Posted by: Wayne | 2012/12/01

Adco-dol headache pills

I wanted to find out whether the continous use of Adco-dol headache pills is good for you. My wife drinks at least 8 to 10 of these pills daily. I have had one or two when i have a headache, and they knock me out good, or put me on a high. Please advise as i am worried?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Wayne,

One of the main problems with taking painkillers for headaches is that it often leads to Medication Overuse Headache (MOH). MOH is a problem that occurs in headache sufferers who have to take painkillers on a regular basis - the headaches become more frequent and more severe! Because of this, the patient increases the dosage and takes the drugs more often, and a vicious circle is set up, making the headaches worse and worse. This can happen with any of the painkillers, but is far more likely to occur when the medication contains more than one drug, and especially if it contains caffeine or codeine. When the three are combined in one pill, there is an even greater likelihood of MOH developing. The worst culprit is a substance called ergotamine, which is sometimes included in the “migraine kits” commonly available from pharmacies. Please examine the box or insert of the medications you use, and check what they contain. And remember - MOH can also occur with prescription headache medication.

The answer therefore is not to rely on medication or painkillers! The correct way to deal with the problem is to have a proper diagnosis of the causes of the headache. If the causes are treated, the headaches no longer occur, and it is no longer necessary to rely on potentially harmful “rescue” medication.

To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: LABOUR RELATED | 2016/05/08

I had a hearing on a employee (care giver) in a frail care center that has bought a elderly patient without permission Adco-dol ON A REGU;LAR BASIS OBVIOUSLY AGAINST THE CODE OF CONDUCT -. My question to you can this be fatal to a patient , take in consideration the Doctor has already subscribe a other painkiller because he felt she the elderly patient is addicted to Adco-dol

Posted by: Danny | 2016/04/05

It's the best to crush up the adco-dol and just snort them Snorted a few now Yihaaaaa I strongly advise it

Reply to Danny | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016/07/20


Posted by: Anonymous | 2016/03/30

Is it okay to take 1 lenapain every night? I have been taking 1 at night for the past 4 years to assist with sleep

Reply to Anonymous | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Danny | 2016/04/05

U must snort them Really makes a difference

Posted by: Anonymous | 2015/11/19

I love adco-dol,, have been suffering from Insomnia and headaches for 19 yr's. I am supposed to drink 6 different pills too help my condition . Four yr's ago I drop them all and started using adco-dol, did some research on them. I know how addictive they are so I limited myself to 6 a week. I don't know how I did it but boy did I suffer for many months and four yr's late still only drink 6. I also drink lots and lots of water, hated drinking water. I do have a unhappy Dr. But somehow I feel supper and do more than I used too. I might be wrong but drinking 6 adco's a week is better than six different prescribe pills a day and I feel great.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2015/07/10

The codeine is what is causing the addiction, but what you need to be more worried about is the large intake of paracetamol which will cause liver damage. This site is not regulated, and i would not trust the "professionals" who claim to be doctors.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2015/07/10

The codeine is what is causing the addiction, but what you need to be more worried about is the large intake of paracetamol which will cause liver damage. This site is not regulated, and i would not trust the "professionals" who claim to be doctors.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: ed | 2015/03/24

I have been suffering from headaches all my life,my wife introduced me to adco-dol after realizing that I take to much grandpa, the same grandpa that killed my mother, I would feel pain in my chest after taking grandpa. in the beginning adcodol worked wonders but now I have to take 1 regularly to feel better, I think im addicted now & it scares me that my liver & kidneys will be affected. a couple of my family members also suffer from these headaches, could this be hereditary headaches & could 1 get read of them completely? I don't remember having a still head if its not pounding its some where there in the backround.

Reply to ed
Posted by: Anonymous | 2015/03/13

Hi, Well, I had migraines since age 14, My mom bought me Adcodols once, and OMG did they do wonders!! Since that age I have loved Adcodols and always recommend them to people. I however am not addidcted, it is now 11 years later since I have taken them. There was a point in my life, 19 - 21 years, I could not not take the pills if I thought I had a headache, but I did not want to reach a point where I could not leave without taking the pill. I then went the unorthodox way of dealing with these headaches since it was pretty clear it was not a sight issue. I am glad to say, THANK GOD I did, the only time I take Adcodols is when I have a servere headache that sleep nor water can treat. The thing is, I do not believe in any other tablets, since I no longer stock on Adcodols, when I have a persistent headache, I do take Grandpa, and shame, it works. Lol, but my faith lies in Adcodols. Please fight your addiction guys, it isn't good.

Reply to Anonymous | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Noma | 2015/04/21

how did you get rid of the headaches please advise. im suffering and I think im now addicted.

Posted by: kays mars | 2015/02/18

moreso should be packed with the instruction on how to consume the tablets

Reply to kays mars
Posted by: Anonymous | 2015/02/12

Can a pregnant woman take Adco-Dol tablets?

