for me to absorb it. With hypermobility, my digestion can sometimes get really wacky too, so I find a lot of things hard to absorb sometimes.

I gave the spray a try before too, and couldn't be sure if I felt any effects or not as I never used it for long enough.

What I found with the powdered form is that I had way fewer ectopic heartbeats and my general mood was much calmer. I'm not sure if it was laziness or not, but I kind of stopped taking it a few months back. You've reminded me that I should really start using it again!

Ah makes sense that it would clash with your bp meds. It sounds like it might have had a knock-on effect with your meds and maybe caused a bigger dip in pressure hence the heart symptoms. I get occasional random sudden drops in bp which they guess is due to hypermobility, and the first symptoms I get are irregular heartbeats. They're no fun!

Yep, I am intolerant to dairy! It seems to be a migraine trigger for a lot of people and it played havoc with mine. I miss cheese!
I absentmindedly forgot to say I use a dairy-free "natural" yoghurt called Koko. It's made with coconut. I keep that to a minimum too though, as it's one of the few items that is "processed" in my diet at the moment.

Still off the fizzies. Definitely feeling less pain now. The migraines that do crop up tend to be mainly mechanical, so I keep having to stop myself slouching, or sitting weirdly when watching TV.

How are you getting on? Have you started the cold turkey yet? I've got my fingers and toes crossed for you :)

Re: Here we go..
StormAtSeaStormAtSea 02 Mar 2021 09:36
in discussion Forum / My story » Here we go..

Hi Okuya,

How are you getting on?

All the best,

Storm

Re: Here we go.. by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 02 Mar 2021 09:36

Hi Mel,

I was reading over your posts again and had a couple of thoughts about your migraines.

Dairy yoghurt triggers migraine for me. I noticed that you eat it sometimes. Is there any chance you might be intolerant to it? Milk, yoghurt and cheese all trigger migraine for me, though it tends to be dose-dependent.

Re. your mechanical migraines, have you ever tried transdermal magnesium spray or bath flakes to relax your neck muscles?

My neck was broken in a car crash. For a while afterwards, it used to 'catch' if I turned my head to the left. Rubbing Better You Sleep Spray (a combo of transdermal magnesium and essential oils) worked wonders to unlock it. I went from moving it only as far as 10 o'clock to moving it all the way back.

Oddly, plain transdermal magnesium did not work so well. It seemed to be the combination of magnesium and essential oils that did the trick.

It does sting the skin if you are not used to it but it helps, in my experience, and the sting abates after a few uses. Some people find magnesium supplementation helpful for migraine, too.

You just need to be sure that you are not taking any medication that clashes with magnesium. I was subsequently put on a calcium channel blocker for blood pressure. After that, every time I used magnesium it aggravated my heartbeat and made me feel weird. It was an odd, paradoxical reaction, as magnesium usually calms the heartbeat. I think I was experiencing a supplement/medication clash, as magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker, so it threw things out of whack.

If you are not on medication, though, it might help you: https://betteryou.com/products/magnesium-sleep-body-spray

Hi Mel,

I'm sorry to hear you're having gut issues, too.

I think it is definitely connected to codeine withdrawal. It happens to me every time I quit, usually a few days after the headache has died down. Even the most innocuous soup or cup of herbal tea can trigger it off.

Yes, if I remember rightly, my migraine doctor told me that people can become hyperalgaesic - abnormally sensitive to pain - for a while after quitting Solpadeine. Our bodies have become dependent on external opiates for pain relief and they need to relearn how to make their own opiates.

So it's all connected in some way to Solpadeine withdrawal. I'm glad to hear that it's easing off for you now and normalising the longer you go without codeine :-)

Take care,

Storm

Hi Storm,

I'll reply to this in a bit more detail soon as I'm having a bit of a whirlwind of a week!

Just wanted to answer your question about stomach issues. I know I said I wasn't feeling any withdrawal symptoms as such, but I do have a more easily irritated gut which I didn't think was connected. Now that you've mentioned it, I think it could be due to having no codeine to slow everything down.

