Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic
reaction to medications.
Codeine may cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms as well as other
harmful effects in an unborn baby. Do not take codeine without first
talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.
Codeine may also cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a
nursing baby. Do not take codeine without first talking to your doctor
if you are breast-feeding a baby.
If you are younger than 18 years of age or older than 60 years of
age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from codeine
therapy. Use extra caution.
Always tell your doctor all
medications you are taking, both prescription and over-the-counter.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other
cases different medicines may be used together even if an interaction
might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or
other precautions may be necessary. It is especially important that you
observe the following and consult your doctor:
- Avoid alcohol while taking codeine.
Alcohol will greatly increase the drowsiness and dizziness caused by
codeine and could be dangerous.
- Do not take codeine if you have
taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan),
phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days.
Dangerous side effects could result.
- The most serious interactions
affecting codeine are with those drugs that also cause sedation. The
following drugs may lead to dangerous sedation if taken with codeine:
- antihistamines such as
brompheniramine (Dimetane, Bromfed, others), diphenhydramine
(Benadryl, Nytol, Compoz, others), chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton,
Teldrin, others), and others
- tricyclic antidepressants, such as
amitriptyline (Elavil) and doxepin (Sinequan), and serotonin reuptake
inhibitors such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and
- other commonly used antidepressants,
including amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin),
imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and protriptyline (Vivactil)
- anticholinergics such as belladonna
(Donnatal), clidinium (Quarzan), dicyclomine (Bentyl, Antispas),
hyoscyamine (Levsin, Anaspaz), ipratropium (Atrovent), propantheline
(Pro-Banthine), and scopolamine (Transderm-Scop)
- phenothiazines such as
chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), thioridazine (Mellaril),
and prochlorperazine (Compazine)
- tranquilizers and sedatives such as
phenobarbital (Solfoton, Luminal), amobarbital (Amytal), secobarbital
(Seconal), alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan),
flurazepam (Prosom), and temazepam (Restoril).
- Do not take any of the drugs listed
above without the approval of your doctor.
- Drugs other than those listed here
may also interact with codeine. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist
before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines. .
Other medical problems-
Codeine is habit forming and
should only be used under close supervision if you have an alcohol or
drug addiction. Make sure you tell your doctor
if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- urinary retention
- an enlarged prostate
- seizures or epilepsy
- a head injury
- Addison's disease
Proper use of this
- Take codeine exactly as directed by
your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your
pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
- Never take more of this medication
than is prescribed for you. Too much codeine could be very harmful.
- Take each dose with a full glass of
- Take codeine with food or milk if it
upsets your stomach.
- Do not stop taking codeine suddenly
if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days.
Stopping suddenly could cause withdrawal symptoms and make you feel
uncomfortable. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce your dose.
- Codeine will cause constipation.
Increase the amount of fiber and water (six to eight full glasses a
day) in your diet to prevent constipation.
- Do not share this medication with
- If taking codeine in liquid form,
shake well before measuring a dose.
Take the missed dose as soon as you
remember. Do not take a double dose of this medication. Take your next
dose 4 to 6 hours later.
- Keep this medication in the
container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children.
- Store it at room temperature and
away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
- Throw away any medication that is
outdated or no longer needed.
- Talk to your pharmacist about the
proper disposal of your medication.
Side Effects of This Medicine
- If you experience any of the
following serious side effects, stop taking codeine and seek emergency
- an allergic reaction (difficulty
breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or
face; or hives)
- slow, weak breathing
- cold, clammy skin
- severe weakness or dizziness
- Other, less serious side effects may
be more likely to occur. Continue to take codeine and talk to your
doctor if you experience
- dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, or
- dizziness, tiredness, or
- muscle twitches
- decreased urination
- decreased sex drive
- Codeine is habit forming. Do not
stop taking it suddenly.
- Side effects other than those listed
here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that
seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.