Codeine / phenylephrine Side Effects
For the Consumer
Applies to codeine / phenylephrine: oral liquid
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 using codeine and phenylephrine and call your doctor at once if you have:
noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing;
a slow heart rate or weak pulse;
severe dizziness or drowsiness;
severe restlessness or nervousness;
pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
painful or difficult urination; or
little or no urinating.
Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.
Common side effects may include:
blurred vision; or
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
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.
Some side effects of codeine / phenylephrine may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
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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