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CO-CODAMOL 30/500 TABLETS
Active substance(s): CODEINE PHOSPHATE HEMIHYDRATE / PARACETAMOL
NAME OF THE MEDICINAL PRODUCT
Co-codamol 30/500 Tablets
Each tablet contains 500mg paracetamol and 30mg codeine phosphate hemihydrate.
For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1
White capsule-shaped tablets, marked SOLPADOL on one side.
For the relief of severe pain.
Codeine is indicated in patients older than 12 years of age for the treatment of
acute moderate pain which is not considered to be relieved by other analgesics
such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (alone).
Posology and method of administration
Adults: Two tablets not more frequently than every 4 hours, up to a maximum of
8 tablets in any 24 hour period.
Elderly: As for adults, however a reduced dose may be required. See warnings.
Children aged 16 to 18 years: One to two tablets every 6 hours when necessary
up to a maximum of 8 tablets in 24 hours.
Children aged 12 to 15 years: One tablet every 6 hours when necessary to a
maximum of 4 tablets in 24 hours.
Do not take for more than 3 days without consulting your doctor.
Children aged less than 12 years: Codeine should not be used in children below
the age of 12 years because of the risk of opioid toxicity due to the variable and
unpredictable metabolism of codeine to morphine (see section 4.3 and 4.4).
Method of administration
For oral administration.
Hypersensitivity to paracetamol, codeine or any of the other
Conditions where morphine and opioids are contraindicated e.g., acute
asthma, respiratory depression, acute alcoholism, head injuries, raised
intra-cranial pressure and following biliary tract surgery; monoamine
oxidase inhibitor therapy, concurrent or within 14 days.
In all paediatric patients (0-18 years of age) who undergo
tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy for obstructive sleep apnoea
syndrome due to an increased risk of developing serious and lifethreatening adverse reactions (see section 4.4)
In women during breastfeeding (see section 4.6)
In patients for whom it is known they are CYP2D6 ultra-rapid
Special warnings and precautions for use
Care should be observed in administering the product to any patient whose
condition may be exacerbated by opioids, including 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.
The risk-benefit of continued use should be assessed regularly by the
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 painkiller for headaches too often or for too long can make them
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.
Codeine is metabolised by the liver enzyme CYP2D6 into morphine, its active
metabolite. If a patient has a deficiency or is completely lacking this enzyme
an adequate analgesic effect will not be obtained. Estimates indicate that up to
7% of the Caucasian population may have this deficiency. However, if the
patient is an extensive or ultra-rapid metaboliser there is an increased risk of
developing side effects of opioid toxicity even at commonly prescribed doses.
These patients convert codeine into morphine rapidly resulting in higher than
expected serum morphine levels.
General symptoms of opioid toxicity include confusion, somnolence, shallow
breathing, small pupils, nausea, vomiting, constipation and lack of appetite. In
severe cases this may include symptoms of circulatory and respiratory
depression, which may be life-threatening and very rarely fatal. Estimates of
prevalence of ultra-rapid metabolisers in different populations are summarised
3.4% to 6.5%
1.2% to 2%
3.6% to 6.5%
Not recommended for children under 12 years of age.
Post-operative use in children
There have been reports in the published literature that codeine given postoperatively in children after tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy for obstructive
sleep apnoea, led to rare, but life-threatening adverse events including death (see
also section 4.3). All children received doses of codeine that were within the
appropriate dose range; however there was evidence that these children were
either ultra-rapid or extensive metabolisers in their ability to metabolise codeine
Children with compromised respiratory function
Codeine is not recommended for use in children in whom respiratory function
might be compromised including neuromuscular disorders, severe cardiac or
respiratory conditions, upper respiratory or lung infections, multiple trauma or
extensive surgical procedures. These factors may worsen symptoms of morphine
Interactions with other Medicaments 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 cholestyramine.
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
Fertility, pregnancy and lactation
There is inadequate evidence of the safety of codeine in human pregnancy, but there is
epidemiological evidence for the safety of paracetamol. 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.
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.
Paracetamol is excreted in breast milk but not in a clinically significant amount.
