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Hi all,

This is my first time posting, although I have been reading your posts for about a year and have found them very helpful. I have been blown away by your kindness, support and compassion and you have helped me through some dark days and nights.

I started taking Solpadeine for migraine when I was 16. I am now 50. I also took it for hangovers, period pains, etc. but for decades I was not addicted. I took it when needed - which was often - but I could take it or leave it. When I lived abroad, I didn't think twice about Solpadeine and used local painkillers. I even recognised, in my late teens and early 20s, that if I had headaches and migraines and aborted them with Solpadeine, Solpadeine could 'build up' over the course of a week and then a massive migraine would hit, so I used to take breaks from it to stop that happening. I had dense brain fog and frequent head pain over the years but always blamed my caffeine addiction and other factors. I didn't suspect Solpadeine because I wasn't taking it on a daily - or even a weekly - basis, only when needed.

Nine years ago I was badly injured in a car accident. My major injuries were beautifully cared for by emergency medicine but I was left with niggling pains (back, dental and others). I started using paracetamol to cope, then remembered soluble Solpadeine. My doses crept up insidiously. I can't even remember when my addiction started (maybe seven years ago?) but before long, I was taking two, then four, then six a day for every pain - real or a mere twinge. Every time I got up to eight, though, my body would rebel: I would get a migraine, take Solpadeine, the tablets would make my migraine worse, and I would be thrown unceremoniously into cold turkey. And every time I have tried to taper off, say by half a tablet a day, my body has rebelled and and again kicked me into cold turkey. Although miserable, maybe I am lucky that my body says, 'Enough of this shit!' and takes matters into her own hands.

I have just gone through another involuntary cold turkey: a 4-5 day migraine. It is just about over and I feel a lot better. Your posts got me through it this time. I was in a lot of pain. Thinking about the strength of you guys on this board, and the satisfaction of giving the finger to GlaxoSmithKline, helped me through the pain.

I suppose I am scared that I might end up back on Solpadeine eventually, though. After a massive migraine, I get lots of smaller 'aftershock' headaches. Slowly they grind me down, as simple painkillers don't alleviate them. Then I try one or two Solpadeine, promising that it's the last time, and the pain evaporates. The next day, I might have another headache and, with the memory of my last bad migraine in mind, I take more Solpadeine to avoid it, and before I know it, I'm back to square one. I think Determined Dave wrote about something similar in an early post.

I have to be strong this time and not go down that path. I am trying Autogenic Training and avoiding known dietary triggers to prevent migraines (all the foods/drinks I like, of course…!). I think this time I'll be OK, but I've said that before…

I just wanted you to know how incredibly helpful your kindness, support and insights have been, even to a lurker :-)

Many thanks to everyone here.

All the best,


Hello and thank you by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 25 Apr 2017 20:46

Thank you for you reply.this kept me awake all night worrying(he works nights occasionally) about how to approach this with him knowing he doesn't see it as a problem and obviously he thinks that I think he's stopped taking them!.he's been home 9hrs and sleeping for the best part of it and still taken 9 tablets(still snooping!)and now gone off to work again.he gave up alcohol 8 yrs ago as he was a alcoholic and he's done fantastic he's never fallen back and a even the smallest drink,I often wonder if this is a replacement?he drinks a lot of the monster energy drinks and coffee too,he works very long hours and tells me he just needs a boost but I'm worried he will have a heart attack!I would support him through all of this without a second thought and I'm sure he knows this its just getting him to admit he has a problem!!
Well done for seeking help,I always think that's the hardest step!!

I was in the exact same position as your partner at various times over the last 30 years! Over two weeks ago I decided I have to stop.I took the Solpadeine mainly for headaches. My headaches were never really gone. The solpadeine just took the edge off. As a long term user of this product I think the first step is to be honest and admit you have a problem. Despite being married for 33 years I only admitted to my husband my concerns over two weeks ago.
Once I did this I felt such a weight being lifted and also knowing that he can support me coming off. It sounds like you would do exactly the same for your partner - this is very important as it is a very embarrasing thing to admit. I also had a meeting with my GP and as hard as it was to admit I was a codeine addict ,it actually wasn't as bad as it seemed it would be. For me,I find cutting down the amount you take gradually seems to work. However for the past few months although I was taking them every day,I could have some days where I just had 1-2 daily and some days more.
I havent taken Solpadeine now for 10 days and although I had some withdrawal symptoms,I now feel my head much clearer and beginning already to feel healthier in such a short time.
I think if you can encourage your partner to come on to the forum and read the posts then he may get some inspiration and encouragement to stop. It certainly has helped me. Please please try and get him to read this.

