Codeine Phosphate-Promethazine HCl

Generic Name: codeine and promethazine (KOE deen and proe METH a zeen)
Brand Name: Codeine Phosphate-Promethazine HCl, Promethazine HCl and Codeine Phosphate, Promethazine with Codeine

What is Codeine Phosphate-Promethazine HCl (codeine and promethazine)?

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 is the most important information I should know about Codeine Phosphate-Promethazine HCl (codeine and promethazine)?

You should not use this medication if you have asthma, pneumonia, or other lung problems.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 years old. Medicines that contain codeine should not be given to a child just after surgery to remove the tonsils or adenoids.

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

In some people, codeine breaks down rapidly in the liver and reaches higher than normal levels in the body. This can cause dangerously slow breathing and may cause death, especially in a child.

Get emergency medical help if a child taking this medication has breathing problems, blue lips, or severe drowsiness, or if you cannot wake the child up from sleep.

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

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to codeine or promethazine, or if you have asthma, pneumonia, or other lung problems.

In some people, codeine breaks down rapidly in the liver and reaches higher than normal levels in the body. This can cause dangerously slow breathing and may cause death, especially in a child.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 years old. Medicines that contain codeine should not be given to a child just after surgery to remove the tonsils or adenoids.

Codeine may be habit forming. Never share this medicine 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 this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • history of head injury or brain tumor;

  • glaucoma;

  • stomach ulcer, ulcerative colitis, blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines);

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • enlarged prostate, urination problems;

  • Addison's disease (an adrenal gland disorder); or

  • if you have recently had surgery on your stomach or urinary tract.

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

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are ill or debilitated.

How should I take Codeine Phosphate-Promethazine HCl (codeine and promethazine)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

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

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 5 days of treatment.

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.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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?

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 extreme drowsiness, vomiting, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, weak pulse, shallow breathing, fainting, or breathing that stops.

What should I avoid while taking Codeine Phosphate-Promethazine HCl (codeine and promethazine)?

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.

Codeine Phosphate-Promethazine HCl (codeine and promethazine) side effects

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

Seek emergency medical attention if a child taking this medication has any of the following life-threatening side effects: noisy breathing, sighing, slow breathing with long pauses between breaths; being unusually sleepy or hard to wake up; blue colored lips.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe constipation;

  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • confusion, agitation, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • little or no urinating; or

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild constipation, nausea;

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • feeling restless;

  • blurred vision, ringing in your ears;

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • dry mouth; or

  • itching, mild rash, increased sweating.

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Codeine Phosphate-Promethazine HCl (codeine and promethazine)?

Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking codeine and promethazine with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with codeine and promethazine, especially:

  • amiodarone;

  • disopyramide;

  • procainamide;

  • quinidine; or

  • sotalol.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with codeine and promethazine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

More about Codeine Phosphate-Promethazine HCl (codeine / promethazine)

Consumer resources

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.01. Revision Date: 2013-06-16, 11:22:54 PM.

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