Codeine - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Codeine: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is codeine?

Codeine is a painkiller prescribed for treating pain, coughing, and diarrhea. It is effective in relieving mild to moderate levels of pain and is available in the form of tablets, syrup, and injections. The injections, however, are only given at hospitals under the supervision of the doctor.

Codeine is made from opium and ??is a narcotic cough suppressant. It affects the signals in the brain or receptors in the central nervous system that trigger the reflexes that induce coughing.

What are the uses of codeine?

Codeine treats mild to moderately severe pain. It is also used in combination with other medications, like paracetamol (co-codamol), aspirin (co-codaprin), and ibuprofen (Nurofen Plus) to provide relief from coughing. Codeine lowers the symptoms but does not cure the root cause of symptoms or provide speedy recovery.

Codeine comes with a risk for abuse and addiction, which can cause overdose and death. The maximum daily dose for adults should not exceed 240 mg. Doses must have an interval of 4? hours between them.

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What are the side effects of codeine?

The common side effects of codeine are listed below. However, if these bother you excessively or linger for longer than convenient, get a professional opinion.

  • Sweating and constipation
  • Nauseousness and vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Vertigo (a sensation of spinning)
  • Dry mouth
  • Migraine or headaches

Speak to a pharmacist regarding any allergic reactions. These are codeine? more serious side effects:

  • Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pruritus (itching)


Frequently Asked Questions about Codeine

1. Does hydrocodone have codeine in it?

No, hydrocodone does not have codeine in it. Each drug is a chemically distinct opioid. Hydrocodone is considered to be stronger and more potent than codeine. It has a higher risk of abuse, which can cause one to be physically dependent on the drug and result in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

2. How long does codeine stay in your system?

Codeine is highly effective, and its results show instantly. It is easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. All forms of codeine, such as tablets, liquid, and cough syrup, begin showing results within 30 to 60 minutes. They are also eliminated quickly from the system usually after 2.5? hours.

3. Is Bromfed DM the same as codeine?

No. Bromfed DM is an over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine. It provides relief from certain chemicals in the body that cause allergic reactions like nasal congestion and cough. The symptoms also include sneezing, itching, and running nose. Codeine is an opioid often used in cough syrups for suppressing coughs. Bromfed DM doesn't consist of opioids, involving codeine.

4. Is codeine an opiate?

Yes. Codeine belongs to the family of painkillers called opiate (narcotic) analgesics and antitussives. When used to provide pain relief, it works by changing the way the brain and nervous system react to pain. When codeine is taken to treat coughing, it reduces the activity in the part of the brain that triggers coughing.

5. Is codeine a narcotic?

Yes. As mentioned, codeine is part of the family of medicines known as narcotic analgesics or pain relievers in simpler terms. These pain relievers are also widely known as opioid analgesics. They are prescribed as a cough suppressant similar to morphine and hydrocodone and are used for treating mild to moderate degrees of pain.

6. Does Percocet have codeine in it?

No, Percocet does not contain codeine in it. Although Percocet and codeine are both cough suppressants, they belong to different categories of opioids and have different chemical formulas. Percocet works under a combination brand name of oxycodone and acetaminophen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Percocet treats severe pain, whereas codeine is a generic painkiller used for moderate to mild pain.

7. Is Tramadol stronger than codeine?

Tramadol belongs to the same opioid category as codeine, and both are narcotic painkillers used for treating moderate pain. Both are considered less potent than other opiates, which means they are safe. As per a dental study, Tramadol's analgesic efficacy for curing acute pain post oral surgery is very similar to that of 60 mg of codeine. This is different if codeine is combined with aspirin or acetaminophen.

8. Does codeine make you sleepy?

Yes, one of the most common side effects of codeine is that it makes you sleepy and drowsy. Codeine? mechanism works by stopping the pain signals from triggering the nerves of the brain. This often causes you to feel nauseous, dizzy, and lightheaded. It may trigger sleep-related breathing problems like sleep apnea or sleep-related hypoxemia.

9. Does codeine cause constipation?

Yes, opioid medicines have constipation as one of their side effects. Codeine is known to hinder gastric emptying and peristalsis in the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to delayed absorption of codeine and rising absorption of fluid. Less fluid in the intestine causes the hardening of stool and constipation.

10. How much codeine is too much?

The recommended dosage varies from 15–60mg.

  • Adults: One or two 30mg tablets every 4 hours; maximum intake of 240 mg in 24 hours
  • Children (12-7 years): One or two 30mg tablets (or one or two 5ml spoonfuls of liquid) with an interval of 6 hours
  • Elderly: For those with kidney or liver diseases, 15mg tablets every 4 hours

To have all your medicinal queries answered, consult our experts at Yashoda Hospitals. Book an appointment with us today.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.


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