What is a Patient Information Leaflet and why is it useful?

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from this version because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged.

Below is a text only representation of the Patient Information Leaflet. The original leaflet can be viewed using the link above.

The text only version may be available in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call emc accessibility on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: PL00014/0325.


Boots Paracetamol and Codeine Capsules (Co-Codamol)

Information for the user

Boots Pharmaceuticals

Paracetamol & Codeine Capsules (Co-Codamol)

Read all of this leaflet carefully because it contains important information for you.

This medicine is available without prescription to treat minor conditions. However, you still need to take it carefully to get the best results from it.

  • This medicine can only be used for the short term treatment of acute moderate pain such as headache, migraine, period pain, dental pain, neuralgia, rheumatic and muscular pain and backache that is not relieved by aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol alone
  • You should only take this product for a maximum of 3 days at a time. If you need to take it for longer than 3 days you should see your doctor or pharmacist for advice
  • This medicine contains codeine which can cause addiction if you take it continuously for more than 3 days. This can give you withdrawal symptoms from the medicine when you stop taking it
  • If you take this medicine for headaches for more than 3 days it can make them worse
  • Keep this leaflet, you may need to read it again
  • Ask your pharmacist if you need more information or advice

What this medicine is for

This medicine can be used for the short term treatment of acute moderate pain such as headache, rheumatic and muscular pain, backache, migraine, period pain, dental pain and neuralgia that is not relieved by aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol alone.

This medicine contains Codeine. Codeine belongs to a group of medicines called opioid analgesics which act to relieve pain.

This codeine-containing medicine can be used in adults and children aged 12 years and over.

This medicine also contains Paracetamol. Paracetamol, an analgesic, acts to relieve pain.

Before you take this medicine

  • This medicine contains codeine which can cause addiction if you take it continuously for more than 3 days. This can give you withdrawal symptoms from the medicine when you stop taking it
  • If you take a painkiller for headaches for more than 3 days it can make them worse

This medicine can be taken by adults and children aged 12 years and over. However, some people should not take this medicine or should seek the advice of their pharmacist or doctor first.

Do not take:

  • For pain relief in children and adolescents (0-18 years of age) after removal of their tonsils or adenoids due to obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome
  • If you know that you metabolise very rapidly codeine into morphine
  • If you are allergic to any of the ingredients
  • If you have severe liver disease
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you are breastfeeding (see “Other important information”)

Talk to your pharmacist or doctor:

  • If you have kidney problems or other liver problems

Other important information

Codeine is transformed to morphine in the liver by an enzyme. Morphine is the substance that produces pain relief. Some people have a variation of this enzyme and this can affect people in different ways. In some people, morphine is not produced or produced in very small quantities, and it will not provide enough pain relief. Other people are more likely to get serious side effects because a very high amount of morphine is produced. If you notice any of the following side effects, you must stop taking this medicine and seek immediate medical advice: slow or shallow breathing, confusion, sleepiness, small pupils, feeling or being sick, constipation, lack of appetite.

Use in children and adolescents after surgery: Codeine should not be used for pain relief in children and adolescents after removal of their tonsils or adenoids due to obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.

Use in children with breathing problems: Codeine is not recommended in children with breathing problems, since the symptoms of morphine toxicity may be worse in these children.

Breastfeeding: Do not take codeine while you are breastfeeding. Codeine and morphine passes into breast milk.

Driving and using machines: This medicine can affect your ability to drive or use machines as it may make you feel sleepy or dizzy.

  • Do not drive or use machines while taking this medicine until you are sure you are not affected
  • It is an offence to drive if this medicine affects your ability to drive
  • However, you would not be committing an offence 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 or in the information provided with the medicine and
    • It was not affecting your ability to drive safely

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure whether it is safe for you to drive while taking this medicine.

Information about some of the ingredients in this medicine: Sodium metabisulphite (E223) may rarely cause severe allergic reactions, tightness of the chest or difficulty in breathing.

If you take other medicines

This medicine contains paracetamol.

Do not take anything else containing paracetamol while taking this medicine.

