What is Codeine and how is it used?
Codeine belongs to the drug class opiates. Opiates include all naturally occurring drugs with morphine-like effects and all semi and fully synthetic drugs with morphine-like effects such as heroin and meperidine (Demerol).
Most Codeine found in pharmaceutical products today is synthetically produced via the methylation of morphine.
Codeine is normally administered:
Codeine cannot be safely administered by intravenously as it may result in pulmonary oedema, facial swelling, dangerous release of histamines, and various cardiovascular effects.
It cannot be administered intranasally (snorting). Codeine free base can be smoked on the aluminum foil similarly to smoking heroin.
What are some of the common effects of Codeine addiction?
Codeine is absorbed quickly from the GI tract and it's first pass through the liver results in very little loss of the drug. This contrasts with morphine in which over 90% of the drug is metabolized in the first pass through the liver resulting in a considerable loss of potency when administered orally.
Narcotics induce an "opioid analgesia" by altering the perception of pain at the spinal cord and brain. They also affect emotional responses to pain. Opioids have stimulating effects as well because they block inhibitory neurotransmitters. Repeated use of these drugs can cause long-term changes in the way the nervous system functions and incite:
- stomach bleeding
- kidney damage
- liver damage
- tiny pupils
- blurred vision
- poor night vision
- impair driving ability
- lowered heart rate, blood pressure and breathing
- sexual problems
Codeine symptoms and side effects of withdrawl from Codeine
The worst symptoms pass within a few days, but it can take months to feel normal.
- runny nose
- muscle twitching
- muscle pain
- irregular heartbeat
- nausea and vomiting
- high blood pressure
- stomach cramps
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