- Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Codeine
Codeine is an opioid analgesic that is meant to treat mild to moderately severe pain. It also has anti-tussive properties so it can be used to treat a cough. In some cases, codeine is prescribed for other uses including diarrhea. This narcotic medication, when used to suppress a cough, is combined with other, non-narcotic medications such as acetaminophen.
Patients need to be careful when taking a product with acetaminophen. It is known to cause liver damage in high amounts, so patients need to know whether any other medication they are taking contains this ingredient.
Instructions On Taking Codeine
Codeine comes in tablets, capsules and liquid preparations. It is meant to be taken orally, every 4 to 6 hours as needed.
Codeine should only be taken as directed. Any deviation from the recommended usage can result in complications. Codeine can be habit forming and it should never be used in a higher dosage than what's recommended, or more often than prescribed.
People who are prescribed codeine for any reason need to tell their doctor if they've ever had a bad reaction to any narcotic medication. He or she will also want to know if the patient has ever had an addiction to alcohol or other drugs. Doctors will also need to know all substances a patient is taking, including other prescription and over-the-counter medication, vitamins, supplements and herbal products.
Problems With Codeine Can Include Dependency and Overdose
People who take any opioid medication need to do so carefully. These medications are potent and can lead to problems including dependence, addiction and possibly fatal overdose. A patient who has been on codeine therapy should never try to stop taking it without consulting a doctor. Withdrawal symptoms can develop if a physical dependency is present.
People who abuse codeine put themselves at risk for complications including addiction and overdose. Codeine treatment can include detox, rehab or rapid opiate detox.