Dihydrocodeine is an opiate used in the treatment of certain types of painful conditions, including osteoarthritis, post-surgical pain, peripheral vascular disease, and neuralgia. It is also sometimes used off-label for treating restless leg syndrome and cough. It belongs to the class of drugs called opioids and works by blocking the transmission of pain signals from the nerves to the brain.
Why is Dihydrocodeine prescribed?
Dihydrocodeine is usually used when other weaker pain relievers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol or NSAIDs don’t work well enough. It gives the desired results in as little as 30 to 40 minutes.
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Mechanism of Action
While the exact mechanism of action of Dihydrocodeine is uncertain, we do know that opioids, in general, bind to opioid receptors which are the brain chemicals involved in the management of pain perception. So being an opioids member, Dihydrocodeine also appears to work by binding to these receptors, preventing pain signals from reaching the brain. For more information on Dihydrocodeine working mechanisms, contact a pharmacist or the doctor.
How should Dihydrocodeine be used?
Dihydrocodeine comes in slow-release tablets, immediate-release tablets, and a solution to be taken by mouth. Sometimes, it is also given to patients through injections. This is usually the case when the patient’s condition is really serious, such as after surgery. We know that pain may be relieved considerably more rapidly by injecting the medicine straight into the muscle or beneath the skin.
It is, however, important to note that while using any that medication, you need to limit or avoid drinking alcohol. Dihydrocodeine and alcohol together can make you extremely tired, drowsy, dizzy or even addicted.
How much Dihydrocodeine should I take every day?
The doctor will determine the strength and amount of pills for you to take each day only after analyzing your health, age, and condition. Just so you know, 30-, 40-, 60-, 90- and 120-milligram (mg) are some of the strengths in which Dihydrocodeine is normally offered.
Dihydrocodeine 30mg dosage:
The 30mg immediate-release pills should be taken every four to six hours, while the 30mg extended-release tablets should be taken every twelve hours.
Well, if you are taking Dihydrocodeine in liquid form, take three 5ml spoonfuls every 4 to 6 hours. And please do not worry about the measurement. A plastic pharmaceutical spoon or syringe will always be included in the product package to assist you in measuring the right dosage.
Safe and appropriate use
Make sure your clinician does a comprehensive physical examination and all the required tests on you before you start taking Dihydrocodeine 30 mg. On your end, do tell him if you have or have had any medical condition or a history of drug addiction, misuse, or abuse.
This is not recommended for use during pregnancy or nursing. If you become pregnant while taking Dihydrocodeine, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Because taking Dihydrocodeine makes you clumsy, dizzy and sleepy, it is important to avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery while you are on this drug or at least until you figure out how this opioid affects you.
What other information should I know?
While starting the treatment for the first time, ensure that the doctor increases your dose gradually. This provides your body ample time to start working differently – good different, of course – and to avoid side effects. However, the length of time it takes to reach the right dihydrocodeine dosage depends on a person’s age, the condition being treated, overall health, as well as the strength of the medication being used.
Likewise, if you have decided to stop taking the drug for whatever reason, the amount should be weaned down slowly and carefully in the same way that you started it. Withdrawing suddenly might result in many serious complications (such as agitation, runny nose, muscle pain, sweating, trouble speaking and more).
Dihydrocodeine can have both mild and severe side effects. The following section contains the most common adverse effects that may occur when using Dihydrocodeine. Though keep in mind these aren’t all of the potential negative effects. Also, note that some adverse effects may even take several weeks to appear after you begin taking Dihydrocodeine. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information on Dihydrocodeine’s potential adverse effects. They can also provide you with advice on how to deal with any unpleasant side effects.
Common side effects
Mild and common side effects of Dihydrocodeine can include
- Muscle pain
- Dry mouth
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Dihydrocodeine are uncommon, although they can happen. If you have any major side effects, contact your doctor straight away. If your symptoms are life-threatening or you believe you’re suffering a medical emergency, dial 911.
Rare and more serious side effects include:
- Low blood pressure
- Physical dependency
- Allergic reactions
- Sleep disorders
- Decreased vision
- Increased body temperature
- Facial flushing
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