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Notuss AC (Generic Codeine)

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While codeine can be effective for pain relief and cough suppression, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with its use:

  • Addiction and dependence: Codeine is an opioid medication and carries the risk of addiction and dependence, especially with prolonged or misuse of the drug. This risk is higher for individuals with a history of substance abuse or addiction.
  • Respiratory depression: High doses of codeine can suppress breathing, particularly in individuals who are ultra-rapid metabolizers of the drug. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
  • Sedation and drowsiness: Codeine can cause drowsiness, sedation, and impaired alertness. It can affect your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.
  • Constipation: Codeine can slow down bowel movements, leading to constipation. It is important to maintain a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and engage in regular physical activity to manage this side effect.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Some individuals may experience nausea or vomiting when taking codeine. Taking it with food or milk can help reduce these symptoms.
  • Allergic reactions: Although rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to codeine, which can range from mild skin rashes to severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any allergic reactions.
  • Interactions with other medications: Codeine can interact with other medications, such as sedatives, tranquilizers, and certain antidepressants, leading to increased sedation and respiratory depression.

It’s important to discuss your medical history, including any underlying conditions and current medications, with your healthcare provider before taking codeine. They can assess the risks and benefits and provide appropriate guidance to ensure safe and effective use of the medication. Additionally, it’s crucial to take codeine only as prescribed and not exceed the recommended dosage.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Codeine is a prescription medication that is primarily used for the treatment of pain and cough suppression. It belongs to a class of medications called opioids, which work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the body, reducing the sensation of pain and suppressing the cough reflex.

Here are some common reasons why codeine may be prescribed:

  • Pain relief: Codeine is often prescribed for moderate to moderately severe pain that is not effectively managed by non-opioid pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. It can be used for various types of pain, including dental pain, post-surgical pain, and musculoskeletal pain.
  • Cough suppression: Codeine can be used as a cough suppressant, particularly in cases of persistent and non-productive coughs. It acts on the cough center in the brain, reducing the urge to cough.

How should this medicine be used?

When using codeine, it’s crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Dosage: The appropriate dosage of codeine will depend on various factors, including the severity of the pain or the type of cough being treated. It is typically available in tablet or liquid form, and the dosage will be determined by your healthcare provider.
  • Administration: Codeine can be taken with or without food, as directed by your healthcare provider. If you are using the liquid form, carefully measure the prescribed dose using a measuring device to ensure accuracy.
  • Timing: Codeine should be taken at regular intervals as directed. Avoid taking more frequent doses or doubling up on doses to make up for a missed one, unless instructed by your doctor.
  • Duration of use: Codeine is typically prescribed for short-term use to manage acute pain or cough. Prolonged use can lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the duration of use.
  • Side effects: Codeine can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, contact your healthcare provider.

It’s important to discuss any concerns or questions about codeine with your healthcare provider, as they can provide personalized advice based on your specific medical condition and needs.

Other uses for this medicine

In addition to pain relief and cough suppression, codeine may be used for other purposes under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Some of the off-label uses of codeine include:

  • Diarrhea: Codeine can be used as an antidiarrheal agent, primarily for cases of severe or chronic diarrhea that has not responded to other treatments. It works by slowing down the movement of the intestines, reducing bowel motility, and allowing for more water absorption.
  • Migraine: In certain cases, codeine may be prescribed for the management of acute migraine attacks. However, its use in migraine treatment is generally limited due to the potential for rebound headaches and the risk of dependence.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for codeine, here are some important considerations:

