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Dihydrocodeine is a prescription-only pain medication. It is prescribed for short-term pain management when over-the-counter medications have been ineffective. Dihydrocodeine is used alone or with paracetamol following surgery or for the treatment of conditions including sciatica, shingles, and Paget’s disease.

Prescription Doctor is a discreet, confidential and efficient way to buy the correct prescription medication for your needs. We use only qualified, UK registered prescribers. All medication is sourced from UK registered pharmacies. Once approved, your medication will be dispatched quickly, often within 24 hours of confirmation.

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What is Dihydrocodeine?

Dihydrocodeine (active ingredient dihydrocodeine tartrate) is part of the opioid family of medicines, which also includes codeine phosphate and morphine. It is a painkiller used for the treatment of pain classed as moderate to severe.

Dihydrocodeine is available in 30 mg tablets, in packs of 28, 100 or 200 tablets. It is also available in combination with paracetamol, as Co-dydramol, containing 10 mg codeine and 500 mg paracetamol. Co-dydramol is available in packs of 100 or 200 tablets.

How does Dihydrocodeine work?

Dihydrocodeine mimics natural painkilling chemicals produced by the human body. These painkillers, called endorphins, work by attaching to opiate receptors in the brain and nervous system. Dihydrocodeine is able to attach to these receptors to produce its painkilling effect.

Dihydrocodeine tablets start to work approximately 20 minutes after ingestion, although this will vary from person to person. The full effect of the medication may not be felt for around an hour. At least four hours should elapse between doses of dihydrocodeine.

What is Dihydrocodeine used for?

Dihydrocodeine may be prescribed for the relief of pain caused by any illness or injury, so long as none of the exclusions apply. Common uses for dihydrocodeine include nerve related pain such as sciatica or shingles, joint or bone related pain such as arthritis, and pain following surgical procedures.

What Dihydrocodeine dose is right for me?

Dosage varies from person to person. Your prescriber will determine the correct dose for you, based on your simple, confidential consultation. Standard dosage is one 30 mg tablet every four to six hours.

Dosage may need to be reduced for elderly patients. Dihydrocodeine is not recommended for children under the age of 12.

What should I do if I miss a dose or take too much?

  • If you miss a dose of Dihydrocodeine — Take the dose as soon as you remember, then wait at least four hours before the next dose. Do not take doses less than four hours apart to try to make up for the missed one
  • If you take too much dihydrocodeine — Seek immediate medical attention. Take the packet of dihydrocodeine with you. Tell the medical professional how much dihydrocodeine you took and when you took it.

Is Dihydrocodeine suitable for use during pregnancy?

Dihydrocodeine should not be used during the latter stages of pregnancy or while breastfeeding. If taken in the latter stages of pregnancy, dihydrocodeine may cause the baby to experience withdrawal symptoms after birth, and may have complications or breathing difficulties. Dihydrocodeine will be present in the milk of breastfeeding mothers and may cause breathing difficulties for the infant.

How Should I take Dihydrocodeine?

  • Dihydrocodeine should be taken with —or after — food, as this helps reduce the likelihood of side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
  • Always follow the dosage instructions set by your prescriber; never exceed the maximum stated dose.
  • Do not take dihydrocodeine for longer than directed, as this may lead to tolerance or addiction.
  • Keep medications in a cool, dry place; excessive heat or dampness may cause the medicine to degrade.
  • Do not use medication which has passed its expiry date; return expired items to your nearest pharmacy for disposal
  • Keep all medications out of reach of children and animals.

Does Dihydrocodeine cause Side Effects?

All drugs can have side effects, but not everyone will experience them. Most people taking dihydrocodeine will not experience any side effects. It is, however, important to be aware of the potential side effects before taking any medication.

Common side effects

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Stomach cramps
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth

These side effects are usually mild and should resolve on their own. If they become problematic, seek medical attention. Do not drive or attempt to use machinery if affected by drowsiness while taking dihydrocodeine.

Uncommon side-effects

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision or hallucinations
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Low blood pressure or altered heart rate
  • Skin itching — if this is accompanied by swelling, seek medical attention to rule out an allergic reaction (see below)
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Altered mood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Reduced sex drive

If you experience any of these side effects, contact a medical professional for advice on whether or not it is safe to continue with the medication.

