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Codeine is indicated in patients older than 12 years of age for the treatment of acute moderate pain which is not considered to be relieved by other analgesics such as paracetamol or ibuprofen alone. The usual dose is one or two tablets every four to six hours when needed, up to a maximum of 8 tablets in any 24 hour period. Codeine should be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time.


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Back to Medicines A to Z. Co-codamol is a mixture of 2 different painkillers — paracetamol and codeine. It's used to treat aches and pains including headachesmuscular pain, migraines and toothache. It may help to take co-codamol if everyday painkillers, such as aspirinibuprofen or paracetamol on their own, have not worked. For children under 16 years of age, read our information on co-codamol for children. Adults and children aged 12 years or over can take co-codamol.

However, it is only recommended for unders if other painkillers have not worked. Co-codamol is not suitable for some people. Tell your doctor before starting the medicine if you:. It's important to take co-codamol as your doctor has asked you to.

This is particularly important because co-codamol can be addictive. Co-codamol comes as tablets and capsules. Swallow them whole with a drink of water.

1. about co-codamol for children

Co-codamol also comes as soluble tablets that dissolve in water to make a drink. All 3 strengths contain mg of paracetamol — the same as in a standard paracetamol tablet or capsule. The strength of co-codamol appears as 2 s on the packet. Adults and young people aged 16 years and older can take 1 or 2 tablets of any strength up to 4 times in 24 hours.

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Always leave at least 4 to 6 hours between doses. The maximum dose is 8 co-codamol tablets in 24 hours. It's important to leave a gap between doses of co-codamol.

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Taking too much co-codamol can be very dangerous. That's because the paracetamol in it can cause liver damage.

Co-codamol for children

Do not increase the dose of co-codamol or take a double dose even if your pain is very bad. The maximum dose of co-codamol for adults and young people aged 16 years and over is 8 tablets in 24 hours. If your doctor has prescribed co-codamol for you, take it as you've been advised. If you've bought co-codamol from a pharmacy, do not use it for more than 3 days.

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If you still have pain, talk to your pharmacist or doctor. If you have been taking co-codamol for more than a few weeks do not stop taking it without speaking to your doctor first. If you take 1 or 2 extra tablets of co-codamol by accident on a single occasion, it's unlikely to be harmful.

If this happens, wait at least 24 hours before you take any more. Go to If you need to go to hospital, take the co-codamol packet or leaflet inside it plus any remaining medicine with you. It's safe to take co-codamol with ibuprofen and aspirin.

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Do not take co-codamol with paracetamolor other medicines that contain paracetamol. Co-codamol already contains paracetamol so you could be at risk of paracetamol overdose. Medicines that have paracetamol in them include painkillers like Tramacet and co-dydramolmigraine remedies, and some cough and cold remedies Lemsip and Night Nurse. Before taking co-codamol with any other medicines, check the label to see whether they contain paracetamol. Like all medicines, co-codamol can cause side effects although not everyone gets them.

Many people have no side effects or only minor ones. You're more likely to have side effects if you take the higher strengths of co-codamol. In rare cases, it's possible to have a serious allergic reaction anaphylaxis to co-codamol.

Co-codamol for adults

You could be having a serious allergic reaction and may need immediate treatment in hospital. These are not all the side effects of co-codamol. For a full list, see the leaflet inside your medicine packet. You can report any suspected side effect to the UK safety scheme. While co-codamol can be taken in pregnancy, other painkillers may be more suitable. Co-codamol contains paracetamol and codeine. Paracetamol is safe to take in pregnancy, however codeine can affect your baby, particularly towards the end of pregnancy.

Co-codamol tablets 8/mg (p)

Your baby may get used to having codeine and may have withdrawal symptoms when they're born. There is a slightly higher risk of your baby having breathing problems. These are usually temporary, but your baby may need extra monitoring. For these reasons, co-codamol is not generally recommended.

How co-codamol works

However, if you have pain that requires stronger pain relief than paracetamol, talk to your doctor. They might prescribe co-codamol if they think this is the best option for you. Small amounts of the codeine in co-codamol get into breast milk and can cause breathing problems in your baby. If you are taking co-codamol and want to breastfeed, discuss this with your doctor first.

They can advise you on other pain relief options. Some medicines affect the way co-codamol works. Equally co-codamol can stop some medicines working as well as they should.

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It's not possible to say whether complementary medicines and herbal remedies are safe to take with co-codamol. They're not tested in the same way as pharmacy and prescription medicines. They're generally not tested for the effect they have on other medicines. Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.

These 2 painkillers work in different ways to relieve pain. Paracetamol seems to work by blocking "chemical messengers" in the brain that tell us we have pain. It also reduces a high temperature by affecting the chemical messengers in an area of your brain that controls body temperature. Codeine belongs to a group of medicines called opiates.

It affects pain receptors in the central nervous system Co codeine tablets the brain to block pain als to the rest of the body. When codeine blocks the pain receptors, there are other unwanted effects — for example slow and shallow breathing. It can also slow down digestion, which is why codeine can cause constipation.

Co-codamol takes up to 1 hour to work. It keeps on working for about 5 hours. If your pain has not gone away, talk to your pharmacist or doctor. Depending on why you're taking it, you may need to take it for a few days or weeks at most. For example, if you're in pain after an injury or operation. You may need to take it for longer if you have a long-term condition such as back pain. Talk to your doctor if you're not sure Co codeine tablets long you need to take co-codamol for. It's possible to become addicted to co-codamol. For this reason, your dose will be reviewed to make sure you are only taking the amount you need to control your pain.

Your treatment plan may include details of how and when you will stop taking co-codamol.

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If you need to take it for a long time your body can become tolerant to it. That means you need higher doses to control your pain over time. Some people can become more sensitive to pain hyperalgesia. If this happens, your doctor will reduce your dose gradually to help these symptoms.

If you have been taking co-codamol for a long time, you can prevent withdrawal symptoms by reducing your dose gradually. Speak to your doctor if you are worried about tolerance, hyperalgesia or becoming addicted.

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Co-codamol is a type of painkiller.


White, circular, flat beveled-edge uncoated tablets impressed 'C' and the identifying letters 'CH' on either side of a central division line on one face.


This medicine contains an opioid painkiller codeine.


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