Dihydrocodeine is a medication commonly prescribed for managing moderate to severe pain. It belongs to the class of drugs known as opioids, which work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and reducing the perception of pain. However, like all medications, dihydrocodeine is not without its potential side effects. So, in this blog post, we will also be talking about Dihydrocodeine side effects.

Understanding Dihydrocodeine

Dihydrocodeine is a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar in structure and function to codeine. It is available in various formulations, including tablets, capsules, and liquids, and is often prescribed to relieve pain associated with conditions such as post-surgery recovery, injury, or chronic conditions like arthritis. Dihydrocodeine is classified as a controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and addiction.

Common Side Effects of Dihydrocodeine

Dihydrocodeine side effects, like other opioids, can be expected, which can vary in severity from person to person. It is important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and some individuals may experience side effects that are not listed here. However, being aware of the potential side effects can help patients recognize any adverse reactions and seek appropriate medical attention if needed.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

One of the most common side effects of dihydrocodeine is constipation. Opioids can slow down the movement of the intestines, leading to difficulty in passing stools. Other gastrointestinal side effects may include nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. These side effects can be managed with lifestyle changes such as increased fluid intake, dietary modifications, and the use of stool softeners or laxatives as recommended by a healthcare professional.

Respiratory Side Effects

Another important side effect of dihydrocodeine is respiratory depression, which can be life-threatening. Opioids like dihydrocodeine can suppress the respiratory system, leading to decreased breathing rate and depth. This is especially dangerous when dihydrocodeine is taken in higher doses than prescribed or combined with other respiratory depressant drugs, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and avoid alcohol or other sedatives while taking dihydrocodeine to minimize the risk of respiratory side effects.

Central Nervous System Side Effects

Dihydrocodeine side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. It can also affect the central nervous system (CNS). These side effects can impair cognitive function and motor coordination, increasing the risk of accidents, falls, or injuries. It is important to avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating heavy machinery while taking dihydrocodeine, especially when starting the medication or adjusting the dosage.

Cardiovascular Side Effects

Dihydrocodeine can also have cardiovascular side effects, although they are relatively rare. These may include changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and rhythm. In some cases, dihydrocodeine can cause orthostatic hypotension, a drop in blood pressure upon standing up from a sitting or lying position, leading to dizziness or fainting. Individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions or taking medications that affect blood pressure


In conclusion, dihydrocodeine is a potent opioid medication that can effectively manage moderate to severe pain. However, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects associated with its use. Gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation, respiratory side effects including respiratory depression, central nervous system side effects like drowsiness and dizziness, and cardiovascular side effects are some of the commonly reported side effects of dihydrocodeine. However, Dihydrocodeine side effects can be avoided by getting them as per the recommendation of your physician.