The text only version may be available in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call emc accessibility on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: PL 29831/0048.
Codeine Phosphate 15mg & 30mg Tablets
Codeine Phosphate Tablets
This medicine contains codeine which is an opioid, which can cause addiction. You can get withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly.
1. What Codeine Phosphate Tablets are and what they are used for
2. Before you take Codeine Phosphate Tablets
3. How Codeine Phosphate Tablets should be taken
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Codeine Phosphate Tablets
6. Further information
This medicine has been prescribed for you to relieve pain, suppress coughs or treat diarrhoea. It contains codeine which belongs to a class of medicines called opioids, which are ‘pain relievers’. This medicine has been prescribed to you and should not be given to anyone else. Opioids can cause addiction and you may get withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly. Your prescriber should have explained how long you will be taking it for and when it is appropriate to stop, how to do this safely.
Codeine can be used in children over 12 years of age for the short-term relief of moderate pain that is not relieved by other painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen alone.
Talk to your prescriber before taking this medicine if you:
Taking this medicine regularly, particularly for a long time, can lead to addiction. Your prescriber should have explained how long you will be taking it for and when it is appropriate to stop, how to do this safely.
Rarely, increasing the dose of this medicine can make you more sensitive to pain. If this happens, you need to speak to your prescriber about your treatment.
Addiction can cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking this medicine. Withdrawal symptoms can include restlessness, difficulty sleeping, irritability, agitation, anxiety, feeling your heartbeat (palpitations), increased blood pressure, feeling or being sick, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, shaking, shivering or sweating. Your prescriber will discuss with you how to gradually reduce your dose before stopping the medicine. It is important that you do not stop taking the medicine suddenly as you will be more likely to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Opioids should only be used by those they are prescribed for. Do not give your medicine to anyone else. Taking higher doses or more frequent doses of opioid, may increase the risk of addiction. Overuse and misuse can lead to overdose and/or death.
If any of the above apply to you, speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before you take Codeine Phosphate Tablets.
Contains lactose. If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product.
Codeine is transformed to morphine in the liver by an enzyme.
Morphine is the substance that produces pain relief. Some people have a variation of this enzyme and this can affect people in different ways.
In some people, morphine is not produced or produced in very small quantities, and it will not provide enough pain relief. Other people are more likely to get serious side effects because a very high amount of morphine is produced. If you notice any of the following side effects, you must stop taking this medicine and seek immediate medical advice: slow or shallow breathing, confusion, sleepiness, small pupils, feeling or being sick, constipation, lack of appetite.
Use in children and adolescents after surgery
Codeine should not be used for pain relief in children and adolescents after removal of their tonsils or adenoids due to Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome.
Use in children with breathing problems
Codeine is not recommended in children with breathing problems, since the symptoms of morphine toxicity may be worse in these children.
It is very important that you inform your doctor if you are taking or have taken any other medicines, as some medicines may affect the way Codeine Phosphate Tablets work. In particular, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
You should not drink alcohol whilst you are taking Codeine Phosphate Tablets, as they will increase its effects. Alcohol may increase the sedative effects of codeine phosphate and make you very sleepy.
You should not be given codeine if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant unless you have discussed this with your doctor first. If you are given codeine during pregnancy and become dependent on it, there is a risk that the new-born baby may also be dependent and suffer from withdrawal symptoms following delivery. If you are given codeine during labour there is a risk that you could be sick and have breathing difficulties, or the baby could have difficulty starting breathing. Do not take codeine while you are breastfeeding. Codeine and morphine passes into breast milk.
You may feel drowsy and confused and you may develop blurred or double vision when you are taking Codeine Phosphate Tablets, so you should not drive or operate machinery. This medicine can affect your ability to drive. Do not drive whilst taking this medicine until you know how this medicine affects you.
It may be an offence to drive if your ability to drive safely is affected. There is further information for patients who are intending to drive in Great Britain - go to https://www.gov.uk/drug -driving-law
Your prescriber should have discussed with you, how long the course of tablets will last. They will arrange a plan for stopping treatment. This will outline how to gradually reduce the dose and stop taking the medicine.
The usual starting dose for adults and children aged 12 years or above for relief of mild to moderate pain is 30mg to 60mg every six hours, as needed.
