Codeine is a weak narcotic pain-reliever and cough suppressant similar to morphine and hydrocodone. In fact, a small amount of codeine is converted to morphine in the body. Like morphine, codeine binds to receptors in the brain (opioid receptors) that are important for transmitting the sensation of pain throughout the body and brain. Codeine increases tolerance to pain, decreasing discomfort, but the pain still is apparent to the patient. In addition to reducing pain, codeine also causes sedation drowsiness and depresses breathing.
Using Codeine recreationally is dangerous on many different levels. Some of the more dangerous side effects include the following:
• Misuse can and will lead to: dulling type effect, a lack of co-ordination and dulled responses.
• Dependence: this can occur within two to three weeks of use and can lead to both physiological and psychological addiction.
• Respiratory depression: improper doses of Codeine can lead to an individual ceasing breathing.
• Combination of acetaminophen with codeine can lead to hepatotoxicity or liver damage.
• Combination of codeine with ibuprofen can cause kidney problems and even lead to kidney failure.
• Combination of aspirin and codeine can lead to internal hemorrhaging, particularly bleeding of the stomach.
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