Dihydrocodeine is a combination medication used to treat pain, fever, and swelling. Specifically, the medication is composed of opioid pain reliever, aspirin, and caffeine to give patients the desired effect. The opioid pain reliever is responsible for interacting with the brain while aspirin decreases fever and swelling and caffeine increases the effectiveness of the aspirin.
Just like starting treatment with any new medication, dihydrocodeine patients may notice side effects in the early stages of their treatment. Common side effects of using dihydrocodeine are nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, tremors, constipation, dry mouth, lightheadedness, dizziness, and drowsiness. These common side effects should go away over time. If they persist or worsen, talk to your doctor about any issues you are having.
Although uncommon, serious side effects of using dihydrocodeine are possible. These include agitation, hallucinations, mood changes, irregular heartbeat, increased thirst or urination, ringing in the ears, easy bruising or bleeding, signs of infection, persistent sore throat, fever, heartburn, discomfort when swallowing, dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, signs of kidney problems, difficulty urinating, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness and weight loss. Let your doctor or pharmacist know right away if you notice these serious dihydrocodeine side effects.
If you notice the following after using dihydrocodeine, get medical help as soon as possible: fainting, seizure, black stool, severe stomach or abdominal pain, vomit that resembles coffee grounds, slurred speech, and weakness on one side of the body.
If you no longer want to continue your dihydrocodeine treatment, set up a meeting with your doctor before adjusting your treatment schedule or dosage levels. These should never be changed or adjusted without explicit instruction from your doctor. Never stop taking dihydrocodeine cold turkey, either, as this can produce enhanced, unwanted withdrawal symptoms.
Once you let your doctor know you do not want to take dihydrocodeine any longer, they will normally lower your dihydrocodeine dose gradually over time to give your system ample time to adjust to less and less of the medication.
Common dihydrocodeine withdrawal symptoms are nausea, vomiting, headaches, sweating, chills, diarrhea, irritation, anxiety, nervousness, dizziness, strong drug cravings that don’t subside unless more of the drug is taken, restlessness, insomnia, body shakes and palpitations.
Each patient going through dihydrocodeine withdrawal will experience symptoms and timelines differently. This is due to every person’s unique physiology which determines how quickly dihydrocodeine can be removed from the body. Factors that influence a patient’s physiology are age, metabolism, organ function, and more. The amount of dihydrocodeine you are accustomed to taking and how long you have been using the medication will also affect your withdrawal symptom timeline.
The risk of a prolonged timeline or more severe dihydrocodeine withdrawal symptoms increases if you stop taking the medication cold turkey.
If you are having trouble managing withdrawal symptoms after you have stopped taking dihydrocodeine, you may need to enter a medically assisted detoxification program to support you during this potentially difficult time. In this program, patients can access professionally trained staff to help them understand or cope with their individual withdrawal struggles.
Always keep an updated list of your current medications and share this with your doctor. Make sure you include herbal products, over the counter drugs, or substances you use recreationally, as these can all interact with dihydrocodeine.
Products that may cause an interaction with dihydrocodeine are acetazolamide, antacids, anticholinergic medications, certain antibiotics, anti-seizure medications, drugs used to treat gout, disulfiram, lithium, isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, tranylcypromine, 6-mercaptopurine, methotrexate, mifepristone, naltrexone, pentazocine, nalbuphine, morphine, vemurafenib, and zidovudine.
Choosing a dihydrocodeine center to fit your needs is a major step in each patient’s road to recovery. To make the most informed decision possible, you may want to set up a meeting with your doctor to discuss what you need in a dihydrocodeine center.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction to dihydrocodeine or another form of a substance use disorder, get help as soon as possible. The Recovery Village has many resources and treatment options available for those looking to live a happier, healthier, substance-free life.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.