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Key Information



DF118 (Codeine)




Empirin compound with codeine, Tylenol with codeine, Codeine in cough medicine


Codeine belongs to a group of medicines called opioids. They combine with the opioid receptors in the brain to block the transmission of pain signals.  Opioid medicines are classified as strong or weak. Strong opioids such as morphine are used to relieve severe pain, including cancer pain. Weak opioids, such as codeine, are available over-the-counter (OTC) in low doses to provide pain relief.   Codeine has a different molecular make up to morphine and heroin, which makes it much weaker.  As a result, it is less addictive than its more potent counterparts that is why in OTC medicines codeine is always combined with paracetamol or ibuprofen.  Combining codeine with these medicines creates a more effective pain relief product than the other analgesics on their own. 


Taken orally in pill form, liquid cough syrup and intramuscular or subcutaneous injection.

HEALTH RISKS (long term) which includes withdrawal & tolerance:

Opiate based drugs affect every part of the body; heart, lungs, brain, eyes, muscles, digestive system, reproductive system and the immune system. Long term use can bring on an insensitivity to pain, lowered blood pressure, and confusion. More often, Codeine tends to abused in combination with alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and/or speed which can be lethal. Most codeine abusers will start with experimentation and anywhere from 15 days to a year can develop an addiction that leads to the abuse of other opiates, especially heroin.  Abuse is common through cough syrups and may stop there with the uncomfortably of drinking cough syrup and the side effects. The body does quickly develop tolerance and more of the codeine is required to achieve the desired effects. Codeine is addicting, physically and psychologically and requires treatment to aid in stopping use.


As part of its ongoing commitment to the safe use of OTC medicines containing codeine, industry manufacturers brought in voluntary guidelines in 2005 which added addiction warnings to packs and patient information leaflets citing that regular codeine use can lead to addiction and that users should consult their doctor if they need to continue taking codeine containing products after three consecutive days of use. 

  1. DF-118 amongst others, is a semi-synthetic Opioid analgesic developed in Germany in the first decade of the 20th Century and put on the market in 1911.
  2. DF-118 was developed during the intense international search for more effective antitussives, especially to help reduce the airborne spread of Tuberculosis, Pertussis, Pneumonia, and similar diseases,
  3. Depending on individual metabolism, DF-118 is 100 to 150 percent as strong as Codeine.
  4. DF-118 can be very addictive. Prolonged users are virtually guaranteed to develop dependency.
  5. DF-118 is very good for back pain.
  6. As with all prescription drugs, there can be side effects. DF-118 can sometimes make you feel light headed, and they do make concentration more difficult, though not impossible. However, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
  7. It is estimated that whereas methadone treatment can cost almost £1,500 annually per patient, the cost of DF-118 is £713.
  8. A study in Edinburgh found that taking DF-118 in was just as effective as methadone.
  9. Overdose risk is probably fairly low, although risks increase if mixed with other drugs.
  10. DF-118 can impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving or operating machinery if taken in large doses, but have the opposite effect in moderate doses.
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