Codeine is an analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain. Codeine is also utilized as a central analgesic, sedative, hypnotic, antinociceptive, and antiperistaltic agent, and is also recommended in certain diseases with incessant coughing.
The relief of pain (analgesia) is a primary goal for enhancing the quality of life of patients and for increasing the ability of patients to engage in day to day activities. Codeine, an opioid analgesic, was originally approved in the US in 1950 and is a drug used to decrease pain by increasing the threshold for pain without impairing consciousness or altering other sensory functions. Opiates such as codeine are derived from the poppy plant, Papaver somniferum (Papaveraceae).
Codeine sulfate is a form of this drug that is commonly used. It is available in tablet form Label and indicated for the relief of mild to moderately severe pain, where the use of an opioid analgesic is appropriate.
Codeine is a weak narcotic pain reliever and cough suppressant that is similar to morphine and hydrocodone. A small amount of ingested codeine is converted to morphine in the body. Codeine increases tolerance to pain, reducing existing discomfort. In addition to decreasing pain, codeine also causes sedation, drowsiness, and respiratory depression.
This drug poses an increased risk of compromised ability to maintain blood pressure due to peripheral vasodilation and other mechanisms.
Codeine is an opioid analgesic with similar indications to those of morphine, however, is much less potent in its pain alleviating properties. Its primary action takes place at the mu opioid receptors, which are distributed throughout the central nervous system. The average duration of action is about 4 hours.
Codeine is a selective agonist for the mu opioid receptor, but with a much weaker affinity to this receptor than morphine, a more potent opioid drug. Codeine binds to mu-opioid receptors, which are involved in the transmission of pain throughout the body and central nervous system.
The analgesic properties of codeine are thought to arise from its conversion to Morphine, although the exact mechanism of analgesic action is unknown at this time.
Approximately 70 to 80% of the ingested dose of codeine is metabolized in the liver by conjugation with glucuronic acid to codeine-6 glucuronide (C6G) and by O-demethylation to morphine (about 5-10%) and N-demethylation to norcodeine (about 10%) respectively. UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 2B7 and 2B4 are the major metabolic enzymes mediating the glucurodination of codeine to the metabolite, codeine 6 glucuronide.
Absorption: Codeine is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The maximum plasma concentration occurs 60 minutes after administration.
Route of elimination: About 90% of the total dose of codeine is excreted by the kidneys. Approximately 10% of the drug excreted by the kidneys is unchanged codeine.
Half life: Plasma half-lives of codeine and its metabolites have been reported to be approximately 3 hours.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Some medical conditions may interact with Codeine.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions.
Symptoms of opioid toxicity may include confusion, somnolence, shallow breathing, constricted pupils, nausea, vomiting, constipation and a lack of appetite. In severe cases, symptoms of circulatory and respiratory depression may ensue, which may be life-threatening.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.