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    Chronic Conditions
    1234 · 20 min read

    Is Codeine an opiate?

    Yes - Codeine is an opiate. It is oftentimes known as a ‘narcotic.’ There are other drugs classified as opiates such as morphine, heroin, and oxycodone. Codeine is a prescription medication that is a popular painkiller and is used to treat mild to moderate pain among patients. It comes in the tablet form and is the main active ingredient in many prescription based cough suppressants and medications.

    What kind of drug is Codeine?

    Codeine is widely used as a pain killer drug. Its main purpose is to manage and treat pain such as post-operative pain. Codeine is also used whenever the regular pain killer drugs as paracetamol, aspirin, and ibuprofen are not working as they should be. Codeine is used for treating recurring cough and persistent diarrhoea.

    Codeine is a prescription only kind of drug. It is available in liquid suspension, tablet, and an intravenous formulation. The intravenous types of codeine are administered only in hospitals or certified medical facilities.

    How does it work?

    Codeine is a medication that is used in pain killing. It has an active ingredient known as ‘Codeine Phosphate Hemihydrate.’ It is classified as an analgesic drug and is used to prevent pain.

    Codeine is categorized as an analgesic drug. It is used to treat pain. Codeine has been classified as an opioid analgesic; it functions by blocking the pain signals in the brain and the body’s response to pain, making pain tolerable and manageable. It is used to treat mild to moderate pain types.

    How is Codeine used?

    It is strongly recommended that you take codeine as advised by your physician. You can take it with or without meals. You can take codeine any time of the day, or take it at the exact same times every day.

    Adult patients can take one to two tablets every 4 to 6 hours. Take the tablet as a whole, do not break, gnaw, or chew on it, and take it with a glass of water. Take the drug for as long as prescribed by your health care provider.

    Codeine health benefits

    For many of us, pain can be excruciating. It disrupts our daily lives, prevents us from doing what must be done, and hinders us from achieving a good quality of life overall. This medication is very useful for patients who are under pain where regular pain killer medications as analgesics, ibuprofens, and aspirins do not work.

    Codeine adverse health effects

    Always take any medication only as prescribed by your doctor, do not take too much of the medication as it can be dangerous to your health. If you happen to take too much codeine, you will feel sick, exhausted, and drowsy. Many patients complain of difficulty breathing. There are times when patients are unconscious and would require medical treatment in a healthcare facility.

    Here the most common side effects of codeine: feeling faint, drowsy, vomiting, skin rashes, allergies, insomnia, dry mouth, loss of appetite, constipation, feeling sick, nausea, and nightmares.

    There are some side effects that are rather serious. Ask your doctor if you experience any of these: blurred vision, irregular heartbeat, breathing problems, itchy, blotchy skin, swollen lips, face, tongue, and throat, hives, stiff muscles, and problems urinating.

    Codeine dosage

    Codeine is often administered in 60 and 15 milligrams respectively. You can take codeine up to 4 times a day.

    Those who want to treat their pain can have one to two tablets of 30 milligrams codeine every four hours. Kids or pediatric patients can have one to two 30 milligrams of codeine tablet or one or two of a five-millilitre codeine liquid suspension every 6 hours. Old patients can, on the other hand, have fifteen milligrams of codeine tablet every 4 hours.

    Adult patients who have diarrhoea can have one to two 30 milligrams of codeine tablets or a one to two 5 milligrams of liquid suspension every 4 hours. Pediatric patients or kids can take one to two 30 milligram tablets every 6 hours. Patients who are elderly and suffering from diarrhoea can take 15 milligrams of the tablet every 4 hours.

    For persistent coughing, adult and pediatric patients can have one to two 5 millilitres of cough syrup every four to six hours.


    Discontinue using codeine if you have difficulty breathing, or if you have asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis.

    Do not administer this drug to children below eighteen years old and those who have their adenoids or tonsils removed as a consequence of obstructive sleep apnea disease.

    Do not use codeine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Ask your physician before you take codeine or you want to be pregnant, or already fear being pregnant. If symptoms persist, ask your doctor about it.

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