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How Does Codeine Work?

How Does Codeine Work?

The exact mechanism of action of this medication is not entirely known. Researchers have suggested, though, that opiates affect the signalling pathway of nerve cells. When pain is experienced, such as if you touch something hot for example, the sensory receptors in your fingers 'sense' a message of injury. This message is then sent through the nerve signalling pathway, to the brainstem and spinal cord. After being transmitted to the brain, the brain processes the message and interprets it as an unpleasant feeling of pain.

Codeine 30 mg works by attaching to certain areas of the central nervous system called opioid receptors. Once attached, this medication blocks signals of pain, hence providing relief from the discomfort a patient may be experiencing. This pain-relieving medicine can also be useful in the treatment of a non-productive cough. Also called a dry cough, a nonproductive cough is usually the result of some kind of irritation in the throat. Various things, from asthma to acid reflux as well as irritants in the air such as dust, can cause a dry and painful cough.

The cough reflex is a vital defence mechanism of the body. However, it can sometimes become overstimulated and this medication helps suppress the cough reflex and reduce discomfort associated with a dry cough.

What is Codeine?

How Long Does It Take for Codeine to Work?

The durational efficacy of this medication may vary from one person to the next. The time to onset of effects of this medication will depend on various factors including:

  • The formulation of this treatment you are using. In general, the tablets have an onset of action of approximately 30 to 60 minutes. This time to therapeutic action is similar to the onset of action of the liquid formulations and cough syrups too.
  • For more immediate relief from your symptoms, intramuscular forms of this analgesic are a better route of administration. However, injectable formulations are contraindicated for the intravenous route because of the possibility of anaphylactic reactions (serious allergic reactions).
  • You can buy painkillers in the UK in injectable forms. They work faster because they are already in liquid form and the therapeutic does not have to pass through the digestive process, which prolongs the onset of action.
  • You can buy codeine in the UK using online pharmacies, and in various formulations.
How does Codeine work

How Long Does Codeine Last?

The duration of action of these painkillers is approximately 4 to 6 hours but this can vary slightly depending on the following factors:

  • Body size: those with lower body weights often experience the effects of a medicine on a greater scale. It is for this reason that the FDA listed use of this medication as a contraindication in those under the age of 12 years. Women generally have lower body weights than men. Therefore, they are more prone to enhanced therapeutic effects of pharmaceuticals and experience the associated adverse effects with greater severity as well.
  • Amount of codeine in the product: the effects of this medication will last longer, and be enhanced too, if you use a product which has a greater amount of the active ingredient formulated in it. A higher amount of the active ingredient means more of the medicine will be present in the body, hence a greater therapeutic effect.
  • Tolerance to pain-relieving medications: the duration of effect may be different among patients who are not used to opioid analgesics and are less tolerant to the effects of these medicines. The effects of this therapeutic may last longer in these patients as their bodies are less accustomed to the action of pharmaceuticals.
Codeine Dosage

How Well Does Codeine Work?

This analgesic medication has been proven effective in various scientific research studies. It is commonly used in the treatment of several conditions. A question that gets asked at times is what is codeine effective for according to scientific research? In a study by Peechakara and Gupta, the efficacy of the codeine painkiller was evaluated for the following conditions:

Cough This antitussive medicine was associated with a decrease in the frequency and severity of coughs. Although, there is limited research indicating the efficacy of a codeine dosage in patients with chronic coughs.
Restless Legs syndrome These painkiller tablets were suggested as being effective for the treatment of restless legs syndrome in patients who did not find relief with other medications. Restless legs syndrome is a condition that tends to happen in the evening or at nighttime. Therefore, therapeutic dosages are beneficial when administered at night and codeine side effects like drowsiness are easier to manage prior to retiring to bed.
Persistent Diarrhoea Data suggests that this pain-relieving medicine is equally as effective as loperamide, also known by the brand name Imodium, for the treatment of diarrhoea. Research suggests that the choice between these therapeutics should be based on the individual evaluation of a patient and their susceptibility to side effects.
Pain This medicine is recognised for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, including cancer pain. However, the use of this analgesic for the treatment of other types of chronic pain is controversial, according to experts. Chronic pain is pain that persists for longer than 3 months and includes fibromyalgia, headaches, back pain and osteoarthritis.
Codeine Side Effects

How Long Does Codeine Stay In Your System?

  • This medication can be detected in the hair for 10 weeks, in the saliva for 21 hours and in the urine for 48 hours.
  • Administering codeine for pain or other conditions at high dosages increases the amount of the active ingredient in the body. Hence, the amount of time it takes for the medicine to be eliminated from the system will be longer.
  • The half-life of this therapeutic is typically 2.9 hours (this is the time it takes for half of the medicine to be removed from the body). The elimination of this medication primarily occurs via the kidneys (approximately 90% of an oral dose) and is excreted about 24 hours after administration. This percentage of the therapeutic eliminated from the body and the time to elimination can vary in those with kidney impairments. For this reason, those with kidney dysfunction should use this painkiller with extra caution as there could be an accumulation of the medicine in the body.

As well as the strongest painkillers on the market, we also sell a wide range of strong sleeping pills and anxiety medication at without a prescription! If you have any questions, please contact us for an informative reply. We look forward to helping you with a pain relief option.




Quickly establishing herself as a content writer Sarah found herself drawn to the medical industry – specifically in the field of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT-I), and sleep aids for insomnia. Sarah brings a wealth of experience, expertise and enthusiasm and will no doubt keep our readers absorbed with her insightful and thoughtful blogs written especially for

Madison Tyrell – May 13, 2021
Nice blog Sarah As over the counter medication does not offer me relief from the chronic back pain that I suffer from, I decided to try the medication you advise in this blog. Much to my surprise I have found this medication to be highly effective. Buying it online has even saved me money and I couldnt be happier. Thank you Madison Tyrell

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