Codeine Phosphate Tablets, Codeine is a painkiller. It’s used to treat pain, for example after an operation or an injury. It’s also used for long-standing pain when everyday painkillers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and paracetamol, haven’t worked.
Codeine is also used to treat diarrhoea.
Codeine Phosphate Tablets,Codeine is available on prescription. It comes as tablets, a liquid to swallow and as an injection. Codeine injections are usually only given in hospital.
You can buy lower-strength codeine from a pharmacy. It comes mixed with paracetamol (co-codamol) or with aspirin (co-codaprin) or with ibuprofen (Nurofen Plus).
You can also buy codeine from a pharmacy as a syrup (linctus) to treat dry coughs.
Codeine Phosphate Tablets,Codeine works by stopping pain signals from travelling along the nerves to the brain.
The most common side effects of codeine are constipation, feeling sick (nausea) and feeling sleepy.
It’s possible to become addicted to codeine, but this is rare if you’re taking it to relieve pain and your doctor is reviewing your treatment regularly.
It may be best not to drink alcohol while taking codeine as you’re more likely to get side effects like feeling sleepy.
Do not give codeine to children under 12 years old. Only give codeine to children aged 12 to 18 years if everyday painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen haven’t worked.
3. Who can and can’t take codeine
Codeine can be taken by adults and children aged 12 years and older.
Only give codeine to children (aged 12 to 18 years) if everyday painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen haven’t worked.
Codeine is not suitable for some people. Tell your doctor before starting the medicine if you have:
had an allergic reaction to codeine or any other medicines in the past
a lung problem
a head injury
adrenal gland problems
an illness which causes seizures
an addiction to alcohol
an underactive thyroid gland
kidney or liver problems
an enlarged prostate
low blood pressure
myasthenia gravis (a rare illness that causes muscle weakness)
symptoms of ulcerative colitis (a bowel condition)
Do not give codeine to children who are under 18 years old and have had their tonsils or adenoids removed because of a sleep problem called obstructive sleep apnoea.
Codeine is not generally recommended in pregnancy. Tell your doctor before taking codeine if you’re trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.