Codeine - what is it?
Any medicine, no matter how remarkable it is and does not possess ideal properties against the disease, carries many dangers. Each of them can be represented as a time bomb - you never know what reaction the drug will cause in the human body. And if before the manufacturing companies were silent about side effects, now they are being talked about publicly.
Some of the drugs are among the potent on the nervous system, but they are widely and everywhere used. How does codeine affect the body and what is the danger of its regular use?
What is codeine?
Codeine (methylmorphine) refers to the group of chemicals that doctors do not like and try to avoid their use with all their might. These are drugs acting on the central nervous system. Narcotic analgesics.
But not all members of this group are particularly dangerous, some of them are successfully used not only as painkillers. The latter include codeine. Due to the not so pronounced effect on the nervous system, it is used as part of many combination drugs.
Codeine, what is this substance and why did it attract the attention of doctors? Despite being a member of a group with dangerous consequences, it is widely used today. But not as a pain reliever and significantly reduces pain, but as another means.
Codeine, like morphine, is an opium alkaloid, but it is also produced synthetically. By its action on the nervous system, it is weaker than morphine. This property has attracted drug developers.
What codeine has an effect on the body?
- A very pronounced property of this substance is to suppress the cough reflex. This ability formed the basis for the development of drugs with the participation of this alkaloid.
- Affects the nervous system. Pain relieves not so pronounced, but can lead to insomnia.
- It inhibits the work of the gastrointestinal tract, although in very rare cases the effect on the digestive system is too strong.
Where does codeine exist, in which medications can it be detected?
- Many generations are familiar with the tool called "Bechterew's Mixture". The main indications for prescribing this medication are sedatives, for headaches, and in some cases for neuralgia of the intercostal nerves.
- Tablets "Terpinkod" and "Codeterpin" contain 0.008 grams of codeine. In addition, they are stuffed with sodium bicarbonate and terpinhydrate. The latter substance is added for better discharge of sputum, such an effect is not available to codeine, because it acts on the brain. This is an antitussive drug. Another drug with the same effect of "cough pills."
- "Solpadein", "Nurofen Plus", "Sedalgin" and "Sedalgin Neo", "Pentalgin" - all include codeine in a small amount.
But given that codeine is a drug, despite its weaker effect, all drugs presented should be given only on prescription.
Indications for use codeine-containing drugs
Codeine itself is not used, but such an active ingredient is part of multicomponent preparations with a large number of effects. When do codeine preparations are used?
Assign with prolonged severe cough. Codeine reduces the excitability of the cough center. As a result of its use, the cough becomes less frequent and less pronounced until it disappears completely. Prescribe medication for bronchitis, bronchopneumonia and emphysema.
- Use these tools for diseases of the nervous system: neuralgia, muscle and headaches. The effect develops 30–40 minutes after administration.
- In some cases, preparations containing codeine may be used as a sedative drug.
- Appointed to regulate diseases of the digestive system.
- Dizziness, feeling of thirst, may be a reddening of the face. In case of poisoning with codeine, the victim’s consciousness is preserved.
- The effect on the nervous system manifests itself in the form of convulsions, pupil dilation, periodically imaginary feeling of well-being, drowsiness, depression, insomnia, nervousness, confusion, muscle twitching.
- Spastic abdominal pain, in rare cases intestinal obstruction, constipation, nausea, vomiting.
- Allergic reaction in the form of urticaria, itching, swelling of the face.
- The effects of taking codeine are manifested in the form of a heart rhythm disorder, a decrease in pressure, a decrease in urination, and inhibition of the respiratory center.
- If you take an overdose (0.1 grams or more) in one step, along with all the above effects, complications will develop: swelling of the brain and lungs, pneumonia, and death from central paralysis of respiration.
- Under hospital conditions, intravenous administration of naloxone is shown until the respiratory disorder is corrected.
- If the heart rhythm is disturbed in the form of a rare heartbeat (bradycardia), atropine is administered.
- Lack of consciousness and respiratory failure - an indication for artificial lung ventilation (ALV).
- Codeine addiction has to be treated in specialized centers with the participation of psychiatrists.
The substance is prescribed in tablets, powders and solutions for adults. The daily dose should not exceed 0.02 grams. Otherwise, methylmorphine will cause the following side effects.
Codeine is prohibited for children under two years of age due to its affiliation with opioids. In the combined preparations for children used a weak analogue - codeine phosphate. It is in rare and exceptional cases prescribed to children older than 6 months.
If codeine is used all the time, it becomes addictive as if you were using any narcotic drugs. Withdrawal syndrome is accompanied by pain throughout the body, sleep disturbance, dry mouth, irritability, aggression.
Treatment with codeine poisoning
How to treat codeine overdose? The difficulty in making a diagnosis is that this substance is often included in the composition of complex drugs with a combined composition. Therefore, at the pre-medical stage, the victim can wash the stomach, give saline sodium laxative and sorbent, which is often activated carbon, - at least 8 tablets.
Small doses of the drug, a less pronounced effect on the nervous system and such a positive effect as a decrease in cough - in some cases, it turns out to be only minor positive moments. The harm of codeine is that many, buying syrups to normalize the work of the nervous system or relieve headaches, increase the dose with each dose. At the same time on the other functions of codeine, no one guesses. Addiction to the substance or poisoning it can happen out of ignorance. Therefore, it is very important to take it only with a doctor's prescription and under the supervision of experienced health workers.