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    Information about Codeine

    Codeine uses

    Codeine is used for moderate to severe pain and dry cough.

    How codeine works

    Codeine is an opioid analgesic ( pain reliever). It works by decreasing the perception of pain by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain.

    Common side effects of codeine

    Sweating, Headache, Dizziness, Sleepiness, Vomiting, Weakness, Dehydration, Lightheadedness, Nausea, Edema (swelling), Dryness in mouth, Fatigue, Anemia (low number of red blood cells), Sedation, Constipation

    Available Medicine for Codeine

    Expert advice for Codeine

    • Use Codeine as instructed by your doctor. Never take in greater amounts or more often than prescribed.
    • It causes sleepiness or drowsiness. If this happens to you, do not drive or use machinery.
    • Avoid consuming alcohol when taking the Codeine, as it may cause excessive sleepiness or drowsiness.
    • Inform your doctor if you have ever been diagnosed with kidney or liver problems.
    • Store opioid pain relievers in a safe place and out of reach of others.

    Frequently asked questions for Codeine


    Q. Is Codeine legal in India?

    Yes, however Codeine containing tablets require prescription in India

    Q. Is Codeine addictive?

    Codeine may cause addiction when consumed for longer duration. Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use

    Q. Is Codeine a narcotic/hydrocodone/morphine/depressant?

    Codeine is a naturally occurring form of morphine and called as narcotic. Hydrocodone is derived form of Codeine. Codeine is not a depressant drug

    Q. Is Codeine strong?

    It depends on the dose. Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use

    Q. Is Codeine/Corex/Phensedyl over the counter or banned in India?

    No, it is available in India with doctor's prescription only

    Q. Is Codeine/Corex bad or harmful?

    It is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor

    Q. Is Corex a drug?

    No, Corex is a cough syrup which contains codeine as one of its component

    Q. What is Paracodin/Paracodin tablets/Paracodin 10 mg/Paracodol/Paracodina/Paracodin drops/Phensedyl/Phensedyl cough syrup used for?

    These are the trade names of codeine containing products. Your doctor may prescribe it (depending on the disease condition) for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, diarrhea, cough, irritable bowel syndrome

    Q. Can I take Codeine for flu/headache/toothache/cold/back pain/tonsillitis/migraine/menstrual cramps/stomach pain?

    Codeine is specifically used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, diarrhea, cough, irritable bowel syndrome. Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use

    Q. Can I take codeine with naproxen/paracetamol/ibuprofen/advil/ warfarin/metronidazole/hydrocodone/diclofenac/ amoxicillin?

    You can take codeine with paracetamol/ibuprofen/ Advil/ warfarin/ diclofenac/amoxicillin/naproxen. Taking metronidazole and hydrocodone may alter the effects of codeine. Always consult your doctor for the change of dose regimen or an alternative drug of choice that may strictly be required

    Q. Does Codeine expire?

    Codeine containing tablets are available with mention of expiry date on it. Before taking medicine, patient should consult pharmacist or doctor

    Q. Does Codeine make you high/tired/fat/awake/ sleep/constipate/thin blood/headache?

    Codeine causing these side effects is rare or uncommon. However, consult your doctor if you experience any of these side effects

    Q. Does Codeine have acetaminophen in it?

    No, it does not contain acetaminophen in it. However, your doctor may prescribe Codeine along with acetaminophen.

    Content on this page was last updated on 12 September, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)