Co-Dydramol 20/500 mg Tablets

Summary of Product Characteristics Updated 19-Jun-2019 | M & A Pharmachem Ltd

1. Name of the medicinal product

Co-dydramol 20/500 mg Tablets

2. Qualitative and quantitative composition

Tablet containing Paracetamol 500 mg, Dihydrocodeine Tartrate 20 mg

For the full list of excipients see section 6.1

3. Pharmaceutical form

An off-white capsule shaped tablet. The tablet is engraved on one side with “CODYD20” and plain on the reverse.

4. Clinical particulars
4.1 Therapeutic indications

For the treatment of severe pain.

4.2 Posology and method of administration

Route of administration


Co-dydramol 20/500 mg Tablets should, if possible, be taken during or after meals.

Children aged 12-15 years:

1 tablet every 4-6 hours

Do not take more than 4 tablets in any 24-hour period

Adults and children over 16 years of age:

One to two tablets every four to six hours.

Maximum of eight tablets daily.

Children under 12 years: Not recommended.


One to two tablets every four to six hours.

Maximum of eight tablets daily.

Reduce dosage if renal or hepatic function is impaired.

4.3 Contraindications

Respiratory depression, obstructive airways disease, hypersensitivity to paracetamol, dihydrocodeine or other tablet constituents.

4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use

Co-dydramol tablets should be given with caution in patients with allergic disorders and should not be given during an attack of asthma.

Caution should be also observed if there is marked impairment of liver function, advanced kidney disease and in chronic alcoholics.

Do not exceed the recommended dose.

Patients should be advised not to take other paracetamol-containing products concurrently.

Dosage should be reduced in the elderly, in hypothyroidism and in chronic hepatic disease. An overdose can cause hepatic necrosis.

Dihydrocodeine should be used with caution in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors and should be avoided in those patients with raised intracranial pressure or head injury.

Use with caution in patients with prostatic hypertrophy since dihydrocodeine may cause urinary retention.

The risk-benefit of continued use should be assessed regularly by the prescriber, and in particular the prescriber should take care to avoid any unnecessary increase in dosage especially where there is evidence of a previous history of drug dependence or abuse.

4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Additive CNS depression may occur with alcohol, and other CNS depressants such as anxiolytics, anti-depressants, hypnotics and anti-psychotics.

The rate of absorption of paracetamol may be increased by metoclopramide or domperidone and absorption of paracetamol may be reduced by cholestyramine.

The anti-coagulant effect of warfarin and other coumarins may be enhanced by prolonged regular use of paracetamol with increased risk of bleeding.

4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation


At normal therapeutic doses there is epidemiological evidence of the safety of paracetamol in pregnancy, but patients should follow the advice of their doctor regarding its use. A large amount of data on pregnant women indicate neither malformative, nor feto/neonatal toxicity. Paracetamol can be used during pregnancy if clinically needed however it should be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible frequency.

Dihydrocodeine has been used for many years without apparent ill effects. It should be used with caution in late pregnancy as it may cause respiratory depression in the neonate.

As with all medicines, use should be avoided during the first trimester.


Dihydrocodeine and paracetamol are excreted in breast milk in low concentrations. A decision must be made whether to discontinue breast-feeding or to discontinue/abstain from therapy taking into account the benefit of breast feeding for the child and the benefit of therapy for the woman.


There are insufficient fertility data available to indicate whether paracetamol or dihydrocodeine has any effect on fertility.

4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

Dihydrocodeine may cause drowsiness and, if affected, patients should not drive or operate machinery.

This medicine can impair cognitive function and can affect a patient's ability to drive safely. This class of medicine is in the list of drugs included in regulations under 5a of the Road Traffic Act 1988. When prescribing this medicine, patients should be told:

- The medicine is likely to affect your ability to drive

- Do not drive until you know how the medicine affects you

- It is an offence to drive while under the influence of this medicine

- However, you would not be committing an offence (called 'statutory defence') if:

- The medicine has been prescribed to treat a medical or dental problem and

- You have taken it according to the instructions given by the prescriber and in the information provided with the medicine and

- It was not affecting your ability to drive safely

4.8 Undesirable effects

Constipation, if it occurs, is readily treated with a mild laxative.

Other side-effects of dihydrocodeine which may occur in a few patients are nausea, vomiting, headache, vertigo, giddiness, urinary retention, pruritus, sedation, dysphoria, hallucinations and allergic reactions including skin rashes.

Adverse effects of paracetamol are rare but hypersensitivity reactions including skin rash, blood dyscrasias, acute pancreatitis have been reported. Very rare cases of serious skin reactions have been reported.

Dependence may occur. Regular prolonged use of dihydrocodeine 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.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at:

4.9 Overdose


Liver damage is possible in adults who have taken 10 g or more of paracetamol. Ingestion of 5 g or more of paracetamol may lead to liver damage if the patient has risk factors (see below).

Risk factors

If the patient

a) Is on long term treatment with carbamazepine, phenobarbitone, phenytoin, primidone, rifampicin, St John's Wort or other drugs that induce liver enzymes.


b) Regularly consumes ethanol in excess of recommended amounts.


c) Is likely to be glutathione depleted e.g. eating disorders, cystic fibrosis, HIV infection, starvation, cachexia.


