PrescriptionGiant is a FREE prescription savings program that can save you up to 75% on your prescriptions with or without insurance!

Papa-deine (Generic Acetaminophen and Codeine)

Actual product appearance may differ slightly.

Click the CARD below to print or take a screenshot on your mobile phone or tablet. There is no need to download another app!

If you would like to personalize your card enter your full name in the member name field below the card at this link and click the Update button.


Acetaminophen and codeine are commonly combined in prescription medications to treat pain, typically in the form of a combination tablet or liquid. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with this combination:

  • Addiction and Dependence: Codeine is an opioid analgesic that can be habit-forming and lead to physical and psychological dependence. Prolonged use or misuse may result in addiction.
  • Respiratory Depression: Opioids, including codeine, can cause respiratory depression, slowing down breathing. This risk is particularly high at higher doses or in individuals with respiratory conditions.
  • Liver Damage: Acetaminophen, when taken in excess, can cause severe liver damage. Combining it with other medications that contain acetaminophen or consuming alcohol while taking it increases the risk of liver injury.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to acetaminophen or codeine, leading to potentially serious allergic reactions. Symptoms may include rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
  • Gastrointestinal Effects: Opioids can cause constipation, which may become severe with prolonged use. Acetaminophen, in high doses, can also cause stomach upset or gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Central Nervous System Effects: Both acetaminophen and codeine can affect the central nervous system, leading to drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired coordination. This can interfere with the ability to perform tasks that require alertness.
  • Overdose: Taking more than the prescribed dose of a medication containing acetaminophen and codeine can lead to overdose, which can be fatal. Symptoms of overdose may include difficulty breathing, extreme drowsiness, confusion, and unconsciousness.
  • Interaction with Other Medications: Acetaminophen and codeine may interact with other medications, including certain antidepressants, sedatives, and antihistamines, potentially leading to harmful effects.

It is crucial to take medications containing acetaminophen and codeine only as prescribed by a healthcare professional. Patients should inform their doctors about any existing health conditions, medications, or substances they are currently using to minimize the risk of adverse effects and interactions. Additionally, regular communication with healthcare providers can help in monitoring and adjusting the treatment plan as needed.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Acetaminophen and codeine are often prescribed together to manage pain. Here’s an overview of their uses and general guidelines for their use:

  • Pain Relief: This combination is commonly prescribed for the relief of mild to moderate pain. Codeine is an opioid analgesic, while acetaminophen enhances the pain-relieving effects.
  • Cough Suppression: Codeine, as an opioid, also has antitussive (cough suppressant) properties. It can be included in formulations to help alleviate coughing.

How should this medicine be used?

Here are general guidelines on how Acetaminophen and codeine should be used:

  • Prescription Only: Acetaminophen and codeine are available only by prescription, and the dosage is determined by a healthcare professional based on the patient’s condition and medical history.
  • Individualized Treatment: The dosage will vary depending on the severity of the pain and the individual’s response to the medication. It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and not exceed recommended limits.
  • Administration: Typically, these medications are taken orally in the form of tablets or liquid. Follow the instructions provided by the healthcare provider or pharmacist regarding the timing and frequency of doses.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Patients should avoid consuming alcohol while taking acetaminophen and codeine, as both substances can cause liver toxicity, and their combination increases the risk of liver damage.
  • Monitor for Side Effects: Be vigilant for potential side effects, such as drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, or gastrointestinal upset. If any adverse reactions occur, contact a healthcare professional.
  • Short-Term Use: Acetaminophen and codeine are generally prescribed for short-term use. Prolonged use increases the risk of dependence, tolerance, and other adverse effects.
  • Avoid Abrupt Discontinuation: Abruptly stopping the medication can lead to withdrawal symptoms in individuals who have been taking it regularly. Gradual tapering under the guidance of a healthcare provider is recommended if discontinuation is necessary.

It’s essential to use acetaminophen and codeine under the supervision and guidance of a healthcare professional to minimize the risks associated with these medications. Always follow the prescribed instructions and seek medical advice if there are concerns about the medication’s effectiveness or potential side effects.

Other uses for this medicine

Pantoprazole injection is primarily prescribed for conditions related to excess stomach acid, as mentioned earlier. However, healthcare providers may sometimes use medications off-label for conditions not specifically approved by regulatory agencies. Such uses should be based on the healthcare professional’s judgment and evaluation of the patient’s individual needs.

What special precautions should I follow?

Here are some general precautions:

  • Liver Function: Patients with liver impairment or a history of liver disease should exercise caution when using acetaminophen, as excessive use can lead to severe liver damage. Monitoring liver function is important.
  • Kidney Function: Individuals with kidney problems should be monitored, as codeine and its metabolites are eliminated through the kidneys. Adjustments to the dosage may be necessary.
  • Respiratory Conditions: Caution is needed in individuals with respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as opioids like codeine can suppress respiratory function.
  • History of Substance Abuse: Patients with a history of substance abuse or addiction should be closely monitored when prescribed medications containing opioids like codeine, as there is a risk of misuse and dependence.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Acetaminophen is generally considered safe during pregnancy, but the use of codeine during pregnancy and breastfeeding is more complex. The healthcare provider will weigh the potential benefits against the risks and consider alternative options.
  • Interaction with Other Medications: Inform healthcare providers about all medications, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements, to avoid potential interactions.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol should be avoided while taking acetaminophen and codeine, as both substances can have additive effects on the liver and central nervous system.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Due to the potential for drowsiness and impaired coordination, patients should exercise caution when driving or operating machinery while taking acetaminophen and codeine.
  • Tolerance and Dependence: Prolonged use of opioids like codeine can lead to tolerance and dependence. Abrupt discontinuation may result in withdrawal symptoms. Gradual tapering under medical supervision may be necessary if discontinuation is required.

