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400x170mm (LSN-CON-12) (L) V1

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DHC Continus Tablets PIL
Pharmacode 2258
400x170mm (LSN-CON-12) V1

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Lisa Taylor

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19/03/2014 09:59


400x170mm (LSN-CON-12) (L) V1

Package Leaflet: Information for the user

DHC® Continus® 60 mg, 90 mg and 120 mg
prolonged-release tablets
Dihydrocodeine tartrate

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you
start taking this medicine.
• Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it
• If you have any further questions, ask your
doctor or pharmacist.
• This medicine has been prescribed for you.
Do not pass it on to others. It may harm
them, even if their symptoms are the same
as yours.
• If any of the side effects become serious,
or if you notice any side effects not listed
in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or


In this leaflet:
1. What DHC Continus tablets are and what
they are used for
2. Before you take DHC Continus tablets
3. How to take DHC Continus tablets
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store DHC Continus tablets
6. Further information
1. What DHC Continus tablets are and
what they are used for
These tablets have been prescribed for you
to relieve severe pain over a period of 12
hours. They contain the active ingredient
dihydrocodeine which belongs to a group
of medicines called strong analgesics or

2. Before you take DHC Continus tablets
Do not take DHC Continus tablets if you:
• are allergic (hypersensitive) to
dihydrocodeine or any of the other
ingredients of the tablets (see section 6
‘Further Information’);
• have breathing problems, such as obstructive
airways disease or respiratory depression.
Your doctor will have told you if you have
these conditions. Symptoms may include
breathlessness, coughing or breathing more
slowly or weakly than expected;
• are having an asthma attack;
• have a condition where the small bowel
(part of your gut) does not work properly
(paralytic ileus);
• have a severe headache or feel sick due to
a head injury or increased pressure in your
skull (for instance due to brain disease).
This is because the tablets may make these
symptoms worse or hide the extent of a
head injury;
• are addicted to alcohol;
• have an intolerance to some sugars;
• are under 12 years of age.
Take special care with DHC Continus
Before treatment with these tablets tell your
doctor or pharmacist if you:
• have asthma;
• have an under‑active thyroid gland
• have kidney or long-term liver problems;
• have constipation or obstructive bowel
• have inflammation of the pancreas (which
causes severe pain in the abdomen and

• have problems with your gall bladder;
• have prostate problems;
• have a severe heart problem after long-term
lung disease (severe cor pulmonale);
• are or have ever been addicted to drugs.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are
• medicines to help you sleep (for example
tranquillisers, hypnotics or sedatives);
• medicines to treat psychiatric or mental
disorders (such as phenothiazines);
• a type of medicine known as a
monoamine oxidase inhibitor (examples
include tranylcypromide, phenelzine,
isocarboxazid, moclobemide and linezolid),
or you have taken this type of medicine in
the last two weeks.
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you
are taking or have recently taken any other
medicines, including medicines obtained
without a prescription. If you take these
tablets with some other medicines, the effect
of these tablets or the other medicine may be
Taking DHC Continus tablets with alcohol
Drinking alcohol during your treatment with
these tablets may make you sleepy. If you are
affected you should avoid drinking alcohol.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Do not take these tablets if you are pregnant
or likely to become pregnant. If you are
breastfeeding do not take these tablets until
you have spoken to your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice
before taking any medicine.

Driving and using machines
These tablets may cause a number of side
effects such as drowsiness which could affect
your ability to drive or use machinery (see
section 4 for a full list of side effects). These
are usually most noticeable when you first
start taking the tablets or when changing to a
higher dose. If you are affected you should
not drive or use machinery.
This medicine can affect your ability to drive
as it may make you sleepy or dizzy.
• Do not drive while taking this medicine
until you know how it affects you.
• It is an offence to drive while you have
this medicine in your body over a specified
limit unless you have a defence (called the
‘statutory defence’).
• This defence applies when:
• 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.
• Please note that it is still an offence to drive
if you are unfit because of the medicine (i.e.
your ability to drive is being affected).
Details regarding a new driving offence
concerning driving after drugs have been
taken in the UK may be found here:
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are
not sure whether it is safe for you to drive
while taking this medicine.

Important information about some of the
ingredients of DHC Continus tablets
These tablets contain lactose which is a form
of sugar. If you have been told by your doctor
that you have an intolerance to some sugars,
contact your doctor before taking these tablets.
3. How to take DHC Continus tablets
Always take these tablets exactly as your
doctor has told you. The label on your
medicine will tell you how many tablets to
take and how often. Do not take for longer
than directed by your doctor.
Swallow your tablets whole with a glass of
water. Do not break, chew or crush them.
DHC Continus tablets are designed to work
properly over 12 hours when swallowed
whole. If a tablet is broken, crushed or
chewed, the entire 12-hour dose may be
absorbed rapidly into your body. This can
be dangerous, causing serious problems
such as an overdose, which may be fatal.
You should take your tablets every 12 hours.
For instance, if you take a tablet at 8 o’clock
in the morning, you should take your next
tablet at 8 o’clock in the evening.
Adults and children over 12 years of age
The usual starting dose is 60 mg to 120 mg
every 12 hours. If you are elderly your doctor
may suggest a lower starting dose. Your
doctor will prescribe the dose required to treat
your pain. If you find that you are still in pain
whilst taking these tablets discuss this with
your doctor.
Children under 12 years of age
Children under 12 years of age should not
take the tablets.

