Precautions

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress while taking this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

If your condition does not improve or become worse, check with your doctor.

Codeine is changed to morphine in the body. Some people change codeine to morphine more quickly than others. These individuals are called "ultra-rapid metabolizers of codeine". Contact your doctor immediately if you experience extreme sleepiness, confusion, or shallow breathing. These symptoms may indicate that you are an "ultra-rapid metabolizer of codeine". As a result, there may be too much morphine in the body and more side effects from morphine than usual. Children may be especially sensitive to this effect.

If a nursing mother is an ultra-rapid metabolizer of codeine, it could lead to a morphine overdose in the nursing baby and cause very serious side effects.

For nursing mothers taking this medicine:

  • Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about taking codeine or about how this medicine may affect your baby.
  • Call your doctor if you become extremely tired and have difficulty caring for your baby.
  • Your baby should generally nurse every 2 to 3 hours and should not sleep more than 4 hours at a time.
  • Check with your doctor or hospital emergency room immediately if your baby shows signs of increased sleepiness (more than usual), difficulty breastfeeding, difficulty breathing, or limpness. These may be symptoms of an overdose and need immediate medical attention.

This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.

Using narcotics for a long time can cause severe constipation. To prevent this, your doctor may direct you to take laxatives, drink a lot of fluids, or increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, because continuing constipation can lead to more serious problems.

This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Avoid driving, using machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. You may also feel lightheaded when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, so stand up slowly.

This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, allergies, or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your medical doctor or dentist before taking any of the above while you or your child are taking this medicine.

Check with your doctor right away if you or your child are having convulsions, difficulty in breathing, fast heartbeat, high fever, high or low blood pressure, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, severe muscle stiffness, unusually pale skin, or tiredness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).

If you think you or your child may have taken an overdose of this medicine, get emergency help at once. Signs of an overdose include extreme sleepiness, confusion, shallow breathing, hallucinations, nausea or vomiting, pinpoint pupils of the eyes, pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin, or seizures.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you or your child are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

This medicine may cause dryness of the mouth. For temporary relief, use sugarless candy or gum, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or use a saliva substitute. However, if your mouth continues to feel dry for more than 2 weeks, check with your medical doctor or dentist. Continuing dryness of the mouth may increase the chance of dental disease, including tooth decay, gum disease, and fungus infections.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.