It is also important to be aware of the signs of allergic reaction. Breathing issues, swelling of the lips or tongue, hives, or skin rashes are potential indicators of an allergic reaction. If any of these symptoms are present, seek medical attention immediately. Take the medication box with you so medical professionals know exactly what you have taken.

Is Dihydrocodeine suitable for everyone?

No. Dihydrocodeine may not be suitable in several circumstances. Extra care may be needed when using it. Make sure you tell your prescriber about any allergies or pre-existing medical conditions. Also inform the prescriber of any medications or supplements you are taking, to avoid potential interaction between drugs. Remember, even natural supplements may interact with medications.

Do not drink alcohol while taking dihydrocodeine tablets.

Dihydrocodeine should be used with caution if you have:

  • Decreased liver, kidney or thyroid function
  • Lung disease (especially if secondary heart failure is present)
  • Breathing issues such as asthma
  • Low blood pressure
  • Inflammatory bowel disorders e.g., Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • A history of epilepsy or convulsions
  • Any history of drug or alcohol addiction
  • Problems with constipation
  • Bile duct disease of disorders
  • Myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disorder)
  • An enlarged prostate

Caution may also be exercised when prescribing dihydrocodeine to elderly patients, as the dose may need to be reduced.

Dihydrocodeine should not be used if you:

  • Have been drinking alcohol
  • Are in the third trimester of pregnancy
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Have been told you are allergic to lactose or any of the ingredients in the medication
  • Have had a recent head injury
  • Suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Are having, or have recently had, an asthma attack
  • Have, or have been told you are at risk of, intestinal blockage
  • Have been diagnosed with raised intracranial pressure (pressure in the skull)

Is Dihydrocodeine addictive?

Any medication that falls into the opioid family such as codeine can be habit forming, so yes Dihydrocodeine can be addictive, so should only be used for a short time. Prolonged use may first lead to the body becoming accustomed to the medication, which will make it less effective. This is called tolerance and often leads people to increase the dose of the drug. Do not do this. Continued use may also lead to dependence on the drug. If this happens, then withdrawal symptoms will be experienced when the medication is stopped. Always follow the instructions of your prescriber regarding the duration of your treatment. The correct spelling in the U.K is Dihydrocodeine, it is known to be spelt dihydrokodeina, dihidrocodeine which are incorrect spellings in the U.K.


Table of content 

  1. What is Dihydrocodeine?
  2. How does Dihydrocodeine work?
  3. What is Dihydrocodeine used for?
  4. What Dihydrocodeine dose is right for me?
  5. Is Dihydrocodeine suitable for use during pregnancy?
  6. How Should I take Dihydrocodeine?
  7. Does Dihydrocodeine cause Side Effects?
  8. Is Dihydrocodeine suitable for everyone?
  9. Is Dihydrocodeine addictive?



Treatment information

  • Active Ingredient(s): Dihydrocodeine tartrate
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: White uncoated tablets
  • Available Dosage:  30mg
  • Exemption: Subject to medical prescription
  • Age restriction: Men and women over 18 
  • Dosing: 1 tablet - every four to six hourly
  • Description: Pain Relief
  • Drug class: semi-synthetic opioid
  • Alcohol consumption: Do not drink alcohol while taking dihydrocodeine
  • When breastfeeding: Do not consume dihydrocodeine
  • When pregnant: Do not consume dihydrocodeine
  • Related drug: Co-dydramol
  • Image: Url
Click here to view the Dihydrocodeine - Patient Information Leaflet

Ordering is simple.

  1. Click on the green proceed to consultation button
  2. Fill in our free confidential consultation form
  3. Choose delivery method and mode of payment
  4. Our team of expert prescribers will assess whether medication is suitable
  5. If you get the green light and it is deemed suitable, your order will be processed quickly and efficiently.

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Your privacy is important, PrescriptionDoctor are commitment to keeping your details completely confidential.

This is why we also take steps to hide your prescription products under two layers of packaging so prying eyes can never see the contents inside.

Discreet Delivery?

We have a commitment to delivering a discreet service and understand your need for trust and compliance. We ship all orders via a trackable courier using discreet, plain packaging.

Do I Need to Wait in All Day for Delivery?

Once your order is dispatched you will receive a tracking number.

Do You Deliver on Weekends?

We deliver medications between Monday and Friday and don’t deliver on weekends or bank holidays. This may change in the future.

My Order Hasn’t Arrived What Should I Do?

