Codeine / phenylephrine Side Effects
For the Consumer
Applies to codeine / phenylephrine: liquid
Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur while taking codeine / phenylephrine:
Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; excitability; headache; nausea; nervousness or anxiety; stomach pain; trouble sleeping.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision or other vision changes; confusion; difficulty urinating; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; loss of coordination; mental or mood changes; numbness or tingling of the skin; persistent loss of appetite; persistent trouble sleeping; ringing in the ears; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; severe drowsiness; shortness of breath; tremor; wheezing.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to codeine / phenylephrine: oral liquid
The more commonly reported adverse effects have included nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.[Ref]
Respiratory depression has been associated with antitussive use of codeine in young children. Respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine in the postoperative period following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy. Further investigation has shown these patients to be ultra-rapid metabolizers of codeine. Children with obstructive sleep apnea who are treated with codeine appear to be particularly sensitive to the respiratory depressant effects of codeine.[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Respiratory depression
Frequency not reported: Respiratory distress[Ref]
Patients with chronic ulcerative colitis may experience increased colonic motility, while patients with acute ulcerative colitis have experienced toxic dilation with codeine use.[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Nausea, vomiting, constipation, biliary tract spasm, increased colonic motility, toxic dilation[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitation, faintness, syncope, orthostatic hypotension, circulatory depression
Frequency not reported: Ischemia[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Rash[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Pruritus, giant urticaria, angioneurotic edema, laryngeal edema[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Euphoria, dysphoria, transient hallucination, disorientation
Frequency not reported: Anxiety, nervousness[Ref]
Frequency not reported: CNS depression, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, headache, convulsions, weakness
Frequency not reported: Restlessness, dizziness, tremor, weakness[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Oliguria, urinary retention, antidiuretic effect[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Visual disturbances[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Pain[Ref]
1. "Product Information. Ala-Hist AC (codeine-phenylephrine)." Poly Pharmaceuticals Inc, Quitman, MS.
2. "Product Information. Promethazine VC with Codeine (codeine / phenylephrine/promethazine)." Par Pharmaceutical Inc (formerly Qualitest Pharmaceuticals Inc), Huntsville, AL.
Not all side effects for codeine / phenylephrine may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.
More about codeine/phenylephrine
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
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- Drug class: upper respiratory combinations
Other brands: Notuss-PE
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