Codeine and Pyrilamine

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


Your physician may have prescribed codeine and pyrilamine to treat symptoms associated with colds, upper respiratory infections and allergies. These symptoms include cough, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing. You can use this medication to sleep, go to work or school without interruption from symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe this medication for uses other than those listed here. Learn More About Codeine and Pyrilamine Uses


Codeine and pyrilamine combination drugs are sold under the brand name Pro-Clear AC in a syrup form.

Check with your physician to determine if you are to take this medication on a schedule or only as needed to control symptoms. If the prescription requires you adhere to a strict schedule and you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is nearly time to take another dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Never take more than the prescribed dose in an effort to catch up.

Contact the prescribing physician if the prescribed dose stops working for you or does not provide adequate coverage for your symptoms. This physician may adjust the dosages or switch medications.

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Codeine works directly on the part of your brain responsible for the cough reflex - codeine makes your brain unaware of the need to cough. Pyrilamine decreases the amount of natural histamines that cause itchy and watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing. In animal studies, the cough-suppressing action of codeine takes effect about 15 minutes after oral administration, reaching peak effectiveness 45 minutes to an hour after ingestion. Cough-suppression wears off after about three hours.

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Do not take this medication if you are allergic to any active or inactive ingredient. Do not take this drug if you are allergic to other opioids, such as morphine or oxycodone. Any person can experience an allergic reaction to any drug. Seek immediate medical assistance at first onset of symptoms of an allergic reaction; a person's condition can deteriorate rapidly and without warning. An allergic reaction is a serious, potentially fatal, medical emergency. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.

You may not be able to take this medication if you have experienced certain medical conditions. This drug may worsen these conditions or interfere with treatment for those illnesses. Additionally, your medical condition may change the way this medication works for you.

This preparation may make you dizzy or drowsy. It may also impair the way you make decisions. Do not drive a car, operate heavy machinery or engage in risky behavior until you know how this drug affects you. Other drugs may enhance this effect, including other cold and allergy medications, pain medications, anti-depressants, sedatives and muscle relaxants. Your pharmacist or prescribing physician can assist you in choosing medications that interact well.

Some components of this medication can be habit-forming. To have a drug habit means to take a medication differently than prescribed or to continue taking a medication after a physician has suggested you stop. Symptoms you are developing a drug habit include feeling irritable or agitated when it is nearly time to take another dose; you find yourself watching the clock, waiting for the next dose. You may also find ways to sneak extra doses or refills.

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Do not take codeine and pyrilamine if you have severe high blood pressure, severe heart blood vessel disease, increased pressure in the brain, respiratory depression, angle-closure glaucoma, or peptic ulcers. Do not take this medication if you are unable to urinate or are having an asthma attack.

Do not use opioids like those contained in this preparation if you have asthma or other lung diseases. This drug may cause respiratory depression, meaning airflow is too inadequate to allow for the proper exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Symptoms of respiratory depression includes slow and shallow breathing.

The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, classifies drugs according to the potential harm they pose to the consumer or to an unborn child. The FDA classifies this medicine as a pregnancy Category C; researchers still do not know if taking this drug during pregnancy will harm an unborn child. Some components of this drug pass into breast milk and onto your nursing child. Never take this medication while breastfeeding your baby. Tell the prescribing physician if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Notify your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

Do not stop taking this medication abruptly unless directed to do so by a physician. Quitting suddenly might cause uncomfortable, flu-like withdrawal symptoms. If you feel ill when you do not take this medication, try weaning yourself from this drug by taking increasingly smaller doses further apart. Confide in your doctor or seek out a rehabilitation specialist if withdrawal symptoms prevent you from quitting this medication.

More Warnings About Using Codeine and Pyrilamine

Drug Interactions

The prescribing physician may alter the dosage or switch you to a different medication if you are already taking certain medications to treat other illnesses. This drug could interact with other medications in unsafe or unfavorable ways. Supply the prescribing physician and the pharmacist who fills the prescription with 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.

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Side effects

This medication may cause side effects. Most of these side effects are not serious. Rarely, serious side effects do occur. Contact the prescribing physician if the common side effects become intolerable or if they do not go away on themselves.

