Codeine Uses – When To Take This Drug
Codeine is a controlled narcotic, and the most commonly taken opiate. Codeine uses are to treat cough, as well as mild to severe pain. It can also be used to help with diarrhea. It is a sleep-inducing drug, and works by binding to the opioid receptors in the spinal cord in brain. The liver then breaks the medication down into morphine. This helps the way the patient feels and reacts to the pain in his or her body. Greater benefit of Codeine can be experienced in combination with aspirin. It usually begins to work a half hour after being taken, maximum effect being experienced at about two hours after having been taken. The effects last anywhere from four to six hours.
In children, it is not recommended. The only way to get Codeine is to be prescribed the medication. It is important to follow the instructions laid out by your doctor when taking Codeine, as it is a highly addictive drug and when abused, can lead to many health issues and can even be fatal.
Like most, if not all medications available to the public today, Codeine has its fair share of side effects. The most common side effects are constipation, light-headedness, itchiness, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, urinary retention, and dysphoria. Some serious side effects that should not be taken lightly are slowness of breath or breath that has stopped altogether, allergic reactions, seizures, and respiratory depression. It is important to note that when taking Codeine, alcohol, especially in large amounts, is not recommended. Drinking alcohol when taking Codeine can increase the risk of the unpleasant side effects associated with the medication. Your doctor may suggest you drink much less alcohol than usual, or cease drinking alcohol completely.
There are many factors in whether or not you are a good candidate for taking Codeine that you would want to talk with your doctor about before receiving the prescription. This makes sure that when on Codeine, you are as safe as you can possibly be. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, be sure to tell your doctor this. Taking Codeine could result in opiate toxicity in your baby that you are breast feeding. Other factors would be whether or not you have asthma or any other breathing disorders, or a history of substance abuse and addiction.
As stated earlier, Codeine is a highly addictive narcotic. While short-term usage is generally safe from addiction, in those who need to use this medication long term, there is heightened risk of dependence. If a patient has become addicted to Codeine while taking it, it is not recommended to stop cold turkey. You would want to gradually come off of the medication to avoid symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms include drug cravings, insomnia, sweating, muscle spasms, irritability, nausea, and vomiting.
Codeine uses are to help with pain in the patient, ease coughing, and occasionally help with diarrhea. But this is a serious drug, that should not be treated lightly. If prescribed Codeine, you will certainly want to be sure you follow your doctor’s instructions to be as safe as you can be.