GENERIC NAME: Codeine
BRAND NAMES: none
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Codeine is a weak narcotic pain-reliever and cough suppressant similar to morphine and hydrocodone. In fact, 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.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 15, 30, 60 mg. Solution: 15 mg/5ml (teaspoon). Injection: 15 and 30 mg/ml.
STORAGE: Codeine should be stored between 15 to 30 C (59 to 86 F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Codeine is used for the relief of mild to moderately severe pain and for suppressing cough.
DOSING: The usual adult dose of codeine is 15-60 mg every 4-6 hours.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: 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 evenconfusion when combined with codeine. Therefore, alcohol and other sedatives should be limited when taking codeine.
PREGNANCY: Safety during pregnancy has not been established. Codeine is generally avoided in pregnancy because it may cause fetal physical dependence, withdrawal and growth retardation.
NURSING MOTHERS: Small amounts of codeine are secreted in breast-milk, but the risk of adverse events in the infant is small.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most frequent side effects of codeine include lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and sedation. Other side effects include allergic reactions, constipation,abdominal pain, rash and itching. Codeine is habit forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur but are unlikely when used for short-term pain relief. If codeine is suddenly withdrawn after prolonged use, symptoms of withdrawal may develop.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.
DO NOT TAKE MORE OF THIS MEDICINE or take it more often than recommended by your doctor. Exceeding the recommended dose or taking this medicine for longer than prescribed may be habit-forming.
AVOID ALCOHOL while you are using this medicine. This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants.
DO NOT DRIVE, OPERATE MACHINERY, OR DO ANYTHING ELSE THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS until you know how you react to this medicine. Using this medicine alone, with other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE IF YOU HAVE HAD A SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION to codeine, hydrocodone, dihydrocodeine, or oxycodone (such as Tylox, Tylenol with Codeine, Vicodin). A severe allergic reaction includes a severe rash, hives, breathing difficulties, or dizziness. If you have a question about whether you are allergic to this medicine or if a certain medicine contains codeine, hydrocodone, dihydrocodeine, or oxycodone, contact your doctor.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN TAKING ANY NEW MEDICINE, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor.
FOR WOMEN: IF YOU PLAN ON BECOMING PREGNANT, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy.
THIS MEDICINE IS EXCRETED IN BREAST MILK. IF YOU ARE OR WILL BE BREAST-FEEDING while you are using this medicine, check with your doctor to discuss the risks to your baby.
SIDE EFFECTS, that may go away during treatment, include drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, or nausea. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you experience vomiting, skin rash, itching, slowed or difficult breathing, difficulty urinating, or fainting. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor.
Some medicines or medical conditions may interact with this medicine. INFORM YOUR DOCTOR of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking.
DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you are also taking quinidine. Inform your doctor of any other medical conditions, allergies, pregnancy, or breast-feeding. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about taking this medicine.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include cold and clammy skin, slowed breathing, slowed heartbeat, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, deep sleep, and loss of consciousness.
DO NOT SHARE THIS MEDICINE with others for whom it was not prescribed.
DO NOT USE THIS MEDICINE for other health conditions.
KEEP THIS MEDICINE out of the reach of children. Dispose of properly after use.