Search Medications (Drugs):
Medications (Drugs) from A to Z:
Home > Medications (Drugs) > c > Codeine and guaifenesin

Codeine and guaifenesin

Pronunciation:  KO deen and gwye FEN a sin
Generic:  codeine-guaifenesin
Brand:  Bitex Liquid, Brontex, Cheracol with Codeine, Cheratussin AC, Codafen, Glydeine, Guaiatussin AC, Guaifen AC, Guaifen-C, Guaifenesin AC Liquid, Guiatuss AC, Guiatussin with Codeine, Halotussin AC, Iophen-C NR, Mytussin AC, Robichem AC, Robitussin-AC, Romilar AC.

What is codeine and guaifenesin?

Guaifenesin is an expectorant. Guaifenesin loosens phlegm and increases the lubrication of the lungs allowing for a productive cough and decreased chest congestion.

Codeine is a narcotic. It is a pain reliever and a cough suppressant.

Codeine and guaifenesin is used to treat cough and nasal congestion associated with the common cold, allergies and infections.

Codeine and guaifenesin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

How should I take codeine and guaifenesin?

Take codeine and guaifenesin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand the directions on your prescription bottle, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain the instructions to you.

Codeine and guaifenesin can be taken with or without food.

Take the oral tablets and capsules with a full glass of water.

To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the liquid form of codeine and guaifenesin with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Do not take more of this medication or take it for longer than is recommended. If your symptoms do not improve, or if they worsen, talk to your doctor.

Codeine is habit forming. It is possible to become physically and/or psychologically dependent on the medication. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of medication or take it for longer than is directed by your doctor. Withdrawal effects may occur if codeine and guaifenesin is stopped suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Your doctor may recommend a gradual reduction in dose.

Store codeine and guaifenesin at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What are the possible side effects of codeine and guaifenesin?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking codeine and guaifenesin and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

  • a rare but serious allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or
  • confusion, hallucinations, or unusual behavior.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take codeine and guaifenesin and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • dizziness, drowsiness, or sleepiness;
  • restlessness or irritability;
  • blurred vision;
  • constipation;
  • dry mouth;
  • nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite;
  • muscle twitches;
  • sweating;
  • itching; or
  • decreased urination.

Codeine is habit forming. It is possible to become physically and/or psychologically dependent on the medication. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of medication or take it for longer than is directed by your doctor. Withdrawal effects may occur if codeine and guaifenesin is stopped suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Your doctor may recommend a gradual reduction in dose.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect codeine and guaifenesin?

Codeine and guaifenesin may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine unless your doctor approves.

Do not take other over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, diet, pain, or sleep medications while taking codeine and guaifenesin without first talking to your pharmacist or doctor. Other medications may also contain codeine, guaifenesin, or other similar drugs, and you may accidentally take too much of these medicines.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with codeine and guaifenesin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

What should I avoid while taking codeine and guaifenesin?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Codeine and guaifenesin may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking codeine and guaifenesin.

Codeine and guaifenesin may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any other medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Do not take other over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, diet, pain, or sleep medications while taking codeine and guaifenesin without first talking to your pharmacist or doctor. Other medications may also contain codeine, guaifenesin or other similar drugs, and you may accidentally take too much of these medicines.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a codeine and guaifenesin overdose may include extreme drowsiness, dizziness, headache, seizures, dry mouth, cold and clammy skin, flushing, nausea, vomiting, difficult or decreased breathing, and unconsciousness.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What is the most important information I should know about codeine and guaifenesin?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Codeine and guaifenesin may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking codeine and guaifenesin.

Codeine and guaifenesin may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any other medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Codeine is habit forming. It is possible to become physically and/or psychologically dependent on the medication. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of medication or take it for longer than is directed by your doctor. Withdrawal effects may occur if codeine and guaifenesin is stopped suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Your doctor may recommend a gradual reduction in dose.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking codeine and guaifenesin?

Codeine is habit forming and should only be used under close supervision by patients with past or current alcohol or drug addiction.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • asthma;
  • urinary retention;
  • an enlarged prostate;
  • hypothyroidism;
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • gallbladder disease;
  • a head injury; or
  • Addisons Disease.

You may not be able to take codeine and guaifenesin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Codeine and guaifenesin is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether codeine and guaifenesin will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take codeine and guaifenesin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

Codeine and guaifenesin passes into breast milk and may be harmful to a nursing baby. Do not take codeine and guaifenesin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you are over 65 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from codeine and guaifenesin. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist has more information about codeine and guaifenesin written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medicine look like?

Codeine and guaifenesin is available with a prescription under various brand and generic names. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum) is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Advertisement