I could almost cry with relief iv found this page and your post!!my partner has been taking these awful things since before we met (been together a year)
He's a fitness freak and when we met he claimed the tablets helped his aches or injuries related to his sports.over time I noticed he took a lot more than the recommended amount he played it down because he's in the medical proffesion claiming he knows what he's doing and that they are fine.iv gradually noticed his mood swings 1 minute fine and happy the next low and snapping.then there's the dry skin(his poor face can be covered in dry skin)he can suffer with anxiety low self esteem,sleepless nights to name but a few.I asked him to stop a couple of months ago and he swore he would.2 weeks ago I found a couple of loose packets down beside his side of the bed he said they were old 1s and I could bin them.I started to get suspicious when on a few occasions he has insisted I left the bedroom before him he won't say why and if I ask he gets stroppy I thought once I heard a pill packet.tonight iv found a receipt purposely buried at the bottom of the bin for a packet of these tablets(30s) bought yesterday teatime I know I'm wrong and snooping but I looked in his gym bag and found the packet with only 15 left in the packet I'm no expert but 15 of those within 24hrs is a problem isn't it?!what's troubling me also is I have 3 children and his mood swings are around them too and he doesn't see what he's doing is wrong.I love him to pieces but these things are ruining him and us!! I don't know how to approach him about this I know he will get angry and deny it all.but the truth is he's hidinig it and that shows to me he's got a problem and he's lying to me also which worries me ..I'm really quite lost about it all he's such a lovely man and this all saddens me!!

Hi, I have been using Solpadiene for 45 years! I suffered awful menstrual migraines lasting 2 - 5 days, and twice a month plus other days with migraine type headaches. On a trip to my sisters husbands family I started a raging headache an hour before we were due to go out for a meal. Her brother in law was a GP, and he gave me two solpadiene soluble (now Solpadiene Plus) and like magic the headache disappeared. That was the start. They did not cure the migraines but took the edge off them. I cured my migraines with hormone patches, but then developed Fibromyalgia with its chronic aches and pains and started to take two Solpadiene in the morning on waking, then the rest of the eight tablets in two's throughout the day. I never increased beyond eight ever. My GP to whom I admitted addiction said he had patientd with severe chronic pain taking these all their lives and provided I did not take more than eight a day, he had never seen any long term damage. And he preferred this type of pain medication for those he could not help rather than other drug meds for those whom pain management did not help. Controversial attitude I know, but it made sense to me. However over the years I was more concerned with the high sodium content and although I do not add salt to food or buy salty/salted food, it bothered me. I could not function normally without the Solpadiene as the bone and muscular aches of Fibromyalgia are debilitating, but the Solpadiene keeps this low to no pain.

A couple of years ago I decided to experiment by reducing the dose from six to eight tablets a day in twos, to trying just one tablet at a time but more often, every three hours. It worked well and I found I often took just four tablets a day, sometimes five on a very long day. I tried taking two tablets one morning and it felt no different to one tablet. Maybe it is the soluble which works best this way with its Paracetomol, Codiene and Caffiene.

I do not take any other drug medications and never have. I am not an addictive person normally. But I do not see any alternative to this. My bloodpressure is always 120/80 and under mostly, my liver function tests normal. I have another severe pain condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia (excruciating stabbing and electric shock facial pain) which I have virtually cured using 5000 mcg a day Vitamin B12 Methylcobalamin. But it does not help other pain. I do not ever rush for drug meds. I would rather not have to use Solpadiene at all but the one at a time x four times a day is my compromise. I am otherwise healthy and energetic. Its a question of controlling our intake and not exceeding the daily safe dose. I have never had any trouble with that. I appreciate the pain relief, but know that abusing it will just cause problems of severe addiction. After 45 years it still works just as well to kill pain.

My advice is to try the one at a time dose to at least reduce. And do not exceed six a day to get started. Drink lots of pure still water, take high quality mega strength Vitamins. Holland and Barrett "Mega Vita - Min is terrific. Healthy diet, cut out the sugar. And keep off the serious drug meds.

Hi anyone, probably my last post on here as I'm off these tablets for good now. Although not many people engage on here, I would still recommend people to post. Writing your story, journey on here is therapy and does help you understand yourself where you are, and targets to where you are going to get of these tablets. If I can come off them, trust me, anyone can.. Good luck all.

I also was admitted to hospital last year as I had slipped my disc in so much pain was on Morphin and tramadol all was ok until I came back out of hospital started with the awful headaches they were horrendous so I started them up again and here we are a year later still struggling with my addiction, how many do you take in a day I take 10-12 not good and sometimes I don't leave 4 hours between them it can be 3 and sometimes it has been 2 not good at all.

