Acetaminophen Codeine is a narcotic analgesic used for treating mild to moderate pain such as after an injury or operation. Codeine is also used to treat diarrhoea and suppress coughing (antitussive). Codeine is sometimes marketed in combination preparations with other painkilling medicines such as acetaminophen or aspirin or with NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen.
These combinations provide greater pain relief than either agent alone (drug synergy). Codeine works in certain areas of the brain and nervous system to decrease pain. It’s also used for long-standing pain when everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin have not worked. Codeine is available on prescription as well as as you can buy codeine without prescription.
Acetaminophen codeine comes as tablets, a liquid to swallow (promethazine with codeine )and as an injection. Codeine injections are usually only given in hospitals. You can also buy codeine online from a pharmacy as a syrup to treat dry coughs.
- Codeine comes as tablets – these contain 15mg, 30mg or 60mg of codeine,
- a liquid that you swallow (codeine phosphate ) – this contains 25mg of codeine in a 5ml spoonful,
- cough syrup (promethazine codeine) – this contains 15mg of codeine in a 5ml spoonful,
- an injection (usually given in hospital)
If you’re taking acetaminophen codeine as a liquid, it will come with a plastic spoon or syringe to help you measure the correct amount. Ask your pharmacist for one if you don’t have it. Since codeine is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.
Acetaminophen codeine Side Effects
Like all medicines, codeine can cause side effects in some people, the higher the dose of codeine the more chance that you will get side effects. Codeine phosphate may cause serious side effects including
- noisy breathing,
- shallow breathing,
- breathing that stops during sleep,
- slow heart rate,
- weak pulse,
- unusual thoughts or behaviour,
- feeling extreme happiness or sadness,
- convulsions (seizure),
- problems with urination,
- nausea, vomiting,
- loss of appetite,
- worsening tiredness or weakness,
- fast heart rate,
- muscle stiffness,
- loss of coordination,
- and diarrhoea.
The most common side effects of Codeine Sulfate include: feeling dizzy, drowsiness, constipation, nausea, vomiting. While less potent than many other opioid narcotics, codeine can be habit-forming. As a controlled substance, codeine can cause physical dependence after a person takes it for a longer period of time. Physical dependence means a person will experience symptoms of withdrawal if they suddenly stop.
Promethazine With Codeine: Acetaminophen Codeine cough syrup
Promethazine with codeine cough syrup, a medication that contains codeine, an opioid that acts as a cough suppressant and can also produce relaxation and euphoria when consumed at a higher-than-prescribed dose. Promethazine is an antihistamine that relieves watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, runny nose, and sneezing. This combination medication is used to treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, or other breathing illnesses.
It also contains promethazine HCl, an antihistamine that additionally acts as a sedative. Cough and cold medicines are usually consumed orally in tablet, capsule, or syrup form same as codeine cough syrup. Opioid cough suppressants should not be used in children younger than 18 years. Children are at higher risk for serious side effects, especially breathing problems. They may be mixed with soda for flavour and are often abused in combination with other drugs, such as alcohol or marijuana.
When taken as intended, cough and cold medicines safely treat symptoms of lower and upper respiratory congestion and discomfort caused by colds and flu. But when taken in higher quantities or when such symptoms aren’t present, they may affect the brain in ways very similar to illegal drugs, at high doses, sensations of physical distortion and hallucinations. Although only available by prescription, promethazine-codeine cough
syrup is sometimes diverted for abuse.
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to codeine or promethazine, or if you have: asthma or severe breathing problems; a stomach or bowel obstruction (including paralytic ileus);narrow-angle glaucoma; or if you are unable to urinate. Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon). Rinse after each use.
Since this medicine is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Skip any missed dose if it’s almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time. Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.
When abused, codeine cough syrup presents a high risk of fatal overdose due to its effect of depressing the central nervous system, which can slow or stop the heart and lungs. Do not increase your dose or use this product more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. Mixing with alcohol greatly increases this risk.
Acetaminophen Codeine: Codeine Allergy
Having a codeine allergy is a problem some people face, making them unable to take the prescription opioid for pain or treat a cough. True codeine allergy symptoms are caused by the immunoglobulins or T-cells in your immune system. A codeine allergy is rare, but unpleasant pseudoallergy side effects are more common.
If you are truly allergic to codeine, your doctor may recommend an alternative a chemically unrelated opioid-like tramadol. Alternatively, your doctor may recommend non-opioid pain relievers, like acetaminophen or an NSAID like ibuprofen. A true codeine allergic reaction is pretty rare. In up to 90% of cases, a person who thinks they have a codeine allergy to an opioid does not actually have a true codeine allergy.
For example, itchy skin is a common opioid side effect but does not indicate a codeine allergy. Nor are other symptoms commonly associated with allergies, like blurred vision or constipation. These are all just expected side effects of using codeine. Symptoms of a codeine allergy include Hives, A rash that looks discoloured, bumpy skin, A rash that looks like pimples, Blisters, Swelling of the mouth, neck or face, Severely low blood pressure,trouble breathing.
If you believe you are having an allergic reaction to codeine, it is important to seek medical attention right away. An allergy can lead to trouble breathing, which can be fatal. If you have been diagnosed with a codeine allergy and have accidentally taken the drug, you should use your epinephrine (EpiPen) auto-injector and seek emergency medical attention. Although drug interactions cannot cause a codeine allergy, they can enhance codeine’s side effects.
Drugs that interact with codeine and can worsen its side effects include: Alcohol, Benzodiazepine drugs like lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), and alprazolam (Xanax), Cannabis, including cannabidiol (CBD) products, Anticholinergic drugs that impact acetylcholine in the body, like amitriptyline and oxybutynin, Sleep drugs, like zolpidem (Ambien)