menu-hamburger-svgrepo-com

Codeine addiction concerns

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

While codeine has proven a highly successful ingredient, it is also addictive when not used correctly and is prone to misuse and abuse through ignorance, multiple stockpiling purchases, or frequent unmonitored purchases.

An effective painkiller, codeine is found in many over the counter medicines. It is also sometimes used in medicines to relieve the symptoms of cough and cold, however there are safer and more effective medicines available that may provide relief from these conditions.

Codeine is an unusual medicine that can affect people quite differently. Many people who have become dependent on codeine are just ordinary men and women who started taking it for pain relief, but then their bodies became tolerant to the effects and they required higher and higher doses to get relief.

WHAT IS CODEINE?

Codeine is a centrally active, low-efficacy opioid or narcotic analgesic. It is derived from the opium poppy plant and is related to the drug heroin. Since codeine is a member of the opiate drug class, it has similar morphine-like effects on the body, giving users a sense of calm and well-being.

HOW CAN YOU BECOME ADDICTED?

Regular or long-term use of codeine medication (several times a day for several weeks or more) can lead to addiction. It can take as little as two weeks for tolerance, and ultimately dependence, to start.

Different studies find approximately one in five people using OTC codeine meet dependence criteria.

“People often find themselves increasingly using codeine-based medication without making a conscious decision to do so,” said Jackie Maimin, CEO of the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA). Regular use of codeine containing painkillers can also lead to rebound headaches – in other words, codeine actually causes the headache. “You may get frequent headaches that only seem to respond to the codeine-based painkillers for example. So next time the headache strikes you grab the codeine and you may even start using it to prevent a headache. Over time you need more of it more frequently to get the same pain-relief and so the cycle inadvertently begins.”

As an individual’s body becomes accustomed to using codeine, increased doses are required to achieve the calming effect the drug gives its users.

OPIOID WITHDRAWAL: SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

EYES: Pupillary dilation, Lacrimation

NOSE: Rhinorrhoea

SKIN: Piloerection

GI: Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, cramps

VITAL SIGNS: Tachycardia, Hypertension

CNS: Restlessness, Irritability, Insomnia, craving

MUSCOLOSKELETAL: Aches/pains

PHARMACIST’S RESPONSIBILITY

Pharmacists have an important role to play in minimising harm from codeine. Keep in mind:

  • Most patients are unfamiliar with opioid withdrawal
  • Not all patients have all symptoms
  • Some patients have not gone without codeine to experience withdrawal

As a result, it’s important to screen for likely dependence, and provide education for patients that use codeine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH1Ya1lcIKg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VpjZOZ2Jzw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWKgiJOnaIg

Suggested Articles

Suggested Clinical & CPD content

CPD: 1pt

Related articles

Welcome to Medical Academic​

Get the most out of Medical Academic by telling us your occupation. This helps us create more great content for you and the community.

idea

1000’s of Clinical and CPD content compiled by Key Opinion Leaders and our expert medical editors.

connection

Access to medical webinars and events

Group 193

Access medical journals from industry leaders and expert medical editorials.

Congratulations! Your account was successfully created.

Please check your email for an activation mail. Click the activation link to activate your account

Stay up to date

Search for anything across CPD, webinars and journals
idea

1000’s of Clinical and CPD content compiled by Key Opinion Leaders and our expert medical editors.

connection

Access to medical webinars and events

Group 193

Access medical journals from industry leaders and expert medical editorials.

Congratulations! You have successfully booked your seat.

All webinar details will be emailed to your email address.

Did you know, you can book future webinars with a single click if you register an account with Medical Academic.

Congratulations! Your account was successfully created.

Your webinar seat has been booked and all webinar details will be emailed to your registered email address

Why not register for Medical Academic while booking your seat for this webinar?

Future Medical Academic webinars can be booked with a single click, all with a Medical Academic account… and it’s FREE.

Book webinar & create your account

* (Required)

idea

1000’s of Clinical and CPD content compiled by Key Opinion Leaders and our expert medical editors.

connection

Access to medical webinars and events

Group 193

Access medical journals from industry leaders and expert medical editorials.

Congratulations! Your account was successfully created.

Thank you for registering. You can now log in to your account.

Create your account

* (Required)

Login with One Time Pin (OTP)

Enter your registered email address to receive an OTP

A verification code will be sent to your email address. Please ensure that admin@medicalacademic.co.za is on your safe sender list.

We've sent your OTP