Codeine phosphate

Codeine phosphate is an opioid drug that is used as a painkiller. It is used to relieve mild to moderate pain. It is usually taken by mouth. Codeine can also treat diarrhoea and reduce coughing.

Co-formulations of codeine and paracetamol are available, since these two drugs enhance each other’s painkilling properties. This combination is called co-codamol. It is also available with aspirin as co-codaprin or with ibuprofen.

Codeine itself does not reduce pain, but it is converted to morphine within the body. However, it is less potent than morphine, since only about 10% of the codeine is converted.

Side-effects of codeine include itching, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry mouth, low blood pressure, difficulty urinating and constipation. It can also cause difficulty breathing in high doses. Codeine can also be abused, leading to dependence and addiction in rare cases. However, its addictive potential is much lower than morphine.

Codeine is not known to interact with any anti-HIV drugs. However, it is metabolised through the CYP2D6 enzymes, suggesting that some HIV drugs may reduce the effectiveness of codeine.

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.