Hi Caroline, I was on this pain killer last year after my liver resection for about 3 months.  I had no problem coming off the drug at all. I believe when it is working on chronic pain you don't feel many if any side effects.  I hated the thought of taking them as well, but you need your strength to concentrate on getting well, pain equals energy expended.  Agree with others,  should not be driving when on these type of meds. And prune juice is great for constipation if you don't want to take another drug. Best wishes to you and your mum.