I definitely feel a lot more sensitive and have had cramps after eating and drinking. Basically an IBS attack with all the fun stuff that goes with that!

I'm wondering if everything is just hypersensitive now that there's no fizzy dulling everything down. I've been eating much smaller meals, and avoiding anything to set off any kind of "flare-ups". Thankfully, it seems to be easing off now and normalising the longer I go without codeine :)

Re: Here we go..
StormAtSeaStormAtSea 23 Feb 2021 13:54
in discussion Forum / My story » Here we go..

Hi Okuya,

Well done for deciding to quit Solpadeine. You are absolutely right not to buy another box. There's always a reason to buy 'just one more'.

I'm in a similar place to you. I took Solpadeine from 16-41 for migraine but only as needed and I was not dependent on it.

Then I was in a serious car crash. Over the next 2-3 years, I started to take it every day. Like you, I have quit many times but I do not last long. I have been addicted for about 10 years.

I have tapered my daily dose from approximately eight a day to 4/3.5/3. I am dealing with something important right now but once it's sorted out, I'm going cold turkey on the rest.

I am certain that the sodium is contributing to very high blood pressure. My brain fog is intense. I also think Solpadeine contributes to chronic insomnia. And to top it all, my doctor at the migraine clinic confirmed that it makes migraine worse in the long run.

Wishing you the very best of luck in quitting. We'll all be cheering you on.

Take care,

Storm

Re: Here we go.. by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 23 Feb 2021 13:54
Re: Here we go..
MelMelMelMelMelMel 23 Feb 2021 13:12
in discussion Forum / My story » Here we go..

Hi Okuya,

Congratulations on deciding to give the fizzies the boot.

I'll come back to reply properly on here later as I was just heading out, but I just wanted to say you've got this! I've been off them for over a month now, and like you, it all started with migraines.

I'll check back in soon!

Mel

Re: Here we go.. by MelMelMelMelMelMel, 23 Feb 2021 13:12
Here we go..
okuyaokuya 23 Feb 2021 10:35
in discussion Forum / My story » Here we go..

Morning folks,

Apologies for the long post, but it feels good to get this out.

I’ve been addicted to Solpadeine for 12 years. This is the first time that I’ve worked that out. A back of a fag packet calculation says that I’ve spent between 5 & 6k on them - which is roughly the size of my credit card bill!

If I’m being super truthful, and this seems as good a time as any, then I can admit that I have always taken _something_. I drank a lot as a teenager, then started taking amphetamines and built up a causal cannabis habit. None of it was heavy use (apart form the alcohol, possibly) - just enough to feel different. Those days are long gone. I haven’t drunk alcohol or smoked for 12 years, but there always been something and for a long time that has been solpadeine.

I used to suffer quite badly from migraine. They started when I was a teenager. I tried multiple medications from my GP, but nothing worked and I just learned to live with them. One day I had an attack at work and a colleague supplied me with two Solpadeine Max tablets and a glass of Berocca. It worked, like magic. The migraine eased, and I was left with that warm fuzzy feeling that we all know well. I’ve been taking them regularly since that day.

My solpadeine habit has been up and down. At times I was taking up to 12 tablets a day. I’ve cut down over the past few years and now average around four tablets a day - which isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things, but I know that I’m addicted.

I’ve given them up before - usually just for a couple of days, but my longest stretch was 21 days.

I started this morning with four tablets left of my supply. When they are gone at the end of the day, I will not buy any more. Here are my reasons:

1. Health: I’m approaching forty now - so my body is less forgiving. The salt content worries me, as does the knowledge that there might already be invisible damage. I want to be around to see my grandkids.
2. Brain fog: I like the warm, fuzzy feeling that Solpadeine gives - but it affects my work and general motivation. I feel like I could achieve more with a clear head.
3. I HATE going to the chemist. It’s embarrassing. I rotate around four or five of them so that they don’t cotton on to me being a regular user. I will not miss those journeys.
4. The secret: My wife doesn't know the extent of it. She knows that I've taken them, but not how many or for how long. That doesn't make me feel good.

