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Promethazine and Codeine

Pronunciation

Pronunciation

(proe METH a zeen & KOE deen)

Index Terms

  • Codeine and Promethazine
  • Promethazine HCl/Codeine
  • Promethazine/Codeine

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Syrup, oral: Promethazine hydrochloride 6.25 mg and codeine phosphate 10 mg per 5 mL (5 mL, 118 mL, 473 mL)

Pharmacologic Category

  • Analgesic, Opioid
  • Antitussive
  • Histamine H1 Antagonist
  • Histamine H1 Antagonist, First Generation
  • Phenothiazine Derivative

Pharmacology

Codeine: Binds to opioid receptors in the CNS, causing inhibition of ascending pain pathways, altering the perception of and response to pain; causes cough suppression by direct central action in the medulla; produces generalized CNS depression

Promethazine: Phenothiazine derivative; blocks postsynaptic mesolimbic dopaminergic receptors in the brain; exhibits a strong alpha-adrenergic blocking effect and depresses the release of hypothalamic and hypophyseal hormones; competes with histamine for the H1-receptor; muscarinic-blocking effect may be responsible for antiemetic activity; reduces stimuli to the brainstem reticular system

Use: Labeled Indications

Cough and upper respiratory symptoms: Temporary relief of coughs and upper respiratory symptoms associated with allergy or the common cold

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to promethazine or other phenothiazines, codeine, or any component of the formulation; pediatric patients <6 years; postoperative pain management in children who have undergone tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy; treatment of lower respiratory tract symptoms, including asthma; coma.

Documentation of allergenic cross-reactivity for opioid analgesics is limited. However, because of similarities in chemical structure and/or pharmacologic actions, the possibility of cross-sensitivity cannot be ruled out with certainty.

Dosing: Adult

Upper respiratory symptoms: Oral: 5 mL (promethazine 6.25 mg/codeine 10 mg) every 4 to 6 hours (maximum: 30 mL [promethazine 37.5 mg/codeine 60 mg] per 24 hours)

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing. Use with caution; consider using decreased dose.

Dosing: Pediatric

Cough and upper respiratory symptoms: Oral:

Children 6 to <12 years: 2.5 to 5 mL (promethazine 3.125 to 6.25 mg/codeine 5 to 10 mg) every 4 to 6 hours (maximum: 30 mL [promethazine 37.5 mg/codeine 60 mg] per 24 hours)

Children ≥12 years and Adolescents: Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Renal Impairment

There are no specific dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling. Use with caution; reduce initial dose in significant renal impairment.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

Adults: There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling. Cholestatic jaundice has been reported with promethazine use and codeine clearance may be reduced. Use with caution; reduce initial dose in significant hepatic impairment.

Children ≥6 years and Adolescents: Avoid use in pediatric patients with signs and symptoms of hepatic disease (extrapyramidal symptoms caused by promethazine may be confused with CNS signs of hepatic disease).

Administration

Administer with an accurate measuring device; do not use a household teaspoon (overdosage may occur). May administer without regard to meals; administer with food or milk to decrease adverse GI effects.

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Protect from light.

Drug Interactions

Abiraterone Acetate: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Management: Avoid concurrent use of abiraterone with CYP2D6 substrates that have a narrow therapeutic index whenever possible. When concurrent use is not avoidable, monitor patients closely for signs/symptoms of toxicity. Consider therapy modification

AbobotulinumtoxinA: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of AbobotulinumtoxinA. Monitor therapy

Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: Anticholinergic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors. Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors may diminish the therapeutic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. Monitor therapy

Aclidinium: May enhance the anticholinergic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. Avoid combination

Alvimopan: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Alvimopan. This is most notable for patients receiving long-term (i.e., more than 7 days) opiates prior to alvimopan initiation. Management: Alvimopan is contraindicated in patients receiving therapeutic doses of opioids for more than 7 consecutive days immediately prior to alvimopan initiation. Consider therapy modification

Amphetamines: May enhance the analgesic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Monitor therapy

