Articles, DRUGS

Codeine – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

The world is developing at every new step bringing out newer issues to explore, newer channels of life sustainability and newer ways to experience life in a much more intense manner. Gone are the painfully sick days when writhing and cursing in agony was the only option. With the passing generations, every second a new medication drug is coming up to tackle some of the best and worst case problems we in this busy world often face.  While some of them are serious in nature, many of them are slightly inclined towards the narcotic section, one of the reasons why in this article we shall discuss about this drug called codeine.

Pain in today’s world cannot hinder or stunt a person from not doing his or her everyday chores which is exactly why analgesic medicines are quite the hype in present days where popping in a pill would simply mean you can go about your day unhindered and unfazed. The codeine drug is an analgesic in nature with a strong affinity towards being opioid in nature. The property opioid would mean codeine has a strong attraction towards addiction. Analgesic drugs are usually used for treating pain and here codeine as a pain reliever can be used for treating slight to mediocre pain situations. Codeine can also be classified as cough suppressants and would definitely fit into the same category as morphine. In fact, some studies proved that a small amount of this drug, codeine actually converts itself to morphine in the human body and thus commences his working procedures to cure pain. Our brain harbors within itself a series of opoid receptors which is what the drug connects itself to once inside the human system. Now these receptors control and regulate and pain and thus indirectly, the drug gets to tackle the pain situation by altering or regulating the receptors.

codiene drug Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions


The busy world these days simply cannot stand and wait for pain to take over. The fast paced beat to the everyday rhythm is thereby kept consistent by keeping some analgesic drugs handy which whenever in stress situations can help you relief a great deal of hassle. A narcotic pain medicine in its best days, codeine can be defined as an analgesic drug that can help you deal with situations of pain with ease. This drug integrates itself and gels up with the opioid receptors therefore creating a situation where these receptors regulate the transmission of pain. lowering the feeling by the notch, codeine with the generic name Codeine Phosphate therefore allows you to stabilize pain.


  • Helps with your Sleep Schedule: Codeine which partly morphs into morphine once in the system can bring about changes in your sleeping pattern. Usually due to pain, cough and other reasons your system, worked up at that moment refuses to get some rest for itself and once the induced medication starts to show its effects, the body immediately relaxes thereby also tackling sleeping issues.
  • Anxiety or Panic Attacks are Kept at Bay: It is also said that codeine actually helps you deal with your anxiety or panic attacks the best way possible. Once again we go back to the receptors that bridge the communication between you and the brain. By chemically altering or regulating the receptor, codeine can influence your anxiety or panic levels for the best.
  • Cough Remedy: Codeine can be used for treating dry cough and cold situations in both adults and children. Cough is a reflex action directed or commanded by the brain when the air passageway is blocked by mucous or dirt. The brain on judging the difficulty actually sends neurons or receptors from the brain to the muscle region which induces the reflex coughing. In excess, coughing may often cause slight chest pain or angina pains if pressurized a bit more. It is here that codeine also terminates pain stricken coughing situations as it brands itself as a cough suppressant.
  • Diarrhea Cure: There are opioid receptors that line the intestinal walls and are responsible for the contractions that brings in or passes digested food along. Codeine uses these receptors to pass along the food and the fecal matters at a much speedier rate which in turn forces speedier absorption of the essential nutrients. Thus, the bowel that comes out generally is more firm in nature thus allowing codeine to treat diarrhea.
  • Analgesic Property: As mentioned before, codeine can help you get out of any sore situation be it a sore throat or a painful ear. A severe head injury or a slight angina pain and even a slight abdominal muscle pain. basically the pain masking hormones or the endorphins in the system are often the muse for this drug where it acts like endorphins reducing the pain by collaborating with the receptors that channel the transmission of the pain.HOW TO USE:
  • Usually codeine will be prescribed to you by your doctor who would also direct you the consumption method or the dosage to be taken and even the time intervals between each dosage. However, if not through prescription, codeine can be purchased directly from the pharmacy at lower doses.
  • Codeine is taken orally and it depends on the doctor’s direction as to how you should go about the dosage. Usually for some, their units may include with food dosages while for some they are strictly advised a without food course. Usually each medicine lasts for six hours and thus the dosages are placed at a six hour distance from each other. If you ever miss out on a dose, simply leave the dose out instead of opting for a late dose which increases the risk of overdosing.
  • Also, keep the dose timings regular by taking the dosage at regular intervals each day. In tabular form, simple gulp down the whole pill using a glass of water instead of chewing or breaking it into pieces. The inactive ingredients within the crushed pill can prove detrimental to your health with side effect possibilities. If prescribed in an oral suspension form, keep a strict measuring spoon or a measuring cup to measure your dosage before taking it.
  • Always store the medicine at room temperature and always check for the expiry date on the medicine before consuming it.