I’ve been through the withdrawal before, so I know what to expect: muscle aches, headache, and grumpiness - but they are temporary, and I can manage them. It’s the psychological stuff that I will find difficult. The lack of the ‘plink, plink, fizzzzzzzz’. The noise of the paper tearing. The feeling of opening a fresh packet. Sounds silly, but it is what it is.

I debated holding off posting this and buying another box - what’s one more? But that’s kind of the point isn’t it - there’s always a ‘just one more’.

Anyway, wish me luck. I’ll pop in daily and update with progress.

Best wishes to all going through the same thing.

Here we go.. by okuyaokuya, 23 Feb 2021 10:35

Hi Mel,

Thanks so much. I hope you are feeling better now?

Looks like my urgent issue is going to progress into next week, so I might have to hold off on cold turkey until the first week in March. I should not have anything on then. Many thanks for your encouragement with it. It is definitely the way to go. I took five fizzies yesterday, which I haven't done for a long time, because terrible insomnia started to trigger a migraine. I'm going for 3.5 today. The more I can taper before I start cold turkey, the easier it will be on my body, I reckon.

I think you are right, above, that if your brain *knows* unequivocally that it can't have codeine, it tends to calm down. Accepting the pain does help on some level. I have found that during a bad migraine, when I can't take anything because I throw it right back up. Once you accept that that is it - you're here for the duration of the pain - it somehow calms down the mind. For me, anyway.

Many thanks for recommending Dr Gabor Maté's work. I came across him on YouTube a couple of years ago but have not explored his thinking yet. I like his vibe, though, and I like his son, Aaron Maté, as a political commentator. I'll definitely check out his book. I had a lot of loss in my childhood and teens and I think it did a number on my thinking processes, along with too much caffeine (and painkillers for migraine). Health really is holistic, isn't it? The mind and body are a continuum and that which affects one, affects the other (if it can be called an 'other' at all!).

As regards migraine, I think the pain does lessen over time. Each 'wave' is a bit less bad than the previous one. One thing I find hard, though, is that a week or so after quitting cold turkey (usually forced by a bad migraine) I get awful stomach cramps and diarrhoea. I can't eat or drink anything without inducing a bad cramp that can only be relieved by a long visit to the bathroom :-( Have you had stomach issues after quitting? I think it's codeine detox, as codeine is constipating, but it's quite miserable. At least with Covid-19 lockdown (at the highest level where I live) it's easier to deal with because we are all at home! I had it last time at a friend's wedding, which was rather miserable.

I totally agree about paracetamol. It still astonishes me that it is available over the counter in Tesco when the line between a 'therapeutic' dose and a fatal dose is so thin. It's possible to overdose by taking too much at once but it is also possible to overdose unintentionally by taking too much in a staggered way over a longer period of time. A friend of a friend died this way. He just took a bit too much a bit too frequently over time and his liver gave out. Anything containing it should have screaming warnings on the packet.

I have mentioned the paracetamol issue to a few fellow sufferers here. I always feel frightened for people who are taking 24 Solpadeine a day, or even 16, etc. Or even 10 or 12, which I have also done on very rare occasions. I have no idea how anyone's body can cope with that. The dreadful thing is that while caffeine and codeine draw one in and make it hard to quit with their painfully addictive qualities, the paracetamol is lethal at high doses, especially once one goes over the maximum recommended dose of eight tablets a day for no longer than three days.

The great thing, though, is that once through cold turkey in all its manifestations (headache, migraine, cramps, the trots, backache, etc.) the pain of all these things starts to diminish, as long as we can tolerate them while they last, which is where I tend to trip up.

Just reading your post below, I'm so glad you are still off the fizzies. It's great you're experiencing improvements in sleep and heart rate. Both so important. I didn't know paracetamol was also linked to heart attacks. Thanks for detailing the damage each drug does. It is so, so important that we all know this information. I have no idea if it's connected but my uncle has Parkinson's (he's in his seventies now) and my aunt said he took Solpadeine for headache, etc. for years and years. I don't know if he was dependent on them, or if it was more a case of frequent but not addicted, but I wonder if his chronic use of Solpadeine contributed to his illness… I probably shouldn't speculate about that but I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't help, given the way they make the brain feel.

