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Generic Name: apap/caffeine/dihydrocodeine

It is used to treat moderate to severe pain
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What is this medicine?

ACETAMINOPHEN; CAFFEINE; DIHYDROCODEINE (a set a MEE noe fen; KAF een; dye hye droe KOE deen) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • drink more than 3 alcohol containing drinks per day
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • head injury
  • heart, circulation problems
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung or breathing disease
  • stomach, intestine problems
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to acetaminophen, caffeine, dihydrocodeine, codeine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take this medicine with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • alcohol
  • linezolid
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • procarbazine

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
  • barbiturates like phenobarbital
  • carbamazepine
  • certain medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • ciprofloxacin
  • disulfiram
  • isoniazid
  • medicines for high blood pressure or other heart problems
  • medicines for sleep
  • medicines for asthma, other breathing problems
  • medicines for sleep during surgery
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain
  • other acetaminophen products
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
  • phenytoin
  • tramadol
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take the medicine for a long time.

Do not suddenly stop taking it because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain. If you take more than one type at the same time, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing.

The medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.

Many non-prescription medicines contain acetaminophen as an ingredient. Always read the labels carefully to avoid taking an accidental overdose, which can be dangerous.

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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