Codeine, Guaifenesin, and Pseudoephedrine

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

Uses

Doctors prescribe codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine preparations to ease the symptoms associated with the common cold, infections or allergies. Learn More About Codeine, Guaifenesin, and Pseudoephedrine Uses

Administration/Dosage

There are several brand name codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine preparations, including Ambifed CD, Ambifed CDX, Ambifed-G CD, Ambifed-G CDX, Biotussin DAC, Cheratussin DAC, Codafed, Codahistine Expectorant, Halotussin DAC, Maxifed CD, Medent C and Phenhist Expectorant.

Codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine combination drugs are available in table and liquid form. There is 10 mg of codeine and 100 mg of guaifenesin in every 5 ml oral liquid dose of this drug, along with either 22.5 ml or 30 ml of pseudoephedrine. The typical prescription for adults is 10 ml orally every 6 hours as needed, not to exceed 40 ml in a 24 hour period.

Codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine tablets contain 10 mg to 20 mg of codeine, 400 mg of guaifenesin and 20 mg to 60 mg of pseudoephedrine. The usual adult prescription calls for one tablet every six hours as needed, not to exceed 4 tablets in 24 hours.

Scientists have not yet established the effectiveness and safety of using cough suppressants for children under the age of six years; serious side effects and deaths have been reported in young children after the use of cough remedies. Children and elderly patients may be more sensitive to the effects of cough suppressants.

Since you are taking codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine only when you need to soothe a cough and other symptoms, and not on a regular schedule, there is no need to worry about missed doses. Simply take another dose when symptoms become uncomfortable, provided enough time has passed since your last dose. Do not take more than one dose in an effort to catch up. Read More About Codeine, Guaifenesin, and Pseudoephedrine Administration and Dosage

Action

When mucus or debris enters your throat or lungs, the cough reflex is stimulated in the medulla. Codeine suppresses the cough reflex. Codeine soothes a dry cough to make it easier for you to sleep or work. Guaifenesin is an expectorant - this drug thins secretions to make them easier to cough out of your lungs or throat. Pseudoephedrine shrinks swollen nose tissue, opening up nasal passages so you can breathe better. Together, these drugs reduce symptoms associated with allergies and upper respiratory infections. More About How Codeine, Guaifenesin, and Pseudoephedrine Works

Precautions

An allergic reaction is a serious medical condition that can result in death. Most allergic reactions to medications occur soon after taking the drug, but allergic reactions may be delayed up to 24 hours. Contact your physician or emergency room immediately if you think you are having an allergic reaction to this drug. Anaphylaxis is a sudden and severe form of allergic reaction that can lead to death within 15 minutes of exposure.

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.

Do not take codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine if you have a history of severe or uncontrolled blood pressure, severe coronary artery disease or are breastfeeding a baby. Your doctor may recommend a different drug or adjust the dosage if you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure or breathing disorders such as asthma, COPD or sleep apnea. Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, a thyroid disorder, glaucoma, liver or kidney disease or a history of head injury or brain tumor, epilepsy or other seizure disorder. Talk with your physician about your enlarged prostate, urination problems, a stomach or intestinal disorder, Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders. You may not be able to take codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine if you have recently had surgery on your stomach, intestines, kidney, or bladder, have had gallbladder disease, mental illness or a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

Codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine preparations may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not operate heavy machinery or drive a car until you know how this medicine affects you. You may feel dizzy when you stand up quickly.

Narcotics can be habit-forming, especially if you take them for long periods of time. Tell your doctor if you have a history of dependence or addiction to drugs or alcohol. Your physician may choose a different course of treatment or adjust your dosage accordingly. Talk with your doctor if you have difficulty trying to quit codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine.

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Warnings

This drug may harm your unborn child. Taking codiene in the last three months of pregnancy may result in your baby experiencing withdrawal symptoms after delivery. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor immediately. Codeine is found in breast milk. Do not take this drug while breastfeeding.

You may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking this drug suddenly, especially if you have taken large doses or have depended on codeine for a long period of time. Talk to your doctor or qualified rehabilitation specialist if you have trouble quitting this medication. Rapid detox and other treatment plans can help you stop quickly and safely.

More Warnings About Using Codeine, Guaifenesin, and Pseudoephedrine

Drug Interactions

Do not take codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine products if you have taken MAO inhibitors in the past 14 days. Taking codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine while MAO inhibitors are still in your system may cause serious consequences. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline or tranylcypromine. Brand name MAO inhibitors include Marplan, Nardil, Azilect, Eldepryl, Emsam and Parnate. More Drug Interactions

Side effects

You may experience side effects while taking codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine. If the more common side effects become intolerable or don't go away on their own, talk with your doctor. Common side effects include dizziness or headache, constipation, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach and loss of appetite. You may also feel excited or restless, have trouble sleeping and experience increased perspiration. You might also feel a warmth, tingling or notice redness under your skin. Talk to you doctor if you develop a mild skin rash or itching.

Some side effects can be severe or life-threatening. Stop this medication at once and seek medical assistance immediately if you experience severe side effects such as:

  • Fast, Pounding, or Uneven Heartbeat.
  • Slow Heart Rate.
  • Weak Pulse.
  • Fainting.
  • Weak or Shallow Breathing.
  • Severe Dizziness.
  • Anxiety, Restless Feeling, or Nervousness, Headache, Tremors.
  • Confusion, Unusual Thoughts or Behavior.
  • Seizure.
  • Urinating Less Than Usual or Not At All.
  • Increased Blood Pressure

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Overdose

Codeine overdose is a serious, life-threatening medical emergency. If you suspect that you or someone you know has taken an overdose of codeine, seek emergency assistance immediately by going to the emergency room or calling an ambulance. If you need immediate help, contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, feeling restless or nervous, extreme dizziness or drowsiness, confusion, cold and clammy skin, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, pinpoint pupils, fainting, or coma.

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Abuse

The DEA classifies codeine as a Schedule II drug, which means it is associated with a high potential for abuse that can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. When it is used as prescribed for short periods of time, it carries a low risk for physical dependence. Narcotics are frequently used for recreational purposes and this form of abuse carries an increased risk for dependency and addiction. Recreational users and abusers get opioids by forging prescriptions, calling in bogus orders to pharmacies, going to multiple doctors or by stealing drugs. Read More About Codeine, Guaifenesin, and Pseudoephedrine Abuse

Withdrawal

You may experience withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop taking this drug suddenly. This is especially true if you have been taking strong doses or have used this drug for a long time. Withdrawal symptoms are a normal, predictable sign of physical dependence to a substance and not necessarily a willful or illegal addiction to illicit substances. Talk openly and frankly with your physician if you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking codeine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine preparations. Withdrawal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, feeling restless or nervous, extreme dizziness or drowsiness, confusion, cold and clammy skin, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, pinpoint pupils, fainting, or coma.

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Detox

Qualified professionals can free you from your dependence on codeine. Some in-patient programs offer rapid detox, where you are sedated and anesthetized during the worst parts of the withdrawal syndrome. When you wake up, you do not remember experiencing the withdrawal symptoms that prevented you from quitting codeine on your own. Talk with your physician or qualified rehabilitation specialist to find out if rapid detox is for you, or if there are other, more conventional treatment centers available in your area.

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Storage

Put this medication in a secure location where children and pets cannot accidentally consume it. Be aware of any adults who might take it accidently or on purpose, especially adults with a known history of drug or alcohol abuse. Do not share this medication with anyone, especially those with a known history of drug or alcohol abuse. Keep track of this narcotic and all your medications. Store this product at room temperature, away from excessive heat, humidity and light.

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