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Can you take Paracetamol with Codeine together?

23rd July 2019

Moderate painkillers like codeine can be prescribed for your pain and you can take it with paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to manage your pain. This drug combination is far more effective when used together rather than having only one painkiller. There are painkillers that you can buy without a prescription and they have codeine such as co-codamol.

When we are in pain, having only one kind of painkiller sometimes does not suffice in controlling your pain. In this case, you might need two or more kinds of painkillers to treat your condition. Painkillers often work in various ways, so taking them together will help minimize pain and control them as well as reduce the side effects associated with the medication. 

What does Codeine do?

Codeine is a pain killer used to treat mild to moderate pain and diarrhoea. This medication is available in tablet, syrup, and liquid form to be administered intravenously. Patients would often take the pill form of codeine. 

Codeine is an opiate-based pain killer that is available via prescription only. This means that you cannot purchase one without a valid doctor’s prescription. It is used to treat pain that may not be stopped by common pain killer medications. A small level of codeine can be mixed with other medications as aspirin, ibuprofen, or paracetamol, and these can be bought over the counter in a pharmacy. 

Since codeine is very addictive, medications that have it such as co-codamol bear warnings on the packs regarding risks of addiction. Medical doctors advice people taking the drug to never take it for more than three consecutive days without any medical advice. 

What does Codeine look like?

Codeine tablets appear as very small white tablets. In syrup form, they appear similar to a cough syrup. It also comes in IV solution for injecting intravenously. 

How does Codeine make users feel?

Codeine is an opioid medication prescribed to reduce physical pain. The drug can cause drowsiness, nausea, confusion, itchiness, feelings of relaxation, constipation, mostly when codeine is taken in very large dosages. 

How exactly does Codeine make people behave?

Codeine has a ‘downer’ effect on users. Most of them complain of feeling nauseous and drowsy while on codeine. It can at times make people feel as if they are about to sleep.

Codeine physical health risks

As with any medication, the drug codeine can pose side effects on health. You should always check on the list of common side effects and adverse reactions included in the product information leaflet that is included in the packaging. 

Many people who use codeine as pain killer do not experience any side effects, provided they take the right level or dosage as prescribed by their physician. 

 Taking codeine for more than advised by your doctor, or using codeine illegally like from a friend or an online seller, can heighten the risk of overdose and other health adverse effects like:

  • Chronic adverse health effects from another medication when codeine is used as a combination medicine such as co-codamol. It can range from indigestion, bleeding in the stomach, and liver failure.
  • Chronic adverse health effects if you mix codeine with other medicines that prevent breathing like alcohol, diazepam, valium, and other opioid drugs.
  • Abnormality in breathing and low blood pressure that can eventually result in respiratory arrest, like when you stop breathing.

As with any other opiate drug, taking super high codeine doses while pregnant can lead to withdrawal symptoms in newborn infants. 

Codeine mental health risks

Individuals would often take codeine in the effective management of their depression and stress. But, using any drugs just to escape negative feelings can heighten the risk of becoming drug-dependent on codeine. 

Nonetheless, the extended and prolonged abuse of mood-altering substances such as codeine can likewise contribute to symptoms as depression and anxiety, so you can be making your mental health condition by using it. 

Codeine is highly addictive, be careful when taking it. For the long term, codeine can create some addiction and cravings together with a psychological desire to keep on using the drug.