What is Codeine Phosphate?
Codeine Phosphate tablets (also referred to as codeine throughout this information) are effective clinical drugs for pain management. The tablets come in packets of 15mg,30mg, and 60mg doses.
The active ingredient of codeine is a clinical drug that belongs to a group of medications called opioid analgesics. Due to this, it is recommended to take the medication for only the prescribed period of time as it is possible to become addicted.
How it works
Codeine, like other analgesic medicines to treat pain, works by reducing signals from the body to the brain through the central nervous system.
All analgesic opioids mimic endorphins produced by the human body. Codeine is converted into morphine by an enzyme in the liver, delivering a pain-relieving effect.
Before you take it
Codeine Phosphate Most healthy adults can take codeine; tablets are however not recommended for children under 12 years of age without direct medical advice from a healthcare professional.
While paracetamol can be used alongside codeine, It is important to take great caution if you’re using other codeine-containing painkillers. Make sure to talk to your doctor first before taking codeine.
Codeine Phosphate is usually taken when regular medicines used to treat pain such as paracetamol, co-codamol, aspirin or ibuprofen alone have not worked.
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It is important for your own health and safety that if you already suffer symptoms of an allergic reaction related to codeine or any other ingredient in this drug, you do not use codeine without first referring to your doctor or pharmacist.
It is also recommended that you do not take codeine if you have increased pressure in the head, have recently had a head injury, have epilepsy, liver damage, kidney disease, or high blood pressure.
As codeine has the potential to incur sleepiness, it is unsuitable for people who regularly drink more than the recommended maximum amount of 14 units of alcohol per week.
Codeine Phosphate is unsuitable for some patients. You should speak to your doctor or healthcare professional if any of the following apply to you:
- Have lung or breathing conditions such as lung disease
- Have allergen hypersensitivity or regularly have an asthma attack
- Have low blood pressure
- Have Inflammatory bowel disease
- Have problems with your liver or kidneys
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Are taking other medications including herbal remedies
- Dosage for Codeine Phosphate is 30 to 60 mg tablets every 4 to 6 hours. No more than 240mg is to be taken in 24 hours. It is important not to exceed this.
- The pill must be taken whole with water and not crushed; codeine can also be taken with or after food. Do not drink alcohol while taking codeine.
- With persisting pain, resist the need to take multiple doses of codeine in one go. Do not continue to use for longer than directed or for more than 3 days. If you do not start to feel better or symptoms do not subside within the prescribed time period, ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice for a more suitable pain relief.
Codeine Phosphate is a short-term treatment of acute pain only. Taking this medicine for longer than prescribed is dangerous as codeine is a type of opioid. Using an opioid for a long time can lead to addiction and an increased risk of dependency. It is therefore not a suitable long-term solution for chronic pain.
Common Side Effects of Diazepam
It is possible that you are allergic to some of the ingredients in this medication. Tell your doctor at once if you show signs of an allergic reaction such as:
- Skin rash
- Breathing difficulties
- Inflammation of the legs, arms, face, lips, throat, or tongue
- Increased heart rate
- Confusion or anxiety
Possible but less serious side effects of Codeine are:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite, feeling sick or vomiting
- Drowsiness or lethargy
- Codeine Phosphate affects your ability to drive safely. The possible side effects of this medication may cause you to feel sleepy. It is advised against driving or operating heavy machinery while using Codeine Phosphate and for the duration of its effects.
In case of serious side effects, stop taking treatment, and call a doctor for symptoms such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling sick or vomiting
- Blurred or double vision
- Slow or slurred speech
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Is Codeine suitable for children?
Codeine Phosphate is not recommended for children under 12 years of age without direct medical advice due to the severe risk of potential breathing problems.
Do I need a prescription?
It depends on the strength of the dose. Lower-strength tablets are available over the counter from a pharmacy. Higher-strength tablets are only available via prescription.
I’m pregnant. Can I take Codeine?
Codeine isn’t generally recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women as codeine and morphine can pass into breast milk. Check with your doctor first before taking this treatment.
What happens if I miss a dose?
If you forget to take a dose, take your usual amount of codeine as soon as you remember. It is recommended to take only your prescribed quantity per dose as instructed with at least 4 hours in between doses. Do not double dose in compensation for forgotten treatment.
What happens if I take too much?
Vigilance with dosing is important. Taking more medication than directed could be detrimental to your health.
Take Codeine Phosphate only according to the instructions given by your prescriber and do not share treatment. In a case of accidental overdose, symptoms may include lethargy and feeling sick or dizzy.
If you suspect yourself or anyone else has ingested too much, do not take any more medication and contact your local hospital or A&E centre immediately. Take your prescription with you so is it clear what medication you’ve used.