Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Pholcodine


Last updated on 18/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Pholcodine


BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Duro-Tuss Regular/ Forte 咳樂治止咳露, Duro-Tuss Expectorant 咳樂治化痰止咳露 (Contains Pholcodine and Bromhexine), Triple ‘P’ Cough Syrup, Uni-Pholco

DRUG CLASS: Antitussive 

USED FOR: Dry cough

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Codeine, Dextromethorphan

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS: 0.1%, 0.2% (syrups)

What is Pholcodine for?

Pholcodine belongs to a group of medications called opioid agonists. It is a cough suppressant used to provide symptomatic relief of dry coughs (no phlegm) caused by the common cold and bronchial irritation. It reduces your feeling of needing to cough by decreasing activity in certain parts of the brain that causes coughing.

How to use it?

Pholcodine is available in single ingredient products, but is also available in many combination cough and cold products. Pholcodine is taken by mouth and can be used in adults and children older than 6 years old. 

The usual dose or children aged 6-11 years is 2-5 mg 3 to 4 times daily. For adults and children aged 12-17 years the usual dose is 5-10 mg 3 to 4 times daily.

What are the side effects of Pholcodine?

Common side effects of Pholcodine include drowsiness, constipation, nausea and vomiting. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how you respond to Pholcodine.

Who should not take Pholcodine?

– People who are allergic to pholcodine or any other component of the product
– Patients at risk of respiratory failure
– Adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Pharmacist Tips:

Children under the age of 6 are not recommended to take any cough and cold preparations. If needed, non-drug treatment should be used first, such as steam inhalation or honey. 

Common dosing schedule:
You can take Pholcodine with or without food. 

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Pholcodine may interact with:
– Monoamine oxidase reuptake inhibitors, e.g. Isocarboxazid, Phenelzine, Selegiline

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Pholcodine in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Pholcodine is a pharmacy only medicine which can be purchased without a prescription by speaking with a pharmacist in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health. 

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Pholcodine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.