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The codeine alkaloid is found in opium; however, most codeine used in the United States is derived from morphine. Codeine is available in prescription form for the management of moderate pain, and it is used as a cough suppressant.

Codeine produces less respiratory depression and sedation when compared to morphine. Codeine is most commonly taken orally. It is also used in combination with other drugs; a common prescription for codeine is Tylenol with Codeine.

Codeine is available in prescription forms, but is also obtainable on the black market. Codeine is a painkiller, one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Codeine is sometimes used as a recreational drug.  Some recreational users purchase codeine from multiple pharmacies. It can also be purchased on the streets as an illegal prescription painkiller as are so many prescription drugs today. Recreational users like this drug for its euphoric effects.

Common Side Effects Of This Drug

Some common adverse effects of codeine are drowsiness and constipation.  A serious side effect is respiratory depression.  Codeine was used often in young patients who had tonsillectomies.  This practice has been stopped more recently because of the effects of respiratory depression, especially in children.  Codeine should never be taken along with alcohol.  Serious side effects or death can result when combined with alcohol.

Physical Dependence Often Occurs

Chronic or prolonged use of codeine can lead to physical dependence.  When this happens, the individual will have withdrawal symptoms if it is suddenly stopped.  Some of these symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Irritability
  • Pain

An individual should be monitored by a professional when going through withdrawal from codeine.  Many times the physician will wean the client off of codeine.

To learn more about codeine, please contact one of our specialists at 4Rehabilitation today.


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