What is Codeine?
Codeine is an opioid pain medication, sometimes called a narcotic and 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.
How to use Codeine Syrup
- 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, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away codeine is against the law.
- Take this medicine with food or milk if it upsets your stomach.
- 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, flush the unused medicine down the toilet.
Before taking this medicine:
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- severe asthma or breathing problems;
- a blockage in your stomach or intestines; or
- frequent asthma attacks or hyperventilation.
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 a child.
Do not give codeine to anyone younger than 18 years old.
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver disease;
- asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
- abnormal curvature of the spine that affects breathing;
- kidney disease;
- a head injury or brain tumor;
- low blood pressure;
- blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines);
- a gallbladder or pancreas disorder;
- underactive thyroid;
- Addison’s disease or other adrenal gland disorder;
- enlarged prostate, urination problems; or
- mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction