Codeine and Chlorcyclizine

  • Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Codeine
Drug Class: Codeine And Chlorcyclizine > Codeine > Opiate > Opioids > Opioid Agonist > Analgesic.


Doctors prescribe codeine and chlorcyclizine to relieve symptoms associated with the common cold, allergies and upper respiratory infections. Symptoms include cough, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing. Your physician may suggest this product to help you sleep through the night, attend class or go to work. This product is not recommended for a productive cough. Learn More About Codeine and Chlorcyclizine Uses


Codeine and chlorcyclizine is available in a syrup form under the brand name, Notuss-NX. Use a measuring device made especially for administering medicine, available at your local pharmacy. Ask your pharmacist how to dose liquid medicine if you are unsure.

Each 5 ml teaspoon of Notuss-NX contains 10 mg of codeine and 9.375 mg of chlorcyclizine. Among other inactive ingredients, Notuss-NX contains cherry flavoring. The typical prescription for adults and children twelve years of age or older calls for 10 ml, or two teaspoons, every six to eight hours. Do not exceed 8 teaspoons in a 24-hour period. Consult a pediatrician before administering codeine and chlorcyclizine to children under the age of twelve. This product may cause excitability in children.

Doctors sometimes prescribe this medication to be taken only when you need to control symptoms, rather than on a schedule, so you don't need to be concerned about missed doses. If your physician has suggested you take this medicine on a strict schedule and you miss a dose, take the missing dose as soon as you remember. If it is nearly time to take another dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Never take more than one dose at a time in an effort to catch up.

Tell your doctor if the prescribed dose stops working for you or does not provide complete coverage for your symptoms. Your physician may adjust the dosages or switch medications.

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When mucus or foreign bodies irritate your respiratory tract, a signal is sent to your brain. Your brain responds by issuing a command to cough. Codeine works directly on the part of your brain responsible for coughing. Codeine makes your brain unaware of the need to cough. If your body believes it has been invaded by something your immune system already identified as hazardous, special cells of your body respond by releasing histamines. These histamines contribute to the protective inflammatory response that causes unpleasant symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes and sneezing. Chlorcyclizine is an antihistamine, which means it works to reduce the quantity of symptom-causing histamines. More About How Codeine and Chlorcyclizine Works


Do not use codeine and chlorcyclizine products if you are allergic to either drug or if you are allergic to other medications related to codeine or morphine, such as oxycodone. An allergic reaction is a serious medical condition that can deteriorate rapidly into a life-or-death situation without warning. Seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction after taking codeine and chlorcyclizine. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash, hives, itching and difficulty breathing or tightness in the chest. Seek immediate medical help if you experience swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue.

You may not be able to take codeine and chlorcyclizine if you have a history of certain medical conditions. Your doctor may change your dosage of codeine and chlorcyclizine or select a different medication to relieve your symptoms.

Tell your physician about any significant illnesses or conditions, including:

  • Heart Blood Vessel Problems, Irregular Heartbeat or Heart Problems.
  • High Blood Pressure.
  • Diabetes.
  • Liver or Kidney Problems.
  • Low Blood Volume.
  • Stroke.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Thyroid Problems.
  • History of Asthma, COPD or Other Breathing Problems.
  • History of Constipation, Bowel Problems, Stomach Problems Such as Ulcers, Diarrhea Caused by Antibiotics.
  • Gallbladder Problems.
  • Blockage of the Bladder, Stomach or Bowel.
  • Trouble Urinating, Prostate Problems.
  • Recent Stomach, Bowel or Urinary Surgery.

Tell your doctor if you have a history of mental problems, suicidal thoughts or behavior, history of drug or alcohol abuse, or if you are in very poor health or are very overweight.

Codeine and chlorcyclizine preparations may make you dizzy, drowsy or cause blurred vision. Alcohol and other medications that cause sleepiness, such as sleep aides or sedatives, may worsen these effects. Do not operate heavy machinery, drive a car or engage in potentially risky behavior until you know how codeine and chlorcyclizine affects you.

The codeine in this preparation may be habit-forming. Tell your doctor if you have a history of alcohol or drug dependence in the past.

Codeine may cause constipation. Drink six to eight full glasses of water each day while taking this preparation. Ask your doctor or nutritionist about ways to increase dietary fiber, known to improve bowel function.

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Do not take codeine and chlorcyclizine if you are having an asthma attack or cannot urinate. Codeine and chlorcyclizine may cause lightheadedness or dizziness, especially when rising from a chair or getting out of bed. Hot weather, alcohol or fever may enhance this effect. Sit at the edge of the bed for a few minutes before rising to a standing position to reduce this effect first thing in the morning. Reduce these unpleasant effects the rest of the day by standing up slowly from a seated position. Hold onto the armrests of the chair while standing up so you can safely guide yourself back into the chair if you feel faint. The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, classifies drugs according to the potential harm they pose to you or your unborn child. The FDA classifies this medicine as a pregnancy Category C, which means scientists have not yet determined whether taking this drug during pregnancy will harm an unborn child. Some components of this drug may pass into breast milk and onto your nursing child; do not take this medication while breastfeeding your baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking this medication. Call your physician if you become pregnant while using this drug.

Do not stop taking this medication unless directed to do so by a physician. Sudden cessation may result in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Try weaning yourself from this drug by taking smaller doses further apart. Talk with your doctor or rehabilitation specialist if withdrawal symptoms prevent you from quitting this medication.

