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Acetaminophen, Codeine Phosphate Oral suspension

What is this medicine?

ACETAMINOPHEN; CODEINE (a set a MEE noe fen; KOE deen) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat mild to moderate pain.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Shake the medicine well before each dose. Use a specially marked spoon or dropper to measure your dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Do not use a household spoon. If the medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 3 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • breathing difficulties, wheezing

  • confusion

  • severe stomach pain

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

  • unusually weak or tired

  • yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • dizziness

  • drowsiness

  • nausea, vomiting

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol

  • antihistamines

  • barbiturates like amobarbital, butalbital, butabarbital, methohexital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital, thiopental, and secobarbital

  • general anesthetics like etomidate, ketamine, nitrous oxide, propofol, desflurane, enflurane, halothane, isoflurane, and sevoflurane

  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances

  • medicines for sleep

  • muscle relaxants

  • naltrexone

  • narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain

  • tramadol

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and against the law.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed.

Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date. Discard unused medicine and used packaging carefully. Pets and children can be harmed if they find used or lost packages.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • brain tumor

  • drink more than 3 alcohol containing drinks per day

  • drug abuse or addiction

  • head injury

  • kidney disease or problems going to the bathroom

  • liver disease

  • lung disease, asthma, or breathing problems

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to acetaminophen, codeine, parabens, salicylates, other opioid analgesics, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medication. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medication for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take the medicine for a long time.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain. If you take more than one type at the same time, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing.

The medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.

Do not take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or medicines that have acetaminophen with this medicine. Too much acetaminophen can be very dangerous. Many nonprescription medicines contain acetaminophen. Always read the labels carefully to avoid taking more acetaminophen.

Immediately call your physician or get emergency help if you are breast-feeding and your baby is sleepier than usual, is limp, or has difficulty breastfeeding or breathing.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 8/28/2012
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.