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400x170mm (LSN-CON-12) (L) V1

If you take more DHC Continus tablets
than you should or if someone accidentally
swallows your tablets
Call your doctor or hospital straight away.
People who have taken an overdose may
feel very sleepy, sick or dizzy. They may
also have breathing difficulties leading to
unconsciousness or even death and may
need emergency treatment in hospital. When
seeking medical attention make sure that you
take this leaflet and any remaining tablets with
you to show the doctor.
If you forget to take DHC Continus tablets
If you remember within 4 hours of the time
your tablet was due, take your tablet straight
away. Take your next tablet at your normal
time. If you are more than 4 hours late, please
call your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Do not take a double dose to make up for a
forgotten tablet.
If you stop taking DHC Continus tablets
You should not suddenly stop taking these
tablets unless your doctor tells you to. If
you want to stop taking your tablets, discuss
this with your doctor first. They will tell
you how to do this, usually by reducing the
dose gradually so you do not experience
unpleasant effects. Withdrawal symptoms
such as agitation, anxiety, shaking or sweating
may occur if you suddenly stop taking these
If you have any further questions on the use of
this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.


4. Possible side effects
Like all medicines, these tablets can cause
side effects, although not everybody gets
All medicines can cause allergic reactions,
although serious allergic reactions are
uncommon. Tell your doctor immediately if
you get swelling of the face or throat.
The most serious side effect is a condition
where you breathe more slowly or weakly
than expected (respiratory depression).
As with all strong painkillers, there is a risk
you may become addicted or reliant on these
Taking a painkiller for headaches too often or
for too long can make your headaches worse.
Common side effects (Probably affecting
more than 1 in 100 people taking these
• Constipation (your doctor can prescribe a
laxative to overcome this problem).
• Feeling or being sick (this should normally
wear off after a few days, however your
doctor can prescribe an anti-sickness
medicine if it continues to be a problem).
• Drowsiness (this is most likely when you
start taking your tablets or when your dose
is increased, but it should wear off after a
few days).
• Dry mouth, abdominal pain or discomfort.

Uncommon side effects (Probably affecting
fewer than 1 in 100 people taking these
• Diarrhoea, a condition where the bowel
does not work properly (paralytic ileus).
• Mood changes.
• Headache, confusion, a feeling of unusual
• Hallucinations.
• Blurred vision.
• A feeling of dizziness or ‘spinning’,
seizures, fits or convulsions.
• Tingling or numbness.
• Low blood pressure.
• Decreased sexual drive.
• Difficulty in passing urine.
• Flushing of the skin.
• Rash or itchy skin.
• Shortness of breath.
• Sweating.
• A need to take increasingly higher doses
to obtain the same level of pain relief
• A worsening in liver function tests (seen in
a blood test).
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:
By reporting side effects you can help
provide more information on the safety of
this medicine.

5. How to store DHC Continus tablets

6. Further information

Keep out of the reach and sight of children.
Do not use any tablets after the expiry date
which is stated on the label and carton.
EXP 08 2010 means that you should not take
the tablets after the last day of that month
i.e. August 2010.
Do not store your tablets above 25ºC.
Medicines should not be disposed of via
wastewater or household waste. Ask your
pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no
longer required. These measures will help to
protect the environment.

What DHC Continus tablets contain
The active ingredient is dihydrocodeine
tartrate. Each tablet contains 60 mg, 90 mg or
120 mg of dihydrocodeine tartrate.
The other ingredients are:
• Lactose
• Hydroxyethylcellulose
• Cetostearyl alcohol
• Magnesium stearate
• Talc

What DHC Continus tablets look
like and the contents of the pack
The tablets are white, capsule
shaped and marked DHC followed
by the strength (e.g. 60, 90 etc.).
In each bottle there are 56 tablets.
Marketing Authorisation Holder
and Manufacturer
The tablets are made by
Bard Pharmaceuticals Limited for
the marketing authorisation holder
Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited, both
at Cambridge Science Park, Milton
Road, Cambridge CB4 0GW, UK.

This leaflet is also available in large print, Braille or as an audio CD.
To request a copy, please call the RNIB Medicine Information line
(free of charge) on:

0800 198 5000
You will need to give details of the product name
and reference number.
These are as follows:
Product name: DHC Continus prolonged-release tablets
Reference number: 16950/0019
This leaflet was last revised in January 2014
® DHC, Continus, DHC Continus, NAPP and the NAPP device (logo) are Registered Trade
© 2009 - 2014 Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited.

19/03/2014 09:59

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.