Common side effects include:

  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dry Mouth, Nose or Throat.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of Appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • Thickening of Mucus Secretions.
  • Upset Stomach.
  • Vomiting.

Some rare side effects can be serious, even life threatening. Contact your doctor or local emergency room if you experience serious side effects.

Serious side effects include:

  • Blurred Vision, Double Vision or Other Vision Changes.
  • Confusion.
  • Difficulty Urinating or Inability To Urinate.
  • Fast or Irregular Heartbeat.
  • Loss of Coordination.
  • Mood or Mental Changes.
  • Nervousness. Ringing in the Ears.
  • Seizures.
  • Severe Dizziness, Lightheadedness or Headache.
  • Severe Drowsiness.
  • Tremor.
  • Trouble Sleeping.
  • Unusual Bruising or Bleeding.
  • Unusual Weakness or Tiredness.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, deaths from drug overdose has tripled since 1990. An increasing number of people are dying from overdose of prescription drugs rather than from illicit drugs. In 2008, more people died from overdoses of prescription opioids than from cocaine and heroin combined. Drug overdose, whether from prescription medication or from illegal drugs, is a serious medical condition that may deteriorate rapidly into a life-or-death emergency. If you think 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.
  • Cold, Clammy Skin.
  • Coma.
  • Confusion.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Muscle Weakness.
  • Seizures.
  • Severe Dizziness, Lightheadedness or Headache.
  • Severe Drowsiness.
  • Unusually Fast, Slow or Irregular Heartbeat.
  • Vomiting.

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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.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies a drug according to its potential for abuse in comparison with other controlled substances. A Schedule I drug has more attributes that makes it attractive to drug abusers than a Schedule II drug - a Schedule I drug gets you higher than a Schedule II. The DEA classifies this medication as Schedule V drugs, which means they have a low potential for abuse in comparison to all other controlled substances. A person abuses drugs by taking larger doses than prescribed or by taking a drug without a prescription to get high. Opioids are a favorite among recreational users. Abusers acquire drugs by calling in or presenting phony prescriptions to pharmacies, visiting multiple doctors, buying it on the street or by stealing it from friends, family members and strangers.

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You may develop physically or mentally dependence on this drug if you take large doses or for a long time. Physical dependence means your body needs that drug to feel normal; you experience uncomfortable, flu-like symptoms if you do not take the drug. Dependence on drugs and the resulting withdrawal symptoms do not necessarily indicate criminal drug abuse - patients who take large doses of opioids to treat severe pain may develop drug dependence while in the hospital, only to experience withdrawal symptoms after arriving at home. Unless a patient make the cognitive connection between his symptoms and taking opioids, he may think he has caught the flu and suffer through withdrawal alone. Withdrawal symptoms may vary from person to person. One individual may be able to quit taking this drug on her own, while intense withdrawal symptoms may prevent another from quitting without the help of rehabilitation specialists. Tell your doctor if your withdrawal symptoms prevent you from quitting this drug. Healthcare providers recognize dependence and withdrawal symptoms as predictable, normal physiological responses to opioid use.

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Drug dependence is a complex condition, frequently requiring the help of highly trained rehabilitation specialists to overcome. The most effective rehabilitative treatment programs address each aspect of the complicated syndrome of drug dependence, including overcoming withdrawal symptoms, cleansing the drug from your body and addressing any social issues that contribute to drug dependence. During the first phase of rehabilitation, physicians administer medication to detoxify and cleanse your body while easing your withdrawal symptoms. Once physically stabilized, you may choose to participate in a counseling program or other social services to address any issues that lead to or is the result of your dependence on drugs, such as family problems or legal issues. Rapid detox is state-of-the-art, humane and extremely effective way to overcome withdrawal. During rapid detox, specially trained physicians administer anesthesia and sedatives along with detoxification medications. You sleep through the withdrawal process, unaware of the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. When you awaken, you will have no memory of the withdrawal process.

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Keep codeine and pyrilamine at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, away from excessive heat, moisture and light. Do not store this medication in the bathroom. Keep this and all medication out of the reach of pets and children. Do not allow adults to take codeine and pyrilamine on purpose or by accident. Codeine preparations are frequently the target of theft for sale to recreational users - do not let it become widely known that you have a codeine product in your possession.

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