Dihydrocodeine is an opioid analgesic and is prescribed for moderate to severe pain relief, where milder painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol haven’t worked or achieved the desired relief.

It works by stimulating receptors in the brain, which then reduce the pain signals so while it is effective as a pain relief treatment, it doesn’t cure the cause of the pain.

What is Dihydrocodeine used for?

It is generally prescribed for mild to severe pain including sciatica, shingles or Paget’s disease and it is normally used after a milder painkiller hasn’t worked.  It is important to note that using it long term can cause addiction so always take it under the direction of a doctor.  You should also not take this medication before driving or operating machinery.

Can I use Dihydrocodeine for my condition?

You must always inform your doctor of your medical history and any other health conditions or medications you are using, as they could have an impact on you if you take Dihydrocodeine so you need to be careful. If you experience any of the following, dihydrocodeine should not be prescribed for you:

  • If you have an allergy to Dihydrocodeine, any opioid analgesic or any of the ingredients
  • If you are suffering from pheochromocytoma – a tumour near to your kidney
  • If you suffer from breathing difficulties
  • If you are pregnant or are a breastfeeding mother
  • If you have suffered a head injury, or pressure of the brain
  • If you suffer from alcoholism
  • If you have a risk of a blocked intestine or stomach cramps from biliary colic
  • If you have a liver disease
  • If you have severe diarrhoea

How much Dihydrocodeine can I take?

Always follow the dosage instructions given to you by your doctor and never exceed the stated dose. If you are elderly, have kidney or liver conditions, then your dose is likely to be lower than the below reference dose. You must never take double the dose, for example, if you forget to take it.

Adults – the general dose is to take one tablet (30mg) every 4-6 hours.

What are the most common side effects of Dihydrocodeine?

Make sure you read the patient information so that you understand all of the potential side effects which could occur. The most common ones are:

  • Sleepiness is a big side effect
  • Feeling drowsy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling constipated
  • Sweating
  • Feeling dizzy or tingly
  • Rashes and flushing
  • Heart palpitations
  • Pain and difficulty passing urine
  • Double vision
  • Change of mood and confusion

Is there any way to reduce the likelihood of side effects?

  • Always read the patient information so that you understand all of the side effects
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking Dihydrocodeine
  • Always tell your doctor about any other medications or supplements you are taking
  • Make sure you take it properly – if you need to take it with food, then do so – read the instructions

Can I buy Dihydrocodeine safely online?

Yes you can, but you do need a prescription from a registered doctor. If you request the medication online your request will be assessed by a doctor before the pills are sold to you.