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Is Dihydrocodeine the same as Codeine?

12th March 2019

In short - no, Dihydrocodeine is not the same as Codeine. Dihydrocodeine belongs to a class of medication categorised as an opioid analgesic. It is a semi-synthetic derivative of codeine, which means it is related to codeine and they have the exact same activity and effects. Dihydrocodeine is a much stronger variety of analgesic drugs and it has a higher euphoric impact on the user and a higher risk of dependence or substance abuse for the patient taking it. They are not the same but they are similar, meaning that dihydrocodeine is often used as an alternative to codeine.

What is Dihydrocodeine?

Dihydrocodeine is an analgesic with opioid properties that is used in conjunction or as an alternative to Codeine in the treatment of cough, severe dyspnea, and severe pain. Dihydrocodeine is a synthetic form of opioid analgesic that is comparable to the mechanism and functioning of codeine medications and is utilised for the effective management of moderate to severe pain. It is also used to treat shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.

How to use Dihydrocodeine

Patients can take Dihydrocodeine medication orally as prescribed by a doctor. Have a full glass of water with your Dihydrocodeine tablet and do not chew, break, or gnaw on the tablet. Do not attempt to lie down after 10 minutes of consuming Dihydrocodeine. If you become nauseous take Dihydrocodeine with food. Ask your doctor or nurse on how you can reduce the side effects or nausea when taking Dihydrocodeine.

The dosage of Dihydrocodeine will depend on your age, medical condition and response to treatment. Never try to increase your dose or use it for longer than advised by your doctor, as the risk of side effects and dependence can be dangerous to your health.

Medications for pain work best if used during the first signs of pain. If you wait until such time that the pain has become worse, the Dihydrocodeine may not have the desired effect.

Dihydrocodeine may cause serious mental/mood change. It can also result in very dangerous breathing problems among patients. In some patients, this can occur rather fast and increases the risk of other serious side effects. Get medical assistance immediately or as soon as you notice any of the said side effects or where you have severe drowsiness, confusion, difficulty waking up, or slow breathing.

Medical experts say very serious allergic reactions to Dihydrocodeine can likewise occur but are very rare. Get medical help straight away if you experience any of these allergic reaction symptoms: hives, swollen face, tongue, lips or throat, severe itching, skin rashes, trouble breathing, or extreme dizziness.

At any rate, do not use Dihydrocodeine without prescription or advice from your doctor.

What is Dihydrocodeine used for?

Dihydrocodeine is used for the treatment of fatigue, pain (particularly muscle and joint pains), endometriosis, and fibromyalgia. Like any other drugs, Dihydrocodeine has some side effects but not everyone experiences these side effects.

Can Dihydrocodeine be purchased over the counter?

Dihydrocodeine is only accessible via a valid prescription from a doctor and it is prohibited by law to purchase it over the counter.

Dihydrocodeine is a medication that cannot be shared with other people, as the prescription has been duly prescribed only for a patient’s current medical condition. It is not allowed to be used later or for another condition unless you are advised by your doctor, as a different medication might be required for a different case.