What is codeine-guaifenesin?
Codeine is in a group of drugs called narcotics. It is a cough suppressant that affects the signals in the brain that trigger cough reflex.
Guaifenesin is an expectorant. It helps loosen mucus congestion in your chest and throat, making it easier to cough out through your mouth.
The combination of codeine and guaifenesin is used to treat cough and to reduce chest congestion caused by upper respiratory infections or the common cold.
Codeine and guaifenesin will not treat a cough that is caused by smoking, asthma, or emphysema.
Codeine and guaifenesin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to codeine or guaifenesin.
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take codeine and guaifenesin. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- heart disease, heart rhythm disorder;
- asthma, COPD, emphysema, or other breathing disorders;
- a history of head injury or brain tumor;
- epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
- a stomach or intestinal disorder;
- Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;
- curvature of the spine;
- a thyroid disorder;
- liver or kidney disease;
- enlarged prostate; or
- a history of depression, mental illness, or drug addiction;
FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby, and could cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Codeine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. The use of codeine by some nursing mothers may lead to life-threatening side effects in the baby. Do not use this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Codeine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Codeine should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medication.
Liquid forms of this medication may contain sugar or artificial sweetener (phenylalanine). Talk to your doctor before using this form of codeine and guaifenesin if you have diabetes or phenylketonuria (PKU).
This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Do not use any other over-the-counter cough or cold medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. Guaifenesin is contained in many medicines available over the counter. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much of a certain drug. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains guaifenesin.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of this medication.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of codeine can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme dizziness or drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, sweating, confusion, hallucinations, cold and clammy skin, blue-colored lips or fingernails, weak or limp muscles, pinpoint pupils, weak pulse, slow breathing, fainting, or seizures (convulsions).
Since cough medicine is usually taken only as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- severe dizziness or drowsiness;
- confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
- urinating less than usual or not at all; or
- slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, weak or shallow breathing.
Less serious side effects include:
- dizziness, drowsiness, headache;
- warmth, redness, or tingling under your skin;
- nausea, vomiting, upset stomach;
- constipation; or
- skin rash or itching.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by codeine and guaifenesin.
Also tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- cimetidine (Tagamet);
- quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release);
- naloxone (Narcan); or
- naltrexone (Vivitrol).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with codeine and guaifenesin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Bitex Liquid, Brontex, Cheracol with Codeine, Cheratussin AC, Codafen, Dex-Tuss, Diabetic Tussin C, Duraganidin NR, Glydeine, Guaiatussin AC, Guaifen AC, Guaifen-C, Guiatuss AC, Guiatussin with Codeine, Halotussin AC, Iophen-C NR, Mytussin AC, Robafen AC, Robichem AC, Robitussin-AC, Romilar AC, Tussi-Organidin NR, Tussi-Organidin NR(obsolete), Tussi-Organidin-S NR, Tussi-Organidin-S NR(obsolete), codeine-guaifenesin, guaifenesin-codeine, Allfen CD, Allfen CDX, Guai-Co, Guaifenesin AC Liquid, Iophen, Mar-cof CG, M-Clear WC, Tussiden C, and Tusso-C
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04