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Narcotic Cough/Cold Preparations Oral tablet

It breaks up and clears congestion

Generic Name: codeine-guaifenesin  |  Brand Name: Codafen

What is this medicine?

CODEINE; GUAIFENESIN (KOE deen; gwye FEN e sin) is a cough suppressant and expectorant. It breaks up and clears congestion. This medicine also helps to stop or reduce coughing. It will not treat an infection.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • Addison's disease
  • drug or alcohol abuse or addiction
  • enlarged prostate
  • glaucoma
  • fever
  • heart disease or high blood pressure
  • intestinal or stomach problems
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung disease like asthma or emphysema
  • recent surgery or injury
  • seizures
  • thyroid disease
  • trouble passing urine
  • an allergic or unusual reaction to codeine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, guaifenesin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine with food or milk if it upsets your stomach. Take your doses at regular times. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. If you are taking this medicine on a regular basis, do not suddenly stop taking it. Your doctor may want to slowly lower your dose.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol
  • antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
  • certain medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • certain medicines for sleep
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • medicines used to treat opioid addiction or overdose
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain
  • tramadol

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

You may develop tolerance to this medicine if you take it for a long time. Tolerance means that you will get less cough relief with time. Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse. If you have a high fever, skin rash, or headache, see your health care professional.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

Drink several glasses of water each day.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

The medicine may cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.


Last Updated: August 28, 2012
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