Before you take these capsules, make sure that you tell your pharmacist about ANY other medicines you might be using at the same time, particularly the following:

  • Domperidone or metoclopramide, for feeling sick or being sick (these may increase the pain relief effect of paracetamol, or this medicine may reduce the anti-sickness effects of these medicines)
  • Colestyramine, for reducing blood fat levels (may reduce the pain relief effect of paracetamol)
  • Warfarin or other blood thinners – if you take warfarin you can take occasional amounts of this medicine, but talk to your doctor first before you take it on a regular basis
  • Mexiletine, for heart rhythm problems (codeine may reduce the effects of this medicine)
  • Phenothiazines (for mental health conditions), sleeping tablets, sedatives or tricyclic antidepressants (you may feel more sleepy if you take these medicines)

If you are unsure about interactions with any other medicines, talk to your pharmacist. This includes medicines prescribed by your doctor and medicine you have bought for yourself, including herbal and homeopathic remedies.

How to take this medicine

Check the foil is not broken before first use. If it is, do not take that capsule.

Adults: Take one or two capsules every 4 hours, if you need to, up to 3 or 4 times in 24 hours. Don’t take more than 8 capsules in 24 hours.

Children aged 16 years to 18 years: Take one or two capsules every 6 hours, if you need to.

Don’t take more than 8 capsules in 24 hours.

Children aged 12-15 years: Take one capsules every 6 hours if you need to.

Don’t take any more than 4 capsules in 24 hours

Swallow each capsule whole with water.

Do not take for more than 3 days. If you need to use this medicine for more than 3 days you must speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Do not give to children under 12 years, due to the risk of severe breathing problems.

Do not take more medicine than the table above tells you to.

If you do not get better, talk to your doctor.

If you take too many capsules: Talk to a doctor at once if you take too much of this medicine even if you feel well. This is because too much paracetamol can cause delayed, serious liver damage. Go to your nearest hospital casualty department. Take your medicine and this leaflet with you.

Possible withdrawal effects when stopping treatment

This medicine contains codeine and can cause addiction if you take it continuously for more than 3 days. When you stop taking it you may get withdrawal symptoms. You should talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you think you are suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

Possible side effects

Most people will not have problems, but some people may have side effects when taking this medicine. If you have any unwanted side effects you should seek advice from your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional.

If you get any of these serious side effects, stop taking the capsules. See a doctor at once:

  • Difficulty in breathing, swelling of the face, neck, tongue or throat (severe allergic reactions)
  • Very rare cases of serious skin reactions have been reported. This may include peeling, blistering and lesions of the skin.

If you get any of the following side effects see your pharmacist or doctor:

  • Other allergic reactions (e.g. skin rash)
  • Feeling sick, being sick
  • Constipation, dry mouth, sweating
  • Unusual bruising, or infections such as sore throats – this may be a sign of very rare changes in the blood

If any side effect becomes severe, or you notice any side effect not listed here, please tell your pharmacist or doctor.

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

How do I know if I am addicted?

If you take the medicine according to the instructions on the pack it is unlikely that you will become addicted to the medicine. However, if the following apply to you it is important that you talk to your doctor:

  • You need to take the medicine for longer periods of time
  • You need to take more then the recommended amount
  • When you stop taking the medicine you feel very unwell but you feel better if you start taking the medicine again

How to store this medicine

Keep this medicine in a safe place out of the sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard.

Use by the date on the end flap of the carton.

What is in this medicine

Each capsule contains Codeine Phosphate 8 mg, Paracetamol 500 mg, which are the active ingredients.

As well as the active ingredients, the capsules also contain sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, sodium laurilsulfate, sodium metabisulphite (E223). The capsule shell contains gelatin, indigo carmine (E132), erythrosine (E127).

This pack contains 32 violet capsules.

Who makes this medicine

Manufactured for the Marketing Authorisation holder

The Boots Company PLC
Nottingham
NG2 3AA

by

Bristol Laboratories Ltd
Northbridge Road
Berkhamsted
Herts
HP4 1EG

Leaflet prepared October 2016

If you would like any further information about this medicine, please contact

The Boots Company PLC
Nottingham
NG2 3AA

Other formats

To request a copy of this leaflet in Braille, large print or audio please call, free of charge:

0800 198 5000 (UK only)

Please be ready to give the following information:

Product name: Boots Paracetamol and Codeine Capsules (Co-Codamol)

Reference number: 00014/0325

This is a service provided by the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

Artwork Code: BTC246796