Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. Pain medications work best when taken at the first signs of pain. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. For children, the dosage is also based on weight.
If you are using the liquid form, read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking codeine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
If so directed by your doctor, you may also use long-acting narcotic medications for ongoing pain. In that case, this medication might be used when needed for sudden attacks of "breakthrough" pain. Also follow your doctor's or pharmacist's instructions for the safe use of non-narcotic pain relievers (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen). Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your treatment.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, runny nose, watering eyes, trouble sleeping, severe abdominal/muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, and fast heartbeat) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
Though it is very unlikely to occur, this medication can also be habit-forming and may result in abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or use it for a longer period of time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed. This will lessen the chances of becoming addicted.
When used for a long time, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Inform your doctor if your pain persists or worsens.