How and when to take Dihydrocodeine

How and when to take Dihydrocodeine

It’s important to take dihydrocodeine as your doctor has asked you to. This is particularly important because dihydrocodeine can be addictive.

Swallow the tablets whole with water. It’s best to take them with or soon after a meal or snack.

How much will I take?

Dihydrocodeine tablets come in 5 different strengths. The tablets contain 30mg, 40mg, 60mg, 90mg or 120mg of dihydrocodeine.

How often you take your tablets will depend on the strength.

Immediate release tablets

The usual dose for adults and children aged 12 years and over is:

  • 30mg tablet – 1 tablet every 4 to 6 hours – maximum dose in 24 hours is 6 tablets (180mg)
  • 40mg tablet – 1 or 2 tablets up to 3 times in 24 hours – maximum dose in 24 hours is 6 tablets (240mg)

Slow release tablets

The usual dose for adults and children aged 12 years and over is:

  • 60mg, 90mg or 120mg tablets – 1 tablet taken every 12 hours

The tablets contain 60mg, 90mg or 120mg of dihydrocodeine. The usual dose is between 60mg and 120mg, taken twice a day.

Liquid

The usual dose of liquid is one to three 5ml spoonfuls taken every 4 to 6 hours. One 5ml spoonful has 10mg of dihydrocodeine in it (3 spoonfuls contain 30mg).

For children aged between 4 and 11 years dose is worked out based on weight. The usual dose is between 0.5mg and 1mg per kg of body weight, up to a maximum dose of 30mg every 4 to 6 hours.

If you’re taking dihydrocodeine as a liquid, it will come with a plastic medicine spoon or syringe to help you measure the correct amount. Ask a pharmacist for one if you do not have it.

Do not measure the liquid with a kitchen teaspoon because it will not give the right amount.

Will my dose go up or down?

Usually you’ll start on a low dose of standard dihydrocodeine. Your doctor may increase this gradually until your pain is well controlled.

Important

If you have been taking dihydrocodeine for more than a few weeks do not stop taking it without speaking to your doctor first.

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