"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.
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
ACETAMINOPHEN/CODEINE - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Tylenol-Codeine No.3, Tylenol-Codeine No.4, Vopac
WARNING: One ingredient in this product is acetaminophen. Taking too much acetaminophen may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Adults should not take more than 4000 milligrams (4 grams) of acetaminophen a day. If you have liver problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist for a safe dosage of this medication. Daily use of alcohol, especially when combined with acetaminophen, may increase your risk for liver damage. Avoid alcohol. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness, or yellowing eyes/skin.
Acetaminophen is an ingredient found in many nonprescription products and in some combination prescription medications (such as pain/fever drugs or cough-and-cold products). Carefully check the labels on all your medicines because they may also contain acetaminophen. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely. Get medical help right away if you have taken more than 4000 milligrams of acetaminophen a day, even if you feel well.
Children should not use products that contain codeine after certain surgeries (including tonsil/adenoid removal). Also, for children younger than 12 years, do not use codeine to treat cough or pain unless specifically directed by the doctor. Some children are more sensitive to codeine and have had very serious (rarely fatal) breathing problems such as slow/shallow breathing (see also Side Effects section). Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the risks and benefits of this medication.
USES: See also Warning section.
This combination medication is used to help relieve mild to moderate pain. It contains a narcotic pain reliever (codeine) and a non-narcotic pain reliever (acetaminophen). Codeine works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. Acetaminophen can also reduce a fever.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication may also be used to suppress a cough.
HOW TO USE: See also Warning section.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
If you are using a liquid form of this medication, use a medication measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. If you are taking the suspension, shake the bottle well before each dose.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
If you have ongoing pain (such as due to cancer), your doctor may direct you to also take long-acting narcotic medications. In that case, this medication might be used for sudden (breakthrough) pain only as needed. Other non-narcotic pain relievers (such as naproxen, ibuprofen) may also be prescribed with this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about using this product safely with other drugs.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, muscle aches) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Along with its benefits, this medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction.
Tell your doctor if your pain persists or worsens.
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