Codeine, Chlorpheniramine and Pseudoephedrine

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


Doctors prescribe codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine preparations to relieve symptoms associated with the common cold, upper respiratory allergies, hay fever and the flu. This drug combination soothes cough, congestion, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and itchy eyes, nose and throat. Use this preparation to relieve symptoms so that you can sleep, work or go to school without coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

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Codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine preparations are sold under the brand name, Phenylhistine DH.

This drug is available as a liquid to be taken by mouth. Oral liquid contains 10 mg of codeine, 2 mg of chlorpheniramine and 30 mg of pseudoephedrine in every 5 ml dose. Oral suspensions contain 5 mg of codeine, between 1 mg and 2 mg of chlorpheniramine and 5 ml pseudoephedrine in every 5 ml dose.

The typical prescription recommends 10 ml of liquid or suspension by mouth every four to six hours as needed to control cough and congestion. Do not exceed 40 ml of this drug in a 24-hour period. Talk with your doctor if the prescribed dose stops working to control your symptoms - you may be developing a tolerance to the medicine. Do not take more than the recommended dose.

Codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine is not recommended for children under the age of six years. A pediatrician may recommend 5 ml of medication every four to six hours for a child between the ages of six and twelve years. Do not exceed 12 ml in a 24-hour period. Children over the age of 12 can use 10 ml every four to six hours, up to 40 ml in a day.

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Codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine liquid medicine is a cough suppressant, antihistamine and decongestant. Codeine works directly on the part of the brain responsible for the cough reflex; it makes your brain unaware of the need to cough. Chlorpheniramine works by blocking the action of histamines to reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as itchy, watery eyes and runny nose. Pseudoephedrine shrinks swollen nose tissue, opening up nasal passages so you can breathe better. More About How Codeine, Chlorpheniramine and Pseudoephedrine Works


Tell your doctor about any allergies, especially if you are allergic to any ingredient found in codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine or related to any ingredient in codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine. You may suffer an allergic reaction even to medicines you have taken before. An allergic reaction is a serious medical condition. Contact your local emergency room immediately if you think you are suffering an allergic reaction after having taken codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, itchiness, rashes and watery eyes. Symptoms of a severe reaction may include abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, anxiety, feeling lightheaded or nausea and vomiting.

You may not be able to take codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine if you have had certain medical conditions.

Tell your doctor about any serious or chronic illnesses including:

  • Kidney or Liver Disease.
  • Heart Disease or High Blood Pressure.
  • Enlarged Prostate or Urination Problems.
  • Diabetes.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Thyroid Disorder.
  • Asthma, COPD, Sleep Apnea or Other Breathing Disorders.
  • History of Head Injury or Brain Tumor.
  • Epilepsy or Other Seizure Disorder.
  • Low Blood Pressure.
  • Gallbladder Disease.
  • Addison's Disease or Other Adrenal Gland Disorders.
  • Mental Illness.
  • History of Drug or Alcohol Addiction.

Do not operate heavy machinery or drive a car until you know how you react to codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine. Avoid engaging in risky behavior that requires you to be alert and awake. Alcohol and some medications, such as cold or allergy drugs, can enhance this effect.

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The FDA has not yet formally classified codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine into a pregnancy category. Codeine is the only component of this combination drug that has been associated with respiratory problems in babies born to women who took this drug during pregnancy. Codeine rapidly crosses the placenta. Neonatal withdrawal symptoms have occurred in babies whose mothers had consumed codeine preparations as little as 10 days before delivery. Codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine combination therapies are recommended only for pregnant women whose need for the medicines clearly outweighs the possible risks. Codeine passes into breast milk; do not breast feed your child while taking codeine preparations.

Stopping codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms, especially if you have been taking large doses or using the medication for a long time. Try weaning yourself from codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine by taking smaller doses less frequently. If you cannot stop taking codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine because the withdrawal symptoms are too strong, consult with your doctor or qualified in-patient or out-patient rehabilitation center. More Warnings About Using Codeine, Chlorpheniramine and Pseudoephedrine

Drug Interactions

Do not take codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine if you have taken MAO inhibitors in the past 14 days. Taking codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine while MAO inhibitors are still in your system can have serious side effects. MAO inhibitors include MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline and tranylcypromine. MAO inhibitor brand names include Furoxone, Marplan, Nardil, Azilect, Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar and Parnate.