You should receive a tracking number with your order which you can use to track your parcel online. This should give you a clear indication of where your parcel is. If you haven’t received your parcel in the time frame given by our couriers, contact your local depot to find out where it is. You can also contact our support team who will do this for you.

Can I Be Notified by Text?

On checkout you will be asked to leave your mobile number so our courier can text you about the delivery. This is also useful if the courier has problems finding your address. We will not use your mobile number for anything else.

How Can I Pay for My Order?

You can pay for your order using credit, debit card or by bank transfer.

I Don’t Have a Credit Card, How Can I Pay?

If you don’t have a credit or debit card you can pay via bank transfer. We will give you a unique reference number at checkout along with details of how to make the transfer. Once the money has cleared in our account, we will process your order.

How Do You Keep My Details Safe?

We are a completely secure site and take many measures to ensure your details are kept safe. We understand that you have a right to extreme privacy when purchasing sensitive health medications.

Payment and refunds?

We only debit your card once the delivery has been Delivered Signed For. Before this, we may put the cost of the medication on hold to ensure you have the funds to pay for the product upon ordering. If your order is cancelled you need not to worry about a refund, as no funds will have left your account. Your money will be showing as available in you account in 2 – 3 days.

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Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
Rebecca Thomas
Verified order
3 months ago
Product Review: Used this company twice always been worried putting my personal details online but even when I rang the lady I spoke with was lovely and reassuring she talked me through the process and the following day I received my order. Superb company and customer service definitely recommend:)Used this company twice always been worried putting my personal details online but even when I rang the lady I spoke with was lovely and reassuring she talked me through the process and the following day I received my order. Superb company and customer service definitely recommend:)
Service Review: Amazing customer service and fast delivery lovely friendly people to talk to and the chat service is super fast
Michelle Franks
Verified order
5 months ago
Product Review: I just want to write a review as I haven't wrote one yet and think this company deserves it .i am so very pleased with everytime I order from prescription doctor they are very fast and efficient.if you are looking for safe and legit company this is the place to order . From the pharmacist to the Doctor they help you with questions very quickly I just love how they are so understanding and so very efficient.
Anna Cassidy
Verified order
5 months ago
Product Review: Excellent medicine well within exp date. Couldn’t be better.
Service Review: The service I received was top class. Fast friendly transaction with someone there for any questions. An excellent experience.
Stephanie Moffat
Verified order
6 months ago
Product Review: Helped a great deal
Service Review: Great service. Fast delivery
Karl Borg
Verified order
7 months ago
Product Review: Codeine phosphate from experience was better at dealing with pain
Service Review: Service was quick and it felt great to have my condition taken sincerely and sealy with sympathetically, understood and medical advice given.
Calum Staveley
Verified order
7 months ago
Product Review: Very good for severe pain. Works well if you need strong painkillers. Although be careful it can be addictive. Only take about 2-4 a day to avoid further overusages
Service Review: Fantastic service. Was in constant conversation with people who work there and also the doctor. Put a lot into putting the customer first and not just there pockets. Very happy with the service
lisa gosz
Verified order
7 months ago
Product Review: Product 100% genuine the same i get from my own gp
Service Review: Excellent service highly recommended if like myself you are in full time work etc and can't make gp appointment fast delivery and very caring questioning form same as gp would ask
Wendy Smith
Verified order
7 months ago
Product Review: Very impressed with professional service.
Service Review: Excellent service. Next day delivery.
emma hodkinson
Verified order
8 months ago
Product Review: product excellent
Service Review: service very good
Candice Scott
Verified order
10 months ago
Service Review: Swift service
Donna blenkinsop
Verified order
10 months ago
Product Review: If like me you are in extreme pain everyday and need medication to help you to be able to even to walk a wee bit then these have really helped me .never take more than you should always do as the doctor says and these will really help
Service Review: Brilliant service .fast and efficient .
Ian Rushton
Verified order
10 months ago
Product Review: The product i ordered, Dihydrocodeine is the only medication that works for the condition I suffer from. Having tried many other medications over the years I now lead a normal life and am pain free as well as the other symptoms associated with my condition. The medication I ordered was received in excellent condition, well packaged and discreet. The meds were branded and were from a well known pharmaceutical company.
Service Review: This is the 1st time I've used Prescription Doctor and am pleased to report that the whole process was easy and my order was dealt with promptly and I received my medication the following day. I have no negative issues to report and will certainly use Prescription Doctor in the future. Many thanks. Kind regards, Ian
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