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.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
This medicine will 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.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Incidence not known
Abdominal or stomach pain
bluish lips or skin
decrease in the frequency of urination
decrease in the urine volume
difficult or troubled breathing
difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from lying or sitting position
fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
feeling of warmth
irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
loss of appetite
loss of bladder control
pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
redness of the skin
seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
severe muscle stiffness
shakiness in the legs, arms, or hands
tightness in the chest
trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
unpleasant breath odor
unusual tiredness or weakness
unusually pale skin
vomiting of blood
yellow eyes or skin
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
blurred or loss of vision
confusion as to time, place, or person
continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
disturbed color perception
false or unusual sense of well-being
halos around lights
holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact
increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
overbright appearance of lights
redness or other discoloration of the skin
relaxed and calm
unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.