Codeine and its Effects.
If you have taken painkillers in the past that contain Codeine and have suffered a rash this is a true allergy and must be listed in the allergies on your medical history form. In this case always inform the dentist and avoid the drug in the future.
Codeine can cause some patients unpleasant side effects. Codeine is a strong painkiller. It is absorbed and converted by your liver into Morphine, which is classified as a narcotic analgesic (an extremely strong pain killer). If you take Codeine you are therefore taking a narcotic drug with several potential side effects that may include:
This is why we always suggest you use the least strong medication that keeps you comfortable after surgery.
Our advice on pain control after surgery is as follows:
For minimal pain it is suggested you take Naproxen 500mgs every 8 hours (anti-inflammatory) as prescribed by Dr. Priestland, and simple Paracetamol 500mg tablets (also known as Panadol), 2 tablets every 4-6 hours for adults. Avoid more than 8 Paracetamol tablets in 24 hours or you may damage your liver.
For moderate pain take your Naproxen 500mgs every 8 hours as prescribed and 2 Panadeine Extra every 4-6 hours. Panadeine Extra contains both Paracetamol 500mg and Codeine 15mg. Panadeine Extra can also be purchased over the counter, therefore, you do not need a prescription.
For severe pain use your Naproxen 500mgs every 8 hours as prescribed and 2 Panadeine Forte tablets every 4-6 hours not exceeding 8 in 24 hours. Each tablet contains Paracetamol 500mg and Codeine 30mg. Panadeine Forte is only available on prescription from Dr. Priestland or your doctor.
Alternatively, your doctor may offer to prescribe Endone (Oxycodone), a very strong narcotic painkiller to be taken as required while you continue to take 2 tablets of simple Paracetamol every 4-6 hours.
Sometimes if a procedure is expected to cause severe pain after day surgery under general anaesthetic at the Mater Hospital Day Surgery Unit, your anaesthetist may give you a prescription for Endone (Oxycodone) just in case you need it, this can save you going to see your doctor for additional pain control.
Remember, that if you are taking Endone, you should only take Paracetamol and avoid any medicines containing Codeine. Do not take Endone with Panadeine Extra or Forte.
Any person taking tablets containing Codeine or taking other narcotic painkillers should not drive, use machinery, make legally binding decisions, sign legal documents, work in an environment governed by Workplace Health and Safety directives forbidding such medications, or use social media.
Other posts in this series
- Medication and Dental Surgery: How your medical history influences treatment decisions
- Osteoporosis medication influences dental extractions and dental surgery
- Diabetes and dental treatment or surgery
- Dental extractions and surgery after radiation therapy of the head and neck
- Knee or hip replacement surgery influences future dental management
- The influence of cardiac disease on dental management
- Anticoagulant and anti-platelet medications influence management of dental extractions and dental surgery
- Angina (heart-related chest pain) medications and dental treatment
- Patients who routinely take steroid medications