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Hi Bobo,

Many thanks for this information. Very interesting and useful. I knew that each tablet contained nearly 500mg of sodium and that sodium increases heart attack and stroke risk but I didn't know that sodium withdrawal caused symptoms like headache, nausea, sweating and vomiting - all classic Solpadeine withdrawal symptoms.

Well done for quitting. It's not easy.


Hello, first time on here. I've read quite a few posts about Solpadeine withdrawal symptoms which are completely correct and awful to have to go through. What many don't know about the types that dissolve in water is the high sodium content. Each tablet contains 437mg of sodium. Basically if you take a full 8 tablet dose that's over 3,500mg's of sodium every day! That's over twice the daily recommended amount for an adult. Salt/sodium can be incredibly addictive too. Below is an extract from a news article.
When the rodents were in need of salt, brain cells made proteins more usually linked to addiction to substances such as heroin, cocaine and nicotine.
Sodium withdrawal symptoms can cause headaches, nausea, sweating and vomiting.
If you cut down or go cold turkey with the Solpadeine keeping sodium levels up for a few days is a must. The sodium content in these are one of the reasons I quit. It puts your chances of heart attack or stroke up by 23% which doesn't sound much but if you smoke or have a poor diet that will increase the percentage even more.
Good luck to all that are in the process of quitting. Hope this information helps 😊

I've been having an interesting experience over the past week.

I had got way into a new Solpadeine cycle due to migraine, averaging eight tablets a day.

Last Thursday/Friday, I took 12 tablets in 24 hours for migraine. They were not working effectively. They would help for an hour or two and then the pain would return. I was scared to stop taking them, though, in case I triggered an excruciating cold turkey.

Solpadeine was also making me feel really weird in the head at this point. It's hard to describe but it was a kind of dizziness that made me scared to leave the house.

Since the previous Friday I had been doing autogenic training, which is a relaxation technique a bit like mindfulness. There are lots of videos on YouTube about it, e.g. and

I also started doing 'eco-meditation' ( - link to meditation audio halfway down the page).

I was practicing these techniques for an entirely different reason; I had a very anxiety-provoking appointment coming up and I wanted to be clear-headed and calm for it. After it was over, though, I continued to practice them because they were pleasant and relaxing.

I sleep very badly, which is a terrible migraine trigger. I would sometimes nod off during the day while listening to autogenic relaxation videos but that was OK. I wasn't working, so I played the meditations several times a day. I think the extra sleep helped, too.

The day after my migraine I only took six Solpadeine, probably because I still had enough in my system to knock out a horse. The following day, though, I decided to risk five, and for two days after that four tablets each. Today I am on three. Tomorrow will be two and the next day one.

I haven't had a single headache, migraine or withdrawal symptom except for a sore upper back one day (a leftover from a serious car crash). I haven't finished my withdrawal yet but it is going well so far and I know for sure that it is down to these techniques because I have been doing little else different. I have been strict about staying away from caffeine - even decaffeinated coffee - and that is important for me, but I have had a couple of drinks, which would usually be a problem, and I was fine afterwards.

I hope this might be of help to others, too. I have prolonged Solpadeine cycles because I am so scared of the withdrawal migraine but this approach seems to nip it in the bud and remove the fear.

Re: 2 days clean
akshay orthoakshay ortho 27 Jun 2018 07:24
in discussion Forum / My story » 2 days clean

I’m working in ICU and work 12hr shifts and started having plantar fasciitis and orthofeet shoes have solved my problem. I wish they were a little more stylish, but at this point I choose style over function. I see that they have a new color and I will most definitely purchase these again when they need to be replaced.

Re: 2 days clean by akshay orthoakshay ortho, 27 Jun 2018 07:24
Re: 2 days clean
A333014A333014 09 Jun 2018 14:22
in discussion Forum / My story » 2 days clean

Hi Jbird52 how have you got on? Reading your post I would say I was in the same boat. Two tablets (soluble Solpadeine Max) first thing in the morning then repeat 2 or three times during the day. I had been rotating which pharmacies I used, between 5 local shops and kept a secret stash in an old rucksack! The secret stash is still there to be honest and so far I am 12 days clean This morning was the first day I woke up without a headache even though I'd drunk a bottle of white wine the previous evening

Re: 2 days clean by A333014A333014, 09 Jun 2018 14:22

Hi Mel,

Thank you for the above post. I found it very helpful.