The usual adult starting dose for diarrhoea is 30mg, three or four times daily. No more than 240mg should be taken in 24 hours. In all cases, dosage will be reduced for elderly. Codeine Phosphate tablets should not be taken by children below the age of 12 years due to the risk of severe breathing problems. Codeine Phosphate Tablets are not recommended for the treatment of diarrhoea in children. You may need a reduced dose if you have kidney or liver problems. You may also be given a reduced dose if you suffer from any of the conditions listed above in the section headed ‘Speak to your doctor before you take Codeine Phosphate Tablets if you:’ Your doctor will decide the dose that is best for you. Always follow your doctor’s instructions completely. Also, follow any special instructions or warnings that appear on the label that the pharmacist has put on the package. If you do not understand or are in any doubt, ask your pharmacist.
Unless instructed differently, take your tablet(s) with a glass of water. If you have been given a blister pack, to obtain a tablet, press on the tablet from the blister (or bubble) pushing it through the foil. Do not remove the tablet from the blister until you are ready to take it.
This medicine should not be taken for more than 3 days. If the pain does not improve after 3 days, talk to your doctor for advice.
You should continue to take your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you to. If you forget a dose, take another as soon as you remember.
If it is almost time for your next dose, then do not take the missed dose at all. NEVER double the next dose to make up for the one missed. Do not stop taking the medicine without telling your doctor first.
Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine. If you want to stop taking this medicine, discuss this with your prescriber first. They will tell you how to do this, usually by reducing the dose gradually so that any unpleasant withdrawal effects are kept to a minimum. Withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, difficulty sleeping, irritability, agitation, anxiety, feeling your heartbeat (palpitations), increased blood pressure, feeling or being sick, diarrhoea, shaking, shivering or sweating may occur if you suddenly stop taking this medicine.
Do not take Codeine Phosphate Tablets if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant unless you have discussed this with your prescriber and the benefits of treatment are considered to outweigh the potential harm to the baby.
If you use Codeine Phosphate Tablets during pregnancy, your baby may become dependent and experience withdrawal symptoms after the birth which may need to be treated.
Do not take Codeine Phosphate Tablets while you are breastfeeding as codeine passes into breast milk and will affect your baby.
Like all medicines, codeine can cause side effects, but not everybody gets them. Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience the following serious side effect:
Side effects that are common include:
Apart from constipation, these side effects tend to disappear with time.
Side effects that are less common include:
Unknown frequency: dependence and addiction (see section “How do I know if I am addicted?”).
When you stop taking Codeine Phosphate Tablets, you may experience drug withdrawal symptoms, which include restlessness, difficulty sleeping, irritability, agitation, anxiety, feeling your heartbeat (palpitations), increased blood pressure, feeling or being sick, diarrhoea, shaking, shivering or sweating.
If you notice any of the following signs whilst taking Codeine Phosphate Tablets, it could be a sign that you have become addicted.
If you notice any of these signs, it is important you talk to your prescriber
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the national reporting systems listed below:
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
Do not store above 25°C. Store in the original package or container in which they were given to you in order to protect from light. Do not transfer them to another container.
Keep out of the sight and reach of children.
Do not use Codeine Phosphate Tablets if the tablets show signs of discolouration.
Do not use Codeine Phosphate Tablets after the expiry date, which is stated on the carton. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
REMEMBER this medicine is for YOU only. Never give it to anyone else.
It may harm them, even if the symptoms are the same as yours. Unless your doctor tells you to, do not keep tablets that you no longer need.
Give them back to the pharmacist.
Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.
The active ingredient in Codeine Phosphate Tablets is Codeine Phosphate. The tablets contain 15mg or 30mg of the active ingredient.
Other ingredients are lactose, acacia spray-dried, maize starch, magnesium stearate and stearic acid.
Codeine Phosphate 15mg Tablets are white circular tablets marked C15 on one face and CP on the other.
Codeine Phosphate 30mg Tablets are white circular tablets marked C30 on one face and CP on the other.
Codeine Phosphate 15mg and 30mg Tablets are available in blister packs of 28, 30, 56, 60, 84, 90 and 100 tablets.
Codeine Phosphate 15mg Tablets are available in 28, 30, 56, 60, 84, 90, 100, 250 and 500 tablets in polypropylene/polyethylene containers.
Codeine Phosphate 30mg Tablets are available in 28, 30, 56, 60, 84, 90, 100, 250, 500, 1,000 and 10,000 tablets in polypropylene/polyethylene containers.
Codeine Phosphate 30mg Tablets are available in 100 tablets in amber glass bottles.
Not all strengths and pack sizes may be marketed.
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Product name Reference number
Codeine Phosphate 15mg Tablets 29831/0048
Codeine Phosphate 30mg Tablets 29831/0049
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This leaflet was last revised in 11/2022.