This combination medication is used to treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, or other breathing illnesses (e.g., sinusitis, bronchitis). Promethazine is an antihistamine that relieves watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, runny nose, and sneezing. Codeine is an opioid cough suppressant (antitussive) that affects a certain part of the brain, reducing the urge to cough.
Opioid cough suppressants should not be used in children younger than 18 years. Children are at higher risk for serious (even fatal) side effects, especially breathing problems. Talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.
Cough-and-cold products do not cure colds. Cough due to a common cold often does not need to be treated with medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to relieve cough and cold symptoms, such as drinking enough fluids, using a humidifier, or saline nose drops/spray.
How to use Promethazine-Codeine
Read the Medication Guide provided in the drug box before you start taking codeine/promethazine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually every 4 to 6 hours as needed with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) or as directed by your doctor. This medication can be taken with food if stomach upset occurs. Drink plenty of fluids when you use this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
Do not increase your dose or use this product more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, muscle aches). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used this medication for a long time (more than a few weeks) or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
Though it helps many people, this medication has a risk for abuse and may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
When used for an extended time, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.