Analgesics (Opioid): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Avoid concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Anticholinergic Agents: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other Anticholinergic Agents. Monitor therapy

Anticholinergic Agents: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Specifically, the risk for constipation and urinary retention may be increased with this combination. Monitor therapy

Antiemetics (5HT3 Antagonists): May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonin Modulators. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Monitor therapy

Anti-Parkinson Agents (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor): May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonin Modulators. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity if selegiline or rasagiline is combined with a serotonin modulator. Use of transdermal selegiline with serotonin modulators is contraindicated. Consider therapy modification

Asunaprevir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Consider therapy modification

Azelastine (Nasal): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Azelastine (Nasal). Avoid combination

Blonanserin: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Blonanserin. Consider therapy modification

Brimonidine (Topical): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Cannabis: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Chlorphenesin Carbamate: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Cimetropium: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of Cimetropium. Avoid combination

CNS Depressants: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Avoid concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Cobicistat: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

CYP2B6 Inducers (Moderate): May decrease the serum concentration of CYP2B6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

CYP2D6 Inhibitors (Moderate): May diminish the therapeutic effect of Codeine. These CYP2D6 inhibitors may prevent the metabolic conversion of codeine to its active metabolite morphine. Monitor therapy

CYP2D6 Inhibitors (Strong): May diminish the therapeutic effect of Codeine. These CYP2D6 inhibitors may prevent the metabolic conversion of codeine to its active metabolite morphine. Consider therapy modification

Dabrafenib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP2B6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Dapoxetine: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Serotonin Modulators. Avoid combination

Darunavir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Desmopressin: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Desmopressin. Monitor therapy

Dimethindene (Systemic): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Diuretics: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Diuretics. Analgesics (Opioid) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Diuretics. Monitor therapy

Dronabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Droperidol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider dose reductions of droperidol or of other CNS agents (e.g., opioids, barbiturates) with concomitant use. Consider therapy modification

Eluxadoline: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the constipating effect of Eluxadoline. Avoid combination

Eluxadoline: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the constipating effect of Eluxadoline. Avoid combination

EPINEPHrine (Nasal): Promethazine may diminish the vasoconstricting effect of EPINEPHrine (Nasal). Monitor therapy

EPINEPHrine (Oral Inhalation): Promethazine may diminish the therapeutic effect of EPINEPHrine (Oral Inhalation). Monitor therapy

Epinephrine (Racemic): Promethazine may diminish the vasoconstricting effect of Epinephrine (Racemic). Management: Monitor for diminished vasoconstrictive effects of racemic epinephrine (e.g., diminished efficacy when used for gingival retraction). This interaction is likely of less concern in patients receiving epinephrine for other purposes (e.g., bronchodilation). Monitor therapy

EPINEPHrine (Systemic): Promethazine may diminish the vasoconstricting effect of EPINEPHrine (Systemic). Management: When vasoconstrictive effects are desired in patients receiving promethazine, consider alternatives to epinephrine. Consider use of norepinephrine or phenylephrine, and avoid epinephrine, when treating hypotension associated with promethazine overdose. Consider therapy modification

Flunitrazepam: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Flunitrazepam. Consider therapy modification

Gastrointestinal Agents (Prokinetic): Anticholinergic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Gastrointestinal Agents (Prokinetic). Monitor therapy

Gastrointestinal Agents (Prokinetic): Analgesics (Opioid) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Gastrointestinal Agents (Prokinetic). Monitor therapy

Glucagon: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Glucagon. Specifically, the risk of gastrointestinal adverse effects may be increased. Avoid combination

Glycopyrrolate (Oral Inhalation): Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of Glycopyrrolate (Oral Inhalation). Avoid combination

Highest Risk QTc-Prolonging Agents: QTc-Prolonging Agents (Indeterminate Risk and Risk Modifying) may enhance the QTc-prolonging effect of Highest Risk QTc-Prolonging Agents. Management: Avoid such combinations when possible. Use should be accompanied by close monitoring for evidence of QT prolongation or other alterations of cardiac rhythm. Consider therapy modification

