New Jersey Prescription Drug Abuse, Codeine Possession Defense Attorneys

Prescription Drug Information About Codeine

Classification: Codeine itself is a Schedule II substance in the US, as are any products with more than 90mg of codeine per dose. Tablets of codeine combined with other painkillers are Schedule III drugs, as are most cough syrups with codeine.  Other products containing codeine may be schedule IV.

General Information

Codeine is an opiate used as a painkiller and to reduce coughing. It is used medically by itself and in combination with other pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen/ paracetamol (in Nurofen Plus or in the Tylenol with codeine series, respectively). Aspirin is also sometimes used. Codeine is available in a variety of cough medicines. Like all opiates, it should not be combined with alcohol or other depressants, as this can lead to respiratory failure and death.

Codeine is most often swallowed, as it is more effective when administered orally than other opiates are. Almost all prescription products containing Codeine in the US contain high levels of acetaminophen or other drugs to deter recreational use. The idea is that for someone to take enough of the medicine to feel recreational effects of codeine, they would also have to ingest a toxic amount of acetaminophen. For this reason alone, recreational use of codeine medicine can be deadly and can result in serious liver damage and health problems.

Side Effects

Common side effects include drowsiness, light-headedness, sweating, itchiness, and nausea.

Codeine Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms

Codeine is addictive and tolerance occurs with heavy use. While withdrawal symptoms are relatively minor and non-threatening, they are still highly unpleasant. Some people are allergic to codeine and should seek immediate medical attention if they experience difficulty breathing, hives or swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, and face.