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Co-dydramol (paracetamol and dihydrocodeine) is a compound analgesic used to manage acute mild to moderate pain. The two ingredients, when combined, produce a more powerful painkiller than either would be on its own. The medication also has some fever-reducing properties.
Managing Pain Effectively
Co-dydramol is best for short-term management of acute pain, such as from:
In general, the medication should not be used for more than 3 consecutive days, for several reasons:
If pain relief is needed for longer than three days, staggering co-dydramol with another medication (which does not contain paracetamol or codeine) will reduce the likelihood of side effects, tolerance and addiction.
In otherwise healthy adults, administration is simple:
Patients under 12 or over 65 years of age, as well as those with any major medical conditions, may need adjusted doses and should not take co-dydramol without doctor approval.
Before Using Co-Dydramol
While this product is widely used and largely considered safe if taken properly, both ingredients do have the potential to cause very serious, even life-threatening adverse effects. Be aware that:
Dihydrocodeine is known to pass through breast milk, but opinions vary as to how potentially harmful this might be to an infant; likewise there is some dispute as to its safety in late pregnancy. Parents should discuss potential risks with a doctor.
When used properly side effects are rare, usually mild, and not cause for concern unless severe. Dihydrocodeine, like codeine, is notorious for causing constipation; the drugs are sometimes used to ease severe diarrhea. A doctor or pharmacist can recommend a laxative if constipation becomes a problem.
Other common side effects include nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort and similar stomach issues; eating mild foods when tablets are taken may ease symptoms. If stomach pain becomes severe and/or radiates to the back, this may indicate a more serious issue with the gallbladder or liver; stop treatment until speaking with a doctor.
Some patients find co-dydramol causes drowsiness, dizziness and mild confusion. Use with caution if performing complex or dangerous tasks until the medication's effects are known.
No current Rx required
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.
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