Co-codamol is a pain relief preparation that contains two different medications. These medications are codeine and paracetamol. It is used for the relief of pain including muscular pain, joint pains, headaches, migraines and toothache.
- Co-codamol is a type of pain relief that contains both paracetamol and codeine
- It is sometimes prescribed when other pain relief like paracetamol alone or ibuprofen have not alleviated the pain
- Low dose co-codamol can be bought from pharmacies, but higher strength co-codamol can only be obtained if you have a prescription from a doctor or pharmacist
- The codeine in co-codamol can become addictive, so you should have your prescription reviewed by your doctor regularly
- Co-codamol is sometimes known by its brand names Solpadol, Kapake and Zapain
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does It Work?
This tablets contain both paracetamol and codeine.
Paracetamol works by blocking the chemical messengers of pain. This means that our sensation of pain is reduced.
Codeine is a form of opiate pain relief. Codeine blocks the signals of pain that would normally travel along nerve cells. This means that the pain messages do not reach the brain, further reducing our sensation of pain.
Taking two different types of pain relief medication can be a more effective way of managing pain. Combining the drugs in one tablet also minimises the number of medications you need to take each day.
Like all medications, co-codamol can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting (feeling sick and being sick)
- Feeling sleepy
If these side effects are troublesome or do not settle, you should speak to a doctor for advice.
Occasionally, more serious side effects can occur when taking co-codamol. Serious side effects include:
- Skin rashes
- Change in your vision
- Feeling dizzy
- Difficulty passing urine (peeing).
You should speak to a doctor straight away if you notice one of these more serious side effects.
If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.