One other thing I came across recently… Apparently a diet very rich in different plant fibres (30+ different plants per week) helps the microbiome produce short-chain fatty acids that repair the gut lining and the blood/brain barrier. If I remember rightly, the information came from Dr Will Bulsiewicz (https://theplantfedgut.com/).

I have an idea that the effervescent element in Solpadeine can damage the gut lining, leading to leaky gut and food particles entering the bloodstream, where they cause chronic inflammation and pain, but I need to look into it in more depth.

Better head off now but I hope you are having a good weekend and are feeling OK.

Take care,

Storm

Interesting about ordinary headaches going with a glass of water and exercise once you are not taking Solpadeine, Mel. I find exactly the same when I have managed to quit for a period of time. I might wake up with a headache but a glass of water will usually deal with it. Exercise will help it. When I am taking Solpadeine, water does nothing and exercise makes it worse.

Just a quick update :)

Still off the fizzies.

One thing I was never expecting being off them was the improvement in my sleep and heart rate. I use a hr and sleep tracker, and since giving the fizzies up, my stats have really improved. My resting heart rate while sleeping used to be up in the 80's (ideal for sleeping hr is 50-60). My daily heart rate would hover around 90-120 just doing the slightest movements. All of that is coming down. My sleeping hr is now 58-63 and going down. My daily resting hr is 65-75.

I'm not sure if its the sodium in Solpadeine that does this to the heart, or if it's the constant need to pump more blood due to codeine being a respiratory depressant. I'm wondering if my body was chronically struggling to breathe and it made my hr rise. Food for thought. I know paracetamol overuse is linked to heart attacks in the long run.

I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but the more I learn about how this drug works, the more I wish there was better information about the pressure it puts our systems under.

It's like three hits to your system at once when you take Solpadeine.

1: Sodium is harsh on the kidneys, heart, and liver by raising blood pressure. These things are packed with it.

2:Codeine plays havoc with your nerves. It blocks pain signals which is wonderful for a headache, but in the long run, your body will start feeling pain far more acutely as it relies on codeine to regulate it. That starts to cause rebound pain. Rebound pain which gets worse and worse can cause you to take higher doses. The more you take, the more it depresses your respiratory system. The most common cause of death due to codeine is respiratory arrest. You stop breathing. Other long term effects can be constipation, muscle spasms, depression, liver damage, and memory problems.

3:Finally, paracetamol is really not as safe as it's made out to be. Sure if you stay within the recommended dose, you're probably not likely to do too much harm, but long term damage still builds up. The liver needs to use up valuable resources to metabolise the drug. It has to convert it into a non toxic substance. Each time it does, it still processes a toxic metabolite which it is unable to convert. This substance directly damages liver cells. Over time, this injures the liver, much like taking a drink does. For anybody taking over the recommended dose, this seriously causes harm. While the liver is very good at regenerating and healing, once advanced scars are in place, it can't reverse the damage and you can be left with a myriad of chronic health issues, or worse.

Right I'm getting off my soap box! I'm still going to keep hating on these horrible fizzy b*stards as often as I can.

Hi Storm,

It's certainly a lot easier to do it when there's less stress going on! I was lucky in that the week I decided to just stop was one where I didn't have anything urgent to do.

Still going strong here. Had what I can only describe as a mini migraine the other day. The entire thing progressed from bad to really bad in the space of an hour, then an hour of that migraine hangover feeling. Then it was gone. Usually, that whole pattern is stretched out over about 12 hours. Really feels like my system is "testing things out" to see if it can get codeine.

Let me know how you get on :) I'll try to check in as much as I can here too. If I find anything else that helps with migraine in general (it's SUCH a complicated problem, sigh) I'll update this thread.

