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acetaminophen and codeine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking acetaminophen and codeine?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to acetaminophen (Tylenol) or codeine.

Codeine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share acetaminophen and codeine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

Tell your doctor if you drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day or if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis). You may not be able to take medication that contains acetaminophen.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests:

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby, but it could cause breathing problems or addiction/withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Acetaminophen and codeine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. The use of codeine by some nursing mothers may lead to life-threatening side effects in the baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take acetaminophen and codeine?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

One acetaminophen and codeine tablet may contain up to 650 mg of acetaminophen. Know the amount of acetaminophen in the specific product you are taking.

Take this medicine with food or milk to ease stomach upset.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Drink 6 to 8 full glasses of water daily to help prevent constipation while you are taking acetaminophen and codeine. Do not use a stool softener (laxative) without first asking your doctor.

Do not stop using acetaminophen and codeine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using acetaminophen and codeine.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain urine tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using acetaminophen and codeine.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using acetaminophen and codeine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Codeine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

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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