If you’re experiencing mild to moderate pain, it’s a possibility that your physician will prescribe an opiate, like codeine. Since this is a narcotic, you won’t be able to buy this drug over-the-counter; however, it’s contained in quite a few combination medicines which can be purchased without a prescription.
Codeine might be the recommended medication when painkillers, like paracetamol and ibuprofen don’t do a good job of alleviating pain. They work by linking to tiny areas in the brain and spinal cord called opioid receptors, which eventually minimizes your reaction to pain.
Though you might be tempted to pop a pill, make sure you understand the drug and use it as recommended. Don’t forget to read the printed information to get a preview on what to expect from the medication.
Taking Codeine the Right Way
The natural dose is 30 to 60 mg every four hours or as prescribed by your physician. This dosage shouldn’t exceed the daily dose of 240 mg. There are tablets available in different strengths, and a pharmacist or qualified physician is the right person to advice you on the safe dose pattern.
Take the drug with water before or after meals; however, taking it post meals is better because the likelihood of you feeling nauseous is lesser. This is a common during the first few times of taking the codeine.
Safe Practices for Heightened Efficacy
- Since codeine can cause dizziness and make you sleepy, it’s advised that you stay away from alcohol.
- Codeine causes withdrawal symptoms when taken over a long period of time and when stopped abruptly. This is one good reason why physicians don’t prescribe it for longer than required. You can’t stop taking it suddenly; the dose is gradually reduced to avoid any side-effects. Another reason why this drug is prescribed for a limited span of time is because the body can develop tolerance to the drug. This is not good since over time the efficacy of the drug is compromised.
- If you’re scheduled for a dental treatment or operation, make sure you keep the medical practitioner informed about your codeine
- In the event that you’re taking other medications, check with your pharmacist or physician if they can be safely taken with codeine.
- Make sure you store codeine in a dry, cool place away from sunlight and heat, and safely stowed away from children.
Staying Within Safe Limits
Codeine should be used only within the recommended dose since your well-being depends on it. Anything taken in excess can cost you heavily; opiates suppress breathing and can be fatal if you overdose. There’s a high chance of getting addicted to this drug unless you follow instructions responsibly. Though they are less addictive than most other opiates, like hydrocodone or OxyContin, they can be equally damaging.
Since codeine is available in diverse formulations, there’s a possibility of a person abusing without even knowing it. If you experience changes in vision, loss of consciousness, slow breathing, cold and clammy skin, it’s time to check with a healthcare practitioner immediately. Pain can be overpowering at times, but it’s good to keep your health in check and stay safe with the right dose of medication.