- Side Effects
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
What is codeine, and what is it used for?
Codeine is a narcotic pain-reliever and cough suppressant similar to morphine and hydrocodone.
Moreover, a small amount of codeine is converted to morphine in the body. The precise mechanism of action of codeine is not known; however, like morphine, codeine binds to receptors in the brain (opioid receptors) that are important for transmitting the sensation of pain throughout the body and brain.
Codeine increases tolerance to pain, decreasing discomfort, but the pain still is apparent to the patient. In addition to reducing pain, codeine also causes sedation drowsiness and depresses breathing. Codeine frequently is combined with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin for more effective pain relief.
The FDA approved codeine in 1950.
What are the side effects of codeine?
The most frequent side effects of codeine include:
- Shortness of breath
- Allergic reactions
- Abdominal pain
Serious side effects of codeine include:
- Life-threatening respiratory depression
- Severe low blood pressure
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Accidental ingestion of codeine can result in fatal overdose
Is codeine addictive? Is it a controlled substance?
- Codeine is habit forming (addictive). Mental and physical dependence can occur but are unlikely when used for short-term pain relief. Using codeine during pregnancy can cause opioid withdrawal syndrome in the newborn, which may be life-threatening if not treated.
- If codeine is suddenly withdrawn after prolonged use, symptoms of withdrawal may develop. The dose of codeine should be reduced gradually in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Can I drink alcohol with codeine? What other drugs interact with codeine?
- Codeine can impair thinking and physical abilities required for driving or operating machinery.
- Alcohol and other sedatives such as alprazolam (Xanax) can produce further brain impairment and even confusion when combined with codeine. Therefore, alcohol and other sedatives should not be used when taking codeine.
- Drugs that stimulate and also block opioid receptors (for example, pentazocine) reduce the effect of codeine. Such drugs should not be combined with codeine.
- Drugs that block the action of acetylcholine (anticholinergic drugs) increase the occurrence of urinary retention and constipation when combined with codeine.
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) class of antidepressants (for example, isocarboxazid [Marplan], phenelzine [Nardil], tranylcypromine [Parnate], selegiline [Eldepryl], and procarbazine [Matulane]) significantly increase the action of codeine. Codeine should not be used in patients taking MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping MAOIs.
What is the dosage for codeine?
Is it safe to take codeine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Small amounts of codeine are secreted in breast milk, but the risk of adverse events in the infant is small.
What else should I know about codeine?
Codeine is available as:
- Tablets: 15, 30, 60 mg.
- Solution: 15 mg/5ml (teaspoon).
- Injection: 15 and 30 mg/ml.
Codeine should be stored between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
You need a prescription from your doctor to obtain codeine.
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Codeine is a narcotic pain reliever (analgesic) used to treat mild to moderately severe pain. It is frequently combined with Tylenol or aspirin for more effective pain relief. Common side effects include itching, rash, stomach pain, constipation, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, and dizziness. More serious adverse effects codeine are severe low blood pressure and adrenal insufficiency. Codeine is a controlled narcotic and it has the potential for abuse. Dependence and addiction can occur with codeine, even at prescribed dosages when taken over long periods.
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Related Disease Conditions
Cough: 19 Tips on How to Stop a Cough
Coughing is a reflex that helps a person clear their airways of irritants. There are many causes of an excessive or severe cough including irritants like cigarette and secondhand smoke, pollution, air fresheners, medications like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, the common cold, GERD, lung cancer, and heart disease.Natural and home remedies to help cure and soothe a cough include staying hydrated, gargle salt water, use cough drops or lozenges, use herbs and supplements like ginger, mint, licorice, and slippery elm, and don't smoke. Over-the-counter products (OTC)to cure and soothe a cough include cough suppressants and expectorants, and anti-reflux drugs. Prescription drugs that help cure a cough include narcotic medications, antibiotics, inhaled steroids, and anti-reflux drugs like proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, for example, omeprazole (Prilosec), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and pantoprazole (Protonix).
