Codeine Withdrawal

Things You Need To Know About Suffering From Codeine Withdrawal

If you are suffering from codeine withdrawal, you need to know that you are definitely not alone.  Many people that are prescribed this medication find that while it is numbing their pain, disassociated and dreamy feelings are also accompanying the analgesic properties.  Therefore, not only is the codeine suppressing the physical pain, it is also attending to emotional and mental pain as well which makes it harder to discontinue using the drug.

It is a common occurrence that individuals who are prescribed codeine, eventually begin taking more than they are prescribed.  Of course, not everyone taking this drug has received it legally or through a medical setting.  Codeine is taken by many people simply to get high.  Regardless of how or why the individual begin taking codeine, the result often ends in suffering from some type of codeine withdrawal.

Once a person becomes physically and mentally dependent on this drug, there are obvious withdrawal symptoms that are present throughout the detoxification process.  However, many studies claim that when codeine is properly managed, the chance for addiction is rare.

It is suggested that when codeine is taken exactly as it is prescribed, it is an effective short-term pain management treatment.  So, why is it that some people become dependent and others don't?  Some believe that it depends on the mental health of the individual.  It is proven that chronic use of the drug creates a higher tolerance so the individual requires a higher dosage to obtain the original effects that they first received.  Physical dependency also increases because long-term use results in the body adapting to the codeine.  This means that as soon as the drug is discontinued, codeine withdrawal symptoms become present.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Most codeine that is found in medicine is synthesized from morphine.  Since it is an opiate, the potential is high for addiction, especially because it causes increased tolerance with chronic use.  The worst codeine withdrawal symptoms will last only a few intense days however, some people find that it takes quite a few months to get back to their old self again.

Typical symptoms of codeine withdrawal include sweating, runny nose, muscle pain, muscle twitching, irregular heartbeat, headaches, vomiting, nausea, fever, high blood pressure, dehydration, insomnia, weakness and stomach cramps.

Side Effects

If you are having a hard time kicking your addiction because of codeine withdrawal symptoms, it may be helpful to understand what the long-term side effects are from this drug for an extended period of time.  The chance for addiction is increased when taken for over two weeks.

Codeine alters your pain perception at your brain and spinal cord.  It also has stimulating effects by the way that the inhibitory neurotransmitters are blocked.  When you take codeine for an extended period of time, it ultimately alters the functioning of the nervous system.


Codeine side effects include stomach bleeding, seizures, tremors, agitation, sexual problems, depression, hallucination, convulsions, disorientation, lowered blood pressure and heart rate, impaired driving ability, poor night vision, tiny pupils, blurred vision, nausea, hangover, itchiness, constipation, kidney damage and liver damage.

Codeine Overdose

Codeine is found in a wide variety of medication including Tylenol #3, Robitussin A – C, Actifed with Codeine and Empirin #3.  It is a drug that can only be taken orally and never through an intravenous or it can result in facial swelling, pulmonary edema and various cardiovascular issues.

Codeine overdose symptoms include muscle spasticity, low blood pressure, weak pulse, constipation, stomach spasms, skin itching, bluish-colored lips and fingernails, pinpoint pupils, loss of breath and shallow breathing.

If you or someone that you know is experiencing codeine addiction it is important to get help to get off this drug before it does long-term physical and mental damage.