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I've been having a migraine for a long time, tried different medications, different doctors. recently (for a few months) i noticed that the only medicine that really works for me when i have an attack is codeine. I take a codeine tablet when i have an attack, or 2 when the pain is really excruciating.

My question is, is it possible to get addicted to this drug by taking about 4 tablets each month? The tablet is made of 300mg acetaminophen and 20mg codeine phosphate.

  • In addition to Carey Gregory's answer, even if you have a medicine that works for you, you probably need to have periodical checkups with your doctor. You can tell them about your progress and about the medication you have taken (the type, amount and frequency) and they can tell you if you are taking too much. – Lucky Feb 16 '17 at 6:43
  • @Lucky thanks, but doctor's here are not as good as London's. I was disappointed about doctors so i started to take this myself. Tried many medications before. – user8161 Feb 16 '17 at 8:07
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Addiction occurs due to chronic or frequent use, which means a lot more often than you're taking it. Since you're going weeks between doses, and you're taking very small doses, there's no danger of you developing a dependence because of the gaps between doses. Your body simply isn't getting it often enough to develop a physical dependence. The danger would come from using it daily or abusing it for recreational purposes. Don't do that and you should be fine.

I've tried to find sources to support the above, but it's actually very difficult to find hard numbers. Nobody wants to put their finger on an amount that leads to addiction since it's going to vary from person to person, but the examples of addiction you can find will always involve daily or near daily use. Infrequent use as you're doing is never how addictions begin as long as they stay infrequent.

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  • Thank you. I have friends that tell me i'm doing the wrong thing by taking pills when i have a migraine attack, and i should let it heal naturally (what the ...???) Is it possible that my body gets used to this medicine and not being effective anymore? should i change my medicine periodically or not? – user8161 Feb 8 '17 at 7:37
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    @JackJohansson Tell your jackass of a friend that he needs to try a migraine on for size before he dispenses advice to other people on how they should treat theirs. There is no "natural healing" to be done with migraines. No, you don't need to rotate the medicine. Keep using what works for you. – Carey Gregory Feb 8 '17 at 14:49
  • Ha! Yes that's what i told him once. Thanks for the answer. – user8161 Feb 8 '17 at 15:11
  • I'd like to restate something in this answer: There is a danger for addiction, but only in the sense that you might decide that hey, these pills make me feel so good, why not have some more? That psychological effect could lead to frequent enough (ab)use that a physiological addiction develops as well. It definitely isn't possible if the rate stays the same, though. – Fund Monica's Lawsuit Feb 9 '17 at 1:26
  • Precisely. Whenever i take one, i feel like hey it's working for me, i can do better after taking them! but then i realize this is the beginning of addiction, so : NO! – user8161 Feb 11 '17 at 6:46
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Agree with above, taking it so infrequently should prevent habitation (body getting used to it), and as far as addiction goes, everyone is different, but you will know when you start having a problem...when suddenly you reaaaalllly want some codeine. Unlikely to happen fron such infrequent dosing, as long as you don't let it happen.

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  • Also i need to mention that i have the same feeling about the coffee/dark tea too. Although i feel good and sharp after having a coffee, but i don't like to depend on anything, so i just don't drink them much too. – user8161 Feb 11 '17 at 6:50

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