Codeine Why should not you abuse her? Lately we have observed that more and more people go to the pharmacy in search of over-the-counter medications with codeine. We advise against self-medication with this type of medication. Why? We tell you below.
What is codeine?
Codeine or methylmorphine is a substance extracted from opium . It is less toxic than morphine and is used mainly as an analgesic and narcotic in the treatment of common conditions such as cough and diarrhea.
It belongs to the family of narcotics. It is assimilated in the liver where it is metabolized into morphine but its transformation speed is much slower, so it is less effective and less potent as an analgesic and sedative than morphine.
The life of codeine in our body is about 3 hours . It is then eliminated by metabolism and its subsequent expulsion through urine and feces.
Codeine is currently useful to relieve moderate pain . In the nineteenth century began to use heroin as antitussive infant. As of 1914, it was replaced by codeine. Mainly its use is limited to:
- Treatment of cough
- Mild to moderate pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Codeine, in the top ten most addictive medications
Precisely what alarms us about this abuse of medicines with codeine without a prescription is their addiction. In fact, codeine is among the 10 most addictive medications . A list in which we find great sedatives or tranquillizers known as Diazepan, Lorazepán or Alprazolam , and other medicines to relieve pain such as Morphine, Fentanyl or Tramadol, something that is not surprising if we take into account that codeine is considered a benzodiazepine.
All these drugs or the vast majority require a medical prescription, which does not happen with those drugs that contain it, which is easy to acquire in pharmacies in the form of syrup and tablets.
What medications contain codeine?
The medicines with codeine that we can find now in the pharmacy, according to the Vademecun are:
- Diminex Antitussive
- Codeine Dolocatil
- Fluid Codeine
- Lasa with Codeine
- Neobrufren with Codeína
- Paracetamol Codeine
- Pazbronquial Syrup
- Talgo Codeine
- Codeine Termaldine
While in countries like France a medical prescription is required to obtain any of these drugs, in other countries such as Spain , although most of these drugs require a prescription, you can still buy some of these drugs without a prescription. However, the pharmacist reserves the right to request it.
Why should not you self-medicate with codeine?
Medications with codeine currently pose a global health problem due to the addiction they create and the deaths they have behind them. Without going any further, we have a clear example in Elvis Presley who died of an allergic reaction after eating three doses of codeine together.
In some countries like Venezuela or Nigeria, codeine is creating a new generation of addicts . In fact, the problem comes not only from self-medication but from its misuse.
Codeine has become a very demanded substance also to be used in a very dangerous way since in recent years by many young people from all over the world. It is the main ingredient of certain “homemade drugs” that pose a great risk to health. It is mixed in large quantities with soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, especially in nightclubs and nightclubs, giving rise to the well-known “parties of the syrup”, where its followers consume it in this way with the aim of causing peaks of euphoria and increasing the figure of dead for this irresponsible consumption . In the United States 6 out of 10 deaths from overdoses are due to medications such as morphine and codeine.
Between 2012 and 2014, the number of people killed by abuse of these drugs increased by 28% and despite these tragic figures and alerts from health authorities, since 2010 these figures have tripled, exceeding heroin deaths .
Consequences of codeine abuse
Codeine affects the central nervous system . When it is abused, they can cause an overdose that presents symptoms such as dizziness, sedation and vomiting, and the affected person may even faint.
People addicted to this substance usually have drowsiness (constant sleep), frequent fatigue and lack of resistance. In young kids, it generates physical demotivation for the fulfillment of their daily responsibilities, as well as anxiety disorders, fears and mood swings.
The abuse of codeine can act on the central nervous system to the point of stopping it and causing death.
If in addition, we add alcohol, we are combining two suppressors of the central nervous system, increasing its effects and increasing the chances of overdosing. Sedation will be more intense, to the point of causing a respiratory or cardiac arrest and, consequently, death.
Codeine: adverse effects
Like all medications, codeine has its adverse effects and there are many, some of them extremely serious. Therefore, it is recommended before the appearance of any of these symptoms, stop treatment and go immediately to the emergency room.
- Lack of appetite
- Accelerated heart rate
- Tremors, muscle stiffness spasms
- Loss of corruption
- Inability to achieve or maintain an erection
- Irregular menstruation
- Less sexual desire
- Doubtful or shallow breathing
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Changes in heart rhythm
- Changes in vision
- Stomach ache
- Difficulty urinating
Symptoms of overdose by codeine
When faced with an abuse or intoxication, our organism will present the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive drowsiness
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of muscle tone
- Cold, damp skin
- Slow heart rhythm
How to act in case of overdose by codeine?
Given the slightest suspicion of being in the face of intoxication or overdose, it is very important to go to the emergency room immediately, unless you have naloxone on hand. Naloxone is a drug used to reverse the effects threatening overdose. Blocks the effects of opiates to relieve symptoms caused by high levels of opiates in the blood.
And finally, to end this post a couple of alarming data as we have given previously. According to the US National Institute of Drug Abuse, codeine is the first step to heroin. Nearly half of young people who use heroin claim to have tried narcotics such as codeine before.
On the other hand, we insist again that you never buy opiates online. They have detected networks that manufacture this type of drugs illegally and even mix them with heroin to achieve a more powerful effect. What also increases the risk of overdose. Your medications always at an authorized pharmacy and with a prescription.