skip to main content
NZ Formulary

Printable Printable large type (2 pages) A4 Size PDF A5 Size PDF

Dihydrocodeine

dye-hye-dro-koe-deen

What does it do?

Dihydrocodeine is used to relieve pain.

How should you take it?

Take dihydrocodeine as directed. Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

If dihydrocodeine is taken regularly, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with dihydrocodeine including:

  • cough suppressants (e.g. Duro-Tuss®, Benadryl Dry Forte®)
  • pain relief medicines containing codeine (e.g. Panadeine®)
  • sedating antihistamines (e.g. Phenergan®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. valerian) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Slow or shallow breathing, hard to wake up

Change in heartbeat

Tell your doctor immediately

Constipation

Confusion, mood swings

Tell your doctor

Drowsiness

Nausea, vomiting, dry mouth or throat, stomach upset

Sweating

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have lung, bowel, liver, kidney or heart problems or have had a recent head injury.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Dihydrocodeine can be taken regularly or when required. If dihydrocodeine is not relieving your pain contact your health professional.
  • Dihydrocodeine may be used with other pain relievers (e.g. paracetamol).
  • Dihydrocodeine may make you dizzy or sleepy and make it dangerous to drive, operate machinery or do other activities that require you to be alert. Limit alcohol intake because it can increase these effects.
  • Dihydrocodeine may be addictive with long-term use.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. April 2016

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

Web links for this sheet in different formats

Click on buttons to copy web addresses for this leaflet:

If your browser does not automatically copy these links use its copy command instead.

About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed