Promethazine VC with Codeine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine (KOE deen, FEN il EFF rin, and pro METH a zeen)
Brand Name: Promethazine VC with Codeine

What is Promethazine VC with Codeine (codeine, phenylephrine, 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.

Phenylephrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).

Codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine is a combination medicine used to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, and cough.

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

What is the most important information I should know about Promethazine VC with Codeine (codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine)?

You should not use this medication if you have asthma, pneumonia, or other lung problems. Medicines that contain codeine should not be given to a child just after surgery to remove the tonsils or adenoids.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the this medicine in very young children, especially if the child takes other drugs that can slow breathing.

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 Promethazine VC with Codeine (codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine)?

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. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the this medicine in very young children, especially if the child takes other drugs that can slow breathing.

Do not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

You should not use codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • asthma, pneumonia, or other lung problems;

  • high blood pressure;

  • blood circulation problems; or

  • if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to a medicine similar to promethazine, such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, promethazine, thioridazine, or trifluoperazine.

Codeine and promethazine 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:

  • sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep);

  • heart disease;

  • a fever and cough with mucus;

  • bone marrow suppression;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • glaucoma;

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

  • stomach or intestinal problems;

  • recent stomach or urinary tract surgery;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • enlarged prostate, problems with urination;

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • a head injury or brain tumor.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medicine 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 this medication.

This medication can pass into breast milk. The use of codeine by some nursing mothers may lead to life-threatening side effects in the baby. Decongestants may also slow breast milk production. Do not breast-feed while taking codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine.

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

How should I take Promethazine VC with Codeine (codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Never take this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Cough or cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

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.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve within 5 days of using this medicine.

If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the surgeon or doctor ahead of time that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

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

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.

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 fatal.

Overdose symptoms include severe drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, cold or clammy skin, limp or stiff muscles, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, and fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Promethazine VC with Codeine (codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine)?

This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you.

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

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold or allergy medication. Many medicines available over the counter contain phenylephrine or similar medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medication. Check the label to see if a medicine contains a decongestant.

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

Promethazine VC with Codeine (codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine) side effects

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.

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.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • weak or shallow breathing;

  • confusion, agitation, nightmares, hallucinations, seizure (convulsions);

  • uncontrolled muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats;

  • feelings of extreme happiness or sadness;

  • little or no urinating;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

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

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness;

  • sleep problems (insomnia), nervousness;

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

  • nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea;

  • itching, sweating; or

  • dry mouth, stuffy nose, double vision, ringing in your ears.

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 Promethazine VC with Codeine (codeine, phenylephrine, 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 this medicine with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about codeine, phenylephrine, 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: 7.01. Revision Date: 2013-07-10, 7:57:55 AM.

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