Kapake is one of a range of medications or analgesics that combine both paracetamol and codeine phosphate to fight pain. These drugs are commonly referred to as co-codamol. Kapake is frequently prescribed to patients who have trouble controlling moderate to severe pain for an illness, injury, or following surgery. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

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Kapake is a prescription pain-killing medication otherwise known as co-codamol.  The active ingredients of Kapake are codeine phosphate and paracetamol. When combined these two substances help to manage and treat pain. However, Kapake will not address the underlying cause of the pain. Kapake belongs to a group of medicines called analgesics. They can offer support for moderate to severe pain in circumstances where other painkillers have not been effective.  

What is Kapake? 

Kapake is one of a range of medications or analgesics that combine both paracetamol and codeine phosphate to fight pain. These drugs are commonly referred to as co-codamol. Kapake is frequently prescribed to patients who have trouble controlling moderate to severe pain for an illness, injury, or following surgery. This medicine is typically used when other painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin have not been effective alone.  Using the combined medication of paracetamol and codeine, Kapake is effective at relieving and reducing pain. The paracetamol (usually a 500mg dose) controls pain by interfering with the pain receptors in the body known as prostaglandins. The prostaglandins in your body make your nerves more receptive, so that you're more likely to feel pain.(The exact mechanism of action is still not known, paracetamol seems to block Cyclo-oxygenase, an Enzym which is responsible to form Prostaglandins)  

Alternatively, Codeine is a medication that belongs to the Opioid family. Opioids work by mimicking the natural painkillers in the body called endorphins. The endorphins created by your body block pain messages from reaching the brain.  

When is Kapake used? 

Kapake is an effective medication for moderate to severe pain. Doctors frequently prescribe this medication after surgery to improve recovery times. It's also possible to use Kapake to address a range of other pains. Unfortunately, Kapake is not effective at treating the underlying condition causing the pain. Instead, Kapake is intended to treat symptoms only, by blocking pain signals from reaching the opioid receptors in the brain. This makes it easier for patients to tolerate their discomfort. Kapake is used where regular analgesics like paracetamol or ibuprofen are not effective. Kapake is not recommended for use by children under the age of 12.  

How do you use Kapake? 

Always read the product information enclosed with your medication before taking Kapake. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine you should be taking, and it's important not to take more or less than the recommended amount. Do not take more than 8 tablets within a 24 hour period.  The recommended dosage for most adults is between or 2 tablets or capsules, taken every four to six hours. You can take Kapake by mouth with a glass of water. Some of these tablets and other forms of co-codamol come as a soluble or effervescent tablet that can be dissolved in water. If you have difficult taking capsules or pills, you my be able to ask your doctor for the dispersible tablets instead. If the pain that you are taking Kapake for doesn't diminish, do not take more than your recommended dose. If your pain continue for more than 3 days of using Kapake, contact your doctor.  

What dosages are available? 

Kapake is available in a range of different strengths depending on your condition. Your doctor will tell you how much to take. Most commonly, Kapake is given in strengths of 30mg of Codeine phosphate, and 500mg of paracetamol. 

For adult patients over the age of 18, the recommended dose is usually 1 to 2 tablets every four to six hours. Make sure that you do not take more than 8 capsules per day. The recommended dose for children over the age of 12 is one tablet every six hours, up to a maximum of 4 tablets in any 24 hour period. This medication is not given to children aged under 12 years, as children can experience opioid toxicity caused by an inability to metabolize codeine. If you are susceptible to codeine based side effects, your doctor may give you a prescription for Kapake with a lower dose of codeine.  

What are the side effects of Kapake? 

Like any medication, it is possible for Kapake to cause side effects, though not all people will react negatively to this substance. The most common side effects are very mild and will correct themselves. For instance, you may feel nauseous or vomit, you could experience drowsiness or dizziness, and you may have an allergic reaction.  

Allergic reactions can be very dangerous, particularly when they come with shortness of breath, swelling around the mouth, throat or tongue, and more. Make sure that you contact your doctor immediately and stop taking Kapake if you think that you may be having an allergic reaction. Tell your doctor immediately if you feel any unusual symptoms after taking Kapake, including the following: 

  • Reduced heart rate  
  • Constipation 
  • Stomach pains 
  • Bladder problems 
  • Light headedness 
  • Confusion or mood changes 
  • Narrowing of the pupils 

Regular use of codeine can lead to tolerance and addiction. Symptoms of irritability or restlessness may occur when treatment is stopped. Additionally, remember that prolonged use of analgesics for headaches can make your headaches worse. Before you begin your course of treatment, it's important to read through all potential side effects included in the patient information leaflet. If you are concerned about any side-effects, speak to your doctor.  

When shouldn't you use Kapake? 

