What is Codeine cough syrup, facts and shocking side effects

What is Codeine cough syrup, facts and shocking side effects

Codeine cough syrup half a decade ago (5 years) is known to be just a normal cough syrup. A simple liquid that anyone resorts to cure a cough and catarrh.  In some part of the world, the codeine cough syrup is known as a strong painkiller normally prescribed by a doctor to a patient with serious pain issue.

These two functions, cough/catarrh remedies and painkiller are the major role codeine has played not until 2016 when some persons most especially Youths find the syrup addictive. The abuse of codeine will leave you wondering;

What is CODEINE?

What exactly does codeine do?

Is the substance addictive?

What is the normal dosage?

What is the side effect of the abuse?

This blog post is meant to clear the air about this entire question and get you well informed on this dire situation.

What is codeine?


Codeine is a narcotic pain-reliever and cough suppressant similar to morphine and hydrocodone. Moreover, a small amount of codeine is converted to morphine in the body. The precise mechanism of action of codeine is not known; however, like morphine, codeine binds to receptors in the brain (opioid receptors) that are important for transmitting the sensation of pain throughout the body and brain. Codeine increases tolerance to pain, decreasing discomfort, but the pain still is apparent to the patient. In addition to reducing pain, codeine also causes sedation drowsiness and depresses breathing. Codeine frequently is combined with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin for more effective pain relief. The FDA approved codeine in 1950.

Uses of codeine

Codeine is primarily used to relieve pain and cough too. Codeine is used to treat mild to moderate pain and to relieve a cough. Codeine is also used to treat diarrhoea and diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, although loperamide (which is available without a prescription for milder diarrhoea), diphenoxylate, paregoric or even laudanum are more frequently used to treat severe diarrhoea.

There is weak evidence that it is useful in cancer pain but it is associated with increased side effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend its use in children due to side effects. The FDA lists age under 12 years old as a contraindication to use.

Furthermore, codeine has been found as an endogenous compound, along with morphine, in the brains of non-human primates with depolarized neurons, indicating that codeine may function as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator in the central nervous system.

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Is the substance addictive?

Yes off course codeine very addictive just like any other narcotic substance. Over the time the addict develops some mental and physical dependence on this substance. No wonder some individual can’t go a minute without having a sip of the addictive substance. Look around you and you will get to know how true this statement is. Some even go to the extent of mixing the syrup containing codeine with their drinks especially coke.

What is the normal dosage?

The primary use of codeine is as a pain relief and cough relief, therefore the dosage will be based on the two uses.

The usual adult dose of codeine for pain is 15-60 mg every 4-6 hours as needed. The dose of a cough is 10 to 20 mg every 4-6 hours as needed. The maximum dose for treating the cough is 120 mg every 24 hours.

What is the side effect of the abuse?

The side effect of abusing codeine containing substances ranges from mild to severe. Here are the severe side effects

Extreme fatigue and tiredness.

Confusion, agitation, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behaviour;

Serious mood swing, from happiness to extreme sadness.

Convulsions or seizures

Urinary issues

Slow heart rate, weak pulse, Fatigue and shallow breathing.

The mild side effects are as follows:




Feeling dizzy or drowsy;

Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain.

Final words

Congratulations on having read this article What is Codeine cough syrup up until this moment. I hope you have been well informed. Recently the Government has banned the production and sales of codeine-containing cough syrup In pharmaceutical stores. It is a good gesture but that is not enough, parents, guardians and media should help educate the young people about the use of codeine-containing syrup.

Go healthy stay happy.

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  1. Benson ChidiebereNo Gravatar
    May 4, 2018
    • Anthony ChinedumNo Gravatar
      May 4, 2018

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