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Co-Codamol 30/500 Capsules

Last Updated on eMC 08-Sep-2010 View changes  | Zentiva Contact details

1. Name of the medicinal product

Co-Codamol 30/500 Capsules.

2. Qualitative and quantitative composition

Active Constituents
Codeine Phosphate Hemihydrate30.0mg
For excipients see 6.1.
3. Pharmaceutical form


Co-codamol Capsules are grey and purple with 'SOLPADOL' printed on them in black ink.

4. Clinical particulars
4.1 Therapeutic indications

For the relief of severe pain.

4.2 Posology and method of administration

Adults: Two capsules not more frequently than every 4 hours, up to a maximum of 8 capsules in any 24 hour period.

Elderly: As for adults, however a reduced dose may be required. See warnings.

Children: Not recommended for children under 12 years of age.

Co-codamol capsules are for oral administration.

4.3 Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to paracetamol or codeine which is rare.

Hypersensitivity to any of the other constituents.

Conditions where morphine and opioids are contraindicated e.g:

• Acute asthma

• Respiratory depression

• Acute alcoholism

• Head injuries

• Raised intra-cranial pressure

• Following biliary tract surgery

Monoamine oxidase inhibitor therapy, concurrent or within 14 days.

4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use

Care should be observed in administering the product to any patient whose condition may be exacerbated by opioids, particularly the elderly, who may be sensitive to their central and gastro-intestinal effects, those on concurrent CNS depressant drugs, those with prostatic hypertrophy and those with inflammatory or obstructive bowel disorders. Care should also be observed if prolonged therapy is contemplated.

Care is advised in the administration of paracetamol to patients with severe renal or severe hepatic impairment. The hazards of overdose are greater in those with alcoholic liver disease.

Patients should be advised not to exceed the recommended dose and not take other paracetamol containing products concurrently.

Patients should be advised to consult a doctor should symptoms persist and to keep the product out of the reach and sight of children.

The risk-benefit of continued use should be assessed regularly by the prescriber.

The leaflet will state in a prominent position in the 'before taking' section:

Do not take for longer than directed by your prescriber.

Taking codeine regularly for a long time can lead to addiction, which might cause you to feel restless and irritable when you stop the tablets.

Taking a pain killer for headaches too often or for too long can make them worse.

The label will state (To be displayed prominently on outer pack (not boxed) :

Do not take for longer than directed by your prescriber as taking codeine regularly for a long time can lead to addiction.

4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Paracetamol may increase the elimination half-life of chloramphenicol. Oral contraceptives may increase its rate of clearance. The speed of absorption of paracetamol may be increased by metoclopramide or domperidone and absorption reduced by colestyramine.

The anticoagulant effect of warfarin and other coumarins may be enhanced by prolonged regular use of paracetamol with increased risk of bleeding; occasional doses have no significant effect.

The effects of CNS depressants (including alcohol) may be potentiated by codeine.

4.6 Pregnancy and lactation

There is inadequate evidence of the safety of codeine in human pregnancy. Epidemiological studies in human pregnancy have shown no ill effects due to paracetamol used in the recommended dosage. Both substances have been used for many years without apparent ill consequences and animal studies have not shown any hazard. Nonetheless careful consideration should be given before prescribing the products for pregnant patients. Opioid analgesics may depress neonatal respiration and cause withdrawal effects in neonates of dependent mothers.

Paracetamol is excreted in breast milk but not in a clinically significant amount.

4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

Patients should be advised not to drive or operate machinery if affected by dizziness or sedation.

4.8 Undesirable effects

Codeine can produce typical opioid effects including constipation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, light-headedness, confusion, drowsiness and urinary retention. The frequency and severity are determined by dosage, duration of treatment and individual sensitivity. Tolerance and dependence can occur, especially with prolonged high dosage of codeine.

Adverse effects of paracetamol are rare but hypersensitivity including skin rash may occur. There have been reports of blood dyscrasias including thrombocytopenia and agranulocytosis, but these were not necessarily causally related to paracetamol.

• Regular prolonged use of codeine/DHC is known to lead to addiction and tolerance. Symptoms of restlessness and irritability may result when treatment is then stopped.

• Prolonged use of a painkiller for headaches can make them worse.

Very rare occurrence of pancreatitis.

4.9 Overdose


The effects of Codeine overdosage will be potentiated by simultaneous ingestion of alcohol and psychotropic drugs.


Central nervous system depression, including respiratory depression, may develop but is unlikely to be severe unless other sedative agents have been co-ingested, including alcohol, or the overdose is very large. The pupils may be pin-point in size; nausea and vomiting are common. Hypotension and tachycardia are possible but unlikely.