More Warnings About Using Codeine and Chlorcyclizine

Drug Interactions

This medication may interact with other drugs in unsafe or unfavorable ways. Give your doctor and pharmacist a complete list of all your medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter preparations and herbal remedies. Do not start or stop any medication, including over-the-counter and herbal remedies, without consulting your physician.

Do not take codeine and chlorcyclizine if you are taking GHB, otherwise known as sodium oxybate. Do not take codeine and chlorcyclizine if you have taken MAO inhibitors, especially phenelzine, in the past 14 days. Taking codeine and chlorcyclizine while MAO inhibitors are still in your system can result in serious, even fatal, side effects.

Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking anticholinergics, especially scopolamine. Taking anticholinergics along with codeine and chlorcyclizine products may cause the serious bowel problem, paralytic ileus, to occur.

Some medications increase the risk for side effects associated with codeine and chlorcyclizine. Tell your physician or pharmacist if you take cimetidine, furazolidone and HIV protease inhibitors, especially ritonavir. Notify your doctor if you take MAOIs, especially phenelzine, or sodium oxybate, otherwise known as GHB. Let your physician know if you are taking tricyclic antidepressants, especially amitriptyline.

Some medications may reduce the effectiveness of codeine and chlorcyclizine preparations, including buprenorphine, naltrexone, quinidine or rifamycins, especially rifampin.

Codeine and chlorcyclizine preparations increase the likelihood of side effects associated with narcotic pain medications, such as hydrocodone.

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Side effects

You may experience side effects from using this medication. Contact your doctor if your common side effects become intolerable or if they don't go away on their own.

Common side effects include:

  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Dizziness or Drowsiness.
  • Dry Mouth, Nose or Throat.
  • Excitability, Especially in Children.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of Appetite.
  • Nausea, Upset Stomach or Vomiting.

Contact your doctor or local emergency room if you experience serious side effects. These side effects may become life-threatening.

Serious side effects include:

  • Blurred Vision, Double Vision or Other Vision Changes.
  • Confusion.
  • Difficulty Urinating or Inability to Urinate.
  • Fast, Slow or Irregular Heartbeat.
  • Loss of Coordination.
  • Mood or Mental Changes.
  • Nervousness.
  • Ringing in the Ears.
  • Seizures.
  • Severe Dizziness, Lightheadedness, or Headache.
  • Severe Drowsiness.
  • Shallow Breathing.
  • Tremor or Uncontrolled Muscle Movements.
  • Trouble Sleeping.
  • Weakness or Tiredness.

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Overdose is a serious medical condition that may deteriorate rapidly into a life-or-death emergency. If you suspect that you or someone you know has taken an overdose of this or any other medication, contact the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room immediately. Overdose symptoms include blurred vision, lightheadedness, confusion, headaches or severe dizziness or drowsiness. Other symptoms include chest pain, cold or clammy skin, difficult or very slow breathing, hallucinations, seizures, vomiting or an unusually fast, slow or irregular heartbeat.

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Drug abuse means to habitually take addictive or illegal drugs. You can abuse drugs by taking medication for recreational purposes or by continuing to take a drug after your physician has discontinued the prescription. You can also abuse drugs by taking large doses of a drug or taking it more often than prescribed. Codeine is often the target of recreational drug abusers because of the sense of euphoria you feel after taking this product. Abusers get this drug by filing phony prescriptions at pharmacies, visiting multiple doctors or by stealing it.

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Drug dependence means you need to continue taking the drug to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are a predictable, normal physiological response to taking large doses of opioids or taking them for a long period of time. Withdrawal symptoms are not necessarily a sign of illegal drug abuse - you may experience withdrawal symptoms after taking drugs given to you in the hospital or after a lengthy illness. Unless you associate your withdrawal symptoms with your prescription drug use, you might think you have the flu. Everyone experiences withdrawal slightly differently. Some people may be able to quit taking this drug on their own, while severe withdrawal symptoms may prevent other people from quitting without the help of rehabilitation specialists. Tell your doctor if your withdrawal symptoms prevent you from quitting this drug. Symptoms of withdrawal are similar to how you might feel when you have the flu. These symptoms include sweating, nausea, vomiting, runny nose, weakness, cramps, diarrhea or chills. Other symptoms include yawning, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, irritability, agitation and muscle twitching. If you have associated your physical withdrawal symptoms with your codeine use, you may have strong cravings for codeine as your body goes through the withdrawal process. These symptoms may last for weeks or even months without medical management administered by trained rehabilitation specialists.

Learn More About Codeine and Chlorcyclizine Withdrawal


Rehabilitation specialists will give your medication to detoxify and cleanse your body while easing your withdrawal symptoms. Some programs include counseling and other social services to increase your chances of successfully quitting this drug. Rapid detox is state-of-the-art rehabilitation care. During rapid detox, physicians administer anesthesia and sedatives along with detoxification medications so that you sleep through the withdrawal process, unaware of the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. When you awaken, you will have no memory of any physical discomfort associated with withdrawal. Learn More About Codeine and Chlorcyclizine Detoxification Programs


Keep this medication at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Store codeine and chlorcyclizine away from excessive heat, light and moisture; do not keep this drug in your bathroom. Put this drug out of the reach of children and pets. Make sure adults do not take this medication by accident or on purpose.

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