What is Solpadol?
Solpadol are a brand of opioid painkillers. They are prescribed to patients who are suffering from severe pain that isn’t eased by paracetamol or ibuprofen by themselves.
Solpadol is a branded version of the generic Co-Codamol painkiller.
How does Solpadol work?
Solpadol tablets contain the active ingredients codeine phosphate and paracetamol. Codeine works more efficiently when partnered with paracetamol.
Each caplet contains 30mg of codeine phosphate and 500mg of paracetamol. Both ingredients are analgesics or pain relievers, but codeine is an opioid analgesic that comes from the opium poppy.
An enzyme in the liver converts codeine into morphine. This enzyme is present in different people in varying amounts, so some people find that they get little pain relief from medications containing codeine (because they have created very little morphine) whereas others get unpleasant side effects from their body producing too much morphine. If you experience slow / shallow breathing, confusion, nausea, constipation, or loss of appetite, you should seek immediate medical advice.
Don’t take Solpadol if:
- You are allergic to paracetamol, codeine, or any other ingredient in this medication
- You have severe asthma attacks or breathing problems
- You’ve recently had a head injury
- Your doctor has told you that you have increased pressure in your head
- You’ve recently had an operation on your liver, gall bladder or bile duct
- You’re taking MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) for depression
- You’re an alcoholic
- You metabolise codeine into morphine very quickly
- You’re pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed / become pregnant
- You have severe liver or kidney disease
Talk to your doctor before taking Solpadol if:
- You feel you’ve been taking this medication for a long time already (you could develop a dependency on this medication if you use it long term)
- You are elderly
- You have a bowel problem, prostate problem, or problems urinating
- You are sensitive to aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
How do you take Solpadol?
Solpadol should always be taken as directed by your doctor or pharmacist since misuse of this drug can lead to addiction.
The typical Solpadol dosage for adults is to take 2 tablets every 4 hours, up to a maximum of 8 tablets in 24 hours. If you are elderly, your doctor is likely to prescribe a lower dose.
Swallow your Solpadol caplets whole with some water and don’t chew or crush them.
Do not take more Solpadol than you have been prescribed and don’t take it any more frequently than every 4 hours. This is very important as taking more than the recommended dose of paracetamol can cause serious liver damage.
Solpadol and alcohol: You should not drink alcohol when taking Solpadol as this medication can alter the way alcohol affects you.
How effective is Solpadol?
Solpadol is an effective form of pain relief, but it should only be taken for short periods of time. This is because taking this medication regularly or over a long period of time can cause dependency.
If you have been taking Solpadol frequently or for a while, you should speak to your doctor before stopping. They will be able to tell you the best way to stop taking Solpadol without creating any unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
What are the main side effects of Solpadol?
Like all medicines, Solpadol can cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them.
Taking Solpadol regularly or for a prolonged period of time can lead to addiction.
You should also be aware that treating headaches with painkillers too often can actually make them worse over time.
Three common side effects of Solpadol are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness, lightheadedness and drowsiness
Since Solpadol can cause drowsiness and dizziness, it’s important that you don’t drive or operate machinery until you know you don’t experience these particular side effects.
For a full list of Solpadol side effects, please see the patient information leaflet.