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Does Nurofen Contain Codeine: Facts and Misconceptions

Does Nurofen Contain Codeine: Fact vs Fiction

Are you wondering if Nurofen contains codeine? Let’s explore the complexities of these medications to provide you with a deeper understanding. Nurofen is a popular choice for pain relief, but what sets it apart from other painkillers?

Discover the mechanisms behind how ibuprofen and codeine work in alleviating pain and inflammation. Dive into the world of NSAIDs and opioids to grasp the nuances of these medications. Stay with us as we uncover the essential information you need to know about Nurofen and codeine.

How Ibuprofen Works

Nurofen, which contains ibuprofen, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used to relieve pain and reduce fever. Let’s delve into how it works:

  • How Does Ibuprofen Work?

    Ibuprofen helps alleviate pain caused by inflammation. When you’re ill or injured, your body produces molecules called prostaglandins.

    These prostaglandins make nearby nerves more sensitive to pain, signaling that something is wrong. They also contribute to tissue inflammation and swelling.

    Ibuprofen steps in by decreasing the production of prostaglandins throughout the body. As a result, prostaglandins can’t cause as much inflammation or increase pain sensitivity as they normally would.

    This anti-inflammatory property makes ibuprofen effective in relieving body pain associated with inflammation.

  • What Can You Use Ibuprofen For?

    Ibuprofen can provide temporary relief for various conditions, including:

    • Headaches (such as migraines and tension headaches)
    • Muscle pain (like strains and sprains)
    • Sport injuries
    • Other forms of pain and inflammation

    Remember to consult your doctor before taking any medication, especially if you have allergies or other health concerns. Nurofen is available in different formats, including oral tablets and topical formulations, so choose the one that suits your needs.

A box of Nurofen tablets, a pharmacy medicine that provides effective relief from pain.

IMG Source: zoompharmacy.co.nz


Understanding Codeine

Understanding Codeine: Codeine, an opioid pain reliever, serves multiple purposes in medicine. Let’s delve into its uses and precautions:

  • Pain Relief: Codeine is employed to manage mild to moderately severe pain. It can be especially helpful after surgeries or injuries when other painkillers like paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin haven’t provided sufficient relief.
  • Cough Suppression: It is also used to reduce coughing.

    When combined with other medications, codeine helps alleviate persistent coughs.

  • Forms and Combinations: Codeine is available in various forms:
    • Single-Ingredient Tablets: These contain codeine alone.
    • Combination Products: Codeine is combined with other pain-relieving medicines or cold and flu remedies.

Important Warnings:

  • Breathing Issues: Avoid using codeine if you have severe breathing problems, a blockage in your stomach or intestines, or frequent asthma attacks. Codeine can slow or stop breathing and may be habit-forming. Misuse can lead to addiction, overdose, or even death, especially in children or individuals using it without a prescription.
  • Age Limit: Codeine is not suitable for anyone under 18 years old.
  • Pregnancy: Taking codeine during pregnancy can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
  • Interactions: Codeine can interact with other drugs, leading to serious conditions like serotonin syndrome.

    Inform your doctor about all medications you’re taking.

  • Genetic Variation: In some people, codeine breaks down rapidly in the liver, potentially causing dangerously slow breathing and even death, especially in children.

Remember, codeine should always be used under medical supervision, and any changes to your medication regimen should be discussed with your doctor.

A white round pill with the imprint 93 on one side and a score line on the other.

IMG Source: drugs.com


Key Information about Nurofen 400 mg Tablets

Nurofen 400 mg Tablets do not contain codeine. The active ingredient in Nurofen is Ibuprofen, which belongs to a group of medicines called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). These medicines provide relief by changing how the body responds to pain and fever.

Nurofen 400 mg Tablets are used for the symptomatic treatment of various conditions, including:

  • Headaches and migraine pain
  • Dental pain and neuralgia
  • Period pain
  • Rheumatic, muscular, and back pain
  • Feverishness and symptoms of cold and flu

Each tablet contains 400 mg of ibuprofen and also includes other ingredients such as Croscarmellose Sodium, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Citrate, Stearic Acid, Colloidal Anhydrous Silica, Carmellose Sodium, Talc, Acacia Spray Dried, and Refined Sugar. Remember to always use this medicine exactly as described in the leaflet or as advised by your doctor or pharmacist. If you experience any side effects, consult your healthcare provider.

A red and white box of Nurofen Plus tablets, a dual action pain relief medication containing ibuprofen and codeine.

IMG Source: acerpharmacy.com


Safety Information for Codeine and Nurofen Use

Let’s explore some essential information about codeine and Nurofen (which combines codeine and ibuprofen). First, it’s crucial to dispel common misconceptions. Codeine, often used for moderate pain management, is an opioid pain reliever.

However, it’s not harmless—serious side effects and risks can occur, especially when misused or taken in higher-than-recommended doses. Now, let’s focus on safety information for using Nurofen Plus:

  • Renal Tubular Acidosis (RTA) and Hypokalaemia: Prolonged use of codeine/ibuprofen at higher-than-recommended doses can lead to severe hypokalaemia (low potassium levels) and RTA. Symptoms include reduced consciousness and generalized weakness.

    If you experience unexplained hypokalaemia while taking Nurofen Plus, consult your doctor.

  • Other Serious Clinical Harms: Abuse and dependence on codeine/ibuprofen combinations can lead to gastrointestinal perforations, hemorrhages, severe anemia, and renal failure. Some cases have been fatal. Patients should be informed of these risks and signs of addiction/dependence.

    Signs of addiction/dependence include taking Nurofen Plus for longer than advised, exceeding the recommended dose, using it for non-medical reasons, and feeling unwell upon stopping it (withdrawal effects).

Remember, responsible use and adherence to medical guidance are crucial for your well-being. Always seek professional advice before using any medication. If you experience adverse effects or have concerns, consult your healthcare provider promptly.

A comparison of ibuprofen and paracetamol, including information about when they can be used, their effects, and their dosages.

IMG Source: firstaidpro.com.au


As we conclude our exploration of Nurofen and codeine, it becomes evident that these medications play crucial roles in managing pain and inflammation. While Nurofen provides relief through ibuprofen, codeine offers its unique benefits as an opioid pain reliever. Understanding the distinctions between these medications is crucial for making informed decisions about your health.

Remember, responsible use and adherence to medical guidance are paramount when using any medication. If you have any concerns or experience adverse effects, don’t hesitate to consult your healthcare provider. Rest assured, armed with knowledge, you can navigate the world of pain relief with confidence and clarity.

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