Co-codamol contains two different medicine ingredients called codeine phosphate and paracetamol. Codeine belongs to a group of medicines called opioid analgesics which act to relieve pain. It can be used on its own or in combination with other painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Co-codamol is used to treat moderate to severe pain.
Co-codamol 8/500mg tablets are made up of a combination of two active ingredients known as Paracetamol and Codeine. Paracetamol is an analgesic (painkiller) It is a medication for the relief of mild pain and fever. Codeine is a stronger painkiller than Paracetamol known as an opioid. Opioid painkillers are easily and rapidly absorbed by the body and attach themselves to one or more of 4 opioid receptors in the brain. When these receptors are stimulated, they reduce pain without eliminating its cause.
This combination of painkillers can relieve moderate to acute pain associated with headaches, sore throats, migraines, toothache, period pains, neuralgia, colds and flu. Co-codamol may also help relieve mild pain associated with Rheumatism and Arthritis.
It is especially important with this item that you read and fully understand the Patient Information Leaflet before purchasing.
This medicine is an Analgesic that is used as a painkiller to reduce or eliminate mild, moderate or acute pain. It is not a treatment so will not cure or resolve the underlying cause of the pain e.g. back pain or toothache.
It is important you seek your doctor or pharmacist’s advice if you are unsure about the cause of the pain. In any event this medicine should not be used for more than 3 days without seeking professional medical advice.
For help in managing your pain we have a pain management diary you can download and use click here.
Before you take this medicine
Check the foil is not broken before use. If it is, do not take that tablet.
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. Do not drink alcohol whilst taking Co-codamol tablets. Swallow the tablets with
water. Do not take Co-codamol 8/500mg tablets less than 4 hours after you have taken any other painkiller.
Take this medicine for as long as your doctor tells you to, it may be dangerous to stop without their advice. This medicine should not be taken for more than 3 days. If the pain does not improve after 3 days, talk to your doctor for advice.
The recommended dose is:
This medicine can be taken by adults and children aged 12 years and over. However, some
people should not take this medicine or should seek the advice of their pharmacist or doctor
first. Please view the section on Ingredients and Precautions.
Paracetamol 500 mg and Codeine Phosphate 8mg are the active ingredients. As well as the active ingredients, the tablets also contain colloidal anhydrous silica, maize starch, pregelatinsed maize starch, stearic acid.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure whether it is safe for you to drive while taking this medicine.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Do not take Co-codamol tablets during pregnancy, unless advised by your doctor. Regular use during pregnancy may cause withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
Do not take Co-codamol while you are breastfeeding. Codeine and morphine passes into breast milk.
Keep the tablets stored below 25°C in a dry place, protected from light. If symptoms persist or worsen after 3 days, you should consult your doctor for further advice.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Co-codamol tablets if you have:
Warnings and precautions
Codeine is transformed to morphine in the liver by an enzyme. Morphine is the substance that produces pain relief. Some people have a variation of this enzyme and this can affect people in different ways. In some people, morphine is not produced or produced in very small quantities, and it will not provide enough pain relief. Other people are more likely to get serious side effects because a very high amount of morphine is produced.
If you notice any of the following side effects, you must stop taking this medicine and seek immediate medical advice:
slow or shallow breathing, confusion, sleepiness, small pupils, feeling or being sick, constipation, lack of appetite.
Children and adolescents
Use in children and adolescents after surgery
Co-codamol should not be used for pain relief in children and adolescents after removal of their tonsils or adenoids due to Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome.
Use in children with breathing problems
Co-codamol is not recommended in children with breathing problems, since the symptoms of morphine toxicity may be worse in these children.
Other medicines and Co-codamol tablets
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.
Diet – If your diet is poor or you have a low protein intake, you may be at a higher risk of serious paracetamol poisoning when taking Co-codamol tablets.
Do not drink alcohol whilst taking Co-codamol tablets.
Driving and using machines
Co-codamol tablets may cause dizziness, blurred vision or the inability to think clearly. Make sure you are not affected before you drive or operate machinery.
The medicine can affect your ability to drive as it may make you sleepy or dizzy.
Possible Side Effects and Reporting of side effects
Some people may have side-effects when taking this medicine. If you have any unwanted side effects you should seek advice from your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional.
Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects:
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects or notice any other effects not listed:
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side
effects not listed here You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at:
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this product.
How do I know if I am addicted?
If you take the medicine according to the instructions on the pack it is unlikely that you will become addicted to the medicine.
However, if the following apply to you it is important that you talk to your doctor:
If you need more advice consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children.
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