What is this medicine?
CODEINE (KOE deen) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat mild to moderate pain.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- brain tumor
- head injury
- heart disease
- history of a drug or alcohol abuse problem
- if you often drink alcohol
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- lung or breathing disease, like asthma
- problems urinating
- an unusual or allergic reaction to codeine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. If the medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not take more than you are told to take.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. This medicine is not for use in children less than 12 years of age. Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 18 years of age after surgery to remove the tonsils and/or adenoids.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
This medicine may interact with the following medications:
- antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
- antiviral medicines used for HIV or AIDS
- certain antibiotics like erythromycin and clarithromycin
- certain medicines for anxiety or sleep
- certain medicines for bladder problems like oxybutynin, tolterodine
- certain medicines for depression like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
- certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
- certain medicines for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, propafenone, quinidine
- certain medicines for Parkinson's disease like benztropine, trihexyphenidyl
- certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone
- certain medicines for stomach problems like dicyclomine, hyoscyamine
- certain medicines for travel sickness like scopolamine
- general anesthetics like halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol
- local anesthetics like lidocaine, pramoxine, tetracaine
- MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
- medicines that relax muscles for surgery
- other narcotic medicines for pain or cough
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take this medicine for a long time.
Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates). If you take more than one type at the same time or if you are taking another medicine that also causes drowsiness, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing or unusual sleepiness.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Children may be at higher risk for side effects. If your child has slow breathing, noisy breathing, confusion, or unusual sleepiness, stop giving this medicine and get medical help right away.
This medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- signs and symptoms of low blood pressure like dizziness; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; unusually weak or tired
- trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- dry mouth
- nausea, vomiting
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and is against the law.
This medicine may cause accidental overdose and death if it taken by other adults, children, or pets. Mix any unused medicine with a substance like cat litter or coffee grounds. Then throw the medicine away in a sealed container like a sealed bag or a coffee can with a lid. Do not use the medicine after the expiration date.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F).
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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