HYDROcodone: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of HYDROcodone. Management: Avoid concomitant use of hydrocodone and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Imatinib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Ipratropium (Oral Inhalation): May enhance the anticholinergic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. Avoid combination

Itopride: Anticholinergic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Itopride. Monitor therapy

Kava Kava: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Levosulpiride: Anticholinergic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Levosulpiride. Avoid combination

Linezolid: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonin Modulators. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Due to a risk of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity, discontinue serotonin modulators 2 weeks prior to the administration of linezolid. If urgent initiation of linezolid is needed, discontinue serotonin modulators immediately and monitor closely. Consider therapy modification

Lofexidine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Lumacaftor: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP2B6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Magnesium Sulfate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

MAO Inhibitors: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Codeine. Monitor therapy

Methotrimeprazine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Methotrimeprazine. Management: Reduce adult dose of CNS depressant agents by 50% with initiation of concomitant methotrimeprazine therapy. Further CNS depressant dosage adjustments should be initiated only after clinically effective methotrimeprazine dose is established. Consider therapy modification

Methylene Blue: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonin Modulators. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Avoid combination

Metoclopramide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Promethazine. Avoid combination

MetyroSINE: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Promethazine. Monitor therapy

MiFEPRIStone: May enhance the QTc-prolonging effect of QTc-Prolonging Agents (Indeterminate Risk and Risk Modifying). Management: Though the drugs listed here have uncertain QT-prolonging effects, they all have some possible association with QT prolongation and should generally be avoided when possible. Consider therapy modification

Minocycline: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Mirabegron: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Mirabegron. Monitor therapy

Mixed Agonist / Antagonist Opioids: May diminish the analgesic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Seek alternatives to mixed agonist/antagonist opioids in patients receiving pure opioid agonists, and monitor for symptoms of therapeutic failure/high dose requirements (or withdrawal in opioid-dependent patients) if patients receive these combinations. Avoid combination

Moderate Risk QTc-Prolonging Agents: QTc-Prolonging Agents (Indeterminate Risk and Risk Modifying) may enhance the QTc-prolonging effect of Moderate Risk QTc-Prolonging Agents. Monitor therapy

Nabilone: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Nalmefene: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Avoid the concomitant use of nalmefene and opioid analgesics. Discontinue nalmefene 1 week prior to any anticipated use of opioid analgesics. If combined, larger doses of opioid analgesics will likely be required. Consider therapy modification

Naltrexone: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Seek therapeutic alternatives to opioids. See full drug interaction monograph for detailed recommendations. Consider therapy modification

Nitroglycerin: Anticholinergic Agents may decrease the absorption of Nitroglycerin. Specifically, anticholinergic agents may decrease the dissolution of sublingual nitroglycerin tablets, possibly impairing or slowing nitroglycerin absorption. Avoid combination

OnabotulinumtoxinA: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of OnabotulinumtoxinA. Monitor therapy

Orphenadrine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Orphenadrine. Avoid combination

Oxatomide: May enhance the anticholinergic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. Avoid combination

OxyCODONE: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of OxyCODONE. Management: Avoid concomitant use of oxycodone and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Panobinostat: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Management: Avoid concurrent use of sensitive CYP2D6 substrates when possible, particularly those substrates with a narrow therapeutic index. Consider therapy modification

Paraldehyde: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Paraldehyde. Avoid combination

Peginterferon Alfa-2b: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Peginterferon Alfa-2b may increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Pegvisomant: Analgesics (Opioid) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Pegvisomant. Monitor therapy

Perampanel: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Patients taking perampanel with any other drug that has CNS depressant activities should avoid complex and high-risk activities, particularly those such as driving that require alertness and coordination, until they have experience using the combination. Consider therapy modification

Perhexiline: CYP2D6 Substrates may increase the serum concentration of Perhexiline. Perhexiline may increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Piribedil [INT]: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Piribedil [INT]. Monitor therapy

Potassium Chloride: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the ulcerogenic effect of Potassium Chloride. Management: Patients on drugs with substantial anticholinergic effects should avoid using any solid oral dosage form of potassium chloride. Avoid combination

Pramipexole: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of Pramipexole. Monitor therapy

Pramlintide: May enhance the anticholinergic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. These effects are specific to the GI tract. Consider therapy modification

Ramosetron: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the constipating effect of Ramosetron. Monitor therapy

Ramosetron: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the constipating effect of Ramosetron. Monitor therapy

RimabotulinumtoxinB: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of RimabotulinumtoxinB. Monitor therapy

ROPINIRole: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of ROPINIRole. Monitor therapy

Rotigotine: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of Rotigotine. Monitor therapy

Rufinamide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Specifically, sleepiness and dizziness may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Secretin: Anticholinergic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Secretin. Management: Avoid using drugs with substantial anticholinergic effects in patients receiving secretin whenever possible. If such agents must be used in combination, monitor closely for a diminished response to secretin. Consider therapy modification

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: CNS Depressants may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Specifically, the risk of psychomotor impairment may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Serotonin Modulators: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other Serotonin Modulators. The development of serotonin syndrome may occur. Exceptions: Nicergoline; Tedizolid. Monitor therapy

Serotonin Modulators: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonin Modulators. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Exceptions: Nicergoline. Monitor therapy

Sodium Oxybate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider alternatives to combined use. When combined use is needed, consider minimizing doses of one or more drugs. Use of sodium oxybate with alcohol or sedative hypnotics is contraindicated. Consider therapy modification

Somatostatin Analogs: May decrease the metabolism of Codeine. The formation of two major codeine metabolites (morphine and norcodeine) may be impaired by somatostatin analogs. Monitor therapy

Succinylcholine: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Monitor therapy

Suvorexant: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Suvorexant. Management: Dose reduction of suvorexant and/or any other CNS depressant may be necessary. Use of suvorexant with alcohol is not recommended, and the use of suvorexant with any other drug to treat insomnia is not recommended. Consider therapy modification

Tapentadol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Avoid concomitant use of tapentadol and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Tedizolid: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonin Modulators. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Monitor therapy

Tetrahydrocannabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Thalidomide: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Thalidomide. Avoid combination

Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: Anticholinergic Agents may increase the serum concentration of Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics. Monitor therapy

Thiotepa: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2B6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Tiotropium: Anticholinergic Agents may enhance the anticholinergic effect of Tiotropium. Avoid combination

Umeclidinium: May enhance the anticholinergic effect of Anticholinergic Agents. Avoid combination

Zolpidem: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Zolpidem. Management: Reduce the Intermezzo brand sublingual zolpidem adult dose to 1.75 mg for men who are also receiving other CNS depressants. No such dose change is recommended for women. Avoid use with other CNS depressants at bedtime; avoid use with alcohol. Consider therapy modification

Test Interactions

Codeine: Amylase and lipase plasma levels may by unreliable for 24 hours after codeine administration.

Promethazine: Pregnancy tests (hCG-based) may result in false-negatives or false-positives; increased serum glucose may be seen with glucose tolerance tests; may suppress the wheal and flare reactions to skin test antigens

Adverse Reactions

Also see individual agents.

Limited to important or life-threatening: Hypogonadism (Brennan 2013; Debono 2011)

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Respiratory depression in children:

Promethazine/codeine is contraindicated in pediatric patients younger than 6 years. Concomitant administration of promethazine products with other respiratory depressants has an association with respiratory depression, and sometimes death, in pediatric patients.

Postmarketing cases of respiratory depression, including fatalities, have been reported with use of promethazine in pediatric patients younger than 2 years. A wide range of weight-based doses of promethazine have resulted in respiratory depression in these patients.

Death related to ultra-rapid metabolism of codeine to morphine:

Respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy and had evidence of being ultra-rapid metabolizers of codeine due to a cytochrome P450 (CYP-450) 2D6 polymorphism.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Altered cardiac conduction: May alter cardiac conduction (life-threatening arrhythmias have occurred with therapeutic doses of phenothiazines).

