What is codeine and promethazine?
Codeine and promethazine is a combination medicine used to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and cough. Codeine and promethazine contains an opioid (narcotic) cough medicine, and may be habit-forming. Codeine and promethazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
This combination medication is used to treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, or other breathing illnesses (e.g., sinusitis, bronchitis). Promethazine is an antihistamine that relieves watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, runny nose, and sneezing. Codeine is an opioid cough suppressant (antitussive) that affects a certain part of the brain, reducing the urge to cough. Opioid cough suppressants should not be used in children younger than 18 years. Children are at higher risk for serious (even fatal) side effects, especially breathing problems. Talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication. Cough-and-cold products do not cure colds. Cough due to a common cold often does not need to be treated with medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to relieve cough and cold symptoms, such as drinking enough fluids, using a humidifier, or saline nose drops/spray.
How to use Promethazine-Codeine
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking codeine/promethazine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually every 4 to 6 hours as needed with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) or as directed by your doctor. This medication can be taken with food if stomach upset occurs. Drink plenty of fluids when you use this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Trouble breathing, slow breathing, or shallow breathing.
- Noisy breathing.
- Breathing problems during sleep (sleep apnea).
- Severe constipation or stomach pain. These may be signs of a severe bowel problem.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Feeling confused.
- Trouble passing urine.
- Yellow skin or eyes.
- Trouble controlling body movements, twitching, change in balance, trouble swallowing or speaking.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Mood changes.
- Ringing in ears.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Change in eyesight.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may happen. Call your doctor right away if you have any fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, heartbeat that does not feel normal, or are sweating a lot.
- Low white blood cell counts have rarely happened with this drug. This may lead to a higher chance of getting an infection. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a low white blood cell count. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat.