Codeine, the alkaloid (natural base) of poppy, is made from the milky juice of the raw seeds in poppy capsules. It belongs to a class of drugs known as narcotic analgesics, such as morphine, opium, heroin, and other opium alkaloids. It is prescribed by doctors for pain relief and is another of the least addictive opioids. However, its long-term use has negative effects and people can become addicted, leading to abuse.

Therapeutic Use

Codeine, which is prescribed to treat mild to moderate pain, connects certain small areas called opioid receptors in the central nervous system and helps reduce pain and change how a person responds to pain. Codeine is available in many combination medications and can be obtained without a prescription.

Possible side effects

Codeine should only be taken in the way prescribed by a doctor, otherwise, it may cause excessive symptoms. You should tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking codeine:

  • dizzy
  • headache
  • mood swings
  • nauseous
  • drowsiness
  • Throw up
  • dizzy
  • stomach ache
  • difficulty urinating
  • constipation

How should this drug be used?

Codeine (alone or in combination with other drugs) is available as a tablet, capsule, and solution (liquid) for oral administration. Usually taken every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Follow the directions on the prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you don't understand. Take codeine exactly as directed.

If you have been using codeine for several weeks or more, do not stop taking the medicine without talking to your doctor. Your doctor may gradually reduce your dose. If you suddenly stop taking codeine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, dilated pupils (dark circles in the center of the eyes), watery eyes, irritability, anxiety, runny nose, difficulty falling or staying asleep, yawning, sweating, rapid breathing, fast heartbeat, chills, hair on arms, dandruff, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, muscle or back pain.

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