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March 30, 2023

Everything You Want to Know about Co-codamol: Uses, Side Effects

A common pain relief medicine is co-codamol which is often prescribed by medical professionals. However, one can purchase this medicine from various over-the-counter pharmacies. There are three different strengths available, with the lowest strength being available at regular pharmacies, while you will get the other two higher strengths if prescribed by a doctor.

When regular painkillers like ibuprofen are not enough, you can be prescribed co-codamol. Being an over-the-counter analgesic, the medicine uses a combination of paracetamol and codeine. The medicine is used to treat mild to moderate pain like toothache, headaches, migraines, and muscular pain. For those who wonder, “Is co codamol good for dental pain“, they can take this medicine as a pain killer. But before that, it is important to consult a doctor.

Common side effects of the medicine range from constipation, and sickness to drowsiness.

If you have been prescribed the medication, it is best to understand what it is, its uses, and its side effects. In this post, we will answer some frequently asked questions regarding co-codamol. This is for your understanding of the drug’s function and uses.

What is co-codamol?

Paracetamol and codeine are the two major components of co-codamol. When regular painkillers are of no use, these are stronger options that can treat the source of pain. There are many different brand names for the medicine. This is why you want to check with your doctor before purchasing any brand.

How to take co-codamol

Co-codamol is a medicine that helps treat general aches and pains including migraines, toothaches, muscle pains and headaches as well. It is available as capsules or tablets and is recommended to be swallowed whole with water. You can take the medicine with or without food.

Adults are recommended to take two tablets of any strength 4 times a day. There should be at least 4 hours of gap between two doses with the maximum dose being 8 tablets.

It can be dangerous to take too many tablets at once. Doctors recommend leaving a gap between the doses and not increasing doses even if the pain is worsening.

Pregnant women who are breastfeeding should not take the medicine.

How does co-codamol work?

Since it is a mixture of two ingredients (paracetamol and codeine) responsible for pain relief, the medicine works to combat any pain.

Paracetamol serves as a blocking chemical messenger that helps block the pain. The ingredient also works to reduce fever. Since its impact has been seen in the area of the brain that regulates body temperature, paracetamol is a great medicine.

Codeine influences pain receptors in the brain and the central nervous system to block pain signals, preventing its reach into the rest of the body.

Side effects of co-codamol

Taking too many tablets can be detrimental to the human body. The ingredient, paracetamol can wreak havoc on the liver if taken too much. Codeine can become addictive if taken consistently even for a few days.

Common side effects of the medicine include constipation, headaches, feeling sleepy, sick or vomiting.

Since codeine blocks the pain receptors present in the central nervous system, it can induce slow breathing, slowing down the digestion process. This is why it causes constipation as a common side effect.

Skin rash, changes in eyesight, difficulty urinating, and dizziness are some serious side effects of taking the medicine. The moment you experience any of these serious side effects, be sure to consult your doctor right away.

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Withdrawal side effects from co-codamol

Those who have developed an addiction to the drug and stop taking it suddenly may experience withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, irritability, agitation, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, severe palpitations, increased blood pressure, diarrhoea, shaking, feeling or being sick, shivering or sweating.

This is why it is recommended to seek advice from a medical professional if you want to reduce its dose.

One can experience withdrawal symptoms within 12 to 24 hours after taking the last tablet. Symptoms get worse in the first few days and start to go away within two weeks. However, the patient may feel anxiety, irritability, experience insomnia and cravings that can last for months.

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Please bear in mind that if you start taking co-codamol all over again after withdrawal, the previously tolerated dose can be fatal.

Co-codamol versus co-dydramol

Combining the mixture of paracetamol and dihydrocodeine, co-dydramol is a little different from co-codamol. These tablets are commonly used for mild to moderate pain relief in musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis, sprains, sciatica, chronic rheumatoid arthritis, and strains, among others.

Co-codamol is usually prescribed for genetal muscular aches which can be experienced by a majority of people. On the other hand, co-dydramol is a more specific tablet that is reserved for certain special cases. While both tablets work the same way and provide relief to mild to moderate pain, co-codamol is more common than the other.

To conclude

Are you the one wondering, “is codeine good for toothache?” At Bayswater Dental Clinic, we have a range of medical professionals who will suggest their best to help relieve your dental pain. Before you decide to take co-codamol for toothache, consult a medical professional. If you are unsure about anything, do not hesitate to discuss your concerns. Since the drug has a tendency to cause an addiction, make sure you take the tablet in the prescribed amount.

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