Dihydrocodeine is an opioid medication used to treat pain that cannot be treated by non-opioid pain medications. Since opioids are addictive, dihydrocodeine should only be prescribed after non-addictive treatments fail.
Dihydrocodeine is available as a prescription in the United States as a combination tablet or pill.
Dihydrocodeine is formulated with acetaminophen and caffeine into Panlor (tablets) or Trezix (capsules). The combinations are a Schedule III substance according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This means they have a recognized medical use but are addictive and habit-forming.
Dihydrocodeine addiction treatment is the same as other opioid addiction treatment programs, typically involving a medical detox and inpatient or outpatient rehab. The drug is rarely prescribed in the United States, however, and addiction professionals may be less familiar with it than codeine, a similar opioid.
Since most people are familiar with codeine but not dihydrocodeine, a conversion factor is useful for understanding it. Dihydrocodeine and codeine are 1:1 equivalent, meaning that 30 mg of codeine is the same as 30 mg of dihydrocodeine in terms of pain control and addictive potential.