CODEINE (C18 H2, NO3 H3PO4 1/2 H2O)


Our team researched the drug Codeine.

We used several different sources to gather our information. We go information
from Jay Moser and Sue Peterson, our two local pharmacists. We researched
medical encyclopedias, journals, and magazines. Codeine is known medically as
methylmorphine. It is a drug derived from opium, a poppy plant. It was
discovered in 1832 by French chemist Pierre-Jean Robiquet. Codeine constitutes
about 0.5 to 2.5 percent of this plant substance. The drug has been in use since
the early 1900\'s and it shares most of the pharmacologic characteristics of
morphine, the other alkaloid in opium. Codeine is classified as a narcotic, it
has the same painkiller effect as morphine but is only one-sixth to one-tenth as
strong. Codeine occurs as a colorless or white crystals or as a white,
crystalline powder and is slightly soluble in water and freely soluble in
alcohol. The phosphate and sulfate salts of codeine occur as white, needle-
shaped crystals or white, crystalline powders. Why is it used? Codeine is most
useful in the relief of mild to moderate pain. It is also used as a cough remedy
because it suppresses the part of the brain that triggers coughing, and as an
anti-diarrheal drug, because it slows down muscle contractions in the intestinal
wall. There are possible adverse effects. The most frequently observed adverse
reactions include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, and
sweating. These effects seem to be more prominent in ambulatory patients and in
those who are not suffering severe pain. Other adverse reactions include the
following: (1) Central Nervous System- Euphoria, dysphoria, weakness, headache,
insomnia, agitation, disorientation, and visual disturbances. (2)
Gastrointestinal- Dry mouth, anorexia, constipation, and biliary tract spasm.
(3) Cardiovascular- Flushing of the face, abnormally slow heartbeat, faintness,
and syncope. (4) Genitourinary- Urinary retention of hesitancy, anti-diuretic
effect. (5) Allergic- skin rashes.

Most drug manufactors list specific warnings to be aware of when taking codeine.
(1) Codeine sulfate can produce drug dependence of the morphine type, and
therefore has the potential for being abused psychic dependence, physical
dependence and tolerance may develop upon repeated administration of Codeine.
(2) Codeine may impair the mental and or physical abilities required for the
performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating
machinery. (3) Patients receiving other narcotic painkillers, general
anesthetics, tranquilizers, or other central nervous system depressants,
including alcohol with codeine may exhibit an additive central nervous system
depression. Who shouldn\'t take codeine? Pregnant women should not use codeine
because safe use in pregnancy has not been established. Children below the age
of three shouldn\'t be given this drug for that age group hasn\'t been established.
Codeine should be given with caution to certain patients such as the elderly or
debilitated, and prostatic hypertrophy or urethral stricture. Codeine can be
taken as a tablet, liquid or by injection. A prescription is needed for codeine
in the United States and it is available as a generic. The usual antitussive
oral dosage of codeine, codeine phosphate, or codeine sulfate for adults and
children 12 years of age or older is 10-20 mg every 4-6 hours, not to exceed 60
mg daily. The usual antitussice dosage for children 3 to younger than 6 years of
age is 1 mg/kg daily given in 4 equally divided doses every 4-6 hours.. What are
the signs and symptoms of overdosage? Serious overdose with codeine is
characterized by respiratory depression, extreme somnolence progressing to
stupor or coma, skeletal muscle flaccidity, cold and clammy skin, and sometimes
abnormally slow heartbeat and hypotension. In severe overdosage, circulatory
collapse, cardiac arrest and death may occur. Our investigation of codeine
progressed from knowing very little about it in the beginning to acquiring much
information on its adverse effects, its warnings, and its dosage administration.

Category: Science