Guaifenesin and Codeine
Generic name: Guaifenesin and Codeine [ gwye-FEN-e-sin-& KOE-deen ]
Brand names: Cheratussin AC, Codar GF, Coditussin AC, G Tussin AC, Guaiatussin AC, ... show all 12 brands Guaifenesin AC Liquid, Iophen C-NR, M-Clear WC, Mar-Cof CG, Ninjacof-XG, Robafen AC, Virtussin A/C
Drug class: Upper respiratory combinations
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 6, 2023.
WarningFor all patients taking this medicine:
- This medicine has an opioid drug in it. Opioid drugs can put you at risk for addiction, abuse, and misuse. Misuse or abuse of guaifenesin and codeine can lead to overdose and death. If you have questions, talk with your 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 guaifenesin and codeine 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 guaifenesin and codeine with all of your drugs.
- Avoid alcohol or other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- 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.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems have happened with guaifenesin and codeine. Talk with the doctor.
- Get medical help right away if you have slow breathing, shallow breathing, or trouble breathing.
- This medicine is not for use in children younger than 18 years of age. The benefits of taking guaifenesin and codeine for a cough due to allergies, a cold, or other infection do not outweigh the risks in children. If your child has been given guaifenesin and codeine or if you have any questions, talk with your child's doctor.
Uses of Guaifenesin and Codeine:
- It is used to thin mucus so it can be taken from the body by coughing.
- It is used to relieve coughing.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Guaifenesin and Codeine?
- If you have an allergy to guaifenesin, codeine, or any other part of guaifenesin and codeine.
- If you are allergic to guaifenesin and codeine; any part of guaifenesin and codeine; 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 a cough with a lot of mucus.
- If you have a long-term cough caused by smoking or being around smoke, or lung problems like asthma or emphysema.
- 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 guaifenesin and codeine.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with guaifenesin and codeine.
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 guaifenesin and codeine 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 Guaifenesin and Codeine?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take guaifenesin and codeine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
- Do not use longer than you have been told by the doctor.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how guaifenesin and codeine 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.
- This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
- Do not take guaifenesin and codeine 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 guaifenesin and codeine.
- If you are 65 or older, use guaifenesin and codeine with care. You could have more side effects.
- Different brands of guaifenesin and codeine may have different doses for children. Talk with the doctor before giving guaifenesin and codeine to a child.
- 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.
- 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 guaifenesin and codeine, call your doctor right away.
- Using guaifenesin and codeine for a long time during pregnancy may lead to withdrawal in the newborn baby. This can be life-threatening. Talk with the doctor.
How is this medicine (Guaifenesin and Codeine) best taken?
Use guaifenesin and codeine 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.
- Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
- Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with guaifenesin and codeine. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure guaifenesin and codeine.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- If you take guaifenesin and codeine 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 take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Many times guaifenesin and codeine 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.
What are some other side effects of Guaifenesin and Codeine?
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.
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 Guaifenesin and Codeine?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and 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.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about guaifenesin and codeine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, 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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