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Suffer from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. Taking codamol. Drinking 20 units of alcohol. Risk of drinking and codamol?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 507 Questions
Iam on 4 x 30/500 co codamol a day due to slipped discs and spinal stenosis ,have been living a reclusive lifestyle for 5 years due to unforeseen circumstances ,unfortunately due to loneliness I have been drinking 20 units of alcohol on average twice a week to ease stress as I do suffer from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder aswell ,I realise drinking 20 units isn't regarded as safe but wondered how much more risk iam putting my body at drinking this on co codamol aswell?
Posted Tue, 2 Jul 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Omer 1 hour later

I am Dr.Omer and I am here to help you with your query

As you have said that you are 35 year old , having OCD , Depression , spinal stenosis due to slipped discs

Co.codamol contains acetaminophene with codeine

C-codamol when taken with alcohol causes alot of side effects

The acetaminophene part of co-codamol causes liver toxicity with failure if you take more than 3 glass of alcohol per day or more than 20 glasses per week ,so i would recommend to do liver function tests regulaly.

Alcohol it self causes respiratory depression , hence less breathing which is aggravated by codeine , you take , can cause acute shortness of breath especially when you are asleep

You must be taking other medicines of OCD , depression like methylphenidaylate , amphetamine and so on , which causes severe interaction with co-codamol , and hence cause increase codeine concentration in your blood

I would strongly recommend to stop alcohol with these medicines , if you cannot decrease it , do not drink more than 3 glasses of alcohol per day of 42% alcohol and secondly donot stop cocodamol suddenly as it causes withdrawal symptoms

I hope , i have explained your query in detail

Feel free to ask any further question

Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffer from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. Taking codamol. Drinking 20 units of alcohol. Risk of drinking and codamol? 23 hours later
If I were to not take my pain medication on the day I were to drink alcohol could this be something that would put me at less risk,I know it's not an ideal solution but at moment I see the few friends I've got maybe once every 3 months,most of my immediate family are dead,my mum is a carer for my step dad who is dying from a brain tumour,iam working on improving my isolation situation but realistically it's restricted due to the limited things I can do due to my back injury.Iam under great deals of stress as I lost my brother to a car accident 2 months ago and last month my dad died due to prostate cancer.I realise alcohol isn't the solution but it does concern me that if I withdraw it completely from my life at this moment in time I wouldn't be able to cope,iam a very healthy eater and do a lot of exercise to ease the problems in my back,alcohol is my only real vice.
Answered by Dr. Omer 2 hours later

I am really sorry to hear about your brother and Dad

You are in that phase of life when you need the people the most , so that you can spend more and more time with them and you try to ventilate your thoughts of what you are passing through

Freinds and girlfriends are best cure for POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER(PTSD) , and as you have said OCD , then there are genes for depression as well , so every thing is aggravating your situation

Okay you have following paths now that you can proceed

Either you go to a psychiatrist , get your PTSD/OCD/deprssion treated with SSRI , AmPHETAMINES + counselling , that may decrease your back ache , and we can taper off you from co-codamol , and drinking will not be a problem for us or you

OR if your backache is not that severe , manage the pain with other recreational exercises and take off yourself from co-codamol in 3-4 weeks

OR if you dont want to follow above , do not drink alcohol , the day you had co-codamol , but in chronic users of co-codamol , your blood concentration of that drug will be same for 2-3 days even if you dont take it, and still willl cause the organs problem but the risk will be relatively low , but there.

Alcohol is a support for any person who is going through a rough time , please make more friends , XXXXXXX them more , get yourself busy in anything you love.

I wish i could be more helpful

Try to understand what i am saying to you

Do Take care of yourself very much
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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