Bio-medical treatments

Bio-medical options

Co-codamol

A mixture of codeine phosphate and paracetamol It is thought to work by reducing the production of prostaglandins in the brain and spinal cord. Prostaglandins sensitise nerve endings, causing pain but by reducing them, we reduce the pain.

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p class=\"body-el-text standard-body-el-text\">Codeine is a slightly stronger painkiller known as an opioid. These work by mimicking the action of natural pain-reducing chemicals called endorphin\'s which are produced in the brain and spinal cord. Codeine acts on the same receptors as natural endorphin\'s and blocks the transmission of pain signals sent by the nerves to the brain. 

Co-codamol is normally used for mild to moderate pain if paracetamol or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen are no longer enough

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p class=\"content-header--title standard-article--title anim-in-view\">There are three doses of tablets which are usually described as:-

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p class=\"content-header--title standard-article--title anim-in-view\">8/500 - 8mg codeine / 500mg paracetamol. These can be bought from a pharmacy. It is advised to take 1 or 2 tablets four times a day. You should not take any other form of paracetamol

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p class=\"content-header--title standard-article--title anim-in-view\">15/500 - 15mg codeine / 500mg paracetamol. These are a higher strength but can also be bought from a pharmacy. It is advised to take 1 or 2 tablets four times a day. You should not take any other form of paracetamol. 

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p class=\"content-header--title standard-article--title anim-in-view\">30 /500- 30mg codeine /500mg paracetamol. These are only available on prescription from a GP,  It is advised to take 1 or 2 tablets four times a day. You should not take any other form of paracetamol

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p class=\"content-header--title standard-article--title anim-in-view\">The most common side effects include nausea and vomiting constipation, dry mouth but there tends to be more on higher doses.

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p class=\"content-header--title standard-article--title anim-in-view\">You can find a full list of uses, dose information  and side effects on the paper insert in the box or you can visit http://solidviews.com/F6JgyW

 

Amitriptyline

This drug was designed as an anti-depressant,  but was found to work effectively for neuropathic pain. Amitriptyline is in a group of drugs called trycyclic antidepressants. They alter the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain and block the effects of two neurotransmitters called serotonin and norepinephrine. Unfortunately the role these chemicals have in causing, or treating, depression is unclear and the same apply\'s to pain.

The usual dose is Initially 10 mg once daily, increased gradually if necessary to 75 mg once daily at night. Higher doses can be given on specialist advice.

The most common side effects are Drowsyness and fatigue, Abdominal pain,  
hypertension, mydriasis (dilated pupils), oedema (swelling around the ankles), palpitation, restlessness, stomatitis (swelling around the tongue and lips).

This is normally the first treatment a GP will advise if standard pain killers are no longer enough. It is very cheap and a good medication to start on. I have tried it myself but found little added benefit, although some people respond really well. If nothing else it will aid sleep, which in turn makes it easier to deal with the multiple fibro symptoms during the day.

You can find a full list of uses, dose information  and side effects on the paper insert in the box or you can visit http://solidviews.com/uw4FD

Gabapentin

Gabapentin was designed as an anti-convulsant for epilepsy but is also liscensed for neuropathic pain caused by fibromyalgia. It works on the central and peripheral  nervous  system by reducing  the release of neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline  and serotonin.

The normal dose in fibromyalgia is 300mg three times a day but this can be increased to a much larger dose of 1200mg three times per day for a short period of time in some cases. If you feel that the dose you are on is not effective, speak with your GP. 

Some of the most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, gingivitis (sore gums), diarrhoea, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, constipation, dry mouth or throat, flatulence and weight gain or weight loss. 

Together with amitriptyline this is considered a first line treatment if standard pain killers like paracetamol and anti-inflamatories are no longer effective. 

I tried these for a while but did not find them as effective as pregabalin, although for me there were fewer undesirable side effects. 

You can find a full list of uses, dose information  and side effects on the paper insert in the box or you can visit http://solidviews.com/ffus

 

Lyrica (Pregabalin)

Pregabalin was first developed  as an anticonvulsant  for  epilepsy similarly to gabapentin.  However  it is now liscened and used for neuropathic  pain  in fibromyalgia. It works  similarly  to  gabapentin, however pregabalin  has a more potent action.  This drug is much more expensive than gabapentin therefore is normally prescribed as a second option to amitriptylie and gabapentin. Normally a consultant in hospital would recommend the use of this drug

In fibromyalgia the normal  dose is started at 75mg twice daily but c up to 300mg twice daily or 200mg  three times daily if necessary.

The side effects include; Dizziness, drowsiness, euphoria, blurred vision,increased appetite, confusion, vivid dreams.

You can find a full list of uses, dose information  and side effects on the paper insert in the box or you can visit http://solidviews.com/2eT6Yn