  1. Based on your medical requirement, age and weight your doctor will direct to you the dosage required by you. if you are independently purchasing the medicine from a pharmacy make sure you always opt for a low dose and always be aware of the medicines that you are clubbing the codeine with.
  2. It is always best to start with a subtle dose, the initial one being the bare minimum from which you can slowly increase the dosage if the results keep showing ineffectiveness. Codeine before anything else is considered a pain relief medicine and therefore the basic dosage to tackle any pain situation should be kept at codeine 30mg. this is a daily dose and should be consumed every six hours. If the results are not satisfactory enough, you can increase the dosage to 60mg but only on doctor’s approval. This is however an adult dose and for the pediatric the dosage should not increase the more than 15mg the initial dose for infants being 0.5. For the elderly the base dose for pain can be limited within 15mg to 60mg, even though it is usually advised that a geriatric dose is kept at a flexible unit.

The other doses may include 15 or 20mg for coughing in adults and 2.5mg to 5mg for children. Cough medicine dosage for the adults should not exceed 120mg for a daily dose while the elderly should restrict it to 30mg a day dose. Even for the pediatric dose, the base limit for cough should be 5 to 10mg codeine and every medicine should either have a four or a six hour interval in between each dose.



  • The first word of precaution would be against the use of codeine as a pain relief drug during your pregnancy days. Usually stopping this drug out of the blue may cause repercussions and therefore it is advised that you slowly and steadily reduce the dosage and if you are considering motherhood options, make sure you consult your doctor beforehand. This drug if extended too long into pregnancy can cause withdrawal symptoms in the new born post birth.
  • Also, codeine is known as a narcotic which means there is a strong affinity for obsession or addiction with this drug which is quite difficult to break through in the later years. This is why dose measurements are always a strict matter and one should never go above the prescribed codeine dosage.
  • Codeine is used to treat both the elders and the children, but when keeping children in mind, always keep a sure eye on the dosage and the results that follow it. Even if the results refuse to show up after a consistent dosage course, do not linger on to the course or go overboard with codeine intake as it can result in addiction.


Codeine is often a friendly drug and at lower doses it can be mixed with a few other medical drugs for better or smoother results. However, the dosage should be at the base level for it to cooperate with other drugs.

Usually if you are taking allergy medicines, one should refrain from mixing up codeine and the allergy medicines together since they always react with each other.

The best way to go about avoiding drug interactions is to furnish a full detail of your medical history and the medicines that you have taken to your doctor so that he can outweigh the possibilities of reactions and codeine overdose before prescribing to you the dosage.


Usually every drug has a subtle side effect to its usage which often goes unnoticed at mellow levels. usually for the beginners this might be a sign of new tolerance that your body is creating as a reaction to the now foreign substance in your system, this can also be a away your body wants you to know this drug is not compatible with your system. either way here is a list of side effects that you may face while on the course of this drug.

  • Extreme Mood Swings: since codeine usually deals with the receptors and mimics the working of a endorphin, it is quite possible that these emotion inducing receptors may bring about change in your mood. You may experience extreme mood swings most likely in the form of extreme fits of rage or periods of happiness followed by sudden feeling of sadness.
  • Depression: depression may just be yet another form of side effect where it has often been noticed that often analgesic medicines induce depressive behaviors in your system.
  • Hallucinations: this is one of the extreme and most rare cases when a side effect from codeine causes ugly hallucinations. This can be a side effect to overdosing on codeine which eventually breaks the mental stability of the person as the addiction takes over their system.
  • Heart Rate Change and Breathing Trouble: heart palpitations or slowing down the heart rate can be a side effect implemented on you by your drug. This is alarming only at the rates of extremity even though a subtle change in heart rate should not scare the patient. Breathing troubles in the form of wheezing or shortage of breath may also persist.
  • Seizures: seizures are repercussions that one may feel if they suddenly jump from a base dose to a higher level instantly or if someone suddenly stops the drug course as the sudden stoppage may cause counter actions like convulsions.However these are rare case side effects the most common ones being
  • A slight change in your sleep or hunger routine
  • feelings of nausea which may even result in vomiting.
  • A soft mellow rash may persist in your skin which should not be alarming
  • Constipation may persist if you are not taking this medicine for diarrhea cure purposes.

Be it a dry cough or a painfully distressed situation, always be at your best with the using this drug as a handy assistance. Blending itself well with the receptors in our body, it freezes the pain before it could reach our spots thereby preventing pain from being felt in your sore areas.