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Zodryl AC suspension

Generic Name: chlorpheniramine/codeine (KLOR-fen-IR-a-meen/KOE-deen)
Brand Name: Zodryl AC

Some children have had serious and sometimes fatal breathing problems when uing codeine after surgery to remove tonsils or adenoids. Talk with your doctor for more information.


Zodryl AC suspension is used for:

Relieving runny nose; sneezing; coughing; itchy, watery eyes; or itching of the nose and throat caused by colds, upper respiratory infections, and allergies. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Zodryl AC suspension is an antihistamine and narcotic cough suppressant combination. The antihistamine works by blocking the action of histamine, which helps reduce symptoms, such as itchy, watery eyes and sneezing. The cough suppressant works in the brain to help decrease the cough reflex, which reduces a dry cough.

Do NOT use Zodryl AC suspension if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Zodryl AC suspension or any other codeine- or morphine-related medicine (eg, oxycodone)
  • you have angle-closure glaucoma or peptic ulcers
  • you are unable to urinate or are having an asthma attack
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB)
  • the patient is a child and has just had surgery to remove tonsils or adenoids

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: OTC Medication Use In Pregnancy: Wise or Worrisome?

Before using Zodryl AC suspension:

Some medical conditions may interact with Zodryl AC suspension. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness) to morphine, codeine, or any other opiate (eg, hydrocodone, oxycodone)
  • if you have heart blood vessel problems, irregular heartbeat, or any other heart problems (eg, cor pulmonale); high or low blood pressure; diabetes; liver or kidney problems; stroke; glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye; thyroid problems; or adrenal gland problems (eg, Addison disease)
  • if you have a history of asthma, chronic cough, lung or breathing problems (eg, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, sleep apnea, slow or irregular breathing), or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or if your cough occurs with large amounts of mucus
  • if you have severe drowsiness, recent head or brain injury, brain tumor, increased pressure in the brain, infection of the brain or nervous system, or a seizure disorder (eg, epilepsy)
  • if you have gallbladder problems (eg, gallstones); stomach or bowel problems (eg, blockage, constipation, motility problems, chronic inflammation or ulceration of the bowel); or if you have had recent stomach, bowel, or urinary surgery
  • if you have a blockage of your bladder, a narrowing of your urinary tract, an enlarged prostate or other prostate problems, or trouble urinating
  • if you are dehydrated, have low blood volume, have very poor health, or are very overweight
  • if you have a history of alcohol or substance abuse or suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • if you are taking medicine for depression

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Zodryl AC suspension. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticholinergics (eg, scopolamine) because a serious bowel motility problem (paralytic ileus) may occur
  • Cimetidine, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine), narcotic pain medicines (eg, hydrocodone), sodium oxybate (GHB) or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because side effects such as excessive drowsiness, disorientation, trouble breathing, or seizures may occur
  • Naltrexone, quinidine, or rifamycins (eg, rifampin) because they may decrease Zodryl AC suspension's effectiveness
  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Zodryl AC suspension

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Zodryl AC suspension may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Zodryl AC suspension:

Use Zodryl AC suspension as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Zodryl AC suspension by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Shake well before each use.
  • Use a measuring device marked for medicine dosing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Zodryl AC suspension is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • If you miss a dose of Zodryl AC suspension and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Zodryl AC suspension.

Important safety information:

  • Zodryl AC suspension may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Zodryl AC suspension with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Zodryl AC suspension; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Zodryl AC suspension may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Do not use Zodryl AC suspension for a cough with a lot of mucus. Do not use it for a long-term cough (eg, caused by asthma, emphysema, smoking). However, you may use it for these conditions if your doctor tells you to.
  • Zodryl AC suspension has chlorpheniramine in it. Before you start any new medicine, check the label to see if it has chlorpheniramine in it too. If it does or if you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • If your cough or other symptoms do not get better within 1 week, if they come back, or if you also have fever, rash, or persistent headache, check with your doctor.
  • Zodryl AC suspension may interfere with skin allergy tests. If you are scheduled for a skin test, talk to your doctor. You may need to stop taking Zodryl AC suspension for a few days before the tests.
  • Zodryl AC suspension may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Zodryl AC suspension. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Zodryl AC suspension before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use Zodryl AC suspension with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, low blood pressure, excitability, dry mouth, and trouble urinating.
  • Caution is advised when using Zodryl AC suspension in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially excitability.
  • Zodryl AC suspension should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed. Serious and sometimes fatal breathing problems have occurred when Zodryl AC suspension has been used in these children.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Zodryl AC suspension while you are pregnant. Zodryl AC suspension is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Zodryl AC suspension.

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, Zodryl AC suspension may not work as well and may require higher doses to obtain the same effect as when originally taken. This is known as TOLERANCE. Talk with your doctor if Zodryl AC suspension stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed.

Some people who use Zodryl AC suspension for a long time may develop a need to continue taking it. People who take high doses are also at risk. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction.

If you suddenly stop taking Zodryl AC suspension, you may experience WITHDRAWAL symptoms including anxiety; diarrhea; fever, runny nose or sneezing; goose bumps and abnormal skin sensations; nausea; vomiting; pain; rigid muscles; rapid heartbeat; seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there; shivering or tremors; sweating; and trouble sleeping.

Possible side effects of Zodryl AC suspension:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Changes in appetite; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth, nose, or throat; excitability; headache; heartburn; nausea; thickening of mucus secretions; upset stomach; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision, double vision, or other vision changes; confusion; difficulty urinating or inability to urinate; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; loss of coordination; mood or mental changes; nervousness; ringing in the ears; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; severe drowsiness; shallow breathing; tremor; trouble sleeping; uncontrolled muscle movements; unusual weakness or tiredness; wheezing.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blurred vision; chest pain; cold or clammy skin; confusion; difficult or very slow breathing; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; severe drowsiness; unusually fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; vomiting.

Proper storage of Zodryl AC suspension:

Store Zodryl AC suspension at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Zodryl AC suspension out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Zodryl AC suspension, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Zodryl AC suspension is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Zodryl AC suspension or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Zodryl AC suspension. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Zodryl AC suspension. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Zodryl AC suspension.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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