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What is a Codeine Linctus?

By C. Daw
Updated May 17, 2024
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Codeine linctus is an opiate that is similar, but weaker, than morphine. It is designed to suppress the cough reflex within the central nervous system for dry and irritating coughs. As with any other type of medication, this drug has numerous benefits as well as negative side effects. There are also instances when this medication can cause complications with other medical problems, so the attending physician may prescribe something similar, but different.

The benefits that can be gained from taking codeine linctus is that it will suppress dry and irritating coughs without having the high risk of addiction, as morphine does. Even though it is possible to become addicted to this medicine since it is an opiate, the instances that have been documented are fairly small.

When a cough becomes non-productive, such as when no mucus is expelled by the action, this medication can suppress the nagging cough. If any mucus or phlegm is being coughed up, though, taking this drug can slow the healing process down, and even cause worse medical conditions, such as pneumonia, to develop. A healing cough should never be suppressed, but when it is unproductive and simply irritating codeine linctus can be taken to stop the coughing process within the central nervous system, allowing the patient to continue everyday tasks without having to deal with an annoying cough.

Some of the negative side effects that can be experienced from taking codeine linctus are basic medical problems associated with other types of medicines. Constipation is one of the most common side effects, as well as drowsiness. This medication can affect individuals differently, so it is recommended to avoid driving and operating any type of equipment until the side effects for the specific patient can be evaluated. Another common negative effect that this medication may have on people ingesting it is slow, shallow breathing. The final side effect, as mentioned above, is the risk for addiction. Since this drug is an opiate, patients can become dependent on it.

Codeine linctus should never be taken by people that have respiratory problems, such as asthma or emphysema, because of the shallow breathing condition that accompanies its use. It should also be avoided if the patient is pregnant or breastfeeding, unless otherwise instructed by a licensed physician. Children under the age of one are also instructed not to use this medication, as well as older people who have liver conditions. As with all other types of medications, codeine may interact with other medications, so a complete evaluation must be made by a professional before taking this drug.

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Discussion Comments
By Glasis — On Feb 04, 2014

Your medical history is probably a good indicator as to whether these syrups are good for you. Your regular doctor is probably the best person to talk to about it.

By Telsyst — On Feb 03, 2014

Some codeine linctus syrup can be bought sugar free. This is good for anyone with diabetes. There are always certain complications that you need to worry about with diabetes and a doctor may still not wish to put you on these syrups even though they are sugar free.

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