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Marymoose uses Co-Codomol for Moderate Pain!
Member Name: marymoose
Advantages: More effective than paracetomol
Disadvantages: Can't be taken for longer than 3 days, possible side effects
My initial encounters with Co-Codomol have been the prescription strength ones containing 30mg Codeine and 500mg Paracetomol. I haven't used them regularly (or indeed been prescribed them myself - bad me, I know!), but have found that they work when other painkillers don't. I know several people who have taken them regularly and found themselves addicted, so they can be dangerous.
Today though I am reviewing the Co-Codomol which you can buy over the counter from the pharmacist, which contain 8mg codeine and 500mg paracetomol. I don't know anyone who has had problems with over-the-counter painkillers, HOWEVER, codeine is addictive, so these could potentially cause you problems. If in doubt, always consult a doctor or pharmacist.
---The tablets and taking them---
Co-codomol tablets (8/500) are round white pills, similar to paracetomol sized tablets. They are not sugar coated, so don't have a nice taste if you accidentally catch them on your tongue!
They contain the active ingredients of paracetomol (500mg) and codeine phosphate (8mg) and also contain other non-active ingredients such as maize and potato starch (check instructions for all of them).
Take 1-2 tablets every 4 hours (with a glass of water), but not exceeding 8 tablets in a 24 hour period (the dose may be lower for elderly people). I find this annoying as when pain is bad I find that you can end up using your quota of tablets during waking hours and then be left with no allowance for night time, when quite frankly I feel that pain is always at its worst. But this is an issue with all painkillers and their dosage.
However, when used in combination with Ibuprofen with a recent toothache, I limited myself as much as possible, and I managed to not exceed the dose even on the worst day.
---Do they work---
It is typical that after raving about my teeth in a recent Diet Coke review that a day later I was struck down with toothache. It seems that at the age of nearly 32 my luck has run out and I need a couple of fillings (I blame my one remaining wisdom tooth). Whilst waiting for the dentist I took Co-codomol tablets along with Ibuprofen, and rubbing Sensodyne toothpaste and clove oil into my teeth and bonjela into my gums (since I couldn't figure out where the pain was coming from).
Although there were a lot of different variables, initially I was taking paracetomol but then switched to the co-codomol (obviously you can't take both at the same time as both contain paracetomol), and I definitely noticed a decrease in pain once I was taking the co-codomol. Unfortunately nothing seemed to get rid of it completely, but these did help make it bearable. Luckily I only needed to take them for 2 days, and by the time I saw the dentist the pain had already gone.
I find that the pain relief kicks in after about 15-20 minutes which isn't too bad. These definitely do help with mild to moderate pain. If you're not used to them, they might give you a bit of a spaced out feeling or dizziness. Personally I've not experienced this, even with prescription strength co-codomol, but I know that some people are more sensitive.
For something that you can get without prescription, these are probably the best you can get. However, they are barely going to touch the surface with severe pain (and I frequently kick myself for the time that I flushed 50 prescription co-codomol tablets down the toilet which I found stashed in a cake tin - long story!) Mind you, for really severe pain then you're probably going to need something even more heavy duty than the prescription Co-codomol.
---Price and availability---
I bought a pack of 32 tablets for £1.75 from Boots (over the counter, so you do have to ask, and usually answer a couple of questions) which I think is a pretty good price, but I imagine they can also be found cheaper elsewhere (since Boots isn't renowned for being cheap). There are of course much more expensive branded versions which contain exactly the same active ingredients - the choice is yours!
Your packet of Co-codomol tablets should contain a list of instructions and warnings (including numerous possible side effects - dizziness and constipation are common ones which I hear of) which MUST be read carefully before taking. Perhaps I'm being childish, but I smiled reading that you should not take Co-codomol if you're in a coma!
I worry about people sometimes with these tablets, because I think that due to the addictive nature of codeine, people can end up taking more of these tablets just to get the codeine effect, but failing to realise the devastating effect of exceeding the recommended dose of paracetomol.
You shouldn't take these tablets for longer than 3 days - in which case see your doctor. It might be that you need some higher strength pain relief.
Not to be used by pregnant women (unless under medical advice) or children under 12. Others who should not take Co-codomol or should seek medical advice first are listed in the instructions.
As the instructions say, do not take these for longer than 3 days (consult doctor or pharmacist) due to the addictive nature of codeine, and always seek help in the event of overdose as soon as possible. It is also possible that you might get withdrawal symptoms after stopping taking this.
I try whenever possible to avoid painkillers (and thankfully haven't needed anymore since my two day toothache), but sometimes they are necessary, I only turn to co-cocomol if a combination of paracetomol and ibuprofen isn't working, in which case I'll swap the paracetomol for the co-codomol.
When used with caution I think that these are good for moderate pain relief.
4 out of 5 stars.
Summary: Good relief for moderate pain, but use with caution and always read instructions!