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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)?

Aspirin is in a group of drugs called salicylates (sa-LIS-il-ates). It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation.

Codeine is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.

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

Aspirin and codeine may also be used for 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; runny nose, wheezing, difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Seek emergency medical attention if a child taking this medication has any of the following life-threatening side effects: noisy breathing, sighing, slow breathing with long pauses between breaths; being unusually sleepy or hard to wake up; blue colored lips.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe stomach pain or constipation, vomiting;
  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • shallow breathing, fast or slow heartbeat;
  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior, feeling like you might pass out;
  • easy bruising or bleeding;
  • seizure (convulsions); or
  • decreased hearing or ringing in the ears.

Less serious side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. 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)?

This medication should not be given to a child or teenager who has a fever, especially if the child also has flu symptoms or chicken pox. Salicylates can cause a serious and sometimes fatal condition called Reye's syndrome in children.

You should not take aspirin and codeine if you have a bleeding disorder, a recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding, if you take a blood thinner, or if you are allergic to aspirin, codeine, or an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Naprosyn, Orudis, Cataflam, Celecoxib, Feldene, Indocin, Lodine, Mobic, Relafen, Toradol, Voltaren, and others.

Do not use aspirin and codeine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

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

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other over-the-counter cold, allergy, or pain medicine. Aspirin is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much aspirin. Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin.



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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