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Codeine General Information

Codeine (Codeine Phosphate) is the most widely used narcotic in the world. Commonly known as Tylenol 3, it falls into opiates and is metabolized like morphine through glucuronic acid. This opioid occurs naturally. Additionally, individuals use it to treat mild to moderate pain and cough suppression. However, some people use codeine recreationally. Also, sizzurp has become very popular in the hip hop community. Made with a combination of prescription-strength cough syrup, Jolly Ranchers candy, and a soft drink. Some people refer to the drink as Purple Drank, Lean, and Syrup.

Why do people use Codeine?

Medical professionals prescribe this drug for the relief of moderate pain and cough suppression. Furthermore, compared to Morphine, this drug produces less analgesia, sedation, and respiratory depression. Additionally, prescription recipients usually take it orally. Pharmaceutical companies commonly add this drug to other painkillers or muscle relaxers. Medical professionals prescribe codeine in doses up to 60 mg. However, they advise taking no more than 240 mg in 24 hours.

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Codeine Addiction

Although Actiq is intended only for breakthrough pain for cancer patients, studies have found that most prescriptions for it are “off-label,” meaning, the drug is being prescribed for other conditions. The “morphine lollipops” or “perc-o-pops,” (street name), have been prescribed for migraines, arthritis, severe back pain, neuropathy and various injuries. Opioid painkillers have the potential to lead to addiction which requires close monitoring of patients, for signs of abuse.

ACTIQ uses a particular method to deliver fentanyl to the patient. The drug comes in an oral transmucosal lozenge on the end of a lollipop stick. As sweet and as innocent as this drug might look ACTIQ is an incredibly dangerous drug and extreme caution is necessary, whenever using medications containing fentanyl. Furthermore, the use of this medication outside its strict parameters may cause an array of health risks and including death.

What are the Side Effects of Codeine Usage

Prolonged use of this drug can result in side effects, such as dependence and psychological addiction. When consumed in large amounts, the combination of active ingredients such as codeine, promethazine, an antihistamine can produce an induced high with sleepy and dazed effects. It is highly addictive, and it has a host of serious risk, sometimes life-threatening.

Common side effects include symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Euphoria
  • Itching
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Lack of sex drive

Additionally, known side effects include dizziness and drowsiness, which can worsen with alcohol consumption.

Severe allergic reactions can occur, such as:

  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Breathing trouble
  • Tightening of the chest and tremor

In fact, if allergic to any ingredients in Codeine or other opiates, do not take it. It’s also not recommended for those with severe high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, or other heart problems.

Although some countries make it available without a prescription, in the U.S., it is approved for pain, cough, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome.

What to Expect with Codeine Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Cravings
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Sleeping problems
  • Yawning
  • Cramps
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability

Although withdrawal from this drug is relatively mild when compared to other opiates. To minimize the effects of withdrawal, it is recommended to gradually reduce the drug’s use with the help of a healthcare professional.

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How to Spot Codeine Abuse

Abuse might be hard to detect because many patients start with prescribed dosages and under medical guidance and are unaware that tolerance is developing. The risk of dependence increases with long term usage of the drug. Most patients will develop certain key characteristics such as, but not limited to:

  • Increase dosage to achieve the same effect
  • Fixation on obtaining more of the drug
  • Continue use, regardless of medical needs.
  • Angry and frustrated when unable to acquire the drug
  • Seeking different prescribing doctors and pharmacies.
  • Feeling withdrawal symptoms when reducing or no longer taking the drug.

To summarize, as with other opiates, Codeine is used recreationally and can be abused for the high it produces. Consequently, opiate detox can be difficult to overcome and may require medical supervision.

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