Mel

Hi Mel,

I'll reply properly soon (have to go out in a little while) but thank you so much for your reply and for your support.

I think you're right about the body ramping up the pain in order to get some codeine. That really hit me as true. (Reminds me of Marianne Faithfull's song, Sister Morphine!)

I think you are also right when you say that perhaps there's something in our pain receptors during an attack that causes a reaction if we aren't taking "just the right amount" of Solpadeine. Even tapering by half a tablet (next to nothing in terms of all three drugs) can kick off a migraine.

I'm definitely planning my cold turkey now. I was going to do it this week but have some important things to deal with that can't wait, so I think I'll start it at the beginning of next week.

Will respond properly very soon.

Take care,

Storm

Hi Storm,

Thank you so much :)

I'm sending you all the cold turkey positive vibes! Congratulations on cutting down to such a small amount though. It's really not easy when you have legitimate conditions like migraines. The fact you're actively trying to reduce the amount over time is fantastic. I've got my fingers and toes crossed for you.

I was really dreading the fallout from going cold turkey, but surprisingly, it really wasn't as bad as I expected. The migraines of course, as you know, are the biggest challenge.

I can't say for sure if it will be the same for you, but my migraines, while bad, seemed a little shorter in duration since giving up the fizzies. Kind of like they burn themselves out when there's no codeine coming. I have a sneaking suspicion that tapering can make them worse for me. It felt like my body was aware it was getting codeine, so ramped up the pain to get more. I know you've mentioned experiences with trying to gradually cut back only to be hit with a dreadful migraine. Perhaps there's something in our pain receptors during an attack that causes a reaction if we aren't taking "just the right amount" of Solpadeine?

Thank you for the book recommendation. I'm queuing it up on my Kindle right now :)

Yes, brain fog is the worst. I think I've been taking fizzies for so long that I forgot what mental clarity actually felt like. I really hope it lifts for you. Perhaps it's a combination of all the different things for you? You mentioned psychological factors behind the brain fog as a possible reason too.

I think mental trauma can cause a lot of subtle changes that tend to get overlooked while the obvious ones are dealt with. I'm actually reading an interesting book called "When The Body Says No" by Dr Gabor Maté. It's a little bit alternative but is written by an actual physician. He talks about how life experiences and your own emotional state and stresses could be a contributing factor in certain chronic conditions and diseases. He even goes so far as to say certain personality types can be more prone to certain things. (I'm still on the fence about that) It can be a little bit confronting, but it certainly made me stop and think, and start to listen to my body and thoughts more closely. If you find that kind of thing interesting, I'd definitely recommend checking it out :)

I think you're right about the pain lessening over time. Each day is becoming easier. I'm WAY more in tune with how I feel, and now that I've mentally accepted I can't just make aches and pains go away with a painkiller, it's surprisingly easier to deal with. I feel the pain and let it pass. Each time it happens, it doesn't last as long. It's like my nerves are re-learning how to cope. Codeine really does a number on them!

The sodium in Solpadeine scared the life out of me too! I imagine once they're gone your BP could level out. I hope you see a nice steady decline in BP when you give those nasty discs of sh*t the boot :)

You're totally right that the liver will regenerate wherever possible. There have been some recent studies that show even some early scarring in stage 1 cirrhosis can slowly reverse itself if the reason for injury is taken away. I suppose I can count myself lucky as I can use it as a focus point for turning my back on Solpadeine for good. That wonderful organ processes everything, so I'm giving it all the room it needs to heal.

I can't help but worry about the people here who take huge doses daily. There is a massive lack of liver awareness from doctors when it comes to paracetamol use. They usually only focus on alcohol or sometimes food. There is little to no guidance on what to do to keep it healthy other than avoid drinking. I probably come off as obsessive about it, but I really wish there were more warnings and information from doctors.

I'm going to try and check back in here more regularly. I'll probably ramble about something completely redundant, but I figure it might be helpful for somebody who in a similar position.

I'd love to know how you get on with going cold turkey. You've got this!

Take care,
Mel

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