  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any known allergies to codeine or other opioids. An allergic reaction to codeine can be serious and may include symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
  • Respiratory conditions: Codeine should be used with caution in individuals with respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as it can suppress breathing and worsen these conditions.
  • Liver or kidney problems: If you have liver or kidney disease, your healthcare provider may need to adjust the dosage of codeine or monitor you more closely during treatment. Codeine is metabolized in the liver and eliminated by the kidneys, so impaired liver or kidney function can affect its clearance from the body.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Codeine use during pregnancy can pose risks to the developing fetus, particularly if used in high doses or for prolonged periods. It may also pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before using codeine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Drug interactions: Codeine can interact with other medications, including other opioids, sedatives, tranquilizers, antidepressants, and certain antifungal medications. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are currently taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Potential for misuse and addiction: Codeine is a controlled substance with a potential for misuse, dependence, and addiction. It should be used exactly as prescribed and only by the individual for whom it was prescribed. Sharing or selling codeine is illegal and can be dangerous.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and consult them regarding any specific precautions or concerns you may have about using codeine based on your medical history and current medications.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Codeine is an opioid medication commonly used for pain relief and cough suppression. While there are no specific dietary restrictions for codeine, it is generally recommended to take it with food or milk to help minimize potential stomach upset. However, it’s always best to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or the medication’s label.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of codeine, you should take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose, it’s advisable to skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Taking a double dose to make up for a missed one can increase the risk of side effects and is not recommended. If you’re uncertain about what to do or have any concerns, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance. They can provide specific instructions based on your individual circumstances.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Codeine, a medication classified as an opioid analgesic, can cause several side effects. Common side effects associated with codeine use include:

  • Drowsiness: Codeine can cause drowsiness and sedation, which can impair cognitive and motor skills. It is important to avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery, while under the influence of codeine.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Codeine can stimulate the chemoreceptor trigger zone in the brain, leading to feelings of nausea and sometimes vomiting. Taking codeine with food may help reduce these symptoms.
  • Constipation: Opioids like codeine can slow down the movement of the digestive system, leading to constipation. It is advisable to increase fluid and fiber intake, and if necessary, a mild laxative may be recommended to alleviate this side effect.
  • Dizziness: Codeine can cause dizziness or lightheadedness, particularly when standing up quickly. It is important to rise slowly from a sitting or lying position to minimize the risk of falls or accidents.
  • Respiratory depression: In high doses or when combined with other respiratory depressants like alcohol, codeine can suppress breathing. This effect is more significant in individuals with respiratory conditions or compromised lung function. Codeine should be used with caution in such cases.
  • Itching and rash: Some individuals may experience itching or develop a rash as a result of codeine use. If this occurs, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional.
  • Urinary retention: Codeine can affect the muscles responsible for emptying the bladder, leading to difficulty or inability to urinate. This side effect is more common in men with prostate enlargement.
  • Other side effects: Additional side effects may include headache, dry mouth, sweating, changes in mood, confusion, and allergic reactions. If any unusual or severe symptoms occur, medical attention should be sought.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and individual responses to codeine may vary. Always consult a healthcare professional or refer to the medication’s packaging insert for comprehensive information on potential side effects.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?


  • Store codeine in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight.
  • Keep the medication out of reach and sight of children and pets.
  • Follow any specific storage instructions provided on the medication’s label or by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.


  • Do not keep unused or expired codeine. Properly dispose of it to prevent accidental ingestion or misuse.
  • Follow any specific disposal instructions provided on the medication’s label or by your local regulations.
  • If you’re unsure how to dispose of codeine, consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal facility for guidance.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Call emergency services or your local poison control center immediately (in the United States, you can contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222).
  • Provide all necessary information, including the person’s age, weight, the amount of codeine ingested, and the time of ingestion.
  • If possible, have the medication container or label available for reference.
  • Follow the instructions provided by the emergency responders or healthcare professionals.

What other information should I know?

  • Codeine is a controlled substance and can be habit-forming if used improperly or for extended periods. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and only use codeine as prescribed.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, as some medications may interact with codeine.
  • Codeine should not be used by individuals who have certain respiratory conditions, such as severe asthma or respiratory depression.
  • Codeine should be used with caution in individuals with a history of substance abuse, mental health disorders, liver or kidney problems, or in elderly patients.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption while taking codeine, as it can increase the risk of side effects.
  • Codeine is not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years old, except in cases of postoperative pain management.

It’s essential to follow the instructions and guidance provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist when taking codeine. If you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to consult them for further information and clarification.

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