Promethazine VC with Codeine Side Effects
Generic name: codeine / phenylephrine / promethazine
Note: This document contains side effect information about codeine / phenylephrine / promethazine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Promethazine VC with Codeine.
Some side effects of Promethazine VC with Codeine may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to codeine / phenylephrine / promethazine: oral syrup
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking codeine / phenylephrine / promethazine: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck, tremor (uncontrolled shaking);
weak or shallow breathing, feeling like you might pass out;
fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats;
confusion, agitation, hallucinations, nightmares, seizure (convulsions);
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness;
urinating less than usual or not at all; or
fever, stiff muscles, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, rapid breathing.
Less serious side effects of codeine / phenylephrine / promethazine may include:
feeling restless, nervous, or anxious;
blurred vision, ringing in your ears;
constipation, mild nausea or vomiting;
warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin;
itching, increased sweating; or
sleep problems (insomnia).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to codeine / phenylephrine / promethazine: oral syrup
Nervous system side effects of codeine have included mental and respiratory depression, stupor, delirium, somnolence, and dysphoria. An increased risk of falls and hip fractures has been associated with codeine therapy, particularly in the elderly. Nervous system side effects of phenylephrine have included headache, dizziness, nervousness, restlessness, tremor, insomnia, convulsions, and central nervous system depression. Nervous system side effects of promethazine are common and include excessive sedation, drowsiness, fatigue, paradoxical excitation, and decreased motor coordination. Extrapyramidal effects (including oculogyric crises, torticollis and tongue protrusion), encephalitic symptoms, convulsions, and psychosis have been rarely reported.
Opioids may result in psychotic symptoms in some patients.
One retrospective study of elderly patients who sustained a hip fracture suggested that the relative risk of hip fracture was 1.6 in patients using codeine compared to age-matched nonusers.
Fever, altered consciousness, autonomic dysfunction, and muscle rigidity are the hallmarks of the neuroleptic malignant syndrome. The neuroleptic malignant syndrome is associated with a case fatality rate of about 20%. Immediate discontinuation of promethazine and intensive monitoring and supportive care are indicated.
Other side effects of codeine have included withdrawal symptoms after either abrupt cessation or fast tapering of narcotic analgesics, including codeine, and have included agitation, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, tremor, abdominal cramps, blurred vision, vomiting and sweating. Other side effects of promethazine have rarely included the neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
Cardiovascular adverse effects of codeine have included hypotension and dizziness. Cardiovascular side effects of phenylephrine have included palpitations, arrhythmias, and cardiovascular collapse with hypotension. Cardiovascular effects of promethazine have included rarely observed tachycardia, bradycardia, and transient hypotension. Prolongation of the QT interval, heart block, and malignant arrhythmias have been reported in association with other phenothiazines.
Gastrointestinal side effects of codeine have included nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Severe constipation and ileus resulting in colonic perforation have been also reported. Four cases of acute pancreatitis have been reported. Gastrointestinal side effects of phenylephrine have included nausea. Gastrointestinal side effects of promethazine have included nausea and vomiting.
Genitourinary side effects of codeine have included urinary retention. Genitourinary side effects of phenylephrine have included dysuria.
Dermatologic side effects of codeine have included rash. Codeine-induced rash may be related to direct stimulation of histamine release. There are also case reports of severe scarlatiniform eruptions.
Renal side effects of codeine have included acute renal failure (which may respond to naloxone therapy).
Immunologic side effects of codeine have included one study of a patient with exercise-induced anaphylaxis and three control subjects. This study found a correlation between codeine wheal size and recent exercise. Immunologic side effects of promethazine have included rare reports of a systemic lupus erythematosus syndrome.
Hypersensitivity reactions have included rare reports of rash, pruritus, hypotension, photosensitivity, and tachycardia.
Hematologic effects of promethazine have included rare cases of neutropenia.
Psychiatric side effects of phenylephrine have included hallucinations, fear, and anxiety.
Respiratory side effects of phenylephrine have included respiratory difficulty.
General side effects of phenylephrine have included pallor and weakness.
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