Promethazine-Codeine

Warning

This medication has a risk for abuse and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death. This medication may also cause severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you take the smallest dose that works, and take it for the shortest possible time. See also How to Use section for more information about addiction.

The risk for severe breathing problems is higher when you start this medication, or if you take the wrong dose or take more of this medication than prescribed. Taking this medication with alcohol or other drugs that can cause drowsiness or breathing problems may cause very serious side effects, including death. Also, other medications can affect the removal of this product from your body, which may affect how it works. Be sure you know how to take this product and what other drugs you should avoid taking with it. See also Drug Interactions section. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.

Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If someone accidentally swallows this drug, get medical help right away.

Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication is not recommended. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, take the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Babies born to mothers who use this drug for a long time may develop severe (possibly fatal) withdrawal symptoms. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as crying that doesn't stop, slow/shallow breathing, irritability, shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, poor feeding, or difficulty gaining weight.

Precautions

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to any of its ingredients; or to opioid pain relievers (such as morphine); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: abdominal problems (such as chronic constipation, ileus, pancreatitis), gallbladder disease, adrenal gland problem (such as Addison's disease), blood/immune system problems (such as bone marrow depression), brain disorders (such as seizures, head injury, tumor, increased intracranial pressure), breathing problems (such as asthma, emphysema, sleep apnea), diabetes, glaucoma, heart problems (such as angina, irregular heartbeat), high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, mental/mood problems (such as depression, psychosis), obesity, a certain spinal problem (kyphoscoliosis), stomach/intestinal problems (such as ulcers, blockage), thyroid disease, trouble urinating (such as due to enlarged prostate or urethral stricture), personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

To reduce dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.

This medication may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, or liver disease. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, trouble urinating, and slow/shallow breathing. Confusion, dizziness, and drowsiness can increase the risk of falling.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. During pregnancy, this product is not recommended. It may harm an unborn baby. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication. See also Warning section.

This product passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant (such as unusual sleepiness, difficulty feeding, trouble breathing, or unusual limpness). Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, lightheadedness, blurred vision, upset stomach, nausea, constipation, or dry mouth may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

This medication can dry up and thicken mucus in your lungs, making it more difficult to breathe and clear your lungs. To help prevent this effect, drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: interrupted breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), involuntary behaviors/movements (such as fixed upward stare, neck twisting, tongue movements), mental/mood changes (such as hallucinations, confusion), ringing in the ears, shaking (tremors), trouble urinating, weakness.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, easy bruising/bleeding, slow heartbeat, severe abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, seizure.

Codeine is changed into a strong opioid drug (morphine) in your body. In some people, this change happens faster and more completely than usual, which increases the risk of very serious side effects. Get medical help right away if you notice any of the following: slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/difficulty waking up, confusion.

This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, muscle stiffness/pain/tenderness/weakness, severe tiredness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat, dark urine, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other side effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

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Drug information is selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First DataBank, Inc. This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your healthcare professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you.

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Information expires December 2023.