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What is Dihydrocodeine used for?

Dihydrocodeine 30mg is a kind of opioid painkiller used to treat moderate to severe pain. If regular painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen aren’t sufficient to relieve your pain, your doctor may prescribe an opioid painkiller.

We follow strict guidelines when prescribing opiate painkillers. Please read our opioid policy and our opioid ordering limit before ordering Dihydrocodeine.

How does Dihydrocodeine 30mg work?

Dihydrocodeine tablets contain 30mg of the active ingredient dihydrocodeine tartrate. Dihydrocodeine is an opioid analgesic that comes from the opium poppy. It works by blocking the body’s pain signals.  

Don’t take Dihydrocodeine tablets if:

  • You are allergic to dihydrocodeine or any other ingredient in this medication
  • You’re pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You’re alcohol-dependent
  • You have increased pressure on the brain or have just had a head injury
  • You have liver disease
  • You have phaeochromocytoma (a tumour of the adrenal gland near your kidney)
  • You have severe breathing issues
  • You have stomach cramps caused by biliary colic
  • You’re at risk from a blocked intestine
  • Your have severe diarrhoea

Talk to your doctor before taking Dihydrocodeine if:

  • You are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or have in the last two weeks
  • You suffer from asthma
  • You suffer from bronchitis or emphysema
  • You suffer from cor pulmonale
  • You’re severely obese
  • You have a severely deformed spine
  • You have a mental illness caused by an infection
  • You have problems with your liver, kidneys or bile duct
  • You have an enlarged prostate gland or difficulty urinating
  • You have an underactive thyroid or adrenal gland
  • You have low blood pressure
  • You’re very run down
  • You have inflammatory bowel disease
  • You suffer from convulsions

How do you take Dihydrocodeine?

It is vital that you take your Dihydrocodeine tablets exactly as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist. Misuse of this drug can lead to serious side effects including addiction.  

The usual Dihydrocodeine dosage for adults is to take 1 tablet every 4-6 hours. This dosage will be lowered for the elderly and people with liver or kidney problems.

Swallow your Dihydrocodeine tablet whole with some water during a meal or just after one.

You should not drink alcohol when taking Dihydrocodeine as the alcohol can enhance the sedative effect of this medication.

How effective is Dihydrocodeine?

Dihydrocodeine is a clinically proven method of pain relief for moderate to severe pain. It shouldn’t be taken long-term, however, as this medication can cause dependency if taken regularly or over a long period of time.

You should follow your doctor’s instructions before stopping taking Dihydrocodeine, particularly if you have been taking it frequently or for a long time. Your doctor can advise the best way to stop taking Dihydrocodeine without experiencing too many withdrawal symptoms.

Read our opioid policy and our opioid ordering limit before ordering Dihydrocodeine.

What are the main side effects of Dihydrocodeine?

Dihydrocodeine can cause side effects like any medicine can, although not everyone will experience them.

It is important to remember that taking Dihydrocodeine regularly or for a prolonged period of time can lead to addiction.

Treating headaches with painkillers too often can actually make them worse over time.  

Three common side effects of Dihydrocodeine are:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Constipation
  3. Sweating

Dihydrocodeine can also cause drowsiness, so you shouldn’t drive or operate machinery until you know you aren’t affected by this particular side effect.

For a full list of Dihydrocodeine side effects, please see the patient information leaflet.

More Information
Dosage 30 mg
Dosage Instructions Take ONE tablet every FOUR to SIX hours or as directed by your doctor. Max EIGHT tablets in TWENTY-FOUR hours.