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Codeine phosphate Category: Opioids

Also called: Solpadeine, Nurofen Plus, Feminax, Migraleve, Panadeine, Syndol, Tylex. Although sometimes called DF118s, DFs, Difene these do not contain codeine. Difene is a totally different drug.  DFs contain dihydrocodeine which is related to codeine but is a different drug.

How it’s used

Codeine is a painkiller which you can get in tablet, capsule or liquid form. Codeine is in many medicines which you can buy over the counter or be prescribed by your doctor for pain. It is an opiate drug, from the same family as morphine and heroin.

Short-term effects

Long-term effects

Other dangers

If you are pregnant

It can be dangerous for your baby if you withdraw from codeine when pregnant. It is better to reduce your dose very slowly. Codeine may cause your baby to be born small and have withdrawal symptoms after birth.


Codeine is both physically and psychologically addictive, so your body craves it and you find it hard to cope without it. Your tolerance increases over time so you have to keep taking more to get the same buzz.


Withdrawal is less severe if you reduce the dose first. If you stop using suddenly, you will get opiate withdrawal symptoms such as aches, tremor, diarrhoea, sweating and chills, sneezing, yawning and muscular spasms. These symptoms start within 8 to 24 hours after your last dose, peak around the third day and fade after 5 to 10 days. You may have sleep problems, cravings and mood swings for weeks.

How long does it stay in your system?

Codeine will show up in a urine testfor2-10 days depending on the dose and how well your liver functions. (The length of time depends on the test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and your own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only)

What help is available?

« Back to Types of Drugs page
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