Codeine Side Effects and How to Overcome Them
Codeine is a narcotic commonly used as an over the counter drug for pain relief. This drug works by blocking pain receptors in the brain, thus helping ease the pain completely. In addition to easing pains, codeine has long been used to help the body tolerate pain to decrease discomforts caused by the same. Although an effective drug, physicians recommend that it should only be used for a short period and not as a full prescription for pains. Codeine is clinically manufactured, and combined with Tylenol or aspirin to help improve its effectiveness. Although an effective pain reliever, eminent codeine side effects show in most patients. Some of these include
1. Constipation and abdominal pains: Most patients may start constipating soon after using this drug. Although the constipation does not last for long, it can be a big issue to an already suffering patient. This side effect can however be controlled by ensuring that the patient takes a balanced diet, and drinks plenty of water before taking the drug. In addition to this, the food served should contain lots of fiber to help improve food movements and contain the abdominal pains and constipation.
2. Drowsiness and dry mouth: Drowsiness is one of the commonest codeine side effects in most patients. This is as a result of the drug blocking pain receptors from the brain. This feeling however goes away as time goes by. It is for this reason you should not run any machinery, or even drive after taking codeine. Many patients have also reported having a dry mouth after taking this drug. To counter this, you are advised to take lots of water, or look for sugar free chewing gum to chew.
3. Depressed breathing: This drug has also shown signs of depressing ones breathing a few minutes after taking it. Although not an alarming side effect, one should sit or lie in a well-aerated are to help supplement oxygen. Like all the other side effects, the depressed breathing eventually goes away.
4. Mood changes, sweating and rash: Although this doesn’t happen to all patients, these are some of the few but rather alarming codeine side effects. Anyone who experiences these side effects for more than 2 hours is however advised to seek a doctor’s attention immediately. If this drug was provided under prescription, the doctor will then be forced to substitute it with a much safer one.
5. Slow heart rate and fainting: This is mostly happens of one takes an overdose of codeine. Should anyone faint after taking a codeine medication, he/she should be taken to a doctor or physician immediately as the condition could be life threatening. The slowed heart rate is mostly because of excess codeine in the blood stream.
Codeine is an effective pain reliever when taking for the right reasons, and as prescribed by a physician. Overdosing on the same can however turn out badly, and only a certified medical practitioner should deal with such a situation. You can however avoid these side effects by ensuring you take the drug on a full stomach, and drink lots of water afterwards. This will suppress the side effects and help relieve the pain altogether.