What is

Codeine Phosphate


Codeine is a substance obtained from morphine, naturally present in small amounts in opium medicines like Dihydrocodeine and Co-codamol. It has a central antitussive effect and a weak sedative and analgesic effect.

Co-codamol 30/500 is a film-coated tablet with paracetamol and Codeine Phosphate with analgesic and antitussive properties. Codeine also has an antipyretic effect. The drug is used, inter alia, in the case of colds and to alleviate pain arising from inflammation of teeth, joints, and accompanying cancer.

Some people take Co-codamol take this drug as over the counter. Codeine has an analgesic, morphine-like, and antitussive effect, so it can be found in cough and cold syrups and should be used under proper guidance.

Codeine Phosphate - Know proper dosage, actions, and side effects

Have you ever felt like being addicted to something that was rather used to cure you of something that is a daily life issue like a headache, dry cough, or it can be a toothache?

Codeine present in the painkillers like Co-codamol and Dihydrocodeine is often addictive if taken in excess amount or inadequately. The patient already knows what addiction mechanisms look like and learns to cope with them, including anxiety craving. But what makes one so addicted or dependent on it. What is Codeine Phosphate? How it works, and what are the possible side effects of it? Let's find out more about this.

How does Codeine Phosphate work?

Codeine Phosphate is an action-focused antitussive agent. It has the alkaloids of the phenanthrene series. Besides, it is also associated with opioid receptor agonists, which significantly reduces the cough center's irritability, which is associated with its direct inhibition.

The analgesic effect of a substance is better explained by activating its opioid receptors, which exhibit stimulation in many parts of the central nervous system. Besides, it also slightly changed the emotional perception of pain. After injection, the analgesic effect demonstrates itself in around 10 to 45 minutes and around 30 minutes after taking the tablets. Its action time lasts around 4-5 hours.

What are the uses of Codeine Phosphate?

The indications for the use of the medicines like Dihydrocodeine and Co-codamol having Codeine Phosphate are mostly for the pain of various origins.

  • Tooth pain
  • Joints pain
  • Pain after any injury
  • Ailing pain after surgery
  • Also given during colds and flu
  • In case of dry tiring cough and fever.

Both of these medicines are recommended mostly to reduce the pain of low to moderate intensity and given in both tablets and syrup form. They are intended for use in treating mild pain, which is not relieved after treatment with drugs containing only one active substance.

Side effects of Codeine?

Of course, every medicine have their own side effects, which can vary from person to person. As in the case of contraindications with Dihydrocodeine and Co-codamol, we give a list of the impact, often manifested after the use of this substance:

Effects in the nervous system: drowsiness, headache, dizziness (very rare), ability to hallucinate or hallucinogens, anxiety, nightmares in dreams, depression (rare). ), and convulsions. In overdose, tremor, worsening of motor coordination, and stiffness of muscle tissue may occur.

Effects on the digestive system: nausea and vomiting (extremely rare), constipation, stomach cramps, dry mouth, poor appetite, and, ultimately, liver toxicity.

cardiovascular system: arrhythmia, a sharp decrease or increase in blood pressure.

Respiratory system: strong depression of the respiratory center or selective.

There is also the possibility of the following allergic reactions: acne, swelling of the face and larynx, pruritus, bronchi, larynx, and urticaria.

Of course, the risk of the above side effects is quite small. Yes, and often varies from action to action.

Codeine Phosphate Dosage?

When using Dihydrocodeine for medical purposes, you should be especially careful when drawing out the exact dosage of the substance and the length of time it should be used.

For acute pain, adults should take 15-60 mg every 3-6 hours. During diarrhea, the dose is reduced to 30 mg four times a day. Finally, it is worth taking 10 doses of 20 mg of the drug 4 times a day for seizures. One can recommend the dose for this medicine (the doctor must prescribe) is 120 mg.

For children, the dosage varies slightly. It is right giving up the rate of 0.5 mg per 1 kg of body weight if we are talking about reducing pain differently. When coughing, do not take more than 15 mg.

How to use Codeine?

Dihydrocodeine is intended to use for various medical purposes, and one should be very careful while also using how long it should be used.

For dry cough in adults 15-60mg in every 3-6 hours and with diarrhea 30 mg 4 times a day.

The highest daily intake of the drug should not exceed more than 120mg.

In children, special care needs to be taken while giving Dihydrocodeine for the pain. It should be 0.5 mg 4 to 6 times a day. For coughing (2-5yr)- 1 mg per day divided 4 times.

Not recommended for children below 2 years.

Expert's words on taking Codeine Phosphate

According to the professional's Codeine Phosphate, a derivative of morphine has a similar effect to morphine but much weaker. Unlike morphine, it is well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. 10% of it is metabolized in the liver to morphine by demethylation. The raw material shows central antitussive properties, slows down the breathing rate, and has an analgesic effect. Despite its weaker effect, like morphine, it can cause psychological and physical dependence.

As a pharmaceutical raw material in a pharmacy formulation, it is less and less used alone, but it is often included in many complex drugs. It should always be taken under special guidance as its antitussive properties can result in complete dependency on the drug.

Can I buy Codeine online in the UK?

You can definitely buy dihydrocodeine and co-codamol safely in any part of the UK, as more people are involved in the internet nowadays regarding their health issues and looking for solutions there. For buying Dihydrocodeine in the UK just search dihydrocodeine online and you will get your results as the internet offers another choice for the people who really can't go to the medical stores and can't take time from their busy schedule although there are many benefits and risks associated with the issue of buying medicines online.

Special precautions while taking Codeine Phosphate

Like other drugs, Co codamol also has various contradictions and should be taken with precautions and under proper guidance.

