Using Codeine for Pain Relief – What Codeine Doses Are Safe?
Codeine is a popular form of painkiller, but it can be quite addictive, and it is also dangerous if it is taken in high doses. Codeine doses of more than 60mg have been found to cause an increase in the risk of suffering from severe side-effects, and do not offer a noticeable improvement in pain relief for most people.
For this reason, doctors recommend that people use only small doses of codeine to manage pain that is mild or moderately severe. If an NSAID is appropriate, and the pain is not chronic, then that could be a better choice – again, the appropriateness of opioids is something that a person should discuss with their doctor, especially for long-term pain management.
Codeiene doses should be given cautiously. Start with a relatively low dose and work up as you become more confident in your understanding of how your body reactsto the pain. Use long periods between doses, and be watchful for side-effects.
People who have long-term pain should watch their codeine doses carefully – it is possible to become dependent on codeiene, and coming off it can be difficult. Most experts do not recommend that people under the age of 18 take codeine at all, so it should never be given to a child unless under the direct supervision of a doctor.
Alternatives for Pain Management
There are many alternatives that can be used for management of acute pain, especially mild pain such as headaches and flu-like symptoms. Paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin are all popular – although these can have contraindications for some people. You should talk to your doctor before you start taking any form of painkiller if you have not taken it before. In addition, if you take painkillers for an injury or a new illness, and find that the symptoms do not start getting better within a week, you should call your doctor to make sure that there is not an underlying medical condition that is causing the problems.
Codeine is a very good painkiller for acute soreness and pain, but it is not something that you should be taking on a daily basis for long-term arthritis or other conditions. It may offer some relief from, say, the symptoms of a tension headache, but if you are finding that you need to take it regularly then this is not a good sign. Rebound headaches and other side-effects can happen if you take it for too long – and you may need to taper the dose when you decide to stop taking it, so that you don’t end up suffering from nast withdrawal symptoms.
If you are concerned that you have already become dependent on codeine, then you should talk to a doctor as soon as possible about the problems that you are having. They will help you to find ways to come off the painkillers safely, and work with you to find alternative pain management options that are less risky dependence wise.