Kapake will not be appropriate for use in all cases. Make sure that you tell your doctor during your consultation if you're taking any medications that may interact with the substance. You should also not be taking Kapake alongside other medications that include codeine and paracetamol.  Kapake is not suitable for patients who: 

  • Are allergic to codeine phosphate, paracetamol or any other of the ingredients listed on the Kapake packaging 
  • Are receiving or taking medications known as Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors 
  • Are suffering from acute asthma or respiratory depression 
  • Have recently had a head injury or increased intracranial pressure 
  • Are breastfeeding or currently pregnant 
  • Are under the age of 12 

The Kapake drug codeine metabolizes into morphine using liver enzymes. If the patient lacks the CPY2D6 enzyme, or has trouble producing it, then the desired pain relief may not occur. Caution should be used when giving Kapake to the elderly as they can be at increased risk of experience side effects. This is particularly true for patients with obstructive or inflammatory bowel disorders, prostatic hypertrophy or Addison's disease. 

Be careful taking paracetamol if you have severe liver or kidney impairment. Your doctor may advice a reduced dosage during your consultation. If you have non-cirrhotic liver disease, you may have an increased risk of an accidental overdose.  

Make sure that you do not take Kapake for longer than the period prescribed. This substance can cause addiction because of the use of the opioid codeine. Kapake should not be taken with alcohol, as it intensifies the effect of the drug, causing dizziness and drowsiness. It is advisable to reduce or stop drinking when taking this medication. 

Avoid driving or operating machinery if you are using Kapake and feel dizzy or drowsy.  

Does Kapake interact with any other medications? 

Avoid taking Kapake or co-codamol with any other medications that contain codeine phosphate or paracetamol as this can lead to an accidental overdose. Paracetamol is present in a range of cold and flu remedies and various branded painkillers. Make sure that you check the ingredients before taking anything.  

It is safe to take Kapake with other anti-inflammatory painkillers such as aspirin or naproxen if your doctor approves this. Make sure to check with your doctor that anti-inflammatory medications will not interact with any other pills you are taking. Keep in mind that you are more likely to feel drowsy or sleepy if you take Kapake with other painkillers that include opioids, such as fentanyl, or tramadol. If you are taking one of these painkillers but still experiencing pain, contact your doctor. You will also be more likely to experience the effects of other medications that cause drowsiness when taking Kapake. Be cautious when using: 

  • Antihistamines like promethazine and chlorphenamine 
  • Benzodiazepines like lorazepam and diazepam 
  • Gabapentin 
  • Muscle relaxants like baclofen 
  • Pregabalin 
  • Pizotifen 
  • Sleeping tablets like zolpidem and zopiclone 
  • Tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline 

Kapake makes it more likely you will experience constipation when taking pills like loperamide. Additionally, if you take Kapake within 5 hours of taking cholestyramine, it's less likely to be effective because this substance will reduce your stomach's ability to absorb the active ingredient paracetamol.  

Antidiabetic medications like liraglutide, lixisenatide and exenatide may reduce the absorption rate of paracetamol into the bloodstream. Additionally, Kapake may be less effective at relieving feelings of pain and discomfort if you are taking fluoxetine, bupropion, rifampicin, paroxetine, ritonavir or quinidine. Codeine can also affect the muscular activity in the gut. Be cautious when taking Kapake with medications like Cumarins (Warfarin, Acenocoumarol and Fenprocoumon). Remember that it's okay to take occasional doses of paracetamol to reduce fever or pain when using Cumarins, however, long-term use can increase the effects of the Cumarins, making it more difficult to form blood clots and increasing your risk of prolonged bleeding. 

Do not take Kapake with the anti-cancer medication imatinib, this can prevent paracetamol from being properly metabolized by the liver. Kapake can also have poor reactions with the chemotherapy medication busulfan. If you take paracetamol within 72 hours of using busulfan you may experience an increased risk of side effects. If you are concerned that Kapake may not be the right treatment for you, discuss this with your doctor. Make sure you inform your doctor of all the medications you are using - not just the ones mentioned here. Kapake may also interact with herbal medications and supplements.  

Where can you buy Kapake? 

It is possible to safely purchase Kapake online or offline through a registered pharmacist after you have completed a full consultation with a doctor. It is important to speak to your doctor before ordering Kapake so you know how much medication you should be taking, and whether Kapake is safe for your condition.  

Can you get Kapake without a prescription?  

Kapake is available over the counter without a prescription, unless you need a particularly high dose. However, it is a good idea to speak to a doctor or pharmacy before using this medication, as it can interact with other medications and conditions.  

Do not take Kapake for longer than 3 days. 




Galen Limited, Almac Pharma Services Ltd, Craigavon, UK, Last Revised 03/2019, Kapake 30mg/500mg tablets, Retrieved from: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.7289.pdf  

Marshall, H. NetDoctor Pharmacy, Last updated 06.02.2019, Can I take Co-Codamol with other medicines, Retrieved from: https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/aches-pains/a26376/can-i-take-co-codamol-with-other-medicines/  

Medicines.org, Accessed on the 27th of April 2019, Kapake 30mg/500mg tablets, Retrieved from: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/7289/smpc  

NICE, Accessed on 27th of April 2019, Kapake 15/500 Indications and Dose, Short-Term Treatment of Acute pain, Retried from: https://bnfc.nice.org.uk/clinical-medicinal-product-information/kapake-15500.html