Management should include general symptomatic and supportive measures including a clear airway and monitoring of vital signs until stable. Consider activated charcoal if an adult presents within one hour of ingestion of more than 350 mg or a child more than 5 mg/kg.

Give naloxone if coma or respiratory depression is present. Naloxone is a competitive antagonist and has a short half-life so large and repeated doses may be required in a seriously poisoned patient. Observe for at least 4 hours after ingestion, or 8 hours if a sustained release preparation has been taken.


Patients in whom oxidative liver enzymes have been induced, including alcoholics and those receiving barbiturates and patients who are chronically malnourished, may be particularly sensitive to the toxic effects of paracetamol in overdose.


Symptoms of paracetamol overdosage in the first 24 hours are pallor, nausea, vomiting, anorexia and abdominal pain. Liver damage may become apparent 12 to 48 hours after ingestion. Abnormalities of glucose metabolism and metabolic acidosis may occur. In severe poisoning, hepatic failure may progress to encephalopathy, coma and death. Acute renal failure with acute tubular necrosis may develop even in the absence of severe liver damage. Cardiac arrhythmias and pancreatitis have been reported.

Liver damage is likely in adults who have taken 10g or more of paracetamol. It is considered that excess quantities of a toxic metabolite (usually adequately detoxified by glutathione when normal doses of paracetamol are ingested), become irreversibly bound to liver tissue.


Immediate treatment is essential in the management of paracetamol overdose. Despite a lack of significant early symptoms, patients should be referred to hospital urgently for immediate medical attention and any patient who has ingested around 7.5g or more of paracetamol in the preceding 4 hours should undergo gastric lavage. Administration of oral methionine or intravenous N-acetylcysteine which may have a beneficial effect up to at least 48 hours after the overdose, may be required. General supportive measures must be available.

5. Pharmacological properties
5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Anilides, Paracetamol combinations

ATC Code: NO2B E51

Paracetamol is an analgesic which acts peripherally, probably by blocking impulse generation at the bradykinin sensitive chemo-receptors which evoke pain. Although it is a prostaglandin synthetase inhibitor, the synthetase system in the CNS rather than the periphery appears to be more sensitive to it. This may explain paracetamol's lack of appreciable anti-inflammatory activity. Paracetamol also exhibits antipyretic activity.

Codeine is a centrally acting analgesic which produces its effect by its action at opioid-binding sites (μ-receptors) within the CNS. It is a full agonist.

5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties

Following oral administration of two capsules (ie, a dose of paracetamol 1000mg and codeine phosphate 60mg) the mean maximum plasma concentrations of paracetamol and codeine phosphate were 17.5 μg/ml and 327ng/ml respectively. The mean times to maximum plasma concentrations were 1.03 hours for paracetamol and 1.10 hours for codeine phosphate.

The mean AUC(0-10) following administration was 48.0μg.ml -1.h for paracetamol and 1301 ng/ml -1.h for codeine.

The bioavailabilities of paracetamol and codeine when given as the combination are similar to those when they are given separately.

5.3 Preclinical safety data

None stated

6. Pharmaceutical particulars
6.1 List of excipients

Maize starch

Magnesium stearate


Indigotine E132

Azorubine E122

Titanium dioxide E171


Black iron oxide E172


Propylene glycol

6.2 Incompatibilities

Not applicable.

6.3 Shelf life

3 years

6.4 Special precautions for storage

Store in the original package. Do not store above 25°C.

6.5 Nature and contents of container

White, opaque PVC (250μm)/aluminium foil (20μm)/ PVC (15μm) blister packs or White, opaque PVC (250μm)/ 35gsm Glassine (Pergamin) paper/9µm soft temper Aluminium foil contained in cardboard cartons.

Pack sizes of 4, 10, 12, 24, 30, 60 and 100 capsules.

6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling

No special requirements.

7. Marketing authorisation holder

Aventis Pharma Limited

50 Kings Hill Avenue

Kings Hill

West Malling


ME19 4AH


or trading as:


One Onslow Street


Surrey, GU1 4YS, UK

or trading as:

Winthrop Pharmaceuticals

PO Box 611



8. Marketing authorisation number(s)

PL 04425/0635

9. Date of first authorisation/renewal of the authorisation

4th December 2008

10. Date of revision of the text

27 January 2009

Legal status


Company contact details


Company image

One Onslow Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4YS


+44 (0) 1483 554831

Medical Information e-mail

+44 (0)1483 505 515

Medical Information Direct Line

+44 (0) 1483 554101

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Active ingredients

codeine phosphate hemihydrate, paracetamol

Legal categories

POM - Prescription Only Medicine

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