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Codeine polistirex/chlorpheniramine polistirex (By mouth)

Chlorpheniramine Polistirex (klor-fen-IR-a-meen pol-ee-STYE-rex), Codeine Polistirex (KOE-deen pol-ee-STYE-rex)

Treats cough, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and nose or throat irritation caused by allergies or the common cold. This medicine is a combination that contains a narcotic cough suppressant.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to chlorpheniramine or codeine, or to similar narcotic medicines (Vicodin®, Lortab®, Tussi-Organdin®, Percocet®, Darvon®, Demerol® and others). This medicine should not be given to children under 6 years of age.

How to Use This Medicine:

Long Acting Suspension

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • The usual schedule for this medicine is to take it once every 12 hours.
  • Shake the medicine well just before each use. Do not mix this medicine with another liquid or another medicine.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to help avoid constipation.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Protect the medicine from light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicines that can cause dry mouth or constipation (such as atropine, Bentyl®, dicyclomine, glycopyrrolate, Robinul®, scopolamine, Transderm Scop®). Tell your doctor if you are using an MAO inhibitor (Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®), or medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, Celexa®, Luvox®, Norpramin®, Prozac®, Serzone®, Vivactil®, Zoloft®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using Biaxin®, Dilantin®, or cyclosporine (Neoral®, Sandimmune®). Your doctor needs to know if you use medicine to treat fungal infections (such as fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, Diflucan®, Sporanox®), or a steroid (such as prednisone, Azmacort®, Flonase®, Flovent®, Nasonex®, Vancenase®).
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have asthma, emphysema, sleep apnea, or other lung disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, Addison's disease, thyroid problems, prostate problems, or problems with urination. Make sure your doctor knows if you have a stomach or intestinal disorder, recent surgery, or a history of head injury, brain tumor, or alcohol or drug problems.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
  • This medicine may cause constipation, especially with long-term use. Ask your doctor if you should use a laxative to prevent and treat constipation.
  • When a mother is breastfeeding and takes codeine, there is a very small chance that this medicine could cause serious side effects in the baby. This is because codeine works differently in a few women, so their breast milk contains too much medicine. If you take codeine, be alert for these signs of overdose in your nursing baby: sleeping more than usual, trouble breastfeeding, trouble breathing, or being limp and weak. Call the baby's doctor right away if you think there is a problem. If you cannot talk to the doctor, take the baby to the emergency room or call 911.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Confusion, hallucinations, feeling agitated.
  • Fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat.
  • Fever.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Shallow breathing, muscle weakness, seizures.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, or problems with urination.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Dry mouth or throat, stuffy nose.
  • Mild skin rash, itching, or redness.
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite.
  • Restlessness, feeling excited (especially in children).
  • Ringing in your ears.
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/4/2014
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