Codeine Linctus
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My Codeine Linctus

This is a medicine that is commonly used for dry, unproductive coughs. You must always read and understand the label before use. This medicine can cause drowsiness, so act accordingly. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using this and other medicines whether on prescription or over the counter.

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Codeine Linctus




Codeine linctus is a medicine that traditionally has been used for unproductive (dry) coughs. This medicine has been reported to be beneficial for this indication. The strength of commonly available codeine linctus is 15mg per 5ml. This means that in every teaspoon (5ml) there is 15mg of codeine phosphate.


Codeine is known to be addictive and so no more than one bottle should be purchased at a time and if the cough persists for longer than about 10 days, you should see your doctor. This way you can be sure that your needs are assessed and you are likely to have the best treatment options made available.


Codeine can also cause sedation and drowsiness. If you feel drowsy, you must not drive, operate machinery or do any task that requires a high level of dexterity and coordination. We recommend that you do not drive whilst using codeine linctus (especially at higher recommended doses) even if you feel ok. Codeine belongs to a class of medicines called opiate derivatives and these in the main can cause significant drowsiness. Other medicines in this group include morphine.


Never take more than one over the counter medicine at a time unless told to by your doctor or pharmacist. Many medicines contain similar ingredients and there is a chance of accidental overdose if you mix two medicines that contain the same ingredients unbeknown to you.


Many medicines contain paracetamol. This is a commonly misused medicine. Many cold and flu remedies contain paracetamol and therefore should not be used in conjunction with pain killers containing paracetamol including co-codamol and paracetamol tablets themselves.


Codeine linctus contains more codeine per 5ml spoonful than each tablet of co-codamol 8/500. The co-codamol that tends to be bought over the counter at UK pharmacies contains 8mg of codeine and 500mg of paracetamol (other strengths and formulations exist). Therefore, if you are taking two of this strength of co-codamol tablets, you are ingesting 16mg of codeine phosphate (2 x 8mg). If you were to then take a spoon of codeine linctus, you would be having a large dose of codeine, which is more likely to lead to drowsiness. You must therefore always be careful with medicines and do not mix them unless advised to by a suitably qualified medical professional.


Keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children. Many common medicines can be very dangerous to children, especially those that contain paracetamol. Paracetamol is considered safe at the correct dosage, but if a child was to ingest too much (even in paediatric liquid form) the consequences could be disastrous. Always treat medicines with respect and care.


Never use a medicine that has been prescribed for someone else. Before taking any medicine, consult with a suitably qualified medical professional such as a doctor registered with the General Medical Council in the UK or a pharmacist registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Always ensure that your supply of medicines is legitimate. In the UK, the registration of doctors and pharmacists can be checked with the appropriate body. Online pharmacies operating from the UK should also be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council. A green ‘pharmacy’ logo should be displayed on these online pharmacy sites. This logo should contain a link through to the General Pharmaceutical Council’s website. If no link exists, be sure to investigate further and make the appropriate decisions. Always inquire about the status of a medical organisation or professional if you are unsure.


The information in this blog is given for information purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice and is unable to diagnose, treat or make any recommendations. Always consult a legally practicing medical doctor before using any prescription medicines and speak to your pharmacist before selecting and using any over the counter treatments. Thank you for reading.