Vanacof CD

Generic Name: codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine (KOE deen, DEX klor fen IR a meen, FEN il EFF rin)
Brand Name: Vanacof CD

What is Vanacof CD (codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine)?

Codeine is in a group of drugs called narcotics. It is a cough suppressant that affects the signals in the brain that trigger cough reflex.

Dexchlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

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

The combination of codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine is used to treat cough, runny or stuffy nose, and sneezing caused by the common cold.

Codeine will not treat a cough that is caused by smoking, asthma, or emphysema.

Codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Vanacof CD (codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine)?

Do not take this medication if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take cough or cold medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

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

Do not use any other over-the-counter cough or cold medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of one or more types of medicine. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains dexchlorpheniramine or phenylephrine.

Codeine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. This medication should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

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.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Vanacof CD (codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine)?

Do not take this medication if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take cough or cold medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

You should not take codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it, or if you have:

  • severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

  • severe coronary artery disease;

  • ischemic heart disease (reduced circulation of blood to the heart);

  • glaucoma;

  • stomach ulcer; or

  • if you are unable to urinate;

  • if you are having an asthma attack; or

  • if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • heart disease or high blood pressure;

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

  • diabetes;

  • a thyroid disorder; or

  • enlarged prostate.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby, and could cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

This medication may 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 if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Codeine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Codeine should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Codeine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medication.

How should I take Vanacof CD (codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine)?

Take this medication exactly as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended. Cough or cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.

Always ask a doctor before giving cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough or cold medicine in very young children.

Take codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine with food if it upsets your stomach.

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 after 7 days of treatment, or if you also have a fever, headache, or skin rash.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine.

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

Keep track of how much of this medicine been used from each new bottle. Codeine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since cough or cold medicine is usually taken only as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of codeine can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include feeling nervous or restless, fast or uneven heart rate, extreme dizziness or drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, sweating, confusion, hallucinations, severe headache, blurred vision, cold and clammy skin, blue-colored lips or fingernails, weak or limp muscles, pinpoint pupils, weak pulse, slow breathing, chest pain, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking Vanacof CD (codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine)?

This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Do not use any other over-the-counter cough, cold, pain, or allergy medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. Dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine are contained in many medicines available over the counter. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of a certain drug. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains dexchlorpheniramine or phenylephrine.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of this medication.

Vanacof CD (codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine) 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.

Stop taking this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fast or pounding heartbeat;

  • wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing;

  • severe dizziness, anxiety, restless feeling, nervousness, tremors;

  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;

  • easy bruising or bleeding;

  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, weakness; or

  • increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, chest pain, numbness, seizure).

Less serious side effects include:

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;

  • constipation, diarrhea;

  • dizziness, drowsiness, headache;

  • loss of coordination;

  • blurred vision;

  • excitability (especially in children);

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • dry mouth, nose, or throat;

  • chest congestion;

  • chills, increased sweating;

  • itching or mild rash; or

  • ringing in your ears.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Vanacof CD (codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine)?

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

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

More about Vanacof CD (codeine / dexchlorpheniramine / phenylephrine)

Consumer resources

Other formulations

Related treatment guides

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine.
  • 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: 1.03. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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