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An alternative to codeine?

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  • An alternative to codeine?

    Due to L5/S1 damage I take Codeine and amitriptyline (as per doctor's orders).

    I am really struggling with achieving weight loss even though I do pilates and walk on my treadmill (more often than not, and no, I don't run. One should only run if one is being chased). I have reduced meal portion size, and am reducing sugar consumption.

    I have no quality of life without Codeine and Amitriptyline so not taking them isn't an option. I can't take anything Ibuprofen based. One Tramadol doesn't touch the sides, two has me on the floor like a dying fish.

    I would love to hear any suggestions/recommendations.


  • #2
    I have a connective tissue disease & fibromyalgia and have had a similar experience with tramadol. I get 50mg pills and often find one not enough, two is too much, but 1.5 is good (they’re easy to split). I also take them with acetaminophen as it helps the tramadol work better.

    Have you tried a muscle relaxant for your pain? Baclofen is pretty good for muscle problems due to spinal issues. There are others too...I take cyclobenzaprine.


    • #3
      I gained a lot of weight after an accident then unrelated surgery then chronic problems after surgery. I didn’t know what Amitriptyline was so I looked it up and it seems that it is known for causing weight gain. Three things helped me. One is watching amounts of carbs, eating a reasonable amount of protein, and being self generous with vegetables and salads (the salad dressing is oil and vinegar and it works on cruises too). The other was an uptick in activity after retiring. I’m walking more, riding a little more, and just up and moving around more instead of stuck in a chair with a phone and a computer or meetings all day. Good luck.


      • #4
        You may want to try Evening Primrose Oil. It works quite well as an anti-inflammatory.

        I had nagging osteoarthritis in my fingers decades ago. After around 6 months of using the Evening Primrose Oil the pain departed rarely to return and I stopped taking it regularly.

        Walmart now carries Evening Primrose Oil in their supplement section.


        • #5
          It is the Amitriptyline that is well known (for 20 years) for causing weight gain and it has zero value for pain . It is a sedating medication originally prescribed for depression and when it lost that market the Pharm company started marketing it for pain. Look on Cockrane Reports which is the only reliable (not owned by pharm industry) to learn the value of a medication.
          Codeine does not cause weight gain but it can be hard on the stomach. Tramadol has some very serious side effects and is rarely prescribed anymore, seizures anyone?
          Please remember your doctor learns about drugs from drug reps and it takes about 10 years for research to effect change in the clinical office. do your own research and FYI its best to say a drug is just not helping or its given you headaches. If you say its not working than especially females are seen as hysterics or worse drug seeking. Best not to try to educate a doctor if you want more help.


          • #6
            What about gabapentin and a good prescription nsaid like meloxicam or diclofanec? I’d also consider a pain management program where they teach you alternative methods to deal with pain. Don’t start down the narcotic road as it’s a dead end and does not improve pain or functionality long term.


            • #7
              walkers60, Tramadol is prescribed all the time for folks with RA. It keeps me able to function, albeit on a fairly limited level.



              • #8
                I see you live in New Zealand. If I understand correctly, NZ recently relaxed marijuana laws to allow for medical use. Have you tried a cannabis product? I was not a believer for a very long time, but when the marijuana laws were relaxed in Alaska, I began to see some patients who were not stoners or other fringe types but just normal working people who reported good pain relief with a variety of cannabis products. If the issue is pain, you may not find that just smoking a joint helps a lot. Most of my patients get better relief with a capsule or edible which is mostly CBD with just a touch of THC in it. For example, one that's popular here is a capsule containing 95 mg of CBD and 5 mg of THC. Too much THC will just make you high, but it seems as if a little bit helps to "activate" the CBD. You'll need to discuss it with your physician, but you may be able to get a physician recommendation for cannabis. As with everything else, your results may vary.


                • #9
                  Have you tried hypnosis? My husband has had a lot of luck with hypnosis for pain control.

                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2017.


                  • #10
                    Have you tried the Keto diet?


                    • #11
                      I forgot to mention that I'm an acupuncturist in addition to an MD. You might get some significant relief with acupuncture, but it depends upon the underlying problem.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks for all the ideas and comments. I love the variety of drugs you have in the States. I'm going to come off Amitriptyline. When I think about it, my weight gain coincides with me taking it.

                        As for a cannabis product, my doctor's eyes watered when she talked about it ie it isn't cheap here.