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Phenergan-Codeine

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/26/2015
Discontinued Warning IconPlease Note: This Brand Name drug is no longer available in the US.
(Generic versions may still be available.)

Phenergan-Codeine Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Codeine Phosphate-Promethazine HCl, Promethazine HCl and Codeine Phosphate, Promethazine with Codeine

Generic Name: codeine and promethazine (Pronunciation: KOE deen and proe METH a zeen)

What is codeine and promethazine (Phenergan-Codeine)?

Codeine is a narcotic. It is a pain reliever and a cough suppressant.

Promethazine is an antihistamine. It blocks the effects of the naturally occurring chemical histamine in your body.

The combination of codeine and promethazine is used to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and cough.

Codeine and promethazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of codeine and promethazine (Phenergan-Codeine)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck, tremor (uncontrolled shaking);
  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • confusion, agitation, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • urinating less than usual or not at all; or
  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, fainting.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, sleepiness;
  • feeling restless, nervous, or anxious;
  • blurred vision, ringing in your ears;
  • constipation, mild nausea or vomiting;
  • warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • increased sweating;
  • dry mouth; or
  • mild skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Phenergan-Codeine (codeine phosphate and promethazine hcl) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about codeine and promethazine (Phenergan-Codeine)?

Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions before you start taking this medication.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to codeine or promethazine, or if you have asthma or other lung disease.

Codeine and promethazine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Do not give this medication to a child without medical advice.

There are many other medicines that can cause interact with promethazine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

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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.

Phenergan-Codeine Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my doctor before taking codeine and promethazine (Phenergan-Codeine)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to codeine or promethazine, or if you have high blood pressure, a blood vessel disorder, or asthma.

Do not give this medication to a child without medical advice. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

To make sure you can safely take codeine and promethazine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
  • glaucoma;
  • a stomach ulcer or digestive obstruction;
  • a weak immune system;
  • Addison's disease;
  • enlarged prostate, urination problems;
  • high or low blood pressure or heart disease;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • underactive thyroid;
  • gallbladder disease; or
  • a head injury or brain tumor.

Codeine and promethazine may be habit forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share codeine and promethazine 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.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether codeine and promethazine will harm an unborn baby. Codeine and promethazine 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 and promethazine.

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.

How should I take codeine and promethazine (Phenergan-Codeine)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Contact your doctor if your symptoms do not improve within a few days of using codeine and promethazine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Codeine and promethazine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

Phenergan-Codeine Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Phenergan-Codeine)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Phenergan-Codeine)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of this medication may be fatal.

Overdose symptoms include dizziness, extreme drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, cold and clammy skin, weak pulse, shallow breathing, fainting, seizure (convulsions), or breathing that stops.

What should I avoid while taking codeine and promethazine (Phenergan-Codeine)?

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of codeine and promethazine.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Codeine and promethazine can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

What other drugs will affect codeine and promethazine (Phenergan-Codeine)?

Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, other pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by codeine and promethazine.

Many drugs can interact with codeine and promethazine. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • sedatives or anxiety medicines such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), temazepam (Restoril), or triazolam (Halcion);
  • antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), or paroxetine (Paxil);
  • narcotic pain medicines such as meperidine (Demerol), morphine (MS Contin, MSIR), propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet), hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), oxycodone (Percocet, Percodan), fentanyl (Duragesic), codeine (Fiorinal, Fioricet, Tylenol #3);
  • phenobarbital (Luminal), amobarbital (Amytal) or secobarbital (Seconal);
  • an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate); or
  • atropine (Donnatal, and others), belladonna, clidinium (Quarzan), dicyclomine (Bentyl), glycopyrrolate (Robinul), hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others), methscopolamine (Pamine), and scopolamine (Transderm-Scop).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with codeine and promethazine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about codeine and promethazine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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