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Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD. Last updated on Nov 29, Codeine is an opioid pain medicationsometimes called a narcotic. Codeine is used to treat mild to moderately severe pain.
You should not use codeine if you have severe breathing problems, a blockage in your stomach or intestines, or frequent asthma attacks or hyperventilation. Codeine can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. Taking codeine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. Fatal side effects can occur if you use codeine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing. In some people, codeine breaks down rapidly in the liver and reaches higher than normal levels in the body. This can cause dangerously slow breathing and may cause death, especially in .
Some medicines can interact with codeine and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take stimulant medicine, herbal productsor medicine for depressionmental illness, Parkinson's diseasemigraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications. If you use this medicine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born.
Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Do not breast-feed while taking codeine. This medicine can pass into breast milk and cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death in a nursing baby. Take codeine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Codeine can slow or stop your breathing. Never use this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed.
Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain. Codeine may be habit-forming, Codeine pills effects at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Selling or giving away codeine is against the law. Drink 6 to 8 full glasses of water daily to help prevent constipation while you are taking this medicine. Do not use a stool softener laxative without first asking your doctor.
Do not stop using codeine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine. Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of your medicine. Codeine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription. Do not keep leftover opioid medication.
Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, mix the leftover medicine with cat litter or coffee grounds in a sealed plastic bag throw the bag in the trash. Since this medicine is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose.
Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at A codeine overdose can be fatal, especially in or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose can cause severe muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, very slow breathing, extreme drowsiness, or coma.
Codeine may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid Codeine pills effects or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you.
Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents. Get emergency medical help if you have s of an allergic reaction to codeine: hives ; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Like other narcotic medicines, codeine can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, feversweatingshivering, fast heart ratemuscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweightmalnourished, or debilitated.
Long-term use of opioid medication may affect fertility ability Codeine pills effects have children in men or women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. Initial dose: 15 to 60 mg orally up to every 4 hours as needed Maximum dose: mg in 24 hours Comments: -Initial doses should be individualized taking into severity of pain, response, prior analgesic treatment experience, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse.
Use: For the management of mild to moderate pain where treatment with an opioid is appropriate and from which alternative treatments are inadequate. You may have breathing problems or withdrawal symptoms if you start or stop taking certain other medicines. Tell your doctor if you also use an antibiotic, antifungal medication, heart or blood pressure medication, seizure medication, or medicine to treat HIV or hepatitis C.
Opioid medication can interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. Be sure your doctor knows if you also use:. This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with codeine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitaminsand herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use codeine only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this applies to your personal circumstances. Codeine side effects more detail.
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Codeine Addiction: Abuse, Side Effects, And Treatment