The most frequent adverse reactions include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, and vomiting. These effects seem to be more prominent in ambulatory than in non ambulatory patients, and some of these adverse reactions may be alleviated if the patient lies down.
Drug Abuse and Dependence
Although much less potent in this regard than morphine, codeine can produce drug dependence a.d. therefore, has the potential for being abused. Patients given 60 mg codeine every 6 hours for 2 months usually show some tolerance and mild withdrawal symptoms. Development of the dependent state is recognized by an increased tolerance to the analgesic effect and the appearance of purposive phenomena (complaints, pleas, demands, or manipulative actions) shortly before the time of the next scheduled dose. A patient in withdrawal should be treated in a hospital environment. Usually, it is necessary only to provide supportive care with administration of a tranquilizer to suppress anxiety. Severe symptoms of withdrawal may require administration of a replacement narcotic.