Acetaminophen/codeine (By mouth)
Acetaminophen (a-seet-a-MIN-oh-fen), Codeine Phosphate (KOE-deen FOS-fate)
Treats mild to moderately severe pain. This medicine contains a narcotic pain reliever.
Tylenol w/Codeine #3, Capital w/Codeine, Tylenol w/Codeine #4, Tylenol With Codeine No. 4, Tylenol w/Codeine No 4, Tylenol with Codeine No. 3, Theracodeine-300, Tylenol w/Codeine
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to acetaminophen or codeine, or to other narcotic medicines (such as Percocet®, Percodan®, Darvon®, Vicodin®).
How to Use This Medicine
Capsule, Liquid, Tablet
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This combination medicine contains acetaminophen (Tylenol(R)). Carefully check the labels of all other medicines you are using because they may also contain acetaminophen. It is not safe to use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) of acetaminophen in one day (24 hours).
- You may take this medicine with food or milk if it upsets your stomach.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help avoid constipation.
If a dose is missed:
- If you take this medicine on a regular basis: If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep oral liquid in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine. Acetaminophen may damage your liver. Alcohol increases this risk. Tell your doctor if you drink 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day.
- Many combination medicines contain acetaminophen, including products with brand names such as Alka-Seltzer Plus®, Comtrex®, Drixoral®, Excedrin Migraine®, Midol®, Sinutab®, Sudafed®, Theraflu®, and Vanquish®. Carefully check the labels of all other medicines you are using to be sure they do not contain acetaminophen.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney or liver disease, asthma, urination or thyroid problems, Addison disease, prostate problems, a stomach disorder, or a history of head injury or brain damage. Make sure your doctor knows if you are allergic to sulfites.
- This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
- Codeine may leak into your breast milk, and this could cause an overdose in your breastfed child. Watch for signs of overdose in your nursing baby, such as excess sleeping, limpness, or trouble breastfeeding or breathing. Call the baby's doctor or 911 right away if you think there is a problem.
- Do not take too much of this medicine. This can be life-threatening. Symptoms of an overdose include: Extreme dizziness or weakness, shortness of breath, slow heartbeat, seizures, and cold, clammy skin. Call your doctor right away if you notice these symptoms.
- Call your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- This medicine may cause constipation. This is more common if you use it for a long time. Ask your doctor if you should also use a laxative to prevent and treat constipation.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
- If you take this medicine for more than a few weeks: Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
- It is against the law and dangerous for anyone else to use your medicine. Keep your medicine in a safe and secure place so no one can steal it.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools
- Extreme dizziness or weakness, shortness of breath, slow heartbeat, seizures, and cold, clammy skin
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in the upper stomach
- Trouble breathing
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild lightheadedness, sleepiness, or drowsiness
- Mild nausea or vomiting
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013