Can abusing Co-Codamol result in liver damage and upper abdominal pain?

Q. I have mild abdominal pain and a history of abusing Co-Codamol. Is it due to liver damage?

Answered by
Dr. Ajeet Kumar
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 05, 2020 and last reviewed on: Aug 11, 2023

Hi doctor,

I have a history of abusing Co-codamol for two years. Often, I took 30/500 mg several times a day. I have some mild right upper quadrant stomach pain for a few weeks after stopping Co-codamol. Before a year, I took an abdominal ultrasound. My liver function test and urinalysis came back with normal results. I read that liver damage can still be present even after having a normal liver function test and it is hard to see them on ultrasound. Is there a chance for me to have some liver damage?



Welcome to

You have stopped taking Co-codamol (painkiller) now. It is merely impossible to stop using opioid medicines. After stopping it, it is unlikely to have its effects on the body. You have stomach pain after stopping the medicine. It suggests narcotic bowel syndrome (NBS). In this, the patient becomes insensitive to normal doses of opioids and relieves pain after increasing the dosage. It happens due to the chronic use of these medicines. It potentially increases the number of receptors controlling pain.

When the medicine is stopped, a rebound pain develops and it remains until another painkiller is taken. It seems to be a vicious cycle. It requires close monitoring while switching to other safe pain killers. At the same time, it is necessary to watch the symptoms while decreasing the dose of opioids. This treatment is referred to as opioid detoxification therapy.

I hope that you can understand your problems. To control the pain that occurs secondary to NBS, I suggest you consult a pain management specialist soon. As you stopped taking medicine, I suggest you take Paracetamol. It is a safe medicine for controlling pain. You can take Pregabalin 75 mg at night time daily to control your symptoms.

The Probable causes:

You seem to have narcotic bowel syndrome.

Investigations to be done:

You need to have a pain assessment alone.

Differential diagnosis:

You seem to have functional abdominal pain syndrome and nerve entrapment syndrome.

Probable diagnosis:

You seem to have NBS (narcotic bowel syndrome).

Treatment plan:

You can take tablet Paracetamol for controlling pain. You can take capsule Pregabalin 75 mg at night time daily for controlling your symptoms.

Regarding follow up:

Have a follow-up at any time.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Can I take Paracetamol tablets for my severe tooth pain?

.. are taking Amoxicillin for your toothache, then let me educate you it is an antibiotic and not a painkiller. So, if you want to kill the pain, I suggest taking a tablet with acombination of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol after meals.   Read full

Having abdominal pain and bloated feeling for five months. Could this be due to colon cancer?

My abdominal ultrasound was negative ...   Read full

Is it fine to take Prodeine Forte for tooth pain during pregnancy?

.. take Paracetamol 500 mg up to three tablets maximum for the pain relief. But you need to consult your Gynecologist first for the advice. High dosage of Codeine is harmful during pregnancy at early stages.   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Medical Gastroenterologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.