Codeine Side Effects

By: Annabelle Clarke
May 11, 2021

A pharmaceutical medicine or medication is by definition a chemical substance or product whose intended use is to cure, treat, or prevent illness and disease. Medicinal treatments always have an overwhelming list of benefits behind them however, nature dictates that these positives are trailed by negative. The most common negative aspect associated with medicinal treatments is side effects. Some medication options are riddled with side effects, while others are not. One of the treatments that have minimal side effects linked to its use is codeine. This popular pain reliever is an FDA approved substance–this endorsement solidifies the tablets safety profile.

The tablet effectively treats pain and has a low side effect incident rate. Most patients who experience side effects find that the effects were often caused by external factors rather than the medication itself.

Common codeine side effects include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Uncharacteristic sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting or dry mouth
  • Drowsiness or light-headedness
  • Dizziness or tiredness
  • Constipation

The codeine side effects mentioned above typically have a mild expression that is both tolerable and easy to manage. Most patients tend to employ home remedies to reduce the intensity and duration of these effects.

Is Codeine Safe in Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a delicate time in a woman’s life, often plagued by both positive and negative experiences. From feeling the baby’s first kick to sleepless nights due to relentless pain, life’s equilibrium is often tested in these 9 months. The pain felt during pregnancy is indescribable and often hard to treat due to the sensation’s complex nature and the growing foetus in utero. When experts dove into clinical studies searching for a well-balanced painkiller that accommodated pregnancy factors, the name codeine came up several times.

However, despite the tablets analgesic abilities, the use of this tablet in pregnancy is low. Experts who analysed this treatment’s safety concluded that case reports showed characteristic limitations, which warranted caution due to general assumption rather than evidence. Recent evidence shows that the tablet can be safely used in pregnancy. The treatment can only be used after medical consultation and requires strict administration practices to be followed. Adherence is vital in these treatment plans as deviation from prescriptions can induce codeine side effects.

Although there is no evidence that the tablet negatively affects the mother or baby, experts advise that the pill be used in moderation in the middle stages of pregnancy rather than the beginning or end.

Codeine Tablets

Does Codeine Make You Tired?

Codeine tablets are the most prescribed pain treatment in the world. Unlike other available painkillers in the UK, which are limited to treating certain types of pain, this treatment can successfully manage and control mild to moderate pain that originates from physical and psychological conditions. The tablet is known for its analgesic and antitussive properties however, most patients believe that that the tablet also has sedative properties because the consumption of the pill is always followed by tiredness/drowsiness.

The sedation that most patients feel is actually the result of a side effect, not a property. This is not an uncommon occurrence, as 1998 saw the rise of Viagra due to a side effect that was a solution rather than a problem.

By reducing pain and inducing tiredness, codeine painkillers promote sleep which benefits the patient in the following ways:

  • Lowering a patients sensitivity to pain
  • Reducing the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis
  • Improves the level of analgesia received from a codeine dosage
  • Reduces inflammation and strengthens the immune system
  • The increase in sleep also helps the table

Patients should note that the sedation caused by the tablet is not debilitating or excessive in any way. It is a complementary add on to the effects produced by the tablets association with brain receptors.

Is Codeine Addictive?

Most people tend to experiment with codeine because of the misconception that it is relatively weak and harmless. This assumption creates a particularly apathetic attitude towards the treatment guidelines, which leads to the consumption of large doses, abuse and addiction. Opioids are known for their addictive components, which can cause severe dependence even when used in low doses. Though codeine phosphate is less potent than its fellow opioids, it does not means that the tablet is not addictive or habit-forming.

When the tablet is taken in high doses, it induces serious codeine side effects such as breathing difficulties. These effects are then combined with addiction – caused by the treatments excessive communication with opioid receptors. Opioid receptors play a vital part in reward processes, such as pleasure and addiction.

Signs of addiction include:

  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Impaired judgment
  • Apathetic behaviour
  • Lack of coordination
  • Short attention span
  • Slurred speech
  • Dilated pupils

The best way to minimise the risk of addiction is to take the tablet as prescribed. Adhering to the prescribed dosage and frequency guidelines also decrease the possibility of codeine side effects.

Codeine in the UK

Codeine Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms linked to this tablet come in two phases, namely early symptoms and late symptoms. The early phase occurs a few hours of the last administered dose, while late symptoms occur a few days later when the body is readjusting to working without the compound. The duration of these symptoms are hard to pinpoint however the average time frame is approximately 7-14 days for physical symptoms and months for behavioural symptoms.

Below is a detailed look at early and late symptoms:

Early symptomsLate symptoms
Feeling irritable or anxiousLoss of appetite
Muscle achesNausea
Teary eyesStomach cramps
Runny noseDiarrhoea
Trouble sleepingEnlarged pupils
YawningChills or goosebumps
Faster heartbeatPins and needles

Most withdrawal symptoms are the reversal of codeine side effects. For instance, the treatment can cause constipation, but you may develop diarrhoea if you are at the withdrawal stage. Similarly, the tablet also promotes sleep; the withdrawal may be sleep issues. Patients who want to buy codeine online are encouraged to visit information libraries on pharmacy websites to expand their knowledge of every treatment aspect. The plethora of information and approved medication are accessible 24 hours a day via our online pharmacy.

Our platform sells medicines at affordable prices to foster better access and usage by patients, and in so doing help them better deal with their conditions.

More Useful Information About this Product

  • What is Codeine?
  • How does Codeine Work?
  • Codeine Dosage Guide

For more information and to view our complete product range visit, where along with the most popular painkillers, you will find a selection of anxiety medication and available sleeping pills in the UK. If you have any questions about the products sold on our website you can contact our medically trained customer service staff 24 hours a day.

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