Generic Name: codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine (KOE deen, FEN il EFF rin, and pro METH a zeen)Brand names: Promethazine VC with Codeine, Phenergan VC with Codeine, M-Phen
Codeine is a narcotic. It is a pain reliever and a cough suppressant.
Promethazine is an antihistamine. It blocks the effects of the naturally occurring chemical histamine in your body.
Phenylephrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).
The combination of codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine is used to treat cold or allergy symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, and cough.
Codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.What is the most important information I should know about codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine?Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions before you start taking this medication. You should not use this medication if you are allergic to codeine, phenylephrine, or promethazine, or if you have high blood pressure, a blood vessel disorder, or asthma. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 years old. Do not use this medication if you have taken an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Codeine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. This medication should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medicine in a secure place where others cannot get to it. There are many other medicines that can cause interact with codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.What should I discuss with my doctor before taking codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine?You should not use this medication if you are allergic to codeine, phenylephrine, or promethazine, or if you have high blood pressure, a blood vessel disorder, or asthma. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 years old. Do not use this medication if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take cough or cold medicine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication:
sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep);
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
stomach ulcer, intestinal disorder, or digestive obstruction;
recent stomach or urinary tract surgery;
a weak immune system;
a thyroid disorder;
enlarged prostate, problems with urination;
heart disease, poor circulation;
a head injury or brain tumor.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve within 5 days of using this medicine.
Codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine.Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep track of how much of this medicine has been used. Codeine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.
See also: Codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Avoid taking diet pills while you are taking codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine.Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). This medication can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.
restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck, tremor (uncontrolled shaking);
weak or shallow breathing, feeling like you might pass out;
fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats;
confusion, agitation, hallucinations, nightmares, seizure (convulsions);
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
easy bruising or bleeding, weakness;
urinating less than usual or not at all; or
fever, stiff muscles, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, rapid breathing.
Less serious side effects may include:
feeling restless, nervous, or anxious;
blurred vision, ringing in your ears;
constipation, mild nausea or vomiting;
warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin;
itching, increased sweating; or
sleep problems (insomnia).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Cough and Nasal Congestion:
5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Maximum dose: 30 mL/day.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Cough and Nasal Congestion:
6 years to 11 years: 2.5 to 5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Maximum dose: 30 mL/34 hours.12 years or older: 5 mL orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Maximum dose: 30 mL/24 hours.
Many drugs can interact with codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:
atropine (Donnatal, and others), benztropine (Cogentin), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), methscopolamine (Pamine), or scopolamine (Transderm-Scop);
a bronchodilator such as ipratroprium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva);
bladder or urinary medications such as darifenacin (Enablex), flavoxate (Urispas), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), tolterodine (Detrol), or solifenacin (Vesicare);
irritable bowel medications such as dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others), or propantheline (Pro-Banthine);
ergot medicine such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray), ergonovine (Ergotrate), or methylergonovine (Methergine);
an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), clomipramine (Anafranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others; or
a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Zebeta), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with codeine, phenylephrine, and promethazine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.