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.
The 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:
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
bulging soft spot on the head of an infant
change in the ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow
decrease in the frequency of urination
decrease in urine volume
difficult or painful urination
difficult or troubled breathing
difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
frequent urge to urinate
irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
loss of appetite
pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
pounding in the ears
shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
trouble with sleeping
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:
relaxed and calm
unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
Incidence not known
Itching or skin rash
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.