Also known as Codeine Phosphate is a strong pain killer used to treat mild to moderate and severe pain. Codeine is typically prescribed when other pain relief medication such as Ibuprofen and Paracetamol fails to provide effective treatment of the pain.

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Codeine Phosphate

Codeine phosphate or more commonly known as Codeine Tablets are a common form of pain relief medication used to treat mild to moderate pain. Codeine Phosphate belongs to a group of effective pain killer medication called Opioid analgesics; other medications in this group include Co-codamol and Co-dydramol. Codeine is the most commonly prescribed Opiate when compared to other medications that are part of the same group of medicines.

Codeine is effective in the treatment of common and sometimes painful conditions such as coughs, diarrhoea especially in those who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and other pain related symptoms.

The main ingredient in Codeine tablets is Codeine phosphate which can be taken alone or with a combination of other painkillers such as Paracetamol. There are many other medications that contain codeine as an active ingredient due to how effective the ingredient is in treating moderate pain and discomfort.

When Codeine is taken in tablet form, it is transformed into Morphine by the liver; Morphine is the substance that produces very effective pain relief which is why it is used by many hospitals throughout the UK.

Codeine can be taken on its own or as a mixture of Codeine and Paracetamol, when combined becomes Co-codamol 30/500mg, this means that there is 30mg of Codeine present in Co Codamol tablets with the rest, 500mg to be exact, being made up of paracetamol.

Codeine 30mg can only be bought with a prescription, this can be purchased from Medicine Direct, however all customers are required to complete an online health questionnaire that will be reviewed by our doctors to determine if a customer is suitable for the medication or not.

Codeine addiction can be a serious side effect when taking this medication which is why this treatment is only available via prescription and should always be taken under the supervision of a Doctor or Pharmacist.

30mg Codeine Phosphate

This dosage of Codeine tablets are only available in the UK from a licensed Pharmacy or Doctor and require a prescription in order to be able to purchase. Codein phosphate tablets come in different strengths such as 15mg, 30mg (available from Medicine Direct) and 60mg. Unlike other medications where the lower strengths casn usually be purchased over the counter, codeine tablets are only available on prescription only.

30mg Codeine Phosphate tablets can also be combined with other painkillers such as Paracetamol, when combined will then become Co-codamol 30/500mg. This means that the level of Codeine (30mg) will be added to 500mg of paracetamol, which can sometimes be more effective than using codeine by itself.

What is Codeine Phosphate?

Codeine phosphate 30mg tablets is an effective short term medication used to treat mild to moderate pain and is most commonly prescribed to help relieve pain associated with coughing, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome and other pain related symptoms. Although codeine is not limited to providing treatment for those conditions, it is however most effective when used for treating symptoms similar to those listed above.

Codeine Side effects

As with all medicines, Codeine can cause a number of side effects that may or may not affect you when taking this medication. Common side effects are classed as those that affect more than 1 in 100 people. As Codeine Phosphate is a type of opioid it can be highly addictive meaning that one of the biggest side effects that codeine users experience is withdrawal symptoms once they stop using the medication. Due to the highly addictive ingredients within Codeine, it is essential to only consume the exact amount that has been prescribed by your doctor/pharmacist.  Failure to stick to the recommended dosage will increase your chances of experiencing a number of side effects.

The most common Codeine Phosphate side effects are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizzyness
  • Lethargic and sleepy
  • Sickness
  • Constipation
  • Stomach Ache
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling very excited
  • Headeaches
  • Withdrawal Symptoms

Although the above side effects are quite common among Codeine users, it is still recommended that you update and inform your doctor of these side effects. Individuals that are currently taking codeine are still able to consume the medication when experiencing these sorts of side effects, however should the side effects persist and become more noticeable we advise to stop taking the medicine.

More serious Codeine Phosphate side effects include:

  • Skin rash
  • Itchy skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased sweating
  • Redness or facial flushing

In the event that any individual is experiencing any of the above more serious side effects, it is advised that you discontinue using the medication and contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately. For a full list of all Codeine Phosphate side effects please read the Codeine patient information leaflet that can be found in your package upon successful order.

Codeine Phosphate Dosage

Codeine tablets are available in a variety of dosages and strengths ranging from 15mg, 30mg (available from Medicine Direct) and 60mg. All codeine dosage tablets are only available with a prescription issues from a UK Doctor or pharmacist. Codeine is typically taken in a tablet and capsule form and is to be swallowed whole with a glass of water to assist with swallowing.

The Codeine phosphate dosage you should take is determined by the condition that you are suffering from. For example more serious and painful conditions will require a larger dosage of codeine to treat that particular symptom. Please see the table below to help you when purchasing your codeine dosage.

Codeine Phosphate Dosage


Recommended Dose

15mg - 30mg Dry or Painful Cough 1 x 30mg Tablet 3-4 times daily
30mg Mild - Moderate Pain 1 x 30mg Tablet every 6 hours
30mg Diarrhoea 1 x 30mg Tablet 3-4 times daily

The dosage for elderly patients should be reduced appropriately. Children should also not use codeine due to the risk of opioid toxicity. Patients should never exceed the maximum daily dosage allowance of 240mg within 24 hours and should ensure that they leave a minimum of 6 hours in-between taking each tablet

Things to know before taking

It is important to only take the prescribed daily dosage that your doctor or pharmacist has advised. Do not be tempted to double up on tablets or increase your dosage if codeine fails to relieve your pain. Take this medication for 3 days to determine whether you have experienced any form of pain relief. If after 3 days you are still in pain and the codeine 30mg tablets have failed to treat/supress any of the pain you are experiencing, please contact your doctor as there may be a more suitable medication for your condition.

Codeine Phosphate and Paracetamol

Codeine phosphate can be combined with paracetamol and taken at the same time. There are 2 choices when it comes to taking paracetamol and codeine tablets.

  1. You can take codeine and paracetamol tablets separately at similar or different times of the day.
  2. You can purchase Co-Codamol 30-500mg which is a mixture of both codeine and paracetamol in one tablet. When taking Co codamol you must not consume any additional paracetamol due to the high levels of paracetamol that are present within these tablets.

During pregnancy and breastfeeding

Regular use during pregnancy may cause physical dependency in the foetus and can result in the new-born experiencing withdrawal symptoms if the medication is suddenly stopped. Small amounts of codeine will be present in breastmilk although this will be at a very small dosage and is highly unlikely to have any effect on the breastfed infant.

How to buy codeine phosphate 30mg tablets online in the UK?

Codeine 30mg tablets are only available with a prescription from a doctor or pharmacist. Medicine direct will supply patients with a prescription and send the medication directly to you. Every patient is required to complete an online health questionnaire which will then be reviewed by our doctor to ensure that this is the right medication for you. Our doctors will then produce a prescription for your medication that will be sent directly to our pharmacy. Our pharmacy will then send you the medication directly. There is no need to send us a prescription as Medicine Direct will create a prescription for you and send this directly to our pharmacy.

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