Tylex: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Addiction

Tylex is a combination pain medication that contains two different medicines paracetamol and codeine phosphate hemihydrate. Codeine belongs to a group of medicines called opioid analgesics which act to relieve pain. It can be used on its own or in combination with other pain killers. Paracetamol is an analgesic which acts to relieve pain.

Tylex is used in adults and adolescents from 12 to 18 years of age for the short-term relief of moderate pain that is not relieved by other painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen alone. Paracetamol and codeine in Tylex work together to stop the pain messages from getting through to the brain. Paracetamol also acts in the brain to reduce fever. Your doctor may have prescribed this medicine for another use.

What you need to know before you take Tylex

Do not take Tylex:  

  • if you are allergic to paracetamol or codeine phosphate hemihydrate, or any of the other ingredients of this medicine.
  • if you are a child under 12 years old.
  • for pain relief in children and adolescents (0-18 years of age) after removal of their tonsils or adenoids due to obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.
  • if you know that you metabolize very rapidly codeine into morphine.
  • if you have severe asthma attacks or severe breathing problems.
  • if you are an alcoholic.
  • if you have recently had an operation on your liver, gallbladder or bile duct (biliary tract).
  • if you have recently had a head injury.
  • if you have been told by your doctor that you have increased pressure in your head. Signs of this include: headaches, being sick (vomiting) and blurred eyesight.
  • if you are breastfeeding.
  • if you are taking medicine to treat depression called MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) or have taken them in the last 2 weeks. MAOIs are medicines such as moclobemide, phenelzine or tranylcypromine.

How should Tylex be taken?

Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. For adults and the elderly, the recommended dose is one or two tablets every 6 hours

·  Do not take more than eight tablets in 24 hours

·  Dissolve the tablet in one glass of water

·  Drink the whole contents of the glass

·  The label will tell you how many tablets to take and how often

·  If you are elderly you may need to take fewer tablets.

Use in children and adolescents Children aged less than 12 years:

Tylex should not be taken by children below the age of 12 years, due to the risk of severe breathing problems.

Children aged 12 to 15 years: One tablet every 6 hours when necessary (do not take more than four tablets in 24 hours).

Children aged 16 to 18 years: One to two tablets every 6 hours when necessary (do not take more than eight tablets in 24 hours).

This medicine should not be taken for more than 3 days. If the pain does not improve after 3 days, talk to your doctor for advice. If you feel the effect of this medicine is too strong or too weak, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Do not take more Tylex than you should. If you accidentally take too much, immediately go to the nearest hospital casualty department or your doctor. You should go to hospital, even if you feel well, because there is a risk of delayed, serious liver damage.


What if I miss a dose of Tylex?

It is important that you take your tablets at the right times. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, then carry on as before. Do not take more than two tablets at once and do not take more than eight tablets in each 24-hour period.

Can you overdose on Tylex?

If you take more Tylex than you should, or if you accidentally take too much, seek help  immediately because there is a risk of serious liver damage. In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

What are the side effects of taking Tylex?

Like all medicines, Tylex can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Seek immediate medical help if you have any of the following symptoms:  

Feeling faint

·  Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, face, lips or throat or blistering of the skin, mouth, eyes and genitals. You could also notice an itchy, lumpy rash (hives) or nettle rash. This may mean you are having an allergic reaction to this medicine

  • Difficulty in breathing or wheezing, shortness of breath

·  You get serious skin reactions. Very rare cases have been reported

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following side effects get serious or last longer than a few days:

  • Allergic reactions, including skin rash

·  Feeling sick or being sick

·  Light-headedness

·  Confusion

·  Dizziness

·  Feeling sleepy

·  Headache

·  Mood changes

·  Hallucination

·  Difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness in the chest (bronchospasm)

·  Constipation

·  Severe stomach pains (pancreatitis)

·  Stomach pains

·  Itchy skin

·  Deafness

·  Difficulty in passing water (urine)

·  Becoming dependent on codeine

·  Problems with the blood (thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis, neutropenia, leucopenia). This is usually shown by tiredness, weakness, or unexplained bruising or bleeding. This side effect is very rare.

Tylex Safety Information

Tylex contains codeine and taking it regularly for a long time can lead to addiction. This might cause you to feel restless and irritable when you stop taking Tylex. Taking a lot of Tylex for a long time can also cause deafness.

Codeine in Tylex is transformed to morphine in the liver by an enzyme. Morphine is the substance that produces pain relief. Some people have a variation of this enzyme and this can affect people in different ways. In some people, morphine is not produced or produced in very small quantities, and it will not provide enough pain relief. Other people are more likely to get serious side effects because a very high amount of morphine is produced. If you notice any of the following side effects, you must stop taking this medicine and seek immediate medical advice: slow or shallow breathing, confusion, sleepiness, small pupils, feeling or being sick, constipation, lack of appetite.

Concomitant use of Tylex and sedative medicines such as benzodiazepines or related drugs increases the risk of drowsiness, difficulties in breathing (respiratory depression), coma and may be life threatening. Because of this, concomitant use should only be considered when other treatment options are not possible. However, if your doctor does prescribe Tylex together with sedative medicines the dose and duration of concomitant treatment should be limited by your doctor. Please tell your doctor about all sedative medicines you are taking, and follow your doctor’s dose recommendation closely. It could be helpful to inform friends or relatives to be aware of the signs and symptoms stated above. Contact your doctor when experiencing such symptoms.

Do not drink alcohol whilst taking Tylex. If you regularly drink large amounts of alcohol, you are at risk of damaging your liver when taking paracetamol.

Do not take Tylex if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist. Do not take Tylex and speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are:

  • in the last three months of pregnancy
  • in labour
  • Do not take Tylex while you are breastfeeding. Codeine and morphine passes into breast milk.

Driving and using machines

Tylex may make you feel dizzy or tired. If this happens to you, do not drive a vehicle, operate machinery or carry out complex tasks.

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