Liver disease can be cause by a variety of things including infection (hepatitis), diseases, for example, gallstones, high cholesterol or triglycerides, blood flow obstruction to the liver, and toxins (medications and chemicals). Symptoms of liver disease depends upon the cause and may include nausea, vomiting, upper right abdominal pain, and jaundice. Treatment depends upon the cause of the liver disease.
Drug Abuse and Addiction
Drug abuse and addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and those around him. Though the initial decision to use drugs is voluntary, changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person's self-control and ability to make the right decisions and increase the urge to take drugs. Drug abuse and addiction are preventable.
Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)
An upper respiratory infection is a contagious infection of the structures of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the sinuses, nasal passages, pharynx, and larynx. Common causes of an upper respiratory infection include bacteria and viruses such as rhinoviruses, group A streptococci, influenza, respiratory syncytial, whooping cough, diphtheria, and Epstein-Barr. Examples of symptoms of upper respiratory infection include sneezing, sore throat, cough, fever, and nasal congestion. Treatment of upper respiratory infections are based upon the cause. Generally, viral infections are treated symptomatically with over-the-counter (OTC) medication and home remedies.
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Tylenol Liver Damage
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Lower Back Pain (Lumbar Spine Pain)
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Drug-Induced Liver Disease
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Shoulder and Neck Pain
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Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Pain
Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain is a general term to reflect pain in the SI joints. Causes of SI joint pain include osteoarthritis, abnormal walking pattern, and disorders that can cause SI joint inflammation including gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Treatment includes oral medications, cortisone injections, and surgery.
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Foot pain may be caused by injuries (sprains, strains, bruises, and fractures), diseases (diabetes, Hansen disease, and gout), viruses, fungi, and bacteria (plantar warts and athlete's foot), or even ingrown toenails. Pain and tenderness may be accompanied by joint looseness, swelling, weakness, discoloration, and loss of function. Minor foot pain can usually be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation and OTC medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Severe pain should be treated by a medical professional.
Torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear)
The anterior cruciate ligament helps to prevent the top and bottom of the knee from sliding back and forth. Symptoms and signs of a torn ACL include knee pain and swelling. Treatment of a torn ACL depends upon the health of the patient and the patient's expectations and willingness to undertake extensive physical therapy. Rehabilitation after surgical repair of an ACL tear may take more than nine months.
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Is Tylenol or Ibuprofen Better for Hemorrhoids?
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Ankle Pain (Tendonitis)
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Neck Pain (Cervical Pain)
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Dengue fever is contracted from the bite of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito. Symptoms and signs of dengue include headache, fever, exhaustion, severe joint and muscle pain, rash, and swollen glands. Since dengue is caused by a virus, there is no specific medicine to treat it. Treatment instead focuses on relieving the symptoms.
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Pericarditis (Symptoms, ECG, Types, Causes, Treatment)
Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardial sac that surrounds the heart. The causes of pericarditis include injury from heart attack, heart surgery, trauma, viral or fungal infection, HIV, tumors, mixed connective tissue disease, metabolic disease, medication reactions, or unknown reasons. Treatment for pericarditis is generally medication, however, sometimes surgery is necessary.
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Cold, Flu, Allergy Treatments
Before treating a cold, the flu, or allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it's important to know what's causing the symptoms, which symptoms one wishes to relieve, and the active ingredients in the OTC product. Taking products that only contain the medications needed for relieving your symptoms prevents ingestion of unnecessary medications and reduces the chances of side effects.
Is Aspirin an Anti-Inflammatory?
Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug that falls under a drug class called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Aspirin is used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation and fever. In low doses, it can also be used as a preventative measure against heart attack and stroke.
Children's Cough Causes and Treatments
Children's cough causes include infection, acid reflux, asthma, allergies or sinus infection, whooping cough, and exposure to irritants. Treatment for a child's cough include cough medicine for children over the age of four.