I'm just wondering how you are doing with your plant-based diet? Is it continuing to work for you to reduce pain? And has it eliminated your need for Solpadeine by tackling the pain at source?

I have just started to eat this way in the hope that it will crush my migraine-related need for Solpadeine.

Many thanks.


Re: Want to quit solpadeine by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 07 Jun 2018 09:43

PS Somebody further back on the forum (I think Mel…?) started eating a plant-based diet to fight inflammation and found it helpful. I'd be very interested in any updates on this. Many thanks.

Re: Cold turkey (again) by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 31 May 2018 12:46

Hi all,

Well, if there's one thing I've discovered, it's that nothing works for me all of the time. Sometimes I can taper; sometimes I can't. Sometimes water helps; sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes CBD oil is effective in killing pain; sometimes it is not.

I started tapering my Solpadeine intake again early last week (I think). I was on eight tablets a day when I began. I am not sure if I went too fast (again!) or if extreme insomnia was the cause but I triggered off a 3.5-day migraine last weekend.

On day one of the migraine, I had already taken six whole Solpadeine tablets by 14:00. It didn't help in the slightest. So I decided there and then to quit cold turkey, helped by the fact that I had run out anyway and was feeling too crap to go to the pharmacy.

It lasted from Friday early morning to Monday lunchtime: headache, nausea, vomiting, unable to keep water down, etc.

On Monday, I found a few more Solpadeine tablets in an old bag. I wasn't actually searching for them but I came across them. I took two to get rid of the residual pain. They did nothing to help. The following day, I took one Solpadeine Extra tablet (no codeine) when I awoke with pain again. It didn't help. The day after that (yesterday) I awoke with pain yet again and took two Solpadeine. No use at all. Today, I have had no Solpadeine and don't desire it, even though it's very hot outside and my head is heavy. It's not worth it, though.

I have been drinking copious amounts of still water since I stopped vomiting. It has really helped but I have had to drink litres and litres.

The great thing is, I am not craving Solpadeine at all. I think it's because I am making sure I'm hydrated. I have also quit drinking coffee and tea and other caffeinated drinks and I feel so much better without them.

Since my migraine, I have had one abysmal night's sleep (I felt wired, for some reason - it might have been because I had some chocolate in the evening - not much, but perhaps it was disruptive…) but two excellent nights' sleeps (about eight hours, which use to be a very occasional event). This is partly due to the caffeine in Solpadeine no longer interrupting my sleep cycles but it is also due to not having to go to the loo in the night. Solpadeine used to irritate my bladder so much that even on days when I drank no tea or coffee, I'd have to make repeated trips to the loo and never got a full night's sleep. It was a waking nightmare.

I hope you are all doing OK.

Take care,


Cold turkey (again) by StormAtSeaStormAtSea, 31 May 2018 12:26

PPS Water on its own didn't help me. It was the combination of water and sea salt that did the trick.

PS I'd suggest checking with your doctor first to make sure it's safe for you to do. I think there are some contraindications on the website regarding specific conditions, or if you are on medication.

Something that might help a lot…

Check this out. I used it this week to get rid of a horrible headache. I used Maldon salt flakes (because they are sea salt and don't burn on the tongue like some salts do) and cold (but not freezing) tap water.

I had a nasty headache from Wednesday to Friday. On Friday morning, I awoke with stabbing migraine pain above and behind my left eye, as usual. Two doses of Solpadeine did practically nothing to help. By lunchtime, I was ravenous and in pain, yet also repulsed by the thought of food and unable to eat.

I remembered the water cure website above and checked out the proportion of water to salt. I had tried the cure before but it hadn't worked because I hadn't used enough salt due to fears about high blood pressure, which I have.

This time, I used enough salt. I dissolved a large pinch of Maldon flakes on my tongue and washed them down with a pint of tap water. Immediately, my migraine was 70-80% gone. I did the same thing again and it evaporated completely.

