Co Codamol

I was taking paracetamol (about 4-6 per day) and they didn't help. I went to the doctors. They gave me cocodamol 8mg. For about 3 months. This week I went again and he asked me what I wanted to do. Stronger cocodamol, steroid injections or ultimately another hip replacement. I asked him to explain about the injections as I know nothing. He said I would need them every month and it depends on the hospital how often they can do them. I opted for stronger cocodamol 15mg. He said 2 , 4 times a day. I m a bit frightened to do this. I like to go out and about and I drive. They say can cause drowsiness, Not used to doctors giving me the options. It used to be that they gave the medication and that was it. Just don't know which advise to take.


  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Hi @lindamay,

    I think you're right to be a bit sceptical - Co-Codemol can not only cause drowsiness in some people but constipation and also become addictive.

    I only take it on demand, i.e if I have a flare-up or I've overdone it at the gym, etc.

    Another (natural) option you could investigate is CBD, I take a full spectrum capsule from a company who sell online called Hempura, its not cheap but this is one of the best I've found for my OA. Those plus my trusty TENS machine and Acupuncture allow me to lead a very active life with a low background ache.


  • Hi @lindamay

    Thank you for posting on our Online Community, as Jon has said there can be side effects when taking co-codemol especially if it is long term and usually GP's will only suggest this for a short period of time.

    If you would like to try a complementary treatment and your condition is Osteoarthritis you could speak to your GP about Capsaicin cream, which is a drug free complementary treatment, which is recommended for osteoarthritis and has been given a score of 5/5 for effectiveness for this condition, it is only available on prescription from your GP. When applied in the form of a cream it is thought to provide pain relief by temporarily changing the way our body process pain which works mainly by reducing Substance P, a pain transmitter in your nerves. If you were to get the cream, it would need to be applied 4 times a day and allowed to build up into the system for at least 2 weeks.

    Other ways of managing your condition would be to try heat and ice treatment which can help also with pain and swelling, heat can be in a form of a hot water bottle, wheat pack or having a warm shower. Ice can help with pain and swelling so that can be a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a damp tea-towel.  

    All the best for the future.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Advisor

  • lindamay
    lindamay Member Posts: 115

    Thank you for your advise, but I now feel even more confused as to what to do or try. Surely the doctor shouldn't prescribe the cocodamol in large amounts (2 pkts of 100) if they could be harmful taken for long periods. I am happy to pay for something but with so many different products I cannot afford to keep paying and find they don't work. This time last year I could walk 4 - 5 mile comfortably. Now I struggle to walk about 1/4 mile or even round a supermarket. It seems to have happened to quickly.

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    @lindamay - sorry to add to your confusion, if your GP has prescribed this dosage to help manage your pain then it's ought to be medically safe. However, in your original post you raised concerns over drowsiness, etc which could affect your ability to drive which I think is valid. I've pointed out the side-effects of Co-Codemol based on my personal experience and what I was told when I first started taking it. Chris and I have suggested other potential options as non-drowsy alternatives which is what I thought you wanted, apologies if not.

    I think it'll be down to you ultimately: take the higher dosage and see if your pain relief is enough to lead a more active life, for all anyone knows you mightn't feel any drowsiness. If soand you want to drive, perhaps scaling the intake down a day before you plan to go anywhere might help?

  • lindamay
    lindamay Member Posts: 115

    Thank you, for all your help. I have a lot to consider. You have been very helpful.

  • @lindamay I have a similar prescription for co codamol and find it makes me feel very drowsy and it upsets my stomach. Although I have a large prescription I only take it when the pain is unbearable and normally only for a couple of days in a row. My GP said that it is perfectly safe for me based on my age and medical history.

    I agree that being given options can be confusing and add an extra layer of anxiety. There is no harm in trying it for a little while and speaking to your gp if it causes difficulties for you.

    Good luck x