Patients should follow the specific instructions provided by their healthcare provider and report any concerns or side effects promptly. It’s crucial to communicate openly with healthcare professionals about one’s medical history and any changes in health during the course of treatment.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special Dietary Instructions for Acetaminophen and Codeine:

  • Food Intake: Acetaminophen and codeine can be taken with or without food. However, if the medication causes stomach upset, taking it with food may help alleviate this side effect.
  • Fluid Intake: Stay adequately hydrated while taking acetaminophen and codeine, especially if you experience constipation as a side effect.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

  • Take It as Soon as Possible: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time of your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule.
  • Do Not Double Up: Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one. Taking more than the prescribed amount can increase the risk of adverse effects.
  • Consult Your Healthcare Provider: If you have questions about missed doses or are unsure about what to do, contact your healthcare provider for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Acetaminophen and codeine, like any medication, can cause side effects. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and the severity can vary. If you experience any unusual or severe symptoms while taking acetaminophen and codeine, it’s essential to contact your healthcare provider promptly. Common side effects may include:

Common Side Effects:

  • Drowsiness: Codeine is an opioid and can cause drowsiness. Avoid activities that require alertness until you understand how the medication affects you.
  • Dizziness: Some individuals may experience dizziness, especially when standing up quickly. Take caution to prevent falls or accidents.
  • Constipation: Opioids, including codeine, can lead to constipation. Adequate fluid intake, dietary fiber, and, if necessary, over-the-counter remedies may help alleviate this side effect.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting may occur, particularly when starting the medication. Taking it with food or adjusting the timing of doses can sometimes help.
  • Upset Stomach: Acetaminophen and codeine may cause stomach upset or discomfort in some individuals.
  • Lightheadedness: Feeling lightheaded or faint may occur, especially when getting up from a sitting or lying position. Move slowly to minimize this risk.

Serious Side Effects (Less Common):

  • Allergic Reactions: Serious allergic reactions to acetaminophen and codeine are rare but can occur. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
  • Respiratory Depression: Opioids like codeine can slow down breathing, especially at higher doses. This is a serious side effect that requires immediate medical attention.
  • Liver Damage: High doses of acetaminophen can lead to liver damage. Symptoms of liver problems include yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), dark urine, and persistent nausea or vomiting.
  • Severe Constipation: In rare cases, opioids can cause severe constipation that may require medical intervention.
  • Central Nervous System Effects: Codeine can affect the central nervous system, leading to confusion or hallucinations in some cases.
  • Adrenal Insufficiency: Prolonged use of opioids like codeine can lead to adrenal insufficiency, a condition where the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones.
  • Serotonin Syndrome: In rare cases, the combination of acetaminophen and codeine can lead to serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by agitation, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, fever, muscle stiffness, and coordination problems.

It’s important to report any side effects to your healthcare provider. Additionally, seek emergency medical attention if you experience severe or potentially life-threatening symptoms. Always take medications, including acetaminophen and codeine, as prescribed by your healthcare professional, and do not hesitate to discuss any concerns or questions with them.

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

Storage and Disposal:

  • Storage: Store acetaminophen and codeine at room temperature, away from moisture and light. Follow specific storage instructions provided by the pharmacist or healthcare provider.
  • Keep Away from Children: Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Secure Container: Store the medication in a secure container to avoid misuse or unauthorized access.
  • Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired medication properly. Follow local regulations for drug disposal, and check if there are take-back programs or designated drop-off locations in your area.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention: If you suspect an overdose of acetaminophen and codeine, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Overdose symptoms may include difficulty breathing, extreme drowsiness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, or unconsciousness.
  • Contact Poison Control: If available, contact your local poison control center (in the United States, you can call 1-800-222-1222) for guidance on what to do in case of an overdose.
  • Provide Information: Be prepared to provide information about the amount of medication ingested, the time of ingestion, and any symptoms the person is experiencing.

What other information should I know?

  • Follow Prescription Instructions: Take acetaminophen and codeine exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not adjust the dosage without consulting them.
  • Regular Monitoring: Regularly monitor your response to the medication and report any side effects or concerns to your healthcare provider.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Refrain from consuming alcohol while taking acetaminophen and codeine, as it can increase the risk of side effects and liver damage.
  • Inform Healthcare Providers: Inform all healthcare providers involved in your care about your use of acetaminophen and codeine, including dentists and emergency room personnel.
  • Potential Interactions: Be aware of potential drug interactions. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, that you are taking.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of using acetaminophen and codeine with your healthcare provider.
  • Avoid Driving and Operating Machinery: Exercise caution when driving or operating machinery, especially until you understand how the medication affects you.
  • Medical Alert Bracelet: If you have a known allergy to codeine or other opioids, consider wearing a medical alert bracelet to inform healthcare providers in case of an emergency.

Always consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have specific questions about the storage, disposal, or use of acetaminophen and codeine. Following their guidance will help ensure the safe and effective use of the medication.

Copyright © 2023