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 a combination of two active ingredients commonly 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.
Symptoms, Treatment and advice
This medicine is an Analgaesic 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 that you seek your doctor or pharmacist’s advice if you are unsure about the cause of the pain and in any event this medicine should not be used for more than 3 days without seeking professional medical advice.
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.
What is Toothache? Toothache refers to pain felt in and around the teeth and jaws. What are the symptoms of toothache? Toothache can be felt in many ways. It can be constant or it can come and go, be mild or severe. It may be felt as a sudden sharp pain when eating or drinking, […]
What is rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is the second most common form of arthritis in the UK. RA is a painful condition, which causes inflammation, pain and stiffness in the joints and this can be disabling. A joint is where 2 bones meet, for example, the knee joint refers to the point where the […]
What is a migraine? A migraine is a severe throbbing headache, it can last between 4 – 72 hours and leave the sufferer feeling tired and washed out. Migraines are quite common and can affect people of all ages. However, twice as many women suffer from migraines than men. There are 2 main types of […]
What is back pain? Back pain is very common and a major cause of disability and people having days off work. The majority of back pain problems are not serious and only last a few days or weeks and will usually sort themselves out. Back pain might also be referred to as lumbago. Pain in […]
What is arthritis and rheumatism? Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints in the body, though the term is used to describe almost all problems associated with the joints. You may have heard of arthritis referred to as rheumatism. Rheumatism is a term that most people are familiar with, it is a very […]
What is the throat? Your throat runs from the back of your mouth to the top of your respiratory and digestive tracts, it comprises the tonsils, larynx and pharynx. Your throat has an important function – it helps to filter out potentially harmful bacteria, which can lead to infection. What is a sore throat? […]
Influenza and the common cold We have all heard of influenza and know it can make you feel very ill, but did you know there are only 3 types of the influenza virus (known as A, B and C) but many strains. However, the common cold can be caused by nearly 200 different viruses. What […]
The Ear The ear is a complex structure that consists of three sections: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. A tiny tube, called the eustachian tube, connects the middle ear to the back of the throat and nose. This is the tube that we open by yawning or swallowing. Ear infection […]