Codeine (By mouth)
Treats pain. Also treats cough. This medicine contains a narcotic pain reliever.
Brand Name(s):There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to codeine, or if you have severe lung or breathing problems or bowel blockage (including paralytic ileus).
How to Use This Medicine:
- Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you. An overdose can be dangerous. Follow directions carefully so you do not get too much medicine at one time. Your doctor may also give naloxone to treat an overdose.
- This medicine is not for long-term use.
- Oral liquid: Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
- Missed dose: This medicine is taken only when needed, so there are no special instructions for a missed dose.
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the medicine in a safe and secure place. Drop off any unused narcotic medicine at a drug take-back location right away. If you do not have a drug take-back location near you, flush any unused narcotic medicine down the toilet. Check your local drug store and clinics for take-back locations. You can also check the DEA web site for locations. Here is the link to the FDA safe disposal of medicines web site: www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/buyingusingmedicinesafely/ensuringsafeuseofmedicine/safedisposalofmedicines/ucm186187.htm
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Do not use this medicine if you are using or have used an MAO inhibitor within the past 14 days.
- Some medicines can affect how codeine works. Tell your doctor if you using any of the following:
- Amiodarone, bupropion, carbamazepine, erythromycin, ketoconazole, mirtazapine, phenytoin, quinidine, rifampin, ritonavir, tramadol, or trazodone
- Benzodiazepine medicine
- Blood pressure medicine
- Diuretic (water pill)
- Medicine for depression (including SNRIs, SSRIs, TCAs)
- Phenothiazine medicine
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
- Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol. Tell your doctor if you are also using buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine, or a muscle relaxer.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, lung or breathing problems (including sleep apnea), gallbladder disease, pancreas problems, prostate problems, underactive thyroid, stomach or bowel problems, or a history of head injury, brain tumor, depression, seizures, drug or alcohol abuse.
- Do not breastfeed while you are using this medicine.
- This medicine may cause the following problems:
- High risk of overdose, which can lead to death
- Respiratory depression (serious breathing problem that can be life-threatening)
- Sleep-related breathing problems (including sleep apnea, sleep-related hypoxemia)
- Adrenal gland problem
- Low blood pressure
- Serotonin syndrome, when used with certain medicines
- This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or lightheaded. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you. Sit or lie down if you feel dizzy. Stand up carefully.
- This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
- This medicine could cause infertility. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children.
- This medicine may cause constipation, especially with long-term use. Ask your doctor if you should use a laxative to prevent and treat constipation.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Anxiety, restlessness, fast heartbeat, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, twitching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
- Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
- Changes in skin color, dark freckles, cold feeling, tiredness, weight loss
- Extreme dizziness or weakness, shallow breathing, slow or uneven heartbeat, sweating, cold or clammy skin, seizures
- Severe confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
- Severe constipation, stomach pain, or vomiting
- Slow or trouble breathing
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild constipation
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Last Updated: 3/29/2022