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, haemorrhage, hypoglycaemia, cerebral oedema and death. Acute renal failure with acute tubular necrosis, strongly suggested by loin pain, haematuria and proteinuria, may develop even in the absence of severe liver damage. Cardiac arrhythmias and pancreatitis have been reported.


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. Symptoms may be limited to nausea or vomiting and may not reflect the severity of overdose or the risk of organ damage. Management should be in accordance with established treatment guidelines, see BNF overdose section.

Treatment with activated charcoal should be considered if the overdose has been taken within 1 hour. Plasma paracetamol concentration should be measured at 4 hours or later after ingestion (earlier concentrations are unreliable). Treatment with N- acetylcysteine may be used up to 24 hours after ingestion of paracetamol, however, the maximum protective effect is obtained up to 8 hours post-ingestion. The effectiveness of the antidote declines sharply after this time. If required the patient should be given intravenous N-acetylcysteine, in line with the established dosage schedule. If vomiting is not a problem, oral methionine may be a suitable alternative for remote areas, outside hospital. Management of patients who present with serious hepatic dysfunction beyond 24 hours from ingestion should be discussed with the NPIS or a liver unit.



Acute overdosage with dihydrocodeine can be manifested by somnolence progressing to stupor or coma, miotic pupils, rhabdomyolysis, non-cardiac pulmonary oedema, bradycardia, hypotension and respiratory depression or apnoea.


Primary attention should be given to the establishment of a patent airway and institution of assisted or controlled ventilation.

In case of massive overdosage, administer naloxone intravenously (0.4 to 2 mg for an adult and 0.01 mg/kg body weight for children) if the patient is in a coma or respiratory depression is present. Repeat the dose at 2 minute intervals if there is no

response, or by an infusion. An infusion of 60% of the initial dose per hour is a useful starting point. A solution of 10 mg made up in 50 ml dextrose will produce 200 micrograms/ml for infusion using an IV pump (dose adjusted to the clinical response). Infusions are not a substitute for frequent review of the patient's clinical state.

Intramuscular naloxone is an alternative in the event that IV access is not possible.

As the duration of action of naloxone is relatively short, the patient must be carefully monitored until spontaneous respiration is reliably re-established. Naloxone is a competitive antagonist and large doses (4 mg) may be required in seriously poisoned patients. For less severe overdosage, administer naloxone 0.2 mg intravenously followed by increments of 0.1 mg every 2 minutes if required.

Naloxone should not be administered in the absence of clinically significant respiratory or circulatory depression secondary to dihydrocodeine overdosage. Naloxone should be administered cautiously to persons who are known, or suspected, to be physically dependent on dihydrocodeine. In such cases, an abrupt or complete reversal of opioid effects may precipitate pain and an acute withdrawal syndrome.

Consider activated charcoal (50 g for adults, 10 - 15 g for children), if a substantial amount has been ingested within 1 hour, provided the airway can be protected.

5. Pharmacological properties
5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

N02 BE71 Paracetamol combinations, with psycholeptics.

Paracetamol is an effective analgesic possessing a remarkably low level of side effects. Its broad clinical utility has been extensively reported, and it now largely replaces aspirin for routine use. Paracetamol is well tolerated; having a bland effect on gastric mucosa, unlike aspirin, it neither exacerbates symptoms of peptic ulcer nor precipitates bleeding.

Dihydrocodeine tartrate has been widely used for a number of years as a powerful analgesic. In addition the compound exhibits well-defined anti-tussive activity.

Fortifying paracetamol with dihydrocodeine tartrate provides an effective combination of drugs for the treatment of severe pain.

5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties

Dihydrocodeine is well absorbed from gastrointestinal tract. Like other phenanthrene derivatives, dihydrocodeine is mainly metabolised in the liver with the resultant metabolites being excreted mainly in the urine. Metabolism of dihydrocodeine includes O-demethylation, N-demethylation and 6-keto-reduction.

Paracetamol is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract with peak plasma concentrations occurring 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion. It is metabolised in the liver and excreted in the urine as the glucuronide and sulphate conjugates.

5.3 Preclinical safety data

There are no pre-clinical data of relevance to the prescriber which are additional to that already included in other sections of the SPC.

6. Pharmaceutical particulars
6.1 List of excipients

Maize starch

Colloidal silica

Potassium sorbate


Magnesium stearate

6.2 Incompatibilities

None known

6.3 Shelf life

36 months

6.4 Special precautions for storage

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

6.5 Nature and contents of container

Aluminium/PVC blisters (Child resistant constructed from 250 micron PVC film lidded with 9 micron aluminium foil/35gsm glassine paper).

Blister packs containing 56 or 112 tablets.

6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling


7. Marketing authorisation holder

M&A Pharmachem Ltd

Allenby Laboratories

Wigan Road




8. Marketing authorisation number(s)

PL 04077/0243

9. Date of first authorisation/renewal of the authorisation


10. Date of revision of the text


Version: 2017-002

Company Contact Details
M & A Pharmachem Ltd

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+44 (0 ) 1942 852085

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