Codeine should not be used during breastfeeding (see section 4.3).
At normal therapeutic doses codeine and its active metabolite may be present in
breast milk at very low doses and is unlikely to adversely affect the breast fed infant.
However, if the patient is an ultra-rapid metaboliser of CYP2D6, higher levels of the
active metabolite, morphine, may be present in breast milk and on very rare occasions
may result in symptoms of opioid toxicity in the infant, which may be fatal.
Effects on ability to drive and to use machines
Patients should be advised not to drive or operate machinery if affected by dizziness or
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
Regular prolonged use of codeine 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.
The information below lists reported adverse reactions, ranked using the
Very common (≥1/10); common (≥1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,000 to
rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000), not known (cannot be
from the available data).
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.
There have been very rare occurrences of pancreatitis.
Immune system disorders
Hypersensitivity including skin rash may occur.
Not known: anaphylactic shock, angioedema
Blood and lymphatic system disorders
Not known: agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Very rare cases of serious skin have been reported.
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 Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
Liver damage is possible in adults who have taken 10g or more of
paracetamol. Ingestion of 5g or more of paracetamol may lead to liver damage
if the patient has risk factors (see below).
If the patient:
• is on long term treatment with carbamazepine, phenobarbitone, phenytoin,
primidone, rifampicin, St. John’s Wort or other drugs that induce liver
• regularly consumes ethanol in excess of recommended amounts, or
• is likely to be glutathione deplete 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,
gastrointestinal bleeding 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 Nacetylcysteine, 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 serious hepatic
dysfunction beyond 24h from ingestion should be discussed with the NPIS or a
The effects in 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 coingested, including alcohol, or the overdose is very large. The pupils may be pinpoint in size; nausea and vomiting are common. Hypotension and tachycardia are
possible but unlikely.
This 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 350mg or
a child more than 5mg/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 four hours after
ingestion, or eight hours if a sustained release preparation has been taken.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Paracetamol, combinations excl. Psycholeptics
ATC Code: N02B 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 weak analgesic. Codeine exerts its effect through µ
opioid receptors, although codeine has low affinity for these receptors, and its
analgesic effect is due to its conversion to morphine. Codeine, particularly in
combination with other analgesics such as paracetamol, has been shown to be
effective in acute nociceptive pain.
Following oral administration of two tablets (ie, a dose of paracetamol
1000mg and codeine phosphate 60mg) the mean maximum plasma
concentrations of paracetamol and codeine were 15.96 µg/ml and 212.4ng/ml
respectively. The mean times to maximum plasma concentrations were 0.88
hours for paracetamol 1.05 hours for codeine.
The mean AUC for the 9 hours following administration was 49.05µg.ml -1.h
for paracetamol and 885.0 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.
Preclinical safety data
Non-clinical data reveal no special hazard for humans based on conventional
studies of safety pharmacology, repeated dose toxicity, genotoxicity, carcinogenic
potential, toxicity to reproduction and development.
List of Excipients
Pregelatinised starch, maize starch, povidone, potassium sorbate,
microcrystalline cellulose, stearic acid, talc, magnesium stearate,
croscarmellose sodium (type A).
Special Precautions for Storage
Bottles: Do not store above 25°C. Keep the container tightly closed.
Blisters: Do not store above 25°C. Store in the original package.
Nature and contents of container
Amber glass bottle
Pack size: 60 tablets
PVC (250μm)/20μm Aluminium child-resistant foil /15μm PVC blister packs.
PVC (250μm)/35gsm glassine paper/9μm Aluminium child-resistant foil blister
Pack sizes: 4, 10, 24, 30, 60 and 100 tablets.
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
Special precautions for disposal
No special requirements
MARKETING AUTHORISATION HOLDER
Winthrop Pharmaceuticals UK Limited
One Onslow Street
Winthrop Pharmaceuticals, PO Box 611, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4YS
Zentiva, One Onslow Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4YS, UK
MARKETING AUTHORISATION NUMBER
DATE OF FIRST AUTHORISATION/RENEWAL OF THE
DATE OF REVISION OF THE TEXT