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Codeine is primarily used to relieve mild to moderate pain when other everyday painkillers such as aspirin and paracetamol don’t work. It is also used to relieve diarrhoea. Classified as a narcotic analgesic(pain medication), Codeine renders its effects by acting on the Central Nervous System to inhibit the pain signals from reaching the brain. It is generally taken in an oral tablet, injection or a liquid form.
In the UK, Codeine is categorized as a Class B drug. Low dosage codeine can be bought over the counter, but you would need a doctor’s prescription for higher doses. Codeine normally starts working half an hour after it’s ingestion and the effects stay for 4 to 6 hours. Codeine should only be used by children or adults 12 years or more. Codeine is typically given in doses of 15 mg to 60 mg and the daily maximum dose is 300 mg.
Only your doctor can decide the appropriate dosage depending on your age, medical problem and response to treatment. Codeine is generally taken by mouth in a tablet, capsule or solution form. It can be taken alone or in combination with other drugs like paracetamol. The drug is generally taken once every 4 to 6 hours.
Do not change the dose or stop taking the drug without consulting your doctor or pharmacist first. Stopping Codeine abruptly can lead to several withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, irritability, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, vomiting and nausea. Your doctor will gradually decrease the dose until you stop taking it completely.
The use of codeine depends on your individual need. The dose for adults and children differ. Generally, Codeine is only taken by children or adults aged 12 or more. The usual dose of codeine is 15 mg to 60 mg and 300 mg is the maximum adult daily dose.
In treating pain and diarrhoea, adults are advised to take 1-2 30mg tablets once in 4 hours. For children( aged 12 years to 18 years), the daily use is usually 1-2 30mg or 5ml liquid spoonfuls once in 6 hours. For elders or those with kidney and liver problems, the daily recommended dose is 15mg once in 4 hours. In managing cough, both adults or children are advised to take 1-2 5ml spoonfuls of the syrup once in 4 to 6 hours.
Codeine can cause some side effects. However, your doctor is well aware of these side effects and will only prescribe the medication when the benefits outweigh the risks. Contact your doctor if the following symptoms worsen or do not go away soon:
Codeine can have a few serious side effects as well. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience the following symptoms:
Although a severe allergic reaction to codeine is unusual, it is possible. Make sure to contact your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following symptoms occur:
Before starting codeine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to codeine or any other drug. Also, let them know of any other allergies you have. The drug could contain inactive ingredients that might trigger allergic reactions.
Let your doctor know if you are using these MAO inhibitor drugs currently or have stopped using them within the past 2 weeks such as linezolid, methylene blue, selegiline or tranylcypromine. Tell your doctor about any other prescription,non-prescription or herbal medications you are taking including bupropion, diuretics, cough or cold medications or antidepressants. There are several other medications not mentioned here that cause severe drug interactions when taken with Codeine. Make a list of all the medications you are taking and share it with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have had an abdominal or urinary tract surgery done recently, have seizures, mental illness, prostatic hypertrophy, low blood pressure, Addison’s disease, liver problems, kidney disease, pancreatic or intestinal problems and thyroid, let your doctor or pharmacist know.
If you are breastfeeding, make sure to let your doctor know. Codeine can cause difficulty breathing, trouble breastfeeding, limpness or unusual sleepiness in newborn babies.
Do not try to get up abruptly while sitting or standing to prevent lightheadedness and fainting. This medication causes drowsiness and impaired vision. Refrain from activities that require you to be alert like driving.
Store this medication in an airtight container. Keep it away from children’s reach. If you are not using the drug, make sure to dispose of it safely. Do not flush it down a toilet or throw it away in a garbage bin. The best way to dispose of it is via the medicine take-back system. Contact your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
In short, yes. You can buy Codeine online in the UK. Codeine is a class B drug and can only be sold with a doctor’s prescription in large doses. However, small doses usually in combination with other medications can be bought without a prescription. Many online pharmacies sell codeine both in large and small doses. However, you need to ensure that you are buying codeine online from a reputable site.