Codeine phosphate can reduce the muscular activity in the gut and so may oppose the effect of the following medicines on the gut:
In treating diarrhoea, codeine works by acting on opioid receptors that are found in the muscles lining the walls of the intestines. This reduces the muscular contractions of the intestine (called peristalsis) that move food and faecal matter through the gut. The speed at which the gut contents are pushed through the intestines is therefore reduced, allowing more time for water and electrolytes to be reabsorbed from the gut contents back into the body. This results in firmer stools that are passed less frequently.
It is important to l your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
In treating cough, codeine works by reducing the nerve signals sent from a part of the brain called the coughing centre to the muscles that produce coughing. Coughing is a reflex response to irritation of the airways. It is useful for clearing mucus, dust and other particles from the throat and lungs. It is important because it reduces the amount of mucus, dust and bacteria in the airways that would otherwise make breathing difficult. However, sometimes, coughing can become overstimulated even when there is no mucus to clear from the lungs or throat. In this situation coughing serves no purpose and can become painful and frustrating. Codeine phosphate can be used to block the cough reflex in situations where the cough serves no purpose, ie when no plegm is being coughed up.
In treating pain, codeine works by mimicking the action of naturally occurring pain-reducing chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are found in the brain and spinal cord and reduce pain by combining with opioid receptors. Codeine mimicks the action of natural endorphins by combining with the opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. This blocks the transmission of pain signals sent by the nerves to the brain. Therefore, even though the cause of the pain may remain, less pain is actually felt.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediay.
There may be an increased risk of side effects such as constipation, dry mouth and blurred vision if codeine is taken with antimuscarinic medicines that can cause these type of side effects, such as the following:
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
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Codeine phosphate is a type of medicine called an opioid. Codeine is a mild painkiller, but also has cough suppressant and anti-diarrhoeal actions.
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This medicine may cause drowsiness. If this occurs, it may be made worse if the medicine is taken in combination with any of the following, which can also cause drowsiness:
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This medicine should not be used by people who are currently taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or who have taken one of these medicines in the last 14 days. MAOIs include the antidepressants phenelzine, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid and moclobemide and the anti-Parkinson's medicine selegiline.
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Rifampicin and ritonavir may also reduce the effects of codeine.
There is a risk of severe constipation if codeine is used with antimotility medicines for diarrhoea, such as loperamide.
The materials in this web site are in no way intended to replace the professional medical care, advice, diagnosis or treatment of a doctor. The web site does not have answers to all problems. Answers to specific problems may not apply to everyone. If you notice medical symptoms or feel ill, you should consult your doctor - for further information see our Terms and conditions.
Quinidine reduces the painkilling effect of codeine.
Codeine linctus is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine. Last updated 01.07.2013.
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Effects of codeine