is a member of the drug class opiates. Opiates include all naturally
occurring drugs with morphine-like effects such as codeine and all
semi and fully synthetic drugs with morphine-like effects such as
heroin and meperidine (Demerol).
Codeine was first discovered as a natural constituent of opium in
very small concentrations, in the range of 0.7% - 2.5% by weight.
Most codeine found in pharmaceutical products today is synthetically
produced via the methylation of morphine.
Codeine is normally administered:
Codeine cannot be safely administered by intravenously
as it may result in pulmonary oedema, facial swelling,
dangerous release of histamines, and various cardiovascular
It cannot be administered intranasally (snorting).
Codeine free base can be smoked on the aluminum
foil ("chasing the dragon") similarly to smoking
What are some of the common effects of Codeine
Codeine is absorbed quickly from the GI tract
and it's first pass through the liver results in
very little loss of the drug. This contrasts with
morphine in which over 90% of the drug is metabolized
in the first pass through the liver resulting in
a considerable loss of potency when administered
Narcotics induce an "opioid analgesia" by altering
the perception of pain at the spinal cord and brain.
They also affect emotional responses to pain. Opioids
have stimulating effects as well because they block
inhibitory neurotransmitters. Repeated use of these
drugs can cause long-term changes in the way the
nervous system functions and incite:
- stomach bleeding
- kidney damage
- liver damage
- tiny pupils
- blurred vision
- poor night vision
- impair driving ability
- lowered heart rate, blood pressure and breathing
- sexual problems
Codeine symptoms and side effects of withdrawl
The worst symptoms pass within a few days, but
it can take months to feel normal.
- runny nose
- muscle twitching
- muscle pain
- irregular heartbeat
- nausea and vomiting
- high blood pressure
- stomach cramps