Have been reducing painkillers for 11 days now. Stopped the ones I took daily with codeine and caffeine in them and the first 3 or 4 days when I got a really bad head, I couldnt believe that it went with a cup of strong tea with caffeine in it! I have drunk decaf for years but had the caffeine in the painkillers. Only had the cup of caffeinated tea one in a day every second day. Now I have been getting by on 2 x nurofen (brufen).

I am on day 11 and I cant say I feel much better in myself, more dizzy and so so tired and sleepy. Does anyone know if this is still withdrawal from codeine or caffeine? Has anyone else experienced this? I came off painkillers years ago for 5 months in which time I took propanalol (only 40 mg a day which reduced the heads but not the dizziness) and then amy (which helped slightly but couldnt get the dose up), so I am finding it hard to keep going with this (my painkillers helped me have more quality of life, reducing dizziness and pain). How long before I can start on a preventative? In Heal your Headache, he uses nurofen as a preventative, is anybody trying this? If so, how many a day?

Appreciate any advice.

Bumpin this up for christine … I’m kinda curious, too. Anyone have any thoughts on how long these things stay in your system?

Thanks Joy,

I am still keeping with it, but have had 3 days of really bad irritability and depression (not normal, like the sort used to get before a period), it must be some sort of withdrawal from the caffeine as nothing else could have caused it. I have weakened and had the odd codeine but trying to stick with nurofen, also, the tiredness is unbelievable and aching legs, this has gone on a lot longer than the normal 7 days they talk about withdrawing from caffeine.

Now I am trying to think of the right preventative to get from the GP. Have tried a good number of them before, but thinking of one of the sedative group of ant depressents because it would help the sleep also. Looks like that may be effexor (by the way, still have the topamax and havent dare take it!) Sertraline looks like a possiblility. Cant decide what to ask for at the moment.

Have we scared you away from Topamax because of possible side-effects? You have to remember - some people do really well with it. You *might *be one of them. It does seem to be pretty popular. I’d just hate to see you pass up something that could help. Ya just never know.

Does your doctor suggestion anything? I mean, it sounds like you’re the one telling the doctor what to give you. That should be the other way around! Maybe ya need a new doctor!!

Have you tried Valium or Xanax yet? It seems to me both are easier to get on & off of than Effexor … but neither is really a treatment for the MAV stuff, I suppose, although they would help with calming you down & sleep. Joseph takes Xanax & has had good results with it, if I remember right.

My GPs are useless. The neurologist I was under for 10 years tried me on a lot of the preventatives and they all had really bad side effects apart from propanalol and amy on very small doses. He got to the stage where he let me try what I wanted. I went to London for a while to Prof Goadsby, again, tried the same old stuff, but that was in the days before they knew to put two together, which is what I need to know about, but as far as I know, in the UK, there isnt anyone very up to date on this.

So, yes, I usually ask for what I want. I just feel we get more help from each others experiences than anything else now. I tried to get clonazepan and verapamil from my GP and they wouldnt give me either saying they were not licenced, I should probably go back to the neurologist and try and get them from him.