Combining Codeine with Pain Relievers Not as Effective

August 2, 2010

Is codeine treatment helpful in combination with other pain relief products? That's what researchers from the Drug Health Service at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sydney set out to find out in a review published in the Australian Prescriber.

Is codeine treatment helpful in combination with other pain relief products? That’s what researchers from the Drug Health Service at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sydney set out to find in a review published in the Australian Prescriber.

The researchers evaluated the evidence surrounding combinations of painkillers in the same tablet, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol with codeine, and found that often times it did not result in greater pain relief.

When used repeatedly the risks of side effects, such as stomach and liver damage, increased. Likewise, when patients take the combination tablets in higher doses than recommended, they are also taking higher doses of the non-codeine pain relief, which can produce the unwanted side effects.