over the counter co codamolis a combination painkiller containing paracetamol and codeine. It’s available on prescription from a doctor and as a soluble tablet (effervescent or dispersible) that you can dissolve in water. It’s used to treat moderate pain and can be taken with other painkillers such as ibuprofen. Co-codamol is safe to take at the correct dose but chronic abuse can cause serious long-term side effects, including liver and kidney damage and life-threatening intestinal blockages.
It takes up to 1 hour to start working and then keeps on working for about 5 hours. It’s important to leave 4 or 6 hours between doses and never take more than 8 co-codamol tablets in 24 hours. You should also avoid alcohol while taking co-codamol and tell your doctor if you’re taking any other medicine such as antidepressants or sedatives. These medicines can affect the way the body absorbs this medicine and increase your risk of side effects, for example by making you sleepy or drowsy.
Co-Codamol for Acute Pain: When and How to Use It
Paracetamol works by blocking some of the substances that make your nerves send pain messages to the brain. It’s also thought to have a direct effect on the way your brain produces pain signals and can help to relieve anxiety. Codeine belongs to a group of medicines called opioids and acts by mimicking your natural painkillers, endorphins. It stops pain signals being sent to your brain and also reduces nausea and stomach upset.
Taking this medication for too long can lead to tolerance and you may need to take higher and higher doses to get the same pain relief. If this happens talk to your doctor about reducing the dose gradually. You should also tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding because this medicine can affect the baby.