Co-dydramol is a combination of paracetamol and dihydrocodeine and is used to relieve mild to moderate pain. The amount of paracetamol in each tablet or capsule is 500mg but the amount of dihydrocodeine varies. If the strength of dihydrocodeine is above 7.5mg then it is a prescription only medicine. White Pharmacy stocks co-dydramol with a dihydrocodeine concentration of either 10mg, 20mg or 30mg all of which require a prescription.
The 20mg and 30mg strength of co-dydramol is available on our website under the brand name Remedeine.
Paracetamol has been widely used as a simple painkiller for more than 100 years, although it’s still not clear how it works. The latest theory is that it works by reducing the production of prostaglandins in the central nervous system resulting in an increase to the pain threshold so that although the cause of the pain might remain, we can feel it less.
Dihydrocodeine is a stronger painkiller known as an opioid. Opioid painkillers work by mimicking the action of naturally occurring pain-reducing chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are found in the brain and spinal cord and reduce pain by combining with opioid receptors to block the transmission of pain signals sent by the nerves to the brain.
Co-dydramol tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water with or soon after food. Do NOT drink alcohol with co-dydramol.
The usual dose of co-dydramol for adults is:
- One or two tablets every 4-6 hours
- Up to a maximum of 8 tablets in 24 hours
As with all medicines some people may experience side effects from taking co-dydramol.
Some of the more common side effects of co-dydramol include:
- Drowsiness (if this occurs do not drive or operate machinery)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty passing urine
- Shortness of breath
- Skin rashes
- Dependency if used for long periods of time.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
If you think you have experienced a side effect from the medicine you should check the patient information leaflet. This lists the known side effects and what to do if you get them. You can also get advice from your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. If they think it’s necessary they'll report it for you.
Do not take this medicine for longer than prescribed by your doctor. If this medicine is taken regularly for long periods of time, the body can become tolerant to it and it may become less effective at relieving pain. With prolonged use, the body may also become dependent on the dihydrocodeine. As a result, when you then stop taking the medicine you may get withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness and irritability.
Do not take this medicine with any other products that contain paracetamol. Many over-the-counter painkillers and cold and flu remedies contain paracetamol. It is important to check the ingredients of any medicines you buy without a prescription before taking them in combination with this medicine. Seek further advice from your pharmacist.
An overdose of paracetamol is dangerous and capable of causing serious damage to the liver and kidneys. You should never exceed the dose stated in the information leaflet supplied with this medicine. Immediate medical advice should be sought in the event of an overdose with this medicine, even if you feel well, because of the risk of delayed, serious liver damage.
Alcohol increases the risk of liver damage that can occur if an overdose of paracetamol is taken. The hazards of paracetamol overdose are greater in persistent heavy drinkers and in people with alcoholic liver disease.
Taking a painkiller for headaches too often or for too long can actually make the headaches worse.
Also see Cautions section in product information about Dihydrocodeine.
Co-dydramol must NOT be taken by:
- Children under 12 years of age.
- People with very slow, shallow breathing (respiratory depression) or chronic obstructive airways disease.
- People having an asthma attack.
- People with a head injury or raised pressure inside the skull (raised intracranial pressure).
- People with or at risk of paralysis or inactivity in the intestines that prevents material moving through the gut (paralytic ileus).
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
The patient information leaflet (PIL) is a leaflet containing specific information about medical conditions, doses and side effects. You can download a copy of the PIL here:
Patient Info Leaflet