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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Empirin with Codeine

Generic Name: aspirin and codeine (Pronunciation: AS pir in and KOE deen)

What is aspirin and codeine (Empirin with Codeine)?

Codeine is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers.

Aspirin is a less potent pain reliever and is also a fever reducer.

The combination of aspirin and codeine is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Aspirin and codeine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of aspirin and codeine (Empirin with Codeine)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • dizziness, feeling like you might pass out;
  • severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain;
  • swelling, or pain lasting longer than 10 days;
  • shallow breathing, fast or slow heartbeat;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing;
  • decreased hearing or ringing in the ears;
  • seizure (convulsions); or
  • dizziness, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior.

Less serious side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about aspirin and codeine (Empirin with Codeine)?

Codeine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid taking any over-the-counter medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. Aspirin is contained in many medicines available over the counter. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much aspirin. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains aspirin.

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking aspirin and codeine. Alcohol may increase your risk of stomach bleeding while taking aspirin.

Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, antidepressants, or seizure medication can add to sleepiness caused by codeine, or could slow your breathing. Tell your doctor if you need to use any of these other medicines while you are taking aspirin and codeine.

Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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