Paracodin is cough suppressant. The active ingredient dihydrocodeine helps to suppress coughing. Paracodin is a prescription-only medicine.

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What is Paracodin?

Paracodin is cough suppressant. The active ingredient dihydrocodeine helps to suppress coughing. Paracodin is a prescription-only medicine.

What is Paracodin used for?

Paracodin is used to treat persistent tickly coughs. A tickly (non-productive or dry) cough is a cough in which the airways are irritated but no phlegm is coughed up. A common cause of the tickly cough is the common cold. Paracodin reduces the cough reflex, which in turn reduces coughing, allowing the airways to heal.

How to use Paracodin

Paracodin is available in tablet or syrup form. The tablets should be swallowed without chewing with some liquid. The cough syrup is suitable for use in children or people with difficulty swallowing. Paracodin can be taken with or without food. The active ingredient dihydrocodeine can be habit forming when taken for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, this medicine should not be used for more than five consecutive days without consulting a doctor. The best time to take Paracodin is at bedtime. This will relieve your nighttime cough and allow you to get the sleep you need.


Unless otherwise advised by a doctor, the usual dose is:

  • Adults and children aged 12 and above: one 10-mg tablet one to three times a day, or 5 to 10 ml syrup one to three times a day.
  • Children aged 6 to 12: 2.5 to 5 ml syrup, one to three times a day.

Paracodin should not be used in children under the age of six. Do not exceed the prescribed dose and read the package leaflet before use.

Side effects

Like all medicines, Paracodin may cause side effects. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine:

  • Sleepiness, drowsiness;
  • Dizziness;
  • Headache;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Constipation.

Consult a doctor if these or other side effects are severe. For more information, see the package leaflet.

When not to use Paracodin

Paracodin is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:

  • You are allergic to dihydrocodeine are any other ingredient in this medicine;
  • You have a productive, chesty cough in which phlegm is coughed up (Paracodin should only be used to treat a dry cough);
  • You suffer from chronic constipation;
  • You have a medical condition that makes it unwise to suppress breathing.

Consult a doctor on the use of this medicine if you have a liver or kidney disease or other health problems. You should also tell the doctor if you are taking any medications when you order. This is to avoid potential interaction and to make sure that the combination with Paracodin is safe.

Pregnancy/driving ability/alcohol

Do not use Paracodin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, unless otherwise advised by your doctor. This medicine may cause sleepiness and dizziness and thus affect your reaction time. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you and you are sure you can do so safely. Limit or stop drinking alcohol while taking this medicine as this is likely to trigger or worsen the side effects.

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