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What is Codeine?

What is Codeine?

Codeine, an analgesic medication that dates back centuries, is the most commonly used opiate in the world. It was first isolated by a French chemist for its pain-relieving properties. Listed as an essential medication on the World Health Organisation's List of Essential Medicines, this therapeutic is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate pain. There are different types of pain, such as neuropathic pain, which is a direct result of nerve damage or nociceptive pain, which is a result of damage to body tissue. Pain can be acute or chronic, and more often than not, chronic pain is a symptom of a disorder or disease.

In a 2016 National Health Interview Survey, conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 17000 adults were analysed for the effects of pain on their lives. It was found that 1 in 5 American adults have issues with chronic pain. That constitutes about 50 million people. Of those, 8% of adults experienced pain that interfered with their daily living.

This pain relieving medication is marketed as a single ingredient therapeutic or as combination preparations, with paracetamol for example. It can also be taken with traditional pain relievers that have a different mechanism of action like ibuprofen and aspirin, assuming these are safe for use. When using these tablets, the symptoms of discomfort can be alleviated, thereby restoring balance to one's daily life.

What is Codeine?

Codeine for Pain Relief

  • Pain is a psychical response that the body has to tissue damage but it can also have an emotional link. It is essentially the body's way of reacting to prevent any further damage.
  • When you feel pain, the sensory receptors in the affected area of the body transmit chemical messages via the nerve cells to the brain and spinal cord. These messages eventually reach the brain where they are interpreted as pain. The unpleasant sensation can be either acute or chronic. Acute pain is short term, generally lasting from 3 to 6 months while chronic pain is long term (more than 6 months).
  • It was estimated that in 2011, pain cost the United States between $560 and $635 billion, in missed days of work, lost income and treatment costs. With effective analgesics, these statistics can be significantly reduced.
  • Codeine tablets belong to a class of medications called opioid analgesics. Opioids are substances which, when interacting with opioid receptors, are similar in effect to morphine. In other words, this painkiller is broken down to morphine after being processed by the liver. The duration of this action is dependent on the genetic profile of the patient.
How does Codeine work

Codeine Active Ingredient

  • The active ingredient in these analgesic tablets is codeine. This pain-relieving substance is an opioid which binds to opioid receptors, found in the brain and other areas of the body. This interaction subsequently blocks signals of pain which are sent from the body to the brain and spinal cord.
  • On its own, this medication is effective for pain relief but when combined with other therapeutics, the efficacy is potentiated to a greater extent. A common side effect is drowsiness, and this usually goes away as your body gets used to the therapeutic. There are other codeine side effects as well, but this is the most common effect of the medication.
  • The therapeutic effects are a result of central nervous system (CNS) depression, which leads to sedation and slowed brain activity. This effect helps 'mask' the feelings of pain so that the patient can acquire a sense of relief from the discomfort.
  • Painkillers, although often essential for the alleviation of pain, can also be dangerous if misused. In a recent survey (2019) an estimated 10.1 million people misused opiate medications. However, with proper administration, these medicines are generally considered safe and effective for most people.
Codeine Dosage

What is Codeine Used For?

The codeine painkiller is primarily used for the treatment of pain symptoms. This medication was medically approved for this purpose in 1950, by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It can, however, also be useful for the management of the symptoms of diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome (with predominant diarrhoea). There is evidence, as well, for the safety and effectiveness of this medication in the treatment of cancer pain.

A codeine dosage may be effective for the suppression of a non-productive cough too. This is one of the most common reasons people visit healthcare professionals. This opioid has been used for the treatment of coughs for decades. It has been found to be effective, particularly for a dry and painful cough. A question that sometimes gets asked is how does codeine work for coughs? It works by decreasing nerve signals that are communicated from the coughing centre in the brain to the muscles that induce coughing. This medication blocks the cough reflux when coughing has become overstimulated and serves no beneficial purpose.

Codeine Side Effects

Where to Buy Codeine

You can purchase this medication over-the-counter but some products require a prescription. The easiest and most convenient way to buy codeine in the UK is through online pharmacies. E-commerce platforms are popular for the following reasons:

  • You can often receive discounted prices when buying medications online. Retailers generally have promotions with regard to certain health-related products and these can often be restricted to online purchases only.
  • The range of products available is more extensive when buying online. A traditional pharmacy has limited space and products on offer but with online pharmacies, these limitations are not a concern. You can find the item you require by simply navigating and searching the website.
  • The items you buy can be delivered to you. If you have taken ill, you typically do not have the energy to physically go to a store to buy medicines. You can, therefore, buy painkillers in the UK safely and securely online, to get the relief you require. In addition to saving you the time and energy, you also save the cost of travelling to a pharmacy or store. Furthermore, the delivery service can be conducted in a way that maintains your privacy and discretion.

With these and so many more advantages of online shopping, buying medications from online pharmacies like ours is the easiest route, by far. 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

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