This drug may interact in unexpected or even dangerous way with other prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and herbal remedies. Give your doctor and pharmacist a complete and updated list of all your prescriptions, remedies and vitamins. Tell your doctor if you take cimetidine, otherwise known as Tagamet, or rifampin, which is sold under the brand names of Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate and Rimactane. Notify your physician if you take zidovudine, otherwise known as Retrovir and AZT. Your physician may choose a different drug combination to treat your cough and congestion if you are taking an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), and others. Talk with your doctor if you take aspirin or salicylates, such as Disalcid, Doan's Pills, Dolobid, Salflex or Tricosal. Your physician may opt for different medication or change your dosage if you are taking a diuretic, commonly known as a water pill, or blood pressure medication. Codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine may not be the right medication to treat your cough and congestion if you are taking a beta blocker. Tell your doctor if you are taking bladder or urinary medications such as oxybutynin, sold under the brand names Ditropan and Oxytrol, or tolterodine, known as the brand name Detrol. Medication to treat irritable bowel syndrome or medicines to treat psychiatric disorders may prevent you from taking this preparation. Tell your doctor if you use Thorazine, Haldol), Orap or Mellaril. Anti-seizure medication such as Dilantin or phenobarbital can interact in unfavorable or unsafe ways with codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine.

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Side effects

You may experience side effects while taking codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine. Contact your doctor if these common side effects become intolerable or don't go away on their own. Common side effects include:

  • Dry Mouth.
  • Nausea, Vomiting, Stomach Pain, Constipation, Loss of Appetite.
  • Mild Dizziness, Drowsiness, Problems with Memory or Concentration.
  • Warmth, Tingling, or Redness under Your Skin.
  • Feeling Restless or Excited, Especially In Children.
  • Sleep Problems, such as Insomnia.
  • Skin Rash or Itching.

Some side effects can be severe or life-threatening. Seek medical assistance immediately if you experience severe side effects such as:

  • Fast, Pounding, or Uneven Heartbeats.
  • Shallow Breathing, Slow Heartbeats.
  • Severe Dizziness, Fainting, Anxiety, Restless Feeling, Nervousness, or Tremor.
  • Confusion, Hallucinations, Unusual Thoughts or Behavior.
  • Easy Bruising or Bleeding, Unusual Weakness, Fever, Chills, Body Aches, Flu Symptoms.
  • Urinating Less Than Usual or Not At All.
  • Dangerously High Blood Pressure

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Call 1-800-222-1222 immediately, or contact your local emergency room, if you think that you or someone you know has taken an overdose of codeine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine. Overdose is a serious, life-threatening medical condition that can deteriorate quickly and without warning. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Extreme Dizziness or Drowsiness.
  • Confusion.
  • Feeling Restless or Nervous.
  • Cold and Clammy Skin.
  • Warmth or Tingly Feeling.
  • Nausea or Vomiting.
  • Weak or Shallow Breathing.
  • Slow Heart Rate.
  • Pinpoint Pupils.
  • Fainting.
  • Seizure.

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The DEA classifies this drug as a Schedule II drug, which means it is associated with a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. When codeine is used as prescribed for short periods of time, it carries a lower risk for physical dependence than when this drug is abused. Narcotics are frequently used for recreational purposes because of the pleasant feeling of relaxation and euphoria codeine causes. Recreational use of codeine carries an increased risk for dependency and addiction. Recreational users and abusers get codeine by forging prescriptions, calling in bogus orders to pharmacies, going to multiple doctors or by stealing codeine. Codeine is also widely available on the street.

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Nobody intends to become physically or mentally dependent on a drug; dependence and addiction is sometimes unavoidable, even among people who have used opioids legally as part of therapeutic pain control. Withdrawal symptoms are a normal, predictable, physical condition that strikes licit users as well as recreational abusers. Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. Some people may be able to stop using a drug on their own; strong withdrawal symptoms may prevent other people from quitting without the help of a rehabilitation specialist. Talk openly with your doctor or seek out professional rehabilitation services if you cannot quit taking codeine on your own. More About Codeine, Chlorpheniramine and Pseudoephedrine Withdrawal


You may need the help of qualified rehabilitation specialists to help you detoxify your body from the effects ofcodeine. Rapid detox is a humane way to detoxify your body - you are anesthetized and sedated while specialists cleanse codeine from your system, safely and effectively. You awaken with no recollection of the unpleasant withdrawal and detoxification process. Talk with your physician to find out if rapid detox is the right choice for you, or if you should seek help from conventional rehabilitation procedures. Professional rehabilitation practices include detoxification, cleansing, rehabilitation and counseling. There are in-patient and out-patient services in your area.

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Keep this drug and all medicines out of the reach of children and pets. Put this medication where adults cannot accidentally or purposefully consume it. Store this medication at room temperature, away from excessive heat, light and humidity. Do not store this drug in the bathroom or in your car. Read More About Storing Codeine, Chlorpheniramine and Pseudoephedrine