Codeine Side Effects
As a prescription medication, codeine can cause a laundry list of side effects in patients, although these are minimized when the drug is taken as directed by a doctor. On a side note, prescription medications are required to provide their users with a list of their side effects on the label. As with any opiate, the side effects of codeine can be anywhere from mild to severe, and can even end up fatal. The most common side effects of codeine are increased sweating, dry mouth, blurry vision, sleeplessness, dizziness and drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, headaches, constipation, skin irritation and a loss of libido.
Taking more of the medication than is prescribed is another reason why a patient may feel side effects. Many times, the most dangerous side effects of codeine are experienced due to a drug interaction, which is why your doctor should be informed of any medications you are currently taking. This is especially true if you are taking sedatives, tranquilizers, muscles relaxers or any other narcotic pain relievers. A drug interaction with any of these medications can cause slowed breathing. If you or a loved one experience this side effect, it is very important that you seek medical attention immediately.
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Serious Side Effects
Some of the side effects of codeine use can be much more serious than others. If you experience any of these, you should immediately get medical help, as coma or death could result. One serious side effect of codeine is that a patient can have an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction include a rash, hives, swelling of the mouth or throat, as well as difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911.
Other serious side effects include dizziness, irregular thoughts or behavior, shallow breathing, slowed heartbeat, delirium, agitation, seizures, convulsions, loss of consciousness, or inability to urinate. Certain herbal medications can heighten the side effects felt from codeine, so your doctor should be informed of any supplements that you take prior to codeine use.
Addiction as a Side Effect
Codeine is an opiate medication that is metabolized in the same manner as morphine, causing the same euphoric effects in patients. This medication can be habit-forming when not taken as directed by your physician. Not only can you experience a physical addiction to codeine, but you can become psychologically addicted as well. Misuse of codeine can result in the patient developing a tolerance towards it. A tolerance can be described as a patient needing more of a substance in order to feel the same effect they felt before. Tolerance leads to addiction and dependency, which is the most dangerous side effect of all.
But there is hope after addiction. You can get help. There are codeine rehab and recovery centers all over the United States ready to help you. All you have to do is call, and help will be on its way. Do it for yourself and your loved ones. Call today.