• Anticholinergic effects: Phenothiazines may cause anticholinergic effects (constipation, xerostomia, blurred vision, urinary retention); therefore, they should be used with caution in patients with decreased gastrointestinal motility, urinary retention, BPH, xerostomia, or visual problems.

• CNS depression: May cause CNS depression, which may impair physical or mental abilities; patients must be cautioned about performing tasks that require mental alertness (eg, operating machinery, driving).

• Extrapyramidal symptoms: May cause extrapyramidal symptoms, including pseudoparkinsonism, acute dystonic reactions, akathisia, and tardive dyskinesia.

• Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS): Use may be associated with NMS; monitor for mental status changes, fever, muscle rigidity and/or autonomic instability.

• Orthostatic hypotension: May cause orthostatic hypotension; use with caution in patients at risk of this effect or in those who would not tolerate transient hypotensive episodes (cerebrovascular disease, cardiovascular disease, hypovolemia, or concurrent medication use which may predispose to hypotension/bradycardia).

• Phenanthrene hypersensitivity: Use with caution in patients with hypersensitivity reactions to other phenanthrene derivative opioid agonists (hydrocodone, hydromorphone, levorphanol, oxycodone, oxymorphone).

• Photosensitivity: Promethazine may cause photosensitivity; avoid prolonged sun exposure.

• Temperature regulation: Impaired core body temperature regulation may occur; caution with strenuous exercise, heat exposure, dehydration, and concomitant medication possessing anticholinergic effects.

Disease-related concerns:

• Abdominal conditions: May obscure diagnosis or clinical course of patients with acute abdominal conditions. Use with caution and with a reduced initial dose.

• Adrenal insufficiency: Use with caution in patients with adrenal insufficiency; reduce initial dose in patients with Addison disease. Long-term opioid use may cause secondary hypogonadism, which may lead to sexual dysfunction, infertility, mood disorders, and osteoporosis (Brennan, 2013).

• Biliary tract impairment: Use codeine with caution in patients with biliary tract dysfunction, including acute pancreatitis; may cause constriction of sphincter of Oddi.

• Bone marrow suppression: Use with caution in patients with bone marrow suppression; leukopenia and agranulocytosis have been reported.

• Cardiovascular disease: Use with caution in patients with cardiovascular disease.

• Drug abuse: Use with caution in patients with a history of drug abuse or acute alcoholism; potential for drug dependency exists. Tolerance, psychological, and physical dependence may occur with prolonged use.

• Glaucoma: Use with caution in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma; condition may be exacerbated by cholinergic blockade. Screening is recommended.

• Head trauma: Use with extreme caution in patients with head injury, intracranial lesions, or elevated intracranial pressure; exaggerated elevation of ICP may occur.

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment; cholestatic jaundice has been reported with promethazine use. Reduce initial dose in patients with significant hepatic impairment. Avoid use in pediatric patients with signs and symptoms of hepatic disease (extrapyramidal symptoms caused by promethazine may be confused with CNS signs of hepatic disease).

• Inflammatory bowel disease: Use with caution; reduce initial dose in patients with ulcerative colitis.

• Myasthenia gravis: Use with caution in patients with myasthenia gravis; condition may be exacerbated by cholinergic blockade.

• Parkinson disease: Use with caution in patients with Parkinson disease; may have increased risk of tardive dyskinesia.

• Prostatic hyperplasia/urinary stricture: Use with caution in patients with prostatic hyperplasia and/or urinary stricture. Reduce initial dose in patients with prostatic hypertrophy.

• Pyloroduodenal obstruction: Use with caution in patients with pyloroduodenal obstruction (including stenotic peptic ulcer).

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment. Reduce initial dose in patients with significant renal impairment.

• Respiratory disease: Avoid use in patients with severe respiratory disease (COPD, sleep apnea); may lead to potentially fatal respiratory depression. Use contraindicated in patients with asthma.

• Seizures: Use with caution in patients at risk of seizures, including those with a history of seizures, head trauma, brain damage, alcoholism, or concurrent therapy with medications that may lower seizure threshold; reduce initial dose in patients with convulsive disorders.

