Skip to Content
Be ready for a severe allergy emergency. Read more >>

codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine

Generic Name: codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine (KOE deen, SOO doe ee FED rin, and pir IL a meen)
Brand Name: Neo AC

What is codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine?

Pyrilamine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Codeine is a narcotic cough suppressant. It affects the signals in the brain that trigger cough reflex.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).

Codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine is a combination medicine used to treat runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itching, watery eyes, cough, and sinus congestion caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu.

This medicine will not treat a cough that is caused by smoking, asthma, or emphysema.

Codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine?

You should not use this medicine if you have inflammatory bowel disease, a blockage in your stomach or intestines, if you have recently been sick with diarrhea, if you are unable to urinate, or if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days.

Codeine can slow or stop your breathing. Never use this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Codeine may also be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH.

Medicines that contain codeine should not be given to a child just after surgery to remove the tonsils or adenoids. Get emergency medical help if a child taking this medicine has breathing problems, blue lips, or severe drowsiness, or if you cannot wake the child up from sleep.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to codeine, pseudoephedrine, or pyrilamine, or if you have:

  • inflammatory bowel disease, or recent illness with diarrhea;

  • a blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines); or

  • if you are unable to urinate.

Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Always ask a doctor before giving codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children. Medicines that contain codeine should not be given to a child just after surgery to remove the tonsils or adenoids.

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.

To make sure codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;

  • bowel obstruction, severe constipation, or colitis or toxic megacolon;

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;

  • glaucoma;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a history of alcoholism or drug addiction;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • gallbladder disease;

  • diabetes;

  • a pancreas disorder;

  • enlarged prostate or urination problems;

  • an adrenal gland tumor or disorder (such as Addison's disease);

  • a history of head injury or brain tumor; or

  • if you are dehydrated.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. 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.

Codeine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. The use of codeine by some nursing mothers may lead to life-threatening side effects in the baby. Antihistamines may also slow breast milk production. Do not use this medicine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

How should I take codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine can slow or stop your breathing. Never use codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine 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 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 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 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache or skin rash.

If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the surgeon or doctor ahead of time if you have taken a cough or cold medicine within the past few days.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Codeine 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?

Since this medicine is taken when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, 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, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine?

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking medicine that contains codeine. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with a narcotic medicine.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, cough, allergy, or sleep medicine. Antihistamines, decongestants, and cough suppressants are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of a certain drug. Check the label to see if a medicine contains an antihistamine, decongestant, or cough suppressant.

This medicine 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.

Codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine 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.

Get emergency medical help if a child taking this medicine has breathing problems, blue lips, or severe drowsiness, or if you cannot wake the child up from sleep.

Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, shallow breathing;

  • confusion, mood changes, hallucinations;

  • nervousness, severe headache, ringing in your ears;

  • severe constipation;

  • little or no urination;

  • a seizure; or

  • easy bruising or bleeding.

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;

  • dry mouth, nose, or throat;

  • blurred vision;

  • nausea, vomiting, constipation; or

  • sleep problems (insomnia).

Side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, and confusion may be more likely in older adults.

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 codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using this medicine if you are also using any other drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used together. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can worsen these effects. Ask your doctor before taking codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about codeine, pseudoephedrine, and pyrilamine.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 2016-01-18, 3:23:30 PM.

Hide