Tylenol with Codeine Warnings and Precautions
To ensure safe treatment with Tylenol with Codeine, warnings and precautions for the drug should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Since Tylenol with Codeine has the potential to be abused, it is not a good choice for people with a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Before using the medication, let your healthcare provider know if you have any allergies, hypothyroidism, or breathing problems.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Tylenol® with Codeine (acetaminophen with codeine) if you have:
- Severe abdominal (stomach) pain
- A history of drug or alcohol dependence
- A head injury or high intracranial pressure
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Liver disease, such as cirrhosis, liver failure, or hepatitis
- Addison's disease
- An enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH)
- Lung disease or breathing problems of any sort
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Tylenol with Codeine include the following:
- Tylenol with Codeine contains acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Taking too much Tylenol with Codeine, or taking it in combination with other products that contain acetaminophen, can cause severe liver problems or even death due to Tylenol poisoning. Tylenol with Codeine may not be a good choice for people who already have liver disease.
- Tylenol with Codeine can potentially interact with several other medications (see Tylenol with Codeine Drug Interactions).
- Tylenol with Codeine is a narcotic medication with potential for abuse. It is not a good choice for people with a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Do not take the drug more frequently, longer, or at a higher dose than prescribed. If you feel you may be developing a problem with Tylenol with Codeine, please seek help from your healthcare provider.
- Tylenol with Codeine can cause slow and irregular breathing. In severe situations, this may be life-threatening. This may be especially dangerous in people with lung problems.
- The medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intracranial pressure. Tylenol with Codeine should only be used with extreme caution in such circumstances.
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Tylenol with Codeine affects you. Your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
- Tylenol with Codeine can interfere with the diagnosis of many conditions that cause severe abdominal (stomach) pain.
- Tylenol with Codeine tablets contain sodium metabisulfite, an inactive ingredient that can cause allergic reactions. If you are allergic to sulfites, you should probably avoid Tylenol with Codeine tablets.
- Although Tylenol with Codeine has been a popular drug for use in children in the past, it is now known that the drug can cause serious problems, including death, in children. The drug should never be used in children for pain after tonsil and/or adenoid removal surgery. In other situations, the drug should be used in children only if the benefits outweigh the risks. Any child given this medication should be monitored closely for slow or irregular breathing.
- Like any other narcotic, Tylenol with Codeine can cause dizziness and drowsiness, and may increase the risk of falls in elderly people.
- Check with your healthcare provider before taking the drug if you have hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, an enlarged prostate, or kidney disease, as Tylenol with Codeine may not be the best choice for you.
- Narcotics such as Tylenol with Codeine are likely to cause constipation. This side effect does not go away as you continue to take the drug. Usually, laxatives are necessary to treat and prevent constipation due to Tylenol with Codeine.
- Tylenol with Codeine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Tylenol with Codeine and Pregnancy).
- Tylenol with Codeine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Tylenol with Codeine and Breastfeeding).