See also Warning section.This combination medication is used to help relieve moderate to severe pain. It contains an opioid pain reliever (dihydrocodeine), a non-opioid pain reliever (acetaminophen), and caffeine. Dihydrocodeine works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. Acetaminophen can also reduce a fever. Caffeine increases pain relief, especially for certain types of headaches.
How to use DHC Plus Capsule
See also Warning section.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking acetaminophen/caffeine/dihydrocodeine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 4 hours as needed for pain. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed because your risk of side effects may increase. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
Suddenly stopping this medication may cause withdrawal, especially if you have used it for a long time or in high doses. To prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, mental/mood changes (including anxiety, trouble sleeping, thoughts of suicide), watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, muscle aches, or sudden changes in behavior.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if your pain does not get better or if it gets worse, or if you have any new pain.
See also Warning section.
Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, increased urination, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: interrupted breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), mental/mood changes (such as irritability, nervousness, anxiety, hallucinations), fast/irregular heartbeat, stomach/abdominal pain, difficulty urinating, vision changes, shaking (tremor), signs of your adrenal glands not working well (such as loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, weight loss).
Dihydrocodeine is changed into a strong opioid drug (dihydromorphine) in your body. In some people, this change happens faster and more completely than usual, which increases the risk of very serious side effects. Get medical help right away if you notice any of the following: slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/difficulty waking up, confusion.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Dihydrocodeine has a risk for abuse and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death. Dihydrocodeine may also cause severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you take the smallest dose of dihydrocodeine that works, and take it for the shortest possible time. See also How to Use section for more information about addiction.
The risk for severe breathing problems is higher when you start this medication and after a dose increase, or if you take the wrong dose/strength. Taking this medication with alcohol or other drugs that can cause drowsiness or breathing problems may cause very serious side effects, including death. Also, other medications can affect the removal of dihydrocodeine from your body, which may affect how dihydrocodeine works. Be sure you know how to take this medication and what other drugs you should avoid taking with it. See also Drug Interactions section. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.
Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If someone accidentally swallows this drug, get medical help right away.
One ingredient in this product is acetaminophen. Taking too much acetaminophen may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Adults should not take more than 4000 milligrams (4 grams) of acetaminophen a day. People with liver problems and children should take less acetaminophen. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how much acetaminophen is safe to take.
Do not use with any other drug containing acetaminophen without asking your doctor or pharmacist first. Acetaminophen is in many nonprescription and prescription medications (such as pain/fever drugs or cough-and-cold products). Check the labels on all your medicines to see if they contain acetaminophen, and ask your pharmacist if you are unsure.
Get medical help right away if you take too much acetaminophen (overdose), even if you feel well. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sweating, stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness, yellowing eyes/skin, and dark urine.
Daily alcohol use, especially when combined with acetaminophen, may damage your liver. Avoid alcohol.
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, take the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Babies born to mothers who use this drug for a long time may develop severe (possibly fatal) withdrawal symptoms. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as crying that doesn't stop, slow/shallow breathing, irritability, shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, poor feeding, or difficulty gaining weight.
Children younger than 18 years should not use products that contain dihydrocodeine. Some children are more sensitive to dihydrocodeine and have had very serious (rarely fatal) breathing problems such as slow/shallow breathing (see also Side Effects section). The risk is greater in children who are obese or have breathing problems, or after certain surgeries (including tonsil/adenoid removal). Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the risks and benefits of this medication.
See also Warning section.
Before taking this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to dihydrocodeine, acetaminophen, or caffeine; or to other opioid pain medications (such as codeine, morphine); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: brain disorders (such as head injury, tumor, seizures), breathing problems (such as asthma, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), gallbladder disease, heart problems (such as irregular heartbeat, recent heart attack), kidney disease, liver disease, mental/mood disorders (such as confusion, depression, thoughts of suicide), personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol), obesity, stomach/intestinal problems (such as blockage, constipation, diarrhea due to infection, paralytic ileus), disease of the pancreas (pancreatitis), difficulty urinating (such as due to enlarged prostate).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery or certain medical procedures (such as a heart stress test or a procedure to restore a normal heart rhythm if you have an unusually fast heartbeat), tell your doctor or dentist that you use this medication and about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant, such as unusual sleepiness, difficulty feeding, trouble breathing, or unusual limpness. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also Warning section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
The risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/dizziness) may be increased if this medication is taken with other products that may also cause drowsiness or breathing problems. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products such as other opioid pain or cough relievers (such as morphine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products, pain relievers) because they may also contain acetaminophen, caffeine, or ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
Other medications can affect the removal of this product from your body, which may affect how this product works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole), bupropion, fluoxetine, levoketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), mifepristone, paroxetine, quinidine, rifamycins (such as rifabutin, rifampin), ritonavir, certain drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin), among others.
This medication may interfere with certain medical/lab tests (such as certain urine tests, amylase/lipase levels, dipyridamole-thallium imaging tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, give them naloxone if available, then call 911. If the person is awake and has no symptoms, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: slow/shallow breathing, coma, seizures, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sweating, stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine.
Do not share this medication with others. Sharing it is against the law.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another condition unless your doctor directs you to do so. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.