Acetaminophen / Codeine

generic

Acetaminophen / Codeine Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur. Some of these side effects may decrease after you have been using this medication for a while. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To prevent constipation, eat dietary fiber, drink enough water, and exercise. You may also need to take a laxative. Ask your pharmacist which type of laxative is right for you.

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: interrupted breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), mental/mood changes (such as agitation, depression, hallucinations), severe stomach/abdominal pain, difficulty urinating, fast/slow heartbeat, vision changes, signs of your adrenal glands not working well (such as loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, weight loss).

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fainting, seizure.

Codeine is changed into a strong opioid drug (morphine) in your body. In some people, this change happens faster and more completely than usual, which increases the risk of very serious side effects. Get medical help right away if you notice any of the following: slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/difficulty waking up, confusion.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
  • adrenocortical insufficiency
  • androgen deficiency
  • acute confusion
  • libido changes
  • opioid dependence
  • euphoria
  • visual changes
  • cardiac arrest
  • bradycardia
  • orthostatic hypotension
  • hypotension
  • vasodilation of blood vessels
  • atelectasis
  • acute respiratory insufficiency
  • respiratory depression
  • xerostomia
  • gastrointestinal irritation
  • ileus
  • constipation
  • biliary spasm
  • erectile dysfunction
  • pruritus of skin
  • urticaria
  • drowsy
  • sedation
  • syncope
  • seizure disorder
  • vertigo
  • dizziness
  • insomnia
  • sleep apnea
  • fatigue
  • hyperhidrosis
  • skin rash
  • flushing
  • anorexia
  • headache disorder
  • palpitations
  • shock
  • dyspnea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • oliguria
  • abdominal pain with cramps
  • CNS depression
  • nervousness
  • anaphylaxis
  • infertility
  • general weakness
  • pancreatitis
  • dysphoric mood
  • symptoms of anxiety
  • thrombocytopenic disorder
  • agranulocytosis
  • leukopenia
  • neutropenic disorder
  • laryngeal edema
  • acute hepatic failure
  • drug-induced hepatitis
  • allergic dermatitis
  • toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • erythema
  • urticaria
  • skin rash
  • abnormal hepatic function tests
  • angioedema
  • maculopapular rash
  • acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis
  • medication overuse headache

Drug Interactions

See also Warning section.

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: certain pain medications (mixed opioid agonist-antagonists such as pentazocine, nalbuphine, butorphanol), naltrexone.

The risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/dizziness) may be increased if this medication is taken with other products that may also cause drowsiness or breathing problems. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products such as other opioid pain or cough relievers (such as morphine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Other medications can affect the removal of acetaminophen/codeine from your body, which may affect how acetaminophen/codeine works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole), bupropion, fluoxetine, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), HIV medications (such as ritonavir), paroxetine, quinidine, rifamycins (such as rifabutin, rifampin), certain drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin), among others.

This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including amylase/lipase levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.