Generic Name: acetaminophen and codeine (a SEET a MIN o fen and KOE deen)
Brand Name: Tylenol with Codeine #3, Tylenol with Codeine #4, ...show all 10 brand namesEZ III, Phenaphen with Codeine, Tylenol with Codeine, Capital and Codeine Suspension, Tylenol with Codeine #2, Vopac (obsolete), Cocet, Cocet Plus
Medically reviewed on January 15, 2018.
What is acetaminophen and codeine?
Codeine is an opioid pain medication, sometimes called a narcotic. Acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever that increases the effects of codeine.
Acetaminophen and codeine is a combination medicine used to relieve moderate to severe pain.
Acetaminophen and codeine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
You should not use this medicine if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications.
This medicine is not for use in anyone under 18.
Taking this medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to acetaminophen or codeine, or if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications.
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.
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 medicine to anyone younger than 18 years old.
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had :
If you use this medicine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Do not breast-feed while taking acetaminophen and codeine. This medicine can pass into breast milk and cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death in a nursing baby.
How should I take acetaminophen and codeine?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Never take this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. An overdose can damage your liver or cause death. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.
Codeine may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away opioid medication is against the law.
If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the surgeon or doctor ahead of time that you are using this medicine.
You should not stop using this medicine suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of your medicine. Codeine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Do not keep leftover opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush the unused medicine down the toilet.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since this medicine is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, 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 medicine can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose can cause severe muscle weakness, pinpoint pupils, very slow breathing, extreme drowsiness, or coma.
What should I avoid while taking acetaminophen and codeine?
This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how the medicine will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.
Acetaminophen and codeine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction that can be fatal. This could occur even if you have taken acetaminophen in the past and had no reaction. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.
Like other narcotic medicines, codeine can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing;
a slow heart rate or weak pulse;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior;
seizure (convulsions); or
missed menstrual periods, impotence, sexual problems.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.
Long-term use of opioid medication may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men or women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.
Common side effects include:
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 acetaminophen and codeine?
Narcotic (opioid) medication can interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. Be sure your doctor knows if you also use:
other narcotic medications--opioid pain medicine or prescription cough medicine;
other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing--a sleeping pill, muscle relaxer, tranquilizer, or antipsychotic medicine; or
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with acetaminophen and codeine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 15.01.
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