White Pharmacy Policy in Relation to Weak Opioid Pain Killers


Weak opioid pain-killers, such as codeine, dihydrocodeine, co-codamol and co-dydramol, can be addictive and White Pharmacy has to ensure that they are being used appropriately. Therefore, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Customers are normally expected to use their own card to pay for an opioid and will be required to pass a Lexis Nexis ID check or provide proof of their date of birth and address before a request is considered.
  • In exceptional circumstances customers may use someone else’s card to pay for an opioid but they will be required to provide proof of their date of birth and home address before the current request can be considered.
  • The billing address for the card should be the same as the delivery address. In rare cases a work or holiday address may be used as an alternative although proof may be required.
  • If there are several people requesting opioids from the same address or in close vicinity these requests are likely to be refused.
  • There is a maximum number of tablets/caplets/capsules that will be dispensed to a customer at any one time, as recommended in the British National Formulary. Please refer to our dosage guidelines, below, when adding the item to your basket.
  • If a request is placed early, then that request will be held with payment until the correct time.
  • If we become aware that a customer has purchased a weak opioid from White Pharmacy as well as from other sources at the same time we will cancel the request and the person may no longer be allowed to request medication from White Pharmacy.
  • Only one type of opioid painkiller will be supplied per customer at any one time.
  • We will be particularly careful in prescribing for younger people (under 25) as it is rare for people in this age group to have a condition that requires this type of medication.
  • For patients 21 and under who are requesting opioid medication, permission will be needed from their GP for us to supply it.

As a responsible Pharmacy operating under the regulations of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) of the UK White Pharmacy has to take all necessary measures to make certain that people requesting weak opioids are using them appropriately. They are dangerous drugs if used incorrectly or recreationally and therefore we are determined to do everything we can to prevent the medicines we provide from being used in this way.

Based on guidelines published in the British National Formulary (BNF) there is a maximum number of tablets, caplets or capsules that will be dispensed to one customer in any one dosage period. This is shown in the table below:

Medicine Maximum Number Days of treatment
Co-codamol 30/500mg Capsules 200 25
Co-codamol 30/500mg Tablets 200 25
Co-codamol 30/500mg Effervescent 200 25
Kapake 30/500mg Capsules 200 25
Kapake 30/500mg Tablets 200 25
Solpadol 30/500mg Caplets 200 25
Solpadol 30/500mg Effervescent 200 25
Co-dydramol 10/500mg Tablets 200 25
Remedeine 20/500mg Tablets 224 28
Remedeine Forte 30/500mg Tablets 224 28
Codeine 30mg Tablets 200 25
Dihydrocodeine 30mg Tablets 200 33*

* Also see CKS/NICE Guidelines