I am still tapering Solpadeine because I was too scared to go cold turkey in case the pain returned but I am now doing so by one full tablet per day, not by halves or quarters. I have about a week to go before I am free, as long as dissolving salt on my tongue and then drinking copious amounts of water continues to work for pain.

I'd recommend reading the whole site. I found the sections on the protocol, addiction, pain and alcoholism (while thinking of drugs instead) particularly helpful.

I think rehydration is part of it but I also think mineral balance is too, though I don't understand why. That is why they recommend sea salt over ordinary table salt.

If you use bottled water, use still water not sparkling. Sparkling contains something (maybe the carbonic acid?) that makes headache and migraine pain a LOT worse.

I know the stories on the website are anecdotal but I feel they still have value. No one is making a profit out of water and sea salt.

It makes you need to go to the loo more but not as badly as you might expect. I find I am getting up far *less* in the night to pee because the water is diluting the caffeine in Solpadeine. Caffeine is a bladder irritant. It makes you need to go urgently, even though you might not have much fluid in your bladder.

I hope this helps you as much as it appears to be helping me…

I'll let you know how I get on this week.

All the best,


And the very best of luck to you with it. We CAN do it.

I also think staying away from anything you know from experience triggers pain for you is a good idea while detoxing from Solpadeine (e.g. too much chocolate and milk are big triggers for me, as are lack of sleep, emotional stress, cigarettes and alcohol, while coffee and tea set up conditions for pain without being immediate triggers).

Hi Baz,

I'm in much the same boat as you are again. The CBD salve seemed to help - maybe it actually did - but I have a horrible headache today and nothing is working (CBD balm or Solpadeine).

I'm at about the same amount of Solpadeine as you are again. I usually don't go over eight but occasionally go up to 10 if I'm feeling really crap. Not that it helps, necessarily… :-(

I honestly wouldn't switch to Nurofen Plus. The more I think about it, the more dangerous I think it would be to do so. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Nurofen can also increase the risk of stroke. It just wouldn't be worth it. I also think the combination of caffeine and codeine in Solpadeine is more than the sum of its parts. I don't find Co-Codamol remotely useful for killing pain (paracetamol and codeine without the caffeine). There is no caffeine in Nurofen Plus, just ibuprofen and codeine.

I am starting to cut down gradually again, too. It might be a good idea, yes, to get rid of that glass as a way of breaking the behavioural element of the addiction. Quite a few people on this board have used behavioural tricks to help them and they have worked (e.g. one person used to store the Solpadeine at the top of the house, so she'd have to go all the way up there to get it, and it helped her to break the pattern).

I'll let you know how I'm getting on, too.

Thanks :-)


Hi storm
Thanks for your reply. You're probably right regarding switching to nurofen.
I think the only way forward is to just cut down gradually. They're ridiculously hard things to come off tho. Maybe the first step for me is to get rid off the plastic glass that I've had and used for them for years. Strange but I can't take them in anything else.
I take 8-10 a day. I'm pretty sure that I can cut that down. Let me know how your tapering off them goes on.

PS Just to clarify, CBD oils, salves, lozenges, etc. are made from a non-psychoactive part of the cannabis / hemp plant. It is legal in some European countries and, I believe, in all 50 States in the US. If your workplace does drug testing, though, it might show up as cannabis, so you would need to bear that in mind before trying it (although I have read that they usually only test for THC, the psychoactive part, but you never know…).

It is important to source a high-quality product. A couple of years ago I tried a CBD oil I bought online and it made my migraine worse. I now know that I didn't do enough research into its purity. Some CBD oils can be contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals, etc. These are likely to sharpen the pain and nausea.

A pure oil, however, can be very helpful. I found an Irish brand called Hempture that seems to be very well prepared: organically grown, tested for heavy metals and pesticides, third-party testing, etc. The company seems to take its purity and quality very seriously.

I bought the salve rather than the oil because I reckoned it would hit pain points more directly (and therefore quickly!) when absorbed through the skin. So far, so good… It hasn't been sorely tested yet, though. I am reserving judgement until I have a whopping migraine but it *seems* to be helping.

