Co-dydramol tablets contain two active ingredients, paracetamol and dihydrocodeine. This combination of medicines is often referred to as co-dydramol.
Paracetamol is a simple painkilling medicine used to relieve mild to moderate pain and fever. Despite its widespread use for over 100 years, we still don't fully understand how paracetamol works to relieve pain and reduce fever. However, it is now thought that it works by reducing the production of prostaglandins in the brain and spinal cord.
The body produces prostaglandins in response to injury and certain diseases. One of the effects of prostaglandins is to sensitise nerve endings, causing pain (presumably to prevent us from causing further harm to the area). As paracetamol reduces the production of these nerve sensitising prostaglandins it is thought it may increase our pain threshold, so that although the cause of the pain remains, we can feel it less.
It is thought paracetamol reduces fever by affecting an area of the brain that regulates our body temperature (the hypothalamic heat-regulating center).
Paracetamol is about as effective as aspirin at relieving mild to moderate pain and fever, but unlike aspirin it has no anti-inflammatory effect.
Dihydrocodeine is a slightly stronger painkiller known as an opioid. Opioid painkillers work by mimicking the action of naturally occurring pain-reducing chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are found in the brain and spinal cord and reduce pain by combining with opioid receptors.
Dihydrocodeine mimicks the action of natural endorphins by combining with the opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. This blocks the transmission of pain signals sent by the nerves to the brain. Therefore, even though the cause of the pain may remain, less pain is actually felt.
Generic co-dydramol tablets contain 10mg of dihydrocodeine, which in combination with the paracetamol, is effective at relieving mild to moderate pain.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you take this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
You should not take other medicines that contain paracetamol in combination with this medicine, as this can easily result in exceeding the maximum recommended daily dose of paracetamol. Many cold and flu remedies and over-the-counter painkillers contain paracetamol, so be sure to check the ingredients of any other medicines before taking them with this one.
The low dose of dihydrocodeine in this medicine is extremely unlikely to cause drowsiness. However, if you do find that this medicine makes you feel drowsy, this effect is likely to be increased if you also take any of the following (which can also cause drowsiness):
This medicine should be used with caution in people taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), for example the antidepressants phenelzine, tranylcypromine or isocarboxazid. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you are taking one of these medicines.
Cholestyramine reduces the absorption of paracetamol from the gut. It should not be taken within an hour of taking this medicine or the effect of the paracetamol will be reduced.
Metoclopramide and domperidone may increase the absorption of paracetamol from the gut.
Long-term or regular use of paracetamol may increase the anti-blood-clotting effect of warfarin and other anticoagulant medicines, leading to an increased risk of bleeding. This effect does not occur with occasional pain-killing doses. If you are taking an anticoagulant medicine and you are also taking this medicine regularly, your blood clotting time (INR) should be regularly monitored.