Neuralgia and Codeine

This might be a bit of a controversial thing for me to talk about and I did think about whether this post was appropriate to write, but this is my website and, frankly, I can say what I want!

I’ve tried a few different medications for my Trigeminal Neuralgia and nothing completely takes the pain away. There have been a few things that take the edge off, but they come with so many side effects! I previously had to weigh up whether it was actually worth me taking the medication – would you rather have pain, or less pain with medication side effects? So I’m currently on no regular medication for neuralgia, but there is something that I do to take the edge off.


I first took a cocodamol (a combination of paracetamol and codeine) from a friend at one of my old jobs when I had really really bad period pains and it worked a treat. I’d only taken paracetamol and ibuprofen before (and very rarely), so it was a massive shock to the system, made me feel sweaty and sick, and I didn’t take it again! But it did take the period cramps away..

The next time I took cocodamol was one year later, when I sent my partner to the chemist, when my neuralgia first started. I told him to get the strongest painkillers he could find over the counter and I started taking cocodamol x4 at a time. They made me feel like I might be sick or faint, but I was desperate for anything to try to tackle the pain.

I was eventually prescribed proper medication for my pain and given Zapain (quite strong cocodamol) as a little extra, for when I really need it and this is the only medication I still take for my pain at the moment.

Codeine doesn’t stop my pain. It certainly isn’t the cure for neuralgia or any kind of nerve pain. The medication prescribed for neuralgia is usually some kind of anti-convulsant medication, because normal painkillers just won’t stop nerve pain.

However, cocodamol makes me feel high and that’s why I take it, because that momentarily stops the pain. I also now have to take a lot of Zapain capsules at once in order to feel the effects, because my body is so used to the codeine (and the paracetamol has zero effect any more!). When I take codeine, I feel like I’m floating for a while and, yes, I do feel sick and sweaty and, yes, my face still hurts, but not as much as it usually does. It’s the side effects of this medication that are helping me! I’ve promised myself I’ll cut back, because codeine is really addictive and terrible for your liver, but I still carry a sleeve of Zapain in my bag for emergencies and I’m guessing I will want to keep taking it when I really need for the rest of my life!

I don’t want to be seen as someone who abuses prescription drugs, but I’m still to find something that will help my pain to the point where I can function again like a normal pain-free individual.

Have you found anything that helps with your pain?

Please note that this post does not contain any medical advice and it is based solely on my own experiences and choices. I do not encourage anyone to take any particular medication. Please speak to your doctor if you have any questions about your own medication or medical condition.

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Trigeminal Neuralgia

9 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I’m prescribed codeine 4x a day and I have to say, sadly your system will also get used to this! I no longer feel that ‘high’ from it. So, just a friendly tip, keep it for desperate times so you can still get that feeling! Am I allowed to say that? It doesn’t count as medical advice, right? haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This! Just this! Someone actually said it! Yes I know codeine won’t directly stop my pain, but I don’t care about the pain when the warm n fuzzies kick in, I’ve felt like a junkie for ages because of this, I try to keep it for emergency so I don’t get a tolerance but it scares me, I’ve been combining it with ibuprofen and codeine rather than take too much paracetamol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG this is me. I only take one zapain if the pain isn’t really really bad but 2 when I’m in absolute agony as they make me feel high and knock me out. They don’t make me feel the best but the side effects are short lived compared to all the other drugs. So glad I’m not the only one. I an very aware how addictive they are and why they are so addictive.

    Liked by 1 person

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