chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine

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chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine

Pronunciation: klor fen EER a meen, KOE deen, SOO doe ee FED rin
Brand: Phenylhistine DH Expectorant

What is the most important information I should know about chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine?

nochild Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.
donot Do not take this medication with alcohol, other narcotic medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Dangerous side effects may result.
habit Codeine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
donot Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, cough, allergy, or pain medicine. Chlorpheniramine, pseudoephedrine, and cough suppressants are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of a certain drug. Check the label to see if a medicine contains an antihistamine, decongestant, or cough suppressant.
dizzy This medication may cause blurred vision or impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.

What is chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine?

Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Codeine is a narcotic cough suppressant that affects the signals in the brain that trigger cough reflex.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).

The combination of chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine is used to treat cough, sneezing, itching, watery eyes, runny nose, stuffy nose, and sinus congestion caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu.

Chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine?

donot Do not use this medication if you are allergic to codeine or other narcotic medicines such as fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Palladone), methadone (Methadose, Dolophine), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph, and others), oxycodone (Oxycontin), and oxymorphone (Opana).
donot Do not use a cough or cold medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

To make sure you can safely take chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney or liver disease;
  • heart disease or high blood pressure;
  • enlarged prostate or urination problems;
  • diabetes;
  • glaucoma;
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
  • a history of head injury or brain tumor;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • low blood pressure;
  • gallbladder disease;
  • Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;
  • mental illness; or
  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
nopreg It is not known whether this medication will harm an unborn baby. Codeine may cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine.
nobrfeed Codeine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. The use of codeine by some nursing mothers may lead to life-threatening side effects in the baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
habit Codeine may be habit forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share this medication with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

How should I take chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Cough or cold medicine is usually taken for only a short time until your symptoms clear up.

nochild Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

donot Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache, cough, or skin rash.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time if you have taken a cough or cold medicine within the past few days.

This medication can cause unusual results with allergy skin tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are taking an antihistamine.

rt Store at room temperature, away from heat, light, and moisture.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Codeine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since cough or cold medicine is taken when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

emt Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of codeine can be fatal.
emt Overdose symptoms may include extreme dizziness or drowsiness, confusion, feeling restless or nervous, cold and clammy skin, warmth or tingly feeling, nausea, vomiting, weak or shallow breathing, slow heart rate, pinpoint pupils, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine?

dizzy This medication may cause blurred vision or impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.
donot Do not take this medication with alcohol, other narcotic medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Dangerous side effects may result.
noalcohol Drinking alcohol can increase drowsiness caused by chlorpheniramine or codeine.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather.

donot Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, cough, allergy, or pain medicine. Chlorpheniramine, pseudoephedrine, and cough suppressants are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of a certain drug. Check the label to see if a medicine contains an antihistamine, decongestant, or cough suppressant.

Avoid taking diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants (such as ADHD medications) without your doctor's advice. Taking a stimulant together with a decongestant can increase your risk of unpleasant side effects.

What are the possible side effects of chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine?

emt Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
donot Stop using chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats;
  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeats;
  • severe dizziness, fainting, anxiety, restless feeling, nervousness, or tremor;
  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all; or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dry mouth;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, loss of appetite;
  • mild dizziness, drowsiness, problems with memory or concentration;
  • warmth, tingling, or redness under your skin;
  • feeling restless or excited (especially in children);
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • skin rash or itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane);
  • zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT);
  • an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), and others;
  • aspirin or salicylates (such as Disalcid, Doan's Pills, Dolobid, Salflex, Tricosal, and others);
  • a diuretic (water pill), or blood pressure medication;
  • a beta blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin, Tenoretic), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Dutoprol, Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), and others;
  • bladder or urinary medications such as oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol) or tolterodine (Detrol);
  • medication to treat irritable bowel syndrome;
  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), pimozide (Orap), or thioridazine (Mellaril); or
  • seizure medication such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about chlorpheniramine, codeine, and pseudoephedrine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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