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Does pain medication affect immune system / increase infections?

mossycowmossycow Posts: 482Community champion Pioneering
Hi there fellow Scope community members! 

So  something I've wondered for a while and I'd appreciate all input even 'just' your own experiences.... 

Do you think that opiate medications like codeine, oramorph can affect how many minor illnesses you get. 

I've noticed I've definitely had a massive increase of infections that require antibiotics and minor illnesses since requiring such medications.... 

And while watching ER (hospital TV show from the 90s...absolutely absorbing.... Great pain distraction) Dr Ross (aaahhh bless him... Do you remember when George Clooney was new on the scene?... I was always more of a Dr Green girl myself.... But I digress... Sorry)

So yeah Dr Ross was talking to a mum of a kid taking oramorph and they implied that this was why her son was having more chest infections.

What do you think? 

"I'm trying to live like a random poem I read that ended 'to bloom where we are planted"


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 12,719Community champion Disability Gamechanger

    Nope, i've never noticed anything like this and been taking opiates for almost 6 years. Highest dose of tramadol a day for almost 3 years, stopped this and been taking morphine for 3 years.
  • mossycowmossycow Posts: 482Community champion Pioneering
    Nice one  thanks. It's that kind of response I was hoping for to be honest because I can't imagine life having much quality without the painkillers I'm getting on with. The opiates have always been the kinder of the drugs I'm able to use. 

    "I'm trying to live like a random poem I read that ended 'to bloom where we are planted"

  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 5,246Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    I think it might depend on the reason that you take the opiates and any other conditions present.
    I take Morphine mainly for disintegrating spine and general joint and body pain
    ( I don't want a name for this ) But also have chronic COPD. with an increase in morphine dose I now get chest infections a lot. Two weeks of antibiotics and steroids clears it but then two weeks later another chest infection
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • mossycowmossycow Posts: 482Community champion Pioneering
    That's interesting (sorry you are living through it) thanks. 

    I take oramorph as a top up pain killer for chronic pain. I have a weird body... Not easy to describe . 

    Off to gp this afternoon as week of amoxicillin hasn't cleared this infection up... Bit scared to be honest... Feel like my body is just getting more and more broken... 

    "I'm trying to live like a random poem I read that ended 'to bloom where we are planted"

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