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Riska | 2015/01/03

Hi everyone. I am 26 uears old female.I have been on the pain killer Adcodol for 6 years. Operation after operation. Doctors have subcribed me other expensive painkillers. But it has always ended with me going to buy the cheaper alternative over the counter. Well use about 10 to 15 a day some days only 4 to 5. Previously I have used 100 a week and when I dont have my head gets thick and my nose starts to run. My energy levels is low. But I have decided for the first day of 2015 I am going cold turkey. Well let me tell you about my first 2 to 3 days.First day. I took a few granpas for the running nose and thick head effects to help me during the day. The night I could not fall asleep by myself. The reason because im so used to drinking pills to make me sleepy for 6 years and never dreaming. It was hectic. I fell asleep at about 2 in the morning. Second day I had stomack cramps. Leg cramps. My body was just acking evwry where to tell my brain that I nwed adcodolls. I pushed trough the day. Fell asleep a little late again. But it was better than the day before. Today is day 3. I am feeling more clear and awake. My body aches is gone. Just a running stomack. U really think this is worth it. I had liver problems and kidney problems and my mind was always under the influence and not thinking straight. I searchwd every where and you cant really find alot of info on the intwrnet aboit this. Most people in my home town are addicted to this pain killer. And I know its bad for you. So here I go into 2015 with a clean clear head. Altough I know for using it for so long my pain wil intensefy. In all ways I could think of I know itbwill be worth it at the end of the day!!

Reply to Riska | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Claudia | 2015/01/26

Hi Riska. I can relate in sooo many ways to your story. Adco dol is such an addictive drug. I've been taking it for about 4 years now. Some days more than others. I just wanted to know if you're still sticking out with your new years resolution?? I tried it once but couldn't take the pain anymore like 2 days after I cold turkeyd. What do you do when the headache start like 45 times worse than ever before? What can I take that doesn't contain the addictive ingredient, codeine? ? Any help welcome! Thanks!

Posted by: Siyuur | 2014/11/01

Am a 19 year old,i think when i was 12 i was diagnosed with magraine,i had to wear glasses because when it occured then i wasnt able to see.So 4years back i was introduced on using adco dol,i started drinking 1 then 2 now 3,last night i overdosed and drank 5...i have a problem i think i am addicted to them,because i cant start a day without drinking them i feel down and moody if i havent drank them Please help,am not rich i cant afford to see GP or go to a rehab am still at school

Reply to Siyuur
Posted by: Anonymous | 2014/09/08

I take one or two of these pills and sleep like a baby afterwards. I mean a full nine-hour sleep without waking up. I love them!

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2014/09/08

I take one or two of these pills and sleep like a baby afterwards. I mean a full nine-hour sleep without waking up. I love them!

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2014/08/06

i been taking adco dol for the last 4 years. Three weeks ago i seek help as i no i am addicted. The withdrawel headach i am geting is severe that it effect my work and socail life. I been told to take brufen with paracitamol and i was told by a dr to take ampitrepeline 10 mg at night. Taking amitripeline gives me side effect witch is resless leg syndrome at night I am at a point that i take patacitamol even if i dont have headach just to prevent it coming. I am no longer taking adco dol. Please advise as i realy need my life back

Reply to Anonymous | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Anonymous | 2014/12/18

Have you tried supplementing with magnesium? I have started using magnesium oil on the skin as well as drinking 1/4 tsp magnesium chloride dissolved in water every day. I have really seen results, almost no headaches without having to use Adco dol pills since paracetamol really didn't seem to work. Magnesium = no adcodol necessary :D

Posted by: anonymouse | 2014/08/04

i have used adco dol pain killers for about 3 months now and only use them when um suffering from very serious pain and they knock me out dead. I usually take these pills at night because they make me extremely dizzy and unresponsive. they do take the pain way but my concern is their effect on the heart and the liver. sometimes they knock me dead such that i sleep the whole night and still feel dizzy in the morning. so I would like to advice those who take it like me to drink a lot of water because this is how I regain my strength and to eat a lot of fruits to gain vitamins

Reply to anonymouse
Posted by: Anonymous | 2014/05/13

I am a little bit surprised that the healthcare expert did not mention this, but codeine, the active ingredient in adco-dol (pynstop, lenadol, lenapain, ibucod etc) is an opioid. Codeine is metabolised by your liver into morphine, which is what gives it its wondrous analgesic (pain killing) properties. Taking 10 a day is already signs of an addiction. It is important to approach your GP with this problem so help can be sought. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES go cold turkey with this stuff. If you do want to quit or help a family member to quit a gradual reduction in daily intake is recommended. It is still better to get assisted by a medical professional, but if you wish to go it alone slower is better, so the body can readjust to the absence of the medication. In some cases the person finds that the pain that caused them to start taking the medicine in the first place is no longer a problem after they kick the addiction to codeine. If however pain persists it is important to see a doctor. Codeine withdrawal can be severe with some people, and mild or nearly non existent with others. If it was used to treat headaches, expect the headaches to return with a vengeance. Abdominal pain and runny stomach are very common. It is important to end the addiction. Adco-Dol and other pain tablets not only contain codeine, but paracetamol also, which is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the US (not sure about SA).

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Brigitte | 2013/10/27

Adcodol must be use with care. As a migraine sufferer I used to drink 2 and it knocks me out, Nowadays I use 1 with the same effect. If yor wife is using 8-10 per day you have reason to worry as these pills are very strong like you experienced yourself

Reply to Brigitte
Posted by: Anonymous | 2013/08/05

I have tried to get a diagnosis for headaches. This has proven to be a pain in itself because the doctors say they don't know and then proceed to prescribe pain medication any any case. So in the long run just a waste of hard earned money all round with no results.

Reply to Anonymous

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