The major contradiction of this drug is with those patients having a history of any of the following and intake of Codeine in such cases should be avoided.

  • A person with bronchial asthma.
  • Respiratory failure
  • Breathing disorders.
  • Constipation
  • Addiction to opioids.
  • A person having a medical history of drug abuse.
  • Breastfeeding or pregnant women.
  • It should not be used during wet cough
  • Avoid mixing it with alcohol.

As mentioned above, young children, in general, should not take these painkillers. In this case, paradoxical reactions are more likely to occur since children are too sensitive to the effects of opioid analgesics.

Last Reviewed: 10th July 2024
Next Review Due: August 2025


The most popular and strongest painkillers are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or acetylsalicylic acid) as agents such as paracetamol or metamizole. Co codamol30/500 tablets as being a mixture of Codeine and paracetamol are considered a hard painkiller is given in severe pain. They are strong painkillers that effectively relieve various ailments, and NSAIDs also fight inflammation developing in the body. Such an action does not have (or it is slight) agents such as paracetamol.

Opioids are divided into two groups the weak opioids include Codeine, and the strong include tramadol, buprenorphine.

Dihydrocodeine is considered one of the mild pain killers and one of the weaker (but still strong) opioid drug groups. It is more antitussive than the analgesic, but its effects on the nervous system are similar. Some opioid medications are also used for pain in labor. However, it would help if you always used them as directed by your doctor and do not exceed the recommended dose. It should be remembered that drugs from this group are extremely addictive and can also cause several side effects such as vomiting, hallucinations.

Everything used in excess can be dangerous for you, and the same is the case of Codeine; it can be very addictive when used in excess or longer than the required time.

Codeine shows poor properties addicting - it has been proven that when used chronically, it can be addictive. You should remember this and do not exceed the recommended doses or extend the treatment period yourself. Symptoms of codeine overdose are similar to drug overdoses.

The most commonly observed side effects of Codeine are:

  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Constipation
  • Somnolence
  • Dizziness.

Less common side effects are:

  • Mood disorders
  • Urinary retention,
  • Respiratory depression,
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Hallucinations

The most dangerous are anaphylactic reactions, convulsions, and respiratory depression. All disturbing symptoms should be immediately reported to the doctor.

After abrupt discontinuation of high doses, withdrawal symptoms such as chills, excessive sweating, insomnia, irritability, and diarrhea also appear.

Taking Codeine is safe if taken shortly as directed and preferably after consulting a healthcare professional first.

If taken in too high doses, Dihydrocodiene has a narcotic effect. Taking a large dose of Codeine at one time (for example, in tablets or in cough syrup, which is mixed with, for example, Spirit) makes the person feel euphoric for a short time. However, more frequent exposure to Codeine can cause complications such as metabolic and heart problems. Not to mention addiction - both mentally and physically.

As Codeine is very quickly addictive, mentally, and physically, it is worth controlling its use frequency and dose. In many cases, Dihydrocodeine tablet is given to the patient having any medical history as it is mild sedative in nature and less analgesic effect. The recommended dose must never be exceeded. Addicted people have a huge problem with discontinuing the drug they are taking.

After discontinuation of Codeine medicines like Co-codamol, symptoms typical of a withdrawal syndrome such as agitation, irritability, and an immediate need for re-exposure to the addictive substance may occur.

Addicted people are initially unaware of their condition due to the use of small doses. Over time, however, they reach for ever greater amounts of specific preparations, not realizing that they are falling into a whirlwind of addiction.

As a result of discontinuation, many unpleasant symptoms appear, e.g.

  • Hyperactivity,
  • Aggression,
  • Shyness,
  • Tearfulness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea,
  • Vision problems,
  • Sleep problems and
  • Palpitations.

It depends on the patient and varies from person to person. There are cases of addiction to cough syrups containing Codeine, especially among young people. They often use them without their parents knowing and without medical consultation, even in the absence of any ailments. Excess use of Codeine causes loss of contact with reality. Dihydrocodeine tablets are often given for opioid addiction treatment.

Codeine over the counter has several interactions with many drugs.

This drug interacts, inter alia, with ethanol, enhancing its action.

The use of Codeine and drugs for depression, anxiolytics, hypnotics, barbiturates, neuroleptics, antihistamines, and other opiate medications may cause depression of the central nervous system and disturbance of consciousness.

Besides, the parallel use of this substance with barbiturates and other opioids may inhibit the respiratory center.

Drugs with Codeine given together with drugs for Parkinson's disease may have a stronger sedative effect.

Also, it is recommended not to take these medications and alcohol as it can increase the effect of Codeine.

Codeine increases the effect of sleeping pills, sedatives, and alcohol; thus should be avoided during the treatment.

There is a wide variety of drugs on pharmacy shelves that exhibit similar effects but are not narcotic. Therefore, when choosing an over-the-counter cough or cold remedy, it is worth carefully reading its composition or consulting a specialist.

Strictly NO, Under Laws, driving under the influence of opiates is prohibited. An important issue in driving a car is the psychophysical fitness of the driver. It largely determines the correct and quick reaction to what is happening on the road.

To be adequate, it is necessary for the proper functioning of such stimuli as vision and hearing, the central nervous system, motor nerves, and skeletal muscles. They are responsible for the inflow and reception of information, information processing, impulse transmission, and responding to these impulses.

The use of substances affecting the impairment of these functions may, for example, affect the extended reaction time, dizziness, mental disorder, which in turn leads to dangerous behavior of drivers on the road.

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We hope this information clears all your doubts regarding Codeine drugs and their addiction.

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