Painkiller Dosage Guide

By: Annabelle Clarke
May 11, 2021

The correct painkiller dosage suited for you will be prescribed by your doctor or advice can be taken from your pharmacist. You can also find the painkiller dosage instructions for each type of analgesic listed in the patient information leaflet that will be dispensed with your medication.

Opioids are considered strong analgesics and are mostly used by patients suffering from acute or chronic pain. Examples of this include morphine, codeine, tramadol and dihydrocodeine. The doses differ depending on which type of opioid is used. Adults can use 10mg to 20mg of morphine and should not exceed 120mg per day. 15mg to 60mg of codeine is recommended for adults.

Dihydrocodeine can be used for individuals 18 years and over and the dose should be 30mg or 40mg depending on how many times a day it is needed. Examples of non-opioids include paracetamol, pregabalin and NSAID’s such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Paracetamol is safe to use in children and adults suffering from mild pain. Studies show that children between 2 and 3 months should use 2.5ml, children between 3 months and 12 years should be using between 2.5ml and 10ml of paracetamol. In addition, those 12 years and above can take 10ml to 20ml a day.

Pregabalin for adults comes in different forms such as capsules (25mg-300mg), tablets (82.5mg-330mg) and oral solutions (20mg). The tablets and oral solutions remain the same for paediatrics.

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Can You Take Painkillers with Alcohol?

There are a number of painkillers that can interact with alcohol; however studies have shown that the effects produced by both substances may increase. Possible common painkiller side effects include dizziness, constipation, sedation and slow breathing. Side-effects of alcohol consumption include shakiness, dizziness, agitation, aggression, impaired co-ordination and nausea. These effects usually heighten when these substances are overdosed. Therefore, painkiller dosage should be monitored very closely when alcohol is used.

Individuals may become overly sedated and suffer increased mood and behavioural impairment when using these substances co currently. The over-sedation may also cause users to forget activities performed while under the influence. Although these side effects are popular for those who overuse the medication and alcohol, people who correctly administer the substances may not face such serious effects. To avoid these effects individuals should be aware of the strength of the medication taken as well as the amount of alcohol consumed. The painkiller can be taken a few hours before or after alcohol is consumed to avoid such effects.

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Painkillers and Driving

There are different strengths of analgesics available; less strong ones may cause fewer side effects than strong analgesics. Painkillers that do not have high strengths are usually safe to use if you decide to drive. This therapeutic is known for having fewer side effects and does not seriously impair co-ordination and vision. However, when users take a high painkiller dosage they are advised not to drive or perform other activities that require attention, concentration and psychomotor co-ordination. Research suggests that individuals who are using strong painkillers for the first time and those experiencing sleepiness should not drive for at least 5 days.

Heavy machinery and tools should not be handled when taking medication that causes sedation and imbalances, because the risk for injuries and falls may be increased. High doses of any type of analgesic can be dangerous as the driver may feel sleepy which can result in the occurrence of accidents. Drivers should be aware of the painkiller dosage taken and should only drive if there are no side effects experienced. Some analgesics may also cause daytime drowsiness, and therefore individuals should avoid driving even the next day. If there is a need for one to drive, they should take the medication at least 8 hours before going behind the wheel.

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What Painkillers Can I Take with Amitriptyline?

Amitriptyline is an anti-depressant usually used for the treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia. This medication however, has also been used to treat migraines and nerve pains. This therapeutic is a characterised as a controlled substance and is therefore only available on prescription. Some online pharmacies, however, make the process seamless and paperless. The side effects of this therapeutic include dry mouth, dizziness, urinary retention, constipation, blurred vision, mental confusion and sedation. Because of these effects one should be aware of the effects that may occur when other medication is co-administered.

The best painkiller that can be used with amitriptyline is non-opioids such as ibuprofen, paracetamol and aspirin. These are not as strong as opioids, thus risks of side effects are lower. Strong opioids such as morphine, codeine, and co-codamol among others, should be avoided as an increase in sedation, imbalances, dizziness, nausea and constipation may occur.

In a research study comparing the co-administration of opioids with other medication found that anti-depressants such as amitriptyline showed fewer potential adverse effects than other benzodiazepines.

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Can You Become Immune to Painkillers?

Taking painkillers over a long period of time may cause the medication to not work as well as it did initially. This may be because you have built a tolerance to the therapeutic and may need to increase your dose if you want to experience effects. This occurrence is quiet common for most medication as your body develops immunity to the therapeutic used and therefore pain and other symptoms may not be relieved or reduced.

For analgesics that are considered stronger, you may need to speak to your pharmacist or doctor about increasing your dose. Moreover, if you buy painkillers in the UK, your online pharmacist can offer advice in terms of increasing your dose via online chat or consultation where applicable. An increase is dose is not harmful if necessary precautions and instructions are followed.

Due to the tolerance that can be developed, this therapeutic should not be used long-term, and only taken when pain becomes intolerable. Sometimes you may be advised to start a new treatment with a therapeutic that is much stronger. Becoming immune to the therapeutic may increase risks for dependence. If the dose is increased multiple times due to the high tolerance level of an individual, he/she may become compulsive and will not be able to function normally if the therapeutic is eventually stopped.

People who increase the dose too much have a higher risk for overdose and adverse effects. Therefore, seeking advice from a professional is recommended if one starts to develop immunity to the therapeutic. Patients who follow the recommended usage and dosage instructions can mitigate risks and optimise the results.

Read More Useful Painkiller Information

  • Pregabalin 300 mg
  • Tramadol 50 mg
  • Codeine 30 mg
  • Co-codamol 30/500 mg

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