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Promethazine, Phenylephrine, and Codeine

Pronunciation

(proe METH a zeen, fen il EF rin, & KOE deen)

Index Terms

  • Codeine, Phenylephrine, and Promethazine
  • Phenylephrine, Promethazine, and Codeine
  • Promethazine/Phenyleph/Codeine

Dosage Forms

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

Syrup, Oral:

Promethazine VC/Codeine: Promethazine hydrochloride 6.25 mg, phenylephrine hydrochloride 5 mg, and codeine phosphate 10 mg per 5 mL (120 mL, 480 mL) [contains alcohol, fd&c yellow #6 (sunset yellow),methylparaben,propylene glycol,propylparaben,saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate]

Generic: Promethazine hydrochloride 6.25 mg, phenylephrine hydrochloride 5 mg, and codeine phosphate 10 mg per 5 mL (120 mL, 480 mL)

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Promethazine VC/Codeine

Pharmacologic Category

  • Alpha-Adrenergic Agonist
  • Analgesic, Opioid
  • Antitussive
  • Decongestant
  • Histamine H1 Antagonist
  • Histamine H1 Antagonist, First Generation
  • Phenothiazine Derivative

Use: Labeled Indications

Temporary relief of coughs and upper respiratory symptoms including nasal congestion associated with allergy or the common cold

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to promethazine or other phenothiazines, phenylephrine, codeine, or any component of the formulation; children <6 years of age; coma; treatment of lower respiratory tract symptoms, including asthma; hypertension; peripheral vascular insufficiency; use with or within 14 days of MAO inhibitor therapy; postoperative pain management in children who have undergone tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy

Dosing: Adult

Cough and upper respiratory symptoms: Oral: 5 mL every 4-6 hours (maximum: 30 mL 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 every 4 to 6 hours (maximum: 30 mL per 24 hours)

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

Dosing: Renal Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling. Use with caution; consider decreased dose.

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; consider decreased dose.

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).

Dietary Considerations

May be taken with food or water to decrease GI upset; increase fiber intake and riboflavin in diet.

Storage

Store at controlled room temperature of 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

Acetaminophen: May increase the serum concentration of Phenylephrine (Systemic). 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

Alpha1-Blockers: May diminish the vasoconstricting effect of Alpha1-Agonists. Similarly, Alpha1-Agonists may antagonize Alpha1-Blocker vasodilation. Monitor therapy

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

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

AtoMOXetine: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. AtoMOXetine may enhance the tachycardic effect of Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy

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

Benzylpenicilloyl Polylysine: Alpha1-Agonists may diminish the diagnostic effect of Benzylpenicilloyl Polylysine. Management: Consider use of a histamine skin test as a positive control to assess a patient's ability to mount a wheal and flare response. Consider therapy modification

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

Cocaine: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Management: Consider alternatives to use of this combination when possible. Monitor closely for substantially increased blood pressure or heart rate and for any evidence of myocardial ischemia with concurrent use. Consider therapy modification

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

Doxofylline: Sympathomimetics may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Doxofylline. 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

Ergot Derivatives: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Alpha1-Agonists. Ergot Derivatives may enhance the vasoconstricting effect of Alpha1-Agonists. Exceptions: Ergoloid Mesylates; Nicergoline. Avoid combination

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

Hyaluronidase: May enhance the vasoconstricting effect of Phenylephrine (Systemic). Management: Avoid the use of hyaluronidase to enhance dispersion or absorption of phenylephrine. Use of hyaluronidase for other purposes in patients receiving phenylephrine may be considered as clinically indicated. Avoid combination

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

Iobenguane I 123: Sympathomimetics may diminish the therapeutic effect of Iobenguane I 123. Avoid combination

Ioflupane I 123: Phenylephrine (Systemic) may diminish the diagnostic effect of Ioflupane I 123. 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 hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Management: Reduce initial doses of sympathomimetic agents, and closely monitor for enhanced pressor response, in patients receiving linezolid. Specific dose adjustment recommendations are not presently available. Consider therapy modification

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 hypertensive effect of Alpha1-Agonists. While linezolid is expected to interact via this mechanism, management recommendations differ from other monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Refer to linezolid specific monographs for details. Exceptions: Linezolid; Tedizolid. Avoid combination

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

Propacetamol: May increase the serum concentration of Phenylephrine (Systemic). Management: Monitor patients closely for increased side effects of phenylephrine if propacetamol is used concomitantly. Patients with underlying blood pressure issues or arrhythmias may need closer monitoring and may warrant consideration of alternative therapies. Monitor therapy

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

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

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

Tedizolid: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Tedizolid may enhance the tachycardic effect of Sympathomimetics. 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.

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 ultrarapid 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.

• 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).

• Sedation: May be sedating, use with caution in disorders where CNS depression is a feature; patients must be cautioned about performing tasks which require mental alertness (eg, operating machinery or driving).

• 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.

• Adrenal insufficiency: Use with caution in patients with adrenal insufficiency, including 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 severe cardiovascular disease.

• Diabetes: Use phenylephrine with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus.

• 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. 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).

• 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.

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

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment.

• Respiratory disease: Use with caution 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 which may lower seizure threshold.

• Thyroid disease: Use with caution in patients with thyroid disease.

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.

• Sedatives: Effects may be potentiated when used with other sedative drugs or ethanol.

Special populations:

• CYP2D6 “ultrarapid metabolizers”: Use codeine with 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 in debilitated patients; there is a greater potential for critical respiratory depression, even at therapeutic dosages.

• Elderly: Use with caution in the elderly; may be more sensitive to adverse effects.

• 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: [U.S. 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. 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. Use with caution in atopic children. [U.S. 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.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Appropriate use: Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time.

• Cough control: Codeine is not recommended for use for cough control in patients with a productive cough or chronic respiratory disease. Dose should not be increased if cough does not respond; re-evaluate within 5 days for possible underlying pathology.

Monitoring Parameters

Signs or symptoms of hypogonadism or hypoadrenalism (Brennan, 2013)

Pregnancy Risk Factor

C

Pregnancy Considerations

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, headache, or insomnia. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of infection, difficulty breathing, slow breathing, shallow breathing, noisy breathing, severe fatigue, severe constipation, urinary retention, change in amount of urine passed, loss of strength and energy, hallucinations, mood changes, tinnitus, seizures, bruising, bleeding, abnormal movements, twitching, change in balance, dysphagia, difficulty speaking, jaundice, 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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