Hi no not started yet, went to docs told him about my addiction as have been suffering awful stomach pains obviously caused by these bloody things! He advice to withdrawal very slowly he said it can take up to a year, to take a bit of one tablet each time I take one but a very minimal amount, this was Monday and so far not managed to even start it! My addict brain thinks I will be missing something if I do that so I haven't even started! I feel like a pathetic failure! I'm an educated person but these things have got their claws in me but want to come off sooooo much! How are you getting on how long have you been on them?

just read your post. That is so so sad. .I joined the forum this week. it is only by reading posts like this that will help me quit. Thank you

Re: So dangerous by mustangjenmustangjen, 07 Apr 2017 09:08

I have just joined the forum today. How are you trying to come off? are you reducing the amount you take or have you come off completely? I am reducing as I think I will have some nasty withdrawal symptoms if I stop completely . However since reducing 3 days ago I have been very irritable moody have a niggling headache and stomach pains
Has any one else experienced this ?

Im new to this forum . I know exactly what you are going through. Good for you to start the difficult process of quitting this horrible toxic crap. Keep it up . Well done

I have been taking Solpadeine on and off for around 30 years. I mainly took it for headaches. I can even remember at nursing college my friend calling me "The Solpadeine Queen". At 18 I didnt think much about it but looking back this is certainly a title not to be proud of.
I have tried many times to "come off" sometimes lasting for 1 month max,however as soon as I had a pain .mostly headaches I would go back to my old habits.Solpadeine always being the drug of choice.
Being a nurse I should know best but anyone reading this knows so well how this drug can take a hold of you and Yes I would say take over your life.
I looked up the forum on Monday of this week 3rd April. At this point I knew by reading many posts that I have got to stop. At this point I was taking them every day prob around 2 tabs 2-3 times daily. Its ridiculous I know but I would like others buy from different chemists just to avoid embarrassment as I always felt that although they would read you the 3 day max use story,I got the feeling they would know I was addicted. Yes Addicted. A harsh word I know but its the truth. This is the forst time I have truly admitted I am a Solpadeine addict!! How disgusting ! Like a post I read I have very often ran out and have raked around the house for even 1 !! The feeling of joy when I found one in an old handbag in my cupboard or in a coat pocket that I hadnt worn for some time. Its so reassuring to know that I am not alone. I will post regularly to let you know how I am getting on or to ask for HELP if im struggling. Thanks guys for all your posts. Its from reading them that I am doing this : )
Since Monday I am pleased to say I have taken 2 on Mon 1 Tues 1 Wed and today so far NONE!!
I am so pleased ,however the urge is continually there like a little voice saying take me take me!!

quitting this evil for good by mustangjenmustangjen, 06 Apr 2017 17:25

At last somewhere to find other people who understand what I'm going through! I've been addicted to solpadeine on and off for 20 years now! Before they had 3 days use can lead to addiction on that red box of pure evil! I like most people on here hide them, take 2 every four hours and spend a ridiculous amount of money on them! I'm not silly I know what they do to me! I like others drive out of town to get them so the assistants don't recognise my face, or make sure I don't go to the same pharmacy to often but after 20 years it's a joke! And always looked like I've never taken them before when the assistant gives me advice on not taking them for longer than 3 days because they cause addiction!! Of course not! I've just had enough now they rule my life and the sweat and panic I feel when I am running low and the worry of where I will get my next fix from! They are my crutch and it seems the only thing that I can control in my life but I think they control me! So good to see some have given up or going through cold turkey I applaud you I've given up before even for a week or two but something has always propelled me back to them! But now I've had enough!

Hi, I'm female, 44. I've been taking solpadeine for 19 years.. I'm addicted. I know this..but I refuse to be a prisoner of it anymore.
I take two on waking about 07.30, two an hour later. Two about 11, two at 3, and two before bed. I work. Ights four to five times a week so also take them at night. There are a few chemists I cannot go to, I don't that can be tricky! If I'm on a day out I'll go to a chemist, chuffed with myself that I've " beaten the system"… I've taken them in the shed, in the bathroom, in a can of coke, under the bed..( not me..the glass lol) … it's an open secret in my close family..I'm ashamed,disgusted and scared.
However! In the last three days I bought a box of 32. I've got 22 left..unheard of…I've taken two this morning on waking, one on the dog walk at 1 pm, one half an hour ago.
I have a shadow headache if you know what I mean..formerly enough to pop two..but they only made headaches worse anyway.. I do get migraine, always have prescribed tablets in case of one. That's a comfort.
My arms were freaking out last night in restless legs but in my arms..hideous. I've done a long dog walk today so hope to avoid that tonight. Please keep kicking my butt…you're all brave and together I believe we can beat this hell. Thank you xx