Teen Drug Abuse
Drugs commonly abused by teens include tobacco products, marijuana, cold medications, inhalants, depressants, stimulants, narcotics, hallucinogens, PCP, ketamine, Ecstasy, and anabolic steroids. Some of the symptoms and warning signs of teen drug abuse include reddened whites of eyes, paranoia, sleepiness, excessive happiness, seizures, memory loss, increased appetite, discolored fingertips, lips or teeth, and irritability. Treatment of drug addiction may involve a combination of medication, individual, and familial interventions.
What Causes Neck Pain in Seniors?
Neck pain can affect your employment, social life, and personal relationships. The causes of neck pain in seniors include muscle spasms, arthritis, poor posture, cervical spondylosis, cervical spinal stenosis and disk problems.
What Does Aspirin Do to Your Body?
Aspirin works by lowering the symptoms of inflammation, such as pain or swelling, as well as it helps promote blood flow in the body.
Does Vitamin D Help With Pain Relief?
Several studies have confirmed that vitamin D may help with pain relief in selected cases. The pain-relieving action of vitamin D may be due to the following reasons.
Can I Skip an Aspirin Dose?
For people prescribed aspirin for serious disease conditions, missing your doses could prove serious and, even, fatal, in some cases.
Cancer pain is a common experience that may result from the disease, treatment, or diagnostic procedure. Check out the center below for more medical references on cancer, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
Pain Management: Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is chronic pain resulting from injury to the nervous system. The injury can be to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or the peripheral nervous system (nerves outside the brain and spinal cord).
What Is a Mild Pain Reliever?
Pain relievers ease discomfort caused by injury, illness, chronic health conditions, or surgery. Learn about mild vs. strong pain relievers and what to keep in mind when taking them.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Lower Back Pain
- Torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear)
- Cold Fingers
- Dengue Fever
- Tylenol Liver Damage
- Chronic Pain
- Bone Cancer
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Pain Management
- Pain Management: Routes to Relief
- Pain Management: Painkiller Addiction
- Pain Awareness and Management
- Pain Management: Dealing with Back Pain
- Headaches FAQs
- Back Pain FAQs
- Pain FAQs
- Prescription Drug Abuse
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Tylenol Toxicity
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Pain (Acute and Chronic)
- When Should I Give a Child Tylenol for Fever?
- Does Aspirin Make Ulcers Worse?
- What Is Breakthrough Pain?
- Is Tylenol Safe to Treat Interferon Side Effects?
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- acetaminophen - oral, Panadol, Tylenol
- codeine phosphate - injection
- codeine/carisoprodol/aspirin - oral, Soma Compound with Codeine
- codeine/butalbital/aspirin/caffeine - oral, Fiorinal with Codeine #3
- promethazine/phenylephrine/codeine - oral
- acetaminophen/codeine - oral, Tylenol-Codeine No.3, Tylenol-
- promethazine/codeine syrup - oral, Phenergan w/ codeine
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- fentanyl patch (Duragesic)
- montelukast, Singulair
- Tylenol (acetaminophen) Side Effects, Warnings, and Interactions
- terpin hydrate/codeine
- promethazine and codeine, Phenergan with Codeine
- guaifenesin and codeine (Cheratussin, Iophen)
- OTC Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers
- Side Effects of Norflex (orphenadrine)
- Cold Medicine and Cough Syrup for Adults
- Side Effects of Robitussin Ac (guaifenesin with codeine)
- Side Effects of Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen)
- Side Effects of Oxycontin (oxycodone)
- Codeine Side Effects, Warnings, and Interactions
- Fiorinal with Codeine (butalbital, aspirin, caffeine, and codeine phosphate)
- Side Effects of Phenergan with Codeine (promethazine and codeine)
- Pain Medications (Narcotics)
Prevention & Wellness
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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