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5 Codeine Side Effects You Wish You Never Felt

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Difficulty breathing, allergic reaction, and possibility of seizure are some of the side effects of codeine.

Codeine is an opioid analgesic that is used for the treatment of varied levels of pain generally mild to moderate in scope. The drug is commonly prescribed following injury, surgery or illness and although it is generally safe when taken as prescribed, it does have a tendency to cause physical dependence and some rather unsightly side effects. While you may not feel too discomforted with the common side effects of codeine, if you experience any of these side effects—you’ll wish you never did!

Collapsed Lung

In rather rare situations, users who have taken Codeine have experienced a partially collapsed lung. The lung will partially deflate allowing fluid to come in around the lung and making it difficult to re-expand with breathing. If you know what it’s like to feel as if there’s an elephant sitting on your chest, then you may have already experienced a collapsed lung in the past—it’s not fun! This is definitely one of many codeine side effects you don’t want to experience and, if you do experience it, you’ll wish you never did.

Difficulty Breathing

Sometimes taking too much Codeine will cause moderate to severe difficulty when breathing. Troubled breathing is one of many codeine side effects that you must discuss with your doctor immediately as it could be a sign that you are allergic to the medication or that you have taken an overdose worthy amount. If you experience trouble breathing when taking Codeine, contact a healthcare professional immediately.

Allergic Reaction

Some of the signs of an allergic reaction to Codeine include itching, rash and hives. If you experience any significant itching, you have a rash on your skin after taking Codeine or you have hives following your use of Codeine you should consult immediate professional help as you may be suffering an allergic reaction. If you experience an allergic reaction to Codeine, you will likely feel very uncomfortable and it’s one of the side effects you’ll wish you never felt.

Severely Blocked Bowels

Codeine, like many opioids, will generally cause constipation when it’s being used. You can counteract any constipation that you are feeling by drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated. Unfortunately, in some rare cases, codeine will cause severely blocked bowels that will not move. In such rare cases, extreme discomfort is likely and other serious complications can arise if the bowels do not move on their own. If you experience bowel blockage that doesn’t fix itself within a couple of days, contact a doctor immediately.


A seizure is never fun! Codeine, in relatively rare cases, can cause a reaction that results in seizure or other serious complications. If you experience a loss of coordination, you are disillusioned or confused or you suffer from convulsions while taking Codeine, consult with a healthcare professional immediately. Seizures can be very dangerous and may even be fatal. As such, seizures should be taken very seriously.

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