Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.
WarningFor all patients taking this medicine:
- This medicine is a strong pain drug that can put you at risk for addiction, abuse, and misuse. Misuse or abuse of codeine oral solution can lead to overdose and death. Talk with your doctor.
- You will be watched closely to make sure you do not misuse, abuse, or become addicted to codeine oral solution.
- This medicine may cause very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems. Call your doctor right away if you have slow, shallow, or trouble breathing.
- The chance of very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems may be greater when you first start codeine oral solution or anytime your dose is raised.
- Even one dose of codeine oral solution may be deadly if it is taken by someone else or by accident, especially in children. If codeine oral solution is taken by someone else or by accident, get medical help right away.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Using codeine oral solution for a long time during pregnancy may lead to withdrawal in the newborn baby. This can be life-threatening. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine has an opioid drug in it. Severe side effects have happened when opioid drugs were used with benzodiazepines or other drugs that may make you drowsy or slow your actions. This includes slow or troubled breathing and death. Benzodiazepines include drugs like alprazolam, diazepam, and lorazepam. Benzodiazepines may be used to treat many health problems like anxiety, trouble sleeping, or seizures. If you have questions, talk with your doctor.
- Many drugs interact with codeine oral solution and can raise the chance of side effects like deadly breathing problems. Talk with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure it is safe to use codeine oral solution with all of your drugs.
- Do not take with alcohol or products that have alcohol. Unsafe and sometimes deadly effects may happen.
- Get medical help right away if you feel very sleepy, very dizzy, or if you pass out. Caregivers or others need to get medical help right away if the patient does not respond, does not answer or react like normal, or will not wake up.
- Do not give to a child younger than 12 years of age. Children between 12 and 18 years of age who are very overweight or have certain other health problems like sleep apnea or other lung or breathing problems must not use codeine oral solution. If your child has been given codeine oral solution, ask the doctor for information about the benefits and risks.
- Some children have had very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems when using codeine after surgery to remove tonsils or adenoids. Do not give to a child younger than 18 years of age who has had surgery to remove tonsils or adenoids. Talk with your child's doctor.
Uses of Codeine Oral Solution:
- It is used to ease pain.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Codeine Oral Solution?
- If you have an allergy to codeine or any other part of codeine oral solution.
- If you are allergic to codeine oral solution; any part of codeine oral solution; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have any of these health problems: Lung or breathing problems like asthma, trouble breathing, or sleep apnea; high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood; or stomach or bowel block or narrowing.
- If you have taken certain drugs for depression or Parkinson's disease in the last 14 days. This includes isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, selegiline, or rasagiline. Very high blood pressure may happen.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Linezolid or methylene blue.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, or pentazocine.
- If you have been told by your doctor that you are a rapid metabolizer of some drugs.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take codeine oral solution.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with codeine oral solution.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take codeine oral solution with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Codeine Oral Solution?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take codeine oral solution. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how codeine oral solution affects you.
- To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
- Do not take codeine oral solution with other strong pain drugs or if you are using a pain patch without talking to your doctor first.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take codeine oral solution.
- If you have been taking codeine oral solution for a long time or at high doses, it may not work as well and you may need higher doses to get the same effect. This is known as tolerance. Call your doctor if codeine oral solution stops working well. Do not take more than ordered.
- Long-term or regular use of opioid drugs like codeine oral solution may lead to dependence. Lowering the dose or stopping codeine oral solution all of a sudden may cause a greater risk of withdrawal or other severe problems. Talk to your doctor before you lower the dose or stop codeine oral solution. You will need to follow your doctor’s instructions. Tell your doctor if you have more pain, mood changes, thoughts of suicide, or any other bad effects.
- Long-term use of an opioid drug may lead to lower sex hormone levels. Call your doctor if you have a lowered interest in sex, fertility problems, no menstrual period (women), or change in sex ability (men).
- This medicine may raise the chance of seizures in some people, including people who have had seizures in the past. Talk to your doctor to see if you have a greater chance of seizures while taking codeine oral solution.
- The chance of very bad side effects may be higher in children. This may be more likely to happen in children who have breathing problems. Deadly breathing problems have happened with the use of codeine in some children. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use codeine oral solution with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking codeine oral solution, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Codeine Oral Solution) best taken?
Use codeine oral solution as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
- Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with codeine oral solution.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- If you take codeine oral solution on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not change the dose or stop codeine oral solution without talking with the doctor.
- Many times codeine oral solution is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
- Trouble breathing, slow breathing, or shallow breathing.
- Noisy breathing.
- Feeling very sleepy.
- Feeling confused.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Mood changes.
- Very bad belly pain.
- Very bad headache.
- Trouble passing urine.
- Change in eyesight.
- Very upset stomach or throwing up.
- Very bad constipation.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- A severe and sometimes deadly problem called serotonin syndrome may happen if you take codeine oral solution with certain other drugs. Call your doctor right away if you have agitation; change in balance; confusion; hallucinations; fever; fast or abnormal heartbeat; flushing; muscle twitching or stiffness; seizures; shivering or shaking; sweating a lot; severe diarrhea, upset stomach, or throwing up; or severe headache.
- Taking an opioid drug like codeine oral solution may lead to a rare but very bad adrenal gland problem. Call your doctor right away if you have very bad dizziness or passing out, very bad upset stomach or throwing up, or if you feel less hungry, very tired, or very weak.
What are some other side effects of Codeine Oral Solution?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Sweating a lot.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Belly pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Codeine Oral Solution?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Store codeine oral solution in a safe place where children cannot see or reach it, and where other people cannot get to it. A locked box or area may help keep codeine oral solution safe. Keep all drugs away from pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time codeine oral solution is refilled. If you have any questions about codeine oral solution, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
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