Adco-Dol Tablets: Ingredients, Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Addiction

Adco-Dol tablet manufactured by Adcock Ingram is a combination pain medication used for the treatment of pain, headaches, migraines, neuralgia, toothache, sore throats, and other conditions.

Adco-Dol tablets contain the following active ingredients:

Codeine Phosphate: Codeine is from a group of medicines called opiates, or narcotics. It works in the central nervous system and the brain to block pain signals to the rest of the body. It also reduces the anxiety and stress caused by pain.

Doxylamine Succinate: Doxylamine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms. Doxylamine is used in the short-term treatment of insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep). Doxylamine is also used in combination with decongestants and other medications to relieve sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion caused by the common cold.

Paracetamol: Also known as acetaminophen, is a medication used to treat fever and mild to moderate pain. Paracetamol seems to work by blocking chemical messengers in the brain that tell us we have pain. Paracetamol also reduces fever by affecting the chemical messengers in an area of the brain that regulates body temperature.

Caffeine: Is a substance with stimulant effects. Caffeine works by blocking the effects of adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain and makes you feel tired. Normally, adenosine levels build up over the day, making you increasingly more tired and causing you to want to go to sleep.

How should I take Adco-Dol tablets?

Follow the directions on the package label or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take doxylamine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor or directed on the package label.

The recommended dosage of Adco-Dol tablets is 1 or 2 tablets repeated 4 hourly if necessary. Do not exceed 8 tablets.

Adco-Dol tablets contain Codeine Phosphate 10mg, Caffeine 45mg, Paracetamol 450mg, Doxylamine Succinate 5mg. The constituent drugs can interact with other medications if taken together.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Adco-Dol tablets are usually taken as needed. If your doctor has told you to take Adco-Dol tablets regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Adco-Dol tablets contain codeine and overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose can cause severe muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, very slow breathing, extreme drowsiness, or coma.

Can I take Adco-Dol tablets during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

No, pregnant women should not take Adco-Dol tablets because the codeine component of the drug may cause potential issues to the unborn baby. It’s also not recommended to take Adco-Dol tablets while breastfeeding, as the codeine in Adco-Dol tablets can get into the breast milk and could cause breathing problems in your baby.

What are the side effects of Adco-Dol tablets?

Adco-Dol tablets may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

•        drowsiness

•        dry mouth, nose, and throat

•        excitement

•        headache

•        increased chest congestion

•        nausea

•        nervousness

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

•        agitation, hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist), fever, sweating, confusion, fast heartbeat, shivering, severe muscle stiffness or twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

•        changes in heartbeat

•        changes in vision

•        decreased sexual desire

•        difficulty breathing or swallowing

•        difficulty urinating

•        hives

•        inability to get or keep an erection

•        irregular menstruation

•        itching

•        noisy or shallow breathing

•        rash

•        seizures

•        vision problems

•        vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, or dizziness

Adco-Dol tablets may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.

Can you become addicted to Adco-Dol tablets?

Yes, over time, you may develop tolerance to the effects of the codeine component of Adco-Dol tablets. This means your body needs more and more of the drug to feel the same pain relief or other desired effects. In other words, tolerance makes the drug seem less effective to your body.

How quickly you develop tolerance depends on factors such as:

  • your genetics
  • how long you’ve been taking the drug
  • how much of the drug you’ve been taking
  • your behavior and perceived need for the drug

As your body becomes more tolerant of codeine, your cells begin needing the drug to function properly. This is dependence. It’s what leads to intense withdrawal side effects if codeine use is stopped suddenly. One sign of dependence is feeling that you must take codeine to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Dependence can occur if you take Adco-Dol tablets for more than a few weeks or if you take more than the prescribed dosage. Unfortunately, it’s also possible to develop Adco-Dol tablets dependence even if you take the drug exactly as your doctor prescribes.

Dependence and addiction both cause withdrawal when the drug is stopped, but they are not the same thing. Physical dependence on a prescribed opiate is a normal response to treatment and can be managed with help from your doctor. Addiction, on the other hand, may follow dependence and involves drug craving and loss of control over your usage. It often requires more support to get through.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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