Generic Name: codeine and promethazine (KOE deen and proe METH a zeen)
Brand Name: Codeine Phosphate-Promethazine HCl, Promethazine with Codeine, Phenergan with Codeine, Promethazine HCl and Codeine Phosphate, Promethazine HCl with Codeine
Medically reviewed on January 15, 2018
What is codeine and promethazine?
Codeine is a narcotic. It is a pain reliever and a cough suppressant. Promethazine is an antihistamine. It blocks the effects of the naturally occurring chemical histamine in your body.
Codeine and promethazine is a combination medicine used to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and cough.
Codeine and promethazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
codeine and promethazine 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 codeine or promethazine, or if you have asthma, pneumonia, or other lung problems.
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 codeine and promethazine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
drug or alcohol addiction;
severe or ongoing cough;
a blood cell disorder;
liver or kidney disease;
a thyroid disorder;
an enlarged prostate, urination problems;
Addison's disease (an adrenal gland disorder); or
surgery on your stomach or urinary tract.
If you use codeine 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. Codeine can pass into breast milk and may cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death in a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed. Antihistamines may also slow breast milk production.
How should I take codeine and promethazine?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Codeine and promethazine can slow or stop your breathing. Never use codeine and promethazine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Cough or cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.
Codeine may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share codeine and promethazine 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 codeine is against the law.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 5 days of treatment.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Keep track of your medicine. Codeine and promethazine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
What happens if I miss a dose?
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. A codeine overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, and fainting.
What should I avoid while taking codeine and promethazine?
codeine and promethazine may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this 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.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Codeine and promethazine can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Codeine and promethazine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Like other narcotic medications, 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.
Stop using this medicine and 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, agitation, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
little or no urination;
severe constipation, stomach pain;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
severe nervous system reaction--very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out.
Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.
Common side effects may include:
fast heartbeats, feeling restless;
dry mouth, nose, or throat; or
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)
Codeine and promethazine dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Cough:
Promethazine 6.25 mg/ Codeine 10 mg per 5 mL:
Average effective dose: 5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed
Maximum dose: 30 mL (promethazine 37.5 mg; codeine: 60 mg) in 24 hours
-Liquid preparations should be measured with an accurate milliliter measuring device.
Uses: Temporary relief of coughs and upper respiratory symptoms associated with allergy or the common cold.
What other drugs will affect codeine and promethazine?
Some medicines can interact with codeine and promethazine and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.
Taking codeine and promethazine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, prescription cough medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Other drugs may interact with codeine and promethazine, 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: 10.01.
More about codeine/promethazine
- Codeine/promethazine Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- 51 Reviews
- Drug class: upper respiratory combinations