An overview of Codeine?
Codeine is a prescription medication belonging to the antitussives category of drugs. People buy Codeine online to treat symptoms of moderate to severe pain. The antitussives category of drugs includes narcotics and opioid analgesics.
Your doctor may suggest a Codeine prescription to you for pain, sleeplessness, and coughing. But you should avoid taking this medication if you are allergic to it or if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- severe asthma resulting in frequent asthma attacks,
- breathing problems,
- stomach or intestinal blockage, or
Codeine is a generic drug that is not available as any other brand-name drug. It is an effective medication, but it is still unclear whether Codeine is safe in children younger than 12 years.
Children with obstructive sleep conditions who had treatment with Codeine for adenoidectomy or post-tonsillectomy pain are more likely to face respiratory depression effects of Codeine.
Some people face a comparatively faster break of Codeine in the liver that reaches higher than normal body levels. This phenomenon can cause slow breathing (dangerously) and may cause death, especially in a child.
Never share your Codeine tablets with someone else, especially someone with past drug abuse or addiction. As we all know, misuse of a narcotic medicine like Codeine can result in addiction, overdose, or death, especially if a child or another person takes it without a prescription.
Things to do before taking Codeine
Before taking codeine, tell your medical healthcare provider about your medical history, especially if you have ever had:
- Breathing problems interrupted breathing during sleep
- Liver or kidney disease;
- A head injury or brain tumor;
- Addison's disease or another adrenal gland disorder;
- Abnormal curvature of the spine (affects breathing);
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (severe), or other such breathing disorders;
- Low blood pressure;
- A gallbladder or pancreas disorder;
- Blockage in your digestive tract (intestines/stomach);
- Underactive thyroid;
- Drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness; or
- Urination problems, enlarged prostate
Pregnancy and Lactation Warnings
You may give birth to a drug-dependent baby if you use Codeine or any other opioid drug during pregnancy. Consult your medical healthcare provider regarding how to change your doses during this time effectively.
Avoid breastfeeding while taking Codeine as this drug may pass through the breast milk and cause health issues in the nursing baby.
How to take Codeine?
Similar to any other opioid product, doctors assign the Codeine doses for each patient individually. While selecting the initial Codeine dosage, your doctor may give attention to the following:
- The total daily amount, potency, and specific features of the opioid drug that the patient was taking earlier;
- Reliability of the relative potency estimate calculating equivalent Codeine dose needed;
- Whether the patient is opioid-tolerant or not;
- General medical status of the patient;
- Concurrent medications;
- Risk factors for addiction or diversion, abuse, including a previous history of abuse or addiction
In adults, the usual initial dosage is 15 mg to 60 mg, repeated every four hours as needed for pain relief. The maximum Codeine amount of the day should not exceed 360 mg.
The following doses depend upon how you react to the initial phase of treatment with Codeine. Dosage adjustment may occur following your acceptance level of analgesia while considering the pain intensity improvement and opioid tolerance level.
What happens when you suddenly stop taking Codeine?
Sudden discontinuation of this drug can result in severe and unpleasant Codeine withdrawal symptoms that can be extremely dangerous.
Withdrawal symptoms can be both physical as well as psychological. Some of the most common signs may include:
- An intense and overwhelming urge to take this drug, which may get worse with time
- A distorted sense of the real world, you may feel like Codeine is the only thing that makes your life worthwhile
- Negative emotions including anger, depression, or extreme irritability
- Shedding tears
- Anxiety with extreme restlessness
- Dilated pupils
- Difficulty in concentration
- Sinus congestion with sneezing
- Stomach pain and nausea
- Digestive problems including bloating, diarrhea, and constipation
- Intense muscle pain, bone, and joint aches
- Chills or hot flashes
- Trouble sleeping
- Tremors and shaking
The type and intensity of Codeine or other similar opioid withdrawal depend upon several factors such as:
- Addiction to benzodiazepines: Your condition can become worse if you are addicted to this category of anti-anxiety drugs
- Overall health status: This condition can strike harder in people suffering from pre-existing chronic health issues
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women experience Codeine withdrawal symptoms with more intensity. Withdrawal may also increase the miscarriage risk or stillbirth. Rather than suddenly discontinuing treatment with this drug, a pregnant woman should seek proper medical consultation.
What are the side effects of Codeine?
Codeine may cause nausea, dizziness, constipation, vomiting, drowsiness, lightheadedness, or sweating. If any of the common side effects persist or worsen, tell your medical healthcare provider right away.
There are some natural measures to prevent constipation, including consumption of dietary fibers, drinking enough water, and exercise. You may also take any laxative or stool softener after consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
Severe side effects of Codeine:
- Interrupted breathing during sleep;
- Mood changes such as depression, agitation, hallucinations;
- Stomach or abdominal changes;
- Difficulty in urination;
- Changes in vision;
- Fast or slow heartbeat;
- Signs of adrenal glands not functioning efficiently such as unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, weight loss;
- Fatigue; or
Codeine transforms into a strong opioid medication, namely morphine, in your body. The process of changes varies from person to person. If the change happens faster and more completely than regular, it increases the risk of severe side effects.
Codeine rarely causes a severe allergic reaction. However, you should take medical help right away if you notice symptoms of allergic reaction that include hives, problems concerning breathing, swelling in the face, tongue, or throat, severe dizziness.