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  • Generic Name: (acetaminophen/codeine phosphate)
    Other Brands: Tylenol with Codeine
  • Last Revised: 04/2014
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Acetaminophen and Codeine tablets are used to treat mild to moderately severe pain. Acetaminophen and Codeine tablets work in two different ways to relieve your pain.

      Acetaminophen and Codeine tablets are federally controlled substances because they have abuse potential.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Codeine works in your central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and affects the way your body responds to pain. Acetaminophen blocks certain substances in your body that are involved in causing pain and fever.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Acetaminophen and Codeine tablets may help to relieve pain.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take acetaminophen and codeine tablets exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may feel an improvement in your pain symptoms once you begin taking acetaminophen and codeine tablets. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions to assess how well your pain is controlled.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Acetaminophen can cause serious, life-threatening liver problems. The risk of liver problems may be increased in people who have existing liver disease or drink alcohol while taking acetaminophen and codeine tablets. Do not take more than 4000 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen a day or take more than one product that contains acetaminophen. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you took more than 4000 mg of acetaminophen in a day.

      Some people's bodies convert codeine into morphine more rapidly and completely than others. These people are called "ultra-rapid codeine metabolizers." Most people are unaware of whether they are an ultra-rapid codeine metabolizer or not. These higher-than-normal levels of morphine in the blood may lead to life-threatening breathing problems or signs of an overdose (such as extreme sleepiness, confusions, or shallow breathing). Children with this genetic variation who were prescribed codeine after surgery to remove their tonsils or adenoids may be at greatest risk. Do not give acetaminophen and codeine tablets to your child.

      More common side effects may include: drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sleepiness, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Serious allergic reactions with symptoms such as skin rash, blisters, fever, itching, trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, or swelling of your face, mouth, or throat.

      Acetaminophen and Codeine tablets have abuse potential. If you have concerns, talk to your healthcare provider for more information about abuse and addiction.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take acetaminophen and codeine tablets if you are allergic to them or any of their ingredients.

      Do not use acetaminophen and codeine tablets to treat your child's pain after tonsil or adenoid removal surgery.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with acetaminophen and codeine tablets. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have a head injury or brain problems, kidney or liver problems, asthma, sulfite sensitivity, abdominal (stomach area) problems, thyroid problems, adrenal gland problems (such as Addison's disease), problems urinating or an enlarged prostate, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you, based on the severity of your pain.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take acetaminophen with codeine tablets exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drink alcohol or take prescription or over-the-counter medicines that contain alcohol while you are taking acetaminophen and codeine tablets.

      Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities until you know how acetaminophen and codeine tablets affect you.

      Do not take more than 4000 mg of acetaminophen a day. To avoid taking more than the recommended dose, be sure not to take other prescription or over-the-counter products that contain acetaminophen.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If acetaminophen and codeine tabelts are taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining acetaminophen and codeine tablets with the following: alcohol, narcotic painkillers (such as morphine or oxycodone), other medications that may make you sleepy (such as alprazolam), or tranquilizers (such as chlordiazepoxide).

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of acetaminophen and codeine tablets during pregnancy are unknown. The ingredients in acetaminophen and codeine tablets can be found in your breast milk if you take them while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while taking acetaminophen and codeine tablets. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      Acetaminophen and Codeine tablets should be taken only as needed for pain.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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