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NZ Formulary

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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 with a glass of water. You can take it with or without food. Swallow whole - do not crush or chew.

What if you forget a dose?

If dihydrocodeine is taken regularly and it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. 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®)
  • sedating antihistamines (e.g. Phenergan®)

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

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Slow or shallow breathing, hard to wake up

Tell your doctor immediately

Confusion, mood changes

Tummy pain (new or getting worse)

Tell your doctor

Constipation

Take your prescribed laxatives. Tell your doctor

Drowsiness, dizziness

Nausea, vomiting, dry mouth or throat

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 bowel 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 can impair your ability to do tasks such as driving or using machines. Alcohol makes this worse. Discuss your risk with your health professional. (search NZTA - Are you safe to drive?)
  • Dihydrocodeine may be addictive with long-term use.
  • If you have been taking dihydrocodeine regularly for a long time, talk to your doctor before stopping.

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. September 2022

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

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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