What should I watch for?
Use exactly as directed by your doctor or health care professional. Do not take more than the recommended dose. You may develop tolerance to this medicine if you take it for a long time. Tolerance means that you will get less cough relief with time. Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
If you have been taking this medicine for a long time, do not suddenly stop taking it because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a nonmedical reason. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates). If you take more than one type at the same time or if you are taking another medicine that also causes drowsiness, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing or unusual sleepiness.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Children may be at higher risk for side effects. If your child has slow breathing, noisy breathing, confusion, or unusual sleepiness, stop giving this medicine and get medical help right away.
The medicine may cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Side Effects to watch for
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- signs and symptoms of low blood pressure like dizziness; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; unusually weak or tired
- trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
What may interact with this drug?
Do not take this medication with any of the following medicines:
- antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
- certain medicines for anxiety or sleep
- certain medicines for depression like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
- certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone
- general anesthetics like halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol
- local anesthetics like lidocaine, pramoxine, tetracaine
- medicines that relax muscles for surgery
- other narcotic medicines for pain or cough
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
- certain antibiotics like erythromycin and clarithromycin
- certain medicines for bladder problems like oxybutynin, tolterodine
- certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
- certain medicines for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, propafenone, quinidine
- certain medicines for Parkinson's disease like benztropine, trihexyphenidyl
- certain medicines for stomach problems like dicyclomine, hyoscyamine
- certain medicines for travel sickness like scopolamine
- MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate