What Do You Know About Codeine?

What is Codeine?

Codeine is a narcotic drug primarily used for treating moderate to severe pain. It works on the brain and nervous system to treat and manage pain. 

Being a scheduled drug, health authorities have taken control over the production, supply, and distribution of the medicine. 

It is a narcotic drug; therefore, buying or selling Codeine without a proper prescription is not permitted. 

Precautions you should take while using Codeine

Codeine is a highly addictive and habit-forming medicine. It can adversely affect you if taken inappropriately. You can easily buy Codeine online and use it as per your doctor’s prescription, but you should take care of the following precautions while using Codeine:

  • It is a prescription treatment for pain, cough, and diarrhea; please ask your physician before using it. 
  • Your doctor will not allow you to take Codeine if you are allergic to it or its components or similar medications. 
  • Taking Codeine is not recommended if you have severe asthma, breathing disorders, blockage in the stomach or intestines.
  • To ensure that using Codeine is safe for you; please tell your doctor if you have or ever had the following health disorders:
    • Breathing disorders 
    • Sleep apnea (breathing that stops while sleeping)
    • Liver disease 
    • Severe asthma 
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders (COPD)
    • Abnormal curvature of the spinal cords that affects breathing
    • Kidney disorders 
    • Head injuries 
    • Brain tumor 
    • Low blood pressure level 
    • Problems in the functioning of the gall bladder and pancreas 
    • Thyroid disorders 
    • Addison’s disease 
    • Enlarged prostate
    • Urination problems
    • Mental illness 
  • You can not take Codeine if you are or were addicted to any drug or alcohol. 
  • Using Codeine might not be safe during the pregnancy and lactation period. It can harm your child and make your baby dependent on the medicine. 
  • Please consult your physician to learn more about Codeine benefits and risk of it before using Codeine. 
  • You can also ask your doctor about all the necessary precautions you should take while using Codeine. 

Codeine dosage and how to take it? 

Please take Codeine as advised by your physician and follow all the instructions and directions given on the medicine and prescription label. 

It is advisable to never share your medicine with anyone who has a history of drug abuse and addiction. 

Codeine dosage will vary from patient to patient. To determine suitable dosages, your doctor will examine you properly and recommend the minimum possible Codeine dose. 

Codeine dosage will depend on certain factors such as:

  • Age and weight of the patients 
  • The seriousness of the conditions 
  • How you responded to the first dose of the medicine 

The typical Codeine dose will be as follows:

In the form of oral tablets 

Dosage for treating pain (moderate to severe)

  • For adults (18 years and above)

15 to 60 mg of the medicine after every 4 hours as and when required 

  • For children (between 12 to 17 years)

Doctors will determine Codeine dosage for patients between 12 to 17 years after a full and proper medical examination.

  • For children (below 12 years)

Using Codeine for anyone younger than 12 years is not recommended. 

What happens when you suddenly stop taking Codeine?

Sudden withdrawal of Codeine can be fatal; you should ask your doctor before stop taking medicines. They will gradually decrease your medicine dose to avoid withdrawal symptoms. 

Codeine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Irritation
  • Anxiety 
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Teary eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Unusual sweating
  • Yawning 
  • Pain in the muscles
  • Faster heartbeat

Things to avoid while using Codeine

Codeine can impair your thought process and make you feel dizzy or drowsy; be careful while driving and operating heavy machinery. 

Avoid performing activities that require you to be alert and attentive. 

Consuming alcohol might not be safe while using Codeine; it can increase the risk of certain side effects. 

Avoid taking herbal products, over-the-counter medicine, vitamins, other nutritional supplements simultaneously with Codeine. 

Always ask your physician about all other necessary precautions that you should take while using Codeine.

What to do if an overdose happens

Taking Codeine in excess can adversely affect your health. Please observe your health; you may experience some of the following Codeine overdose symptoms:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Prolonged breathing
  • Extreme dizziness or drowsiness
  • Coma 

Never ignore these life-threatening overdose symptoms and consult your doctor ASAP if an overdose happens.  

Codeine side effects

Codeine can cause you some side effects; please observe your health. You can experience the following side effects after using it:

  • Dizziness or drowsiness 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Pain in the stomach 
  • Constipation 
  • Unusual sweating 
  • Itching 
  • Body rashes 

Though these common side effects don’t need much medical attention, you should consult your doctor ASAP if they bother you too much or are unbearable. 

Please stop taking medicine and tell your doctor if you experience the following health issues:

  • Noisy breathing
  • Sighing
  • Shallow and slow breathing
  • Sleep apnea (breathing that stops during sleep)
  • Slow heart rate 
  • Weak pulses 
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Confusion or disorientation 
  • Agitation 
  • Hallucination
  • Mood swings or behavioral disorders 
  • Seizures or convulsions 
  • Urination problems
  • Low cortisol levels in the body causing nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness, or weakness
  • Symptoms of serotonin syndrome such as hallucinations, fever, unusual sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, stiff muscles, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Any other severe allergic reaction to the medicines

Can Codeine interact with other medications?

Yes, it can interact with other drugs and cause you some dangerous side effects. The medications that can interact with Codeine are as follows: 

  • Antibiotic
  • Antifungal medication
  • Heart and blood pressure medication
  • Seizure medication
  • Medicine to treat HIV or hepatitis C
  • Cold or allergy medicines
  • Medicines to treat asthma 
  • Water pills
  • Medication for motion sickness and overactive bladder
  • Irritable bowel syndrome medicines
  • Narcotic drugs 
  • Opioid pain medicine
  • Sedative
  • Sleeping pill
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Medicine to treat mood and behavioral disorders or mental illness
  • Stimulant
  • Antidepressants
  • Parkinson’s disease medications
  • Drug for treating migraine headaches 

Therefore, you should tell your doctor about all the medications and therapies you are currently taking. 

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