Hi I've been taking them for 19 years..I take two when I get up about 07.30, two more an hour later.. then two about 11, two at 3 or 4 and two before bed. I also work nights four or five times a week so take them through the night as well. I've started taking two at 03.30 even when home.. enough! I've packed up smoking..I need to pack up these buggers.
I'm on day 3 of cutting down..two in the morning, one at lunch, one at tea and making two but leaving them by the bed as long as I can. Managed midnight last night. I really hope we can support each other in this…x

Hi, I wonder how you're doing? I really hope you did it! I've taken the little sods for nineteen years..which horrifies me… lately they've made me feel sick..and it scares me silly. I take two when I wake, (7.30 ish) two an hour later.. two at 11,two at about 4,- two before bed about 10. Bad enough but I work nights four days a week and then take them at night too. I started to take two when I got up ( at home for a pee!) about 3 am.
I've been cutting down for three days, taking one on waking, one at 11, one at 5 then making two in a glass for beside the bed but leaving them. I left them until. midnight last night. Please let me know how you're doing x

Excellent news Jock.. I'm like you, no urge atall now. Been off them now for over 2 weeks after weaning off them for 10 days previous to that. I can't believe over the years I used to take solpadeine in cups of cold tea and cans of Coke whilst out with wife in shopping centre, jeez talk about addiction!! Please anyone reading this, give up these tablets before your cause some real damage. Anyway, stick at it Jock, well done mate :-)
Shas, I know you look in here, how are you doing??

Hi Andy,
I'm doing great! It's been 14 days since I last took the fizz, so very happy I broke through the barrier. I believe I'm off them now totally. The headaches- they continued, in fact, I've had a few mild to moderate migraines for the first time in years! I'm assuming that's another wonderful cold turkey experience, but I'm sure that'll pass too, which I've read can be approx. 1 month. I've read through quite a few posts on here, and noticeably, don't think anyone used the term 'addiction', for obvious reasons no doubt, but I felt it helped me, to at least, tell myself that this is what it was, whatever 'addiction' is is debatable of course, but I found this admission helped me quit. Just like alcoholics, they first have to admit they've a problem before they can solve their problem. On the whole, giving up wasn't as difficult as I first thought it would be, especially from day 4 onward, but the first 2-3 days were a bastard!! It was on the evening of day 4 I suddenly realised I hadn't had an urge all that day to take them, so that was a good day, and by then my stomach had settled down too. The longest lasting cold turkey side effect was the hypersensitivity, which lasted until day 9, and from day 10 onward, I really felt I'd crossed the finishing line. Mentally I feel calmer and more focused and physically feel lighter, is the best way I can put it, noticeably also is a drop in appetite. Anyway, I'm cured. Stay well man and hope anyone else out there on the struggle sticks with it, it can be done, believe me!!

Hi Jock.. How are you? Those headaches gone yet?

I'm totally free of these Solpadeine's now. Thankfully no damage to organs! If you can just deal with the side effects, then anyone can come off these. I understand now, it was not only addiction, it was 'habit' (If there is a difference?). Meanwhile now, my head is much clearer and I'm focusing on the future… Free :-).. Hope everyone else is ok who has given me some support..

Re: Giving up
jock177jock177 24 Mar 2017 09:34
in discussion Forum / My story » Giving up

Hi, Hope you're doing well.
I'm now at day 5 of no Solp Max, been on and off them for last 2-3 weeks, slowly reducing intake up until days ago, then zero intake from thereon. I've been taking them for approx 4 years, and before that, Solp Plus. I was taking 6-8 a day. I tried to give up in the past, but failed, however this time it feels successful. The side effects have been very unpleasant, particularly the stomach pains, the tiredness and the hypersensitivity, feels as though I'm coming down with the early stages of a heavy cold, or worse, Flu. It's the cold turkey approach, which doesn't work for everyone, but I'm determined to stay the course and never use them again. I mentioned in anther thread that I lived in Ireland in 2014, and Solp Max is banned there, because of the addiction to Solp Plus. I think the drug manufacturer has deliberately created a highly addictive painkiller, with Govt help of course, don't forget they have to be licensed to sell them, also, their research would have told them that such high doses of Codeine (12.5% per tablet), is 'high', Just multiply that over a month, a year, and see what the numbers are, quite astonishing! high intake. and like you say there are possible consequences with liver damage and some other medical problems later in life. My GP surgery put me onto to them for back pain 7 years ago, and i thought about seeking help form them for addiction, but thought it best to try and deal with it myself, because, ultimately, only 'You' can come off the poison. Stay safe and keep the faith!

Re: Giving up by jock177jock177, 24 Mar 2017 09:34
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