What is this medicine?
CODEINE; PHENYLEPHRINE; PROMETHAZINE (KOE deen; fen il EF rin; proe METH a zeen) is a cough suppressant, a decongestant, and an antihistamine. It helps to stop or reduce coughing and congestion of colds or allergies. This medicine will not treat an infection.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Pentazine VC with Codeine, Prometh VC with Codeine
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Addison's disease
- brain tumor
- gallbladder disease
- head injury
- heart disease
- history of a drug or alcohol abuse problem
- history of irregular heartbeat
- if you often drink alcohol
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- low blood pressure
- lung or breathing disease, like asthma
- mental illness
- pancreatic disease
- stomach or intestine problems
- thyroid disease
- trouble passing urine
- an allergic or unusual reaction to codeine, phenylephrine, promethazine, phenothiazines, sulfites, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. Do not to overfill. Rinse the measuring device with water after each use. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed.
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 approved for use in children.
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 extra or double doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- antihistamines or decongestants for allergy, cough and cold
- certain medicines for anxiety or sleep
- certain medicines for depression like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
- certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone
- general anesthetics like halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol
- herbal or dietary supplements containing ephedra or ephedrine
- local anesthetics like lidocaine, pramoxine, tetracaine
- MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
- medicines that relax muscles for surgery
- other narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain or cough
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- antiviral medicines for hepatitis, HIV or AIDS
- certain antibiotics like erythromycin, clarithromycin
- certain medicines for bladder problems like oxybutynin, tolterodine
- certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
- certain medicines for Parkinson's disease like benztropine, trihexyphenidyl
- certain medicines for stomach problems like dicyclomine, hyoscyamine
- certain medicines for travel sickness like scopolamine
- other medicines that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm)
- stimulant medicines for attention disorders, weight loss, or to stay awake
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?
Use exactly as directed by your doctor or health care professional. Do not take more than the recommended dose. You may develop tolerance to this medicine if you take it for a long time. Tolerance means that you will get less cough relief with time. Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
If you have been taking this medicine for a long time, do not suddenly stop taking it 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 nonmedical reason. 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.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
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.
This medicine may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses, you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye 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
- changes in vision
- chest pain
- eye pain
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- high blood pressure
- signs and symptoms of low blood pressure like dizziness; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; unusually weak or tired
- signs and symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) such as confusion; fast or irregular heart beat; high fever; increased sweating; stiff muscles
- trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
- trouble sleeping
- uncontrollable head, mouth, neck, arm, or leg movements
- yellowing of the eyes or skin
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 drug can be abused. Keep this 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.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. This medicine may cause accidental overdose and death if taken by other adults, children, or pets. Mix any unused medicine with a substance like cat littler 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.
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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