Codeine Dosage Guide

Codeine Dosage Guide

Codeine tablets are well-balanced pain relievers that produce successful results in treatment plans centred on pain. The tablet is known for its safety and efficacy, but this does not mean that it has slipshod dosage instructions that do not play a pivotal role in treatment. As with any medication, adherence to dosage instructions can guarantee the desired results. Because this painkiller is classed as an opioid analgesic, the dosage instructions linked to its use is governed by the same principles.

Dosing regimens and recommendations regarding this treatment often differ from one person to another. However, the starting dosing strengths are standard across all treatment plans. Standard codeine dosage recommendations are as follows:

Condition Codeine dosage/ strength Frequency Maximum dose
Pain 15 mg to 60 mg Every 4 hours 340 mg
Mild to moderate coughs 10 mg to 20 mg Every 4-6 hours 240 mg
Diarrhoea 30 mg to 60 mg Every four to six hours, if necessary 240 mg

The doses mentioned above can be increased, decreased or titrated to reach an acceptable/desired level of analgesia. The patient's response to treatment must be taken into consideration before the adjustment is confirmed and consumed. Patients taking a 60 mg dose should not take more than 4 doses in a 24-hour period. Doses that exceed 60 mg fail to provide patients with commensurate pain relief and are often associated with high incidence/side effect rates.

How Often Can You Take Codeine?

Whether your treatment plan includes OTC or prescription medication, all treatment options come with specific instructions. However, these instructions differ from one medicine to another as one treatment may require you to take a single tablet every 8 hours, whereas another has different requirements. Codeine phosphate is no different as it is paired with instructions specifically formulated to help control and eradicate pain. The frequency schedule that accompanies this medication is called 'pro re nata (PRN)', a Latin term that directly translates 'as needed.'

This is not an unheard-of term in the medicine industry, but it is vital that patients properly understand the concept. As-needed does not equate to as-needed daily; this means that the tablet does not need to be taken every day. The term also does not mean that the tablet can be taken as many times as you desire.

With codeine painkillers, the as-needed instruction is paired with guidelines and limitations. These guidelines are outlined below:

  • The tablet can be taken whenever pain sensations arise, given that the administration times are at least 4-6 hours apart.
  • The total strength volume taken in a 24-hour period cannot exceed 240mg however, there is an exception for severe or long-standing pain. In these situations, the total strength volume can extend to 340mg.

Although the treatment is prescribed on an as-needed basis, it is still important for patients to create a routine that includes consistent strengths that do not vary. Once an appropriate strength and frequency have been identified, patients should follow the schedule until the treatment plan ends.

Codeine Tablets

How to Take Codeine Safely?

According to experts, using medication safely should be at the forefront of every treatment plan as it yields positive results. This concept could not be more apt when it comes to opioid-based treatment options such as codeine tablets.

To ensure safe practice when taking codeine dosage, patients need to take heed of the following:

  • Due to the tablets opioid background, continuous re-evaluation is always needed. Special attention must be paid to the variation of pain levels felt before and after treatment commencement, and the incidence of side effects associated with therapy must be noted.
  • A pain journal is an excellent tool as it can be used to record these experiences. A medical professional must evaluate the findings after the prescribed treatment plan is over to decipher whether a continuation or discontinuation of treatment is needed.
  • If a patient no longer requires therapy, doses should be gradually tapered to prevent the development and occurrence of withdrawal symptoms. The implementation of a tapering schedule is recommended in the treatment of any condition as it guarantees the efficient use of the tablet. It also ensures that the benefits of the tablet were received.
  • The tablet must be orally consumed with a glass of water to aid absorption. It should never be split, broken, crushed, chewed or tampered with in any way as this can lead to the occurrence of codeine side effects.
  • To receive maximum pain relief, patients must take their recommended codeine dosage as soon as the pain is felt.

Can You Take Codeine on an Empty Stomach?

The codeine dosage has been the standard care for treating moderate to severe pain resulting from surgery, injury or illness for decades now. The tablet has been especially useful in cases where non-opioid analgesics have failed to provide adequate relief. The occurrence of common opioid-related adverse effects such as vomiting or nausea is often associated with low pain management achievement. Thus, clinicians take various approaches to maximize efficacy and minimize side effects.

Some of the approaches include dose reduction or titration, opioid rotation, prescription for an antiemetic, and the recommendation that patients take the treatment with food. The "pro-food" option is one of the most effective as it can be easily implemented. Although the choice of taking this treatment with or without food is up to the patient, experts suggest that taking the tablet with food will help balance the risks associated with the pills use. It should be noted that patients should not consume foods that tweak opioid receptors.

Codeine in the UK

Is Codeine Slow Release?

Most patients are unaware that codeine is available in 2 forms. This is primarily because patients opt for the immediate release version that produces instant effects. Similar to other slow-release painkillers in the UK, codeine's extended-release tablet can treat chronic conditions.

The tablet is essentially a carbon copy of the immediate-release version with common factors that include:

  • Mechanism of action
  • Pain-relieving abilities and effect
  • Active ingredient
  • Treatment outcomes

The differing factors include:

  • The duration of effects
  • The onset of action time
  • Codeine dosage schedules and treatment plans

The contents of an extended-release tablet are slowly released into the body over 12 or 24 hours, with analgesic effects lasting up to 24 hours. This is an ideal option for patients who suffer from mild to moderate chronic pain. Patients with acute or chronic pain can buy codeine online from our secure platform to conveniently get an effective pain solution.

More Useful Information About this Product

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Annabelle Clarke

AUTHOR: Annabelle Clarke

Since graduating from the University of Nottingham with a Master’s degree in English literature Annabelle has followed her dream and pursued a career as a content writer. We are confident that Annabelle’s love for life, as well as her passion and dedication to help others will be reflected in her blogs and will offer our readers new and alternative ways to improve their sleep pattern and the health benefits associated with getting a good night's sleep.

Justin Mills – Aug 17, 2022
Excellent article Annabelle, I have been suffering severe pain in my neck and back for over 6 months. After closely following your dosage guide I have found relief at long last. Many thanks Justin M

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