What are the Pros and Cons of Promethazine Codeine?

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  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 24 February 2020
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Promethazine codeine is a syrup-based medication that contains promethazine, an antihistamine, and codeine, an opioid analgesic and cough suppressant. The pros of the treatment are that it can be used to treat runny nose, sneezing, pain, coughing, and itchy eyes, nose, and throat. The negative effects of using promethazine codeine are side effects such as blurred vision, dizziness, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness or weakness. There is also a small risk of addiction, because the drug contains the opioid drug codeine. Promethazine codeine can be fatal to children under 6 years old.

The promethazine codeine combination is generally efficient in reducing symptoms commonly associated with allergic reactions, such as runny nose, sinus drainage, and itching of the eyes, nose, and throat. This is a result of the promethazine, which is an antihistamine drug that is generally used for the treatment of allergies. Codeine is an opioid drug (of the same family as opium and heroin) that is a pain reliever and cough suppressant. The drug works by reducing the cough reflex in the brain.

Promethazine codeine should not be taken by anyone currently taking any other opioid-related medicines such as oxycodone, or any phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine. The drug also should not be taken by anyone experiencing any breathing difficulties, severe drowsiness, or a fever and a productive cough. Additionally, the drug should be avoided by anyone currently taking sodium oxybate.


There are also several factors in a patient’s medical history that may cause promethazine codeine to have an adverse effect. These include but are not limited to heart problems, low blood pressure, seizures, liver or kidney problems, enlarged prostate, bladder problems, stomach or bowel problems, or a history of substance abuse. There is also a risk of interaction with drugs such as haloperidol, naltrexone, and levodopa.

The side effects associated with promethazine codeine include blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea or vomiting, headache, tiredness or weakness, and dry mouth, throat, or nose. These are common side effects associated with the drug, and are not cause for medical attention unless they are particularly severe or persistent. The less common side effects associated with promethazine codeine include allergic reactions, agitation, abnormal thoughts, confusion, fainting, loss of coordination, hallucinations, mood changes, lightheadedness, tremors, and yellowing of the skin or eyes. These less common side effects are considered severe, and should be brought up to a doctor as soon as possible.


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Post 1

I was prescribed this cough syrup, and took the normal dosage. The abnormal thoughts are weird, and happened the next night as well. I didn't use it afterward.

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