"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
Codeine Phosphate Patient Information including How Should I Take
In this Article
- What is codeine ?
- What are the possible side effects of codeine ?
- What is the most important information I should know about codeine ?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking codeine ?
- How should I take codeine ?
- What happens if I miss a dose ?
- What happens if I overdose ?
- What should I avoid while taking codeine ?
- What other drugs will affect codeine ?
- Where can I get more information?
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking codeine ?
Do not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine (examples include codeine, methadone, morphine, OxyContin, Darvocet, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, and many others). You should also not take codeine if you are having an asthma attack or if you have a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.
Codeine may be habit forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Never share codeine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
To make sure you can safely take codeine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
- liver or kidney disease;
- underactive thyroid;
- curvature of the spine;
- a history of head injury or brain tumor;
- epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
- low blood pressure;
- gallbladder disease;
- a pancreas disorder;
- an intestinal disorder;
- Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;
- enlarged prostate, urination problems;
- mental illness; or
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether codeine will harm an unborn baby. Codeine may cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using codeine.
Codeine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. The use of codeine by some nursing mothers may lead to life-threatening side effects in the baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.
How should I take codeine ?
Take exactly as prescribed. Never take codeine in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Drink 6 to 8 full glasses of water daily to help prevent constipation while you are taking codeine. Do not use a stool softener (laxative) without first asking your doctor.
Take codeine with food or milk if it upsets your stomach.
Do not stop using codeine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using codeine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Codeine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
After you have stopped using this medication, flush any unused pills down the toilet.
Additional Codeine Phosphate Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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