From what I have read, CBD oil is anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatory substances can help to quell pain. I should probably stop Solpadeine cold turkey (as my neurologist suggested!) and test the CBD salve that way: could it soothe the pain of quitting Solpadeine suddenly? I'm not sure I have the nerve to find out. I might just keep tapering for now.

Hi Baz,

I thought caffeine was the main issue for me but I now realise codeine is too.

To be honest, I wouldn't use Nurofen Plus instead. I can see the logic in breaking the pattern by using a non-soluble drug but Nurofen is hard on the system. It slows blood clotting time, so if you are bleeding externally or internally, it will take longer for your body to stop the bleeding, which could be very dangerous. Nurofen also increases the risk of stomach ulcer or stomach bleeding. The risk is compounded if you take certain other medications too, or if you drink or smoke.

I can't take Nurofen because it clashes with my prescription medication. I also have periodic gastritis (maybe from Solpadeine?). The harshness and acidity of ibuprofen does a real number on my stomach.

For now, I'm tapering Solpadeine and rubbing Hempture's CBD salve ( on any source of pain that pops up (sharp forehead pain, neck pain, etc.). Fingers crossed.

If CBD oil/salve/etc. is legal in your country it might be worth trying, as long as it doesn't clash with any medication you might be on. I suspect it is considerably safer than Nurofen Plus.

Drinking lots of water also helps.

I'll let you know how I get on.

All the best,


I too have tried to take the solpadeine headache tablets instead of the real thing, but it just doesnt give me the same kick. I realised it was the codeine I was missing. To a lot of people this is a stupid idea but I was thinking of trying nurofen. There is one type that does contain codeine. For me Ive realised that it's the soluble part that gives me the buzz. I've got the same plastic glass that I've used for years. I take 8-10 a day. I really want off them. I'm 42 and I've used them for nearly twenty years.
I think there wouldn't be the same craving for me at work if I had two nurofen tablets in my pocket rather than two soluble solpadeine.
But then again, maybe it's just searching for desperate way out.

Hi Peach,
It is difficult, but possible. In my case firstly I had to have a major reason to want to stop. Cost, health, non-control would not stop me. It was because I was going to potentially drag other people down around me. Once you find that big reason, plan the day you are going to stop. When you have stopped keep telling yourself you are not a Solp user anymore. Not easy cos it is really tough, but a mindset of freedom rather than being deprived of them can help.

Hi Jeannie,

Thank you for your lovely reply. It sounds like your experience has been quite similar to mine. I'm very glad my posts helped you when you were tapering off Solpadeine.

My plan to switch to Solpadeine Extra did not really work. The caffeine without the codeine in my system felt very aggressive. I realise now that the codeine component is also an addiction for me. It's the synergy of the three ingredients that makes Solpadeine a powerful painkiller and powerfully hooking.

I have never taken more than 10 in 24 hours (and that is rare - even nine is rare; I am more likely to take 6-8). I have decided to taper off more quickly than usual by reducing the dose by one tablet per day. I'm sure it will trigger withdrawal headaches but I am hoping that these won't descend into migraine.

I am trying to eat well (real unprocessed food, vegetables, etc.) and drink lots of water to offset potential pain.

I have also started to use an organic, high quality CBD hemp balm on painful areas of my skull / neck / shoulders. CBD is a legal fraction of the cannabis plant. It is often ingested as an oil. A good quality CBD product has painkilling properties for some people. (A bad quality product can make headaches worse, though, as I discovered to my cost a while ago.) The balm allows the CBD content to go straight into the system transdermally. So far, it has helped to chase the pain away immediately. That was at the tail-end of a migraine, though. I hope it will be up to the task of helping me quit Solpadeine. We shall see…

I hope all is going well for you now. Thank you again for your kind reply.

All the best,

Storm :-)

Reading a story such a yours Nigel gives me hope as I’m sure it does others addicted to solpadine that you can break that cycle. Well done for doing so well. I really hope I can find the same will power. I’ve also tried cutting down but it feels hopeless because you’re putting off the inevitable which is stopping and putting up with the withdrawal from it coming out your system. I have cut down numerous times but have never stopped. It just takes one bad day or stressful situation and you take more.

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