• Thyroid disease: Use with caution in patients with thyroid disease; reduce initial dose in patients with hypothyroidism.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.

Special populations:

• CYP2D6 “ultrarapid metabolizers”: Use caution in patients with two or more copies of the variant CYP2D6*2 allele; may have extensive conversion to morphine and thus increased opioid-mediated effects. Avoid the use of codeine in these patients; consider alternative analgesics such as morphine or a nonopioid agent (Crews, 2012). The occurrence of this phenotype is seen in 0.5% to 1% of Chinese and Japanese, 0.5% to 1% of Hispanics, 1% to 10% of Caucasians, 3% of African-Americans, and 16% to 28% of North Africans, Ethiopians, and Arabs.

• Debilitated patients: Use with caution and reduce initial dosage in debilitated patients; there is a greater potential for critical respiratory depression, even at therapeutic dosages.

• Elderly: Use with caution in elderly patients; may be more sensitive to adverse effects. Consider decreasing the initial dose.

• Neonates: Neonatal withdrawal syndrome: After chronic maternal exposure to opioids, neonatal withdrawal syndrome may occur in the newborn; monitor neonate closely. Signs and symptoms include irritability, hyperactivity and abnormal sleep pattern, high-pitched cry, tremor, vomiting, diarrhea, and failure to gain weight. Onset, duration and severity depend on the drug used, duration of use, maternal dose, and rate of drug elimination by the newborn. Opioid withdrawal syndrome in the neonate, unlike in adults, may be life-threatening and should be treated according to protocols developed by neonatology experts.

• Pediatric: [US Boxed Warning]: The use of this combination in children <6 years of age is contraindicated; respiratory depression, including fatalities, is associated with concomitant administration of promethazine and other respiratory depressants in children. Fatalities associated with respiratory depression have also been reported with promethazine use in children <2 years of age. Hallucinations and convulsions have occurred with therapeutic doses and overdoses of promethazine in pediatric patients. In pediatric patients who are acutely ill associated with dehydration, there is an increased susceptibility to dystonias. Avoid use in children who may have Reye syndrome or hepatic disease as adverse reactions caused by promethazine may be confused with signs of primary disease. Due to the incidence of serious side effects and fatalities associated with codeine use in children, Health Canada does not recommend codeine use in any child <12 years of age. Use caution in atopic children. [US Boxed Warning]: Respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy and were found to have evidence of being ultra-rapid metabolizers of codeine due to a CYP2D6 polymorphism. Deaths have also occurred in nursing infants after being exposed to high concentrations of morphine because the mothers were ultra-rapid metabolizers. Use of codeine is contraindicated in the postoperative pain management of children who have undergone tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy.

• Surgery: Reduce initial dosage and use with caution in patients with recent GI or urinary tract surgery.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Appropriate use: Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time. Reduce initial dose and use with caution in patients with fever. Measure dose with an accurate measuring device (a household teaspoon is not an accurate measuring device and could lead to overdosage).

• Cough control: Codeine is not recommended for use for cough control in patients with a productive cough or chronic respiratory disease. Avoid use in acute febrile illness associated with productive cough or in chronic respiratory disease where interference with ability to clear the tracheobronchial tree of secretions would have a deleterious effect on the patient’s respiratory function. Dose should not be increased if cough does not respond; reevaluate within 5 days for possible underlying pathology.

Monitoring Parameters

Signs of respiratory depression (especially in children); blood pressure; heart rate. Signs or symptoms of hypogonadism or hypoadrenalism (Brennan, 2013)

Pregnancy Risk Factor

C

Pregnancy Considerations

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with this combination. See individual agents.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience dizziness, anxiety, dry mouth, or headache. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of infection, difficulty breathing, slow breathing, shallow breathing, noisy breathing, severe fatigue, bradycardia, severe constipation, urinary retention, change in amount of urine passed, loss of strength and energy, jaundice, abnormal movements, twitching, change in balance, dysphagia, difficulty speaking, hallucinations, mood changes, tinnitus, seizures, bruising, bleeding, vision changes, or signs of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, abnormal heartbeat, or sweating a lot) (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.

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