Codeine mimics the actions of endogenous opioids by binding to the opioid receptors at many sites within the central nervous system (CNS). Stimulation of mu-subtype opioid receptors results in a decrease in the release of nociceptive neurotransmitters such as substance P, GABA, dopamine, and noradrenaline.
Codeine: What is it? Codeine falls into two categories of drugs. It is both an opioid and an antitussive. Codeine can be used to treat pain in an individual. When it is used to change the way in which the body feels pain, it is classed as an opioid.
Codeine is also used in syrups and medications to suppress a cough. When used to suppress coughing, codeine is classed as an antitussive. Codeine can reduce activity in the part of the brain where the coughing response occurs. Codeine can also be found in combination with other medications including acetaminophen, aspirin, carisoprodol, and promethazine-codeine.
These are often found in cold and cough medications. Codeine is powerful and can help an individual manage their flu and/or cold symptoms. The drug cannot treat the symptoms of colds and/or flus nor can it eliminate them.
There is a common misconception that some powerful cold medicines can wipe away the symptoms an individual feels when under the weather. This is not true. There are some brand names used for codeine that include: Brontex (codeine, guaifenesin) Guiatuss AC (codeine, guaifenesin) Nalex AC (brompheniramine, codeine) Phenergan VC with Codeine (codeine, phenylephrine, promethazine) Robitussin AC (codeine, guaifenesin) Vanacof (codeine, dexchlorpheniramine, phenylephrine)
What does codeine addiction look like? High doses of codeine can produce dangerous side effects. An individual can become addicted to the drug by using it routinely. It is likely an increase in dosage will occur over time. Codeine is like other opioids which depress the central nervous system, with users feeling relaxed, euphoric, drowsy, and calm as their heart rate slows. Most individuals become addicted to codeine by using it casually to begin with.