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Tylenol with Codeine (Codeine / Acetaminophen) - Drug Interactions, Contraindications, Overdosage, etc



Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

Codeine may increase serum amylase levels.

Acetaminophen may produce false-positive test results for urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No adequate studies have been conducted in animals to determine whether acetaminophen and codeine have a potential for carcinogenesis or mutagenesis. No adequate studies have been conducted in animals to determine whether acetaminophen has a potential for impairment of fertility.

Acetaminophen and codeine have been found to have no mutagenic potential using the Ames Salmonella-Microsomal Activation test, the Basc test on Drosophila germ cells, and the Micronucleus test on mouse bone marrow.


Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category C


A study in rats and rabbits reported no teratogenic effect of codeine administered during the period of organogenesis in doses ranging from 5 to 120 mg/kg. In the rat, doses at the 120 mg/kg level, in the toxic range for the adult animal, were associated with an increase in embryo resorption at the time of implantation. In another study a single 100 mg/kg dose of codeine administered to pregnant mice reportedly resulted in delayed ossification in the offspring.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. TYLENOL® with Codeine (acetaminophen and codeine phosphate) Tablets should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.


Following an acute overdosage, toxicity may result from codeine or acetaminophen.

Signs and Symptoms

Toxicity from codeine poisoning includes the opioid triad of pinpoint pupils, depression of respiration, and loss of consciousness. Convulsions may occur.

In acetaminophen overdosage, dose-dependent, potentially fatal hepatic necrosis is the most serious adverse effect. Renal tubular necrosis, hypoglycemic coma, and coagulation defects may also occur.

Early symptoms following a potentially hepatotoxic overdose may include nausea, vomiting, diaphoresis, and general malaise. Clinical and laboratory evidence of hepatic toxicity may not be apparent until 48 to 72 hours post-ingestion.


A single or multiple drug overdose with acetaminophen and codeine is a potentially lethal polydrug overdose and consultation with a regional poison control center is recommended.

Immediate treatment includes support of cardiorespiratory function and measures to reduce drug absorption.

Oxygen, intravenous fluids, vasopressors, and other supportive measures should be employed as indicated. Assisted or controlled ventilation should also be considered. For respiratory depression due to overdosage or unusual sensitivity to codeine, parenteral naloxone is a specific and effective antagonist.

Gastric decontamination with activated charcoal should be administered just prior to N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to decrease systemic absorption if acetaminophen ingestion is known or suspected to have occurred within a few hours of presentation. Serum acetaminophen levels should be obtained immediately if the patient presents 4 or more hours after ingestion to assess potential risk of hepatotoxicity; acetaminophen levels drawn less than 4 hours post-ingestion may be misleading. To obtain the best possible outcome, NAC should be administered as soon as possible where impending or evolving liver injury is suspected. Intravenous NAC may be administered when circumstances preclude oral administration.

Vigorous supportive therapy is required in severe intoxication. Procedures to limit the continuing absorption of the drug must be readily performed since the hepatic injury is dose-dependent and occurs early in the course of intoxication.


This product should not be administered to patients who have previously exhibited hypersensitivity to codeine or acetaminophen.


Controlled Substance

TYLENOL® with Codeine (acetaminophen and codeine phosphate) Tablets are classified as a Schedule III controlled substance.

Abuse and Dependence

Codeine can produce drug dependence of the morphine type and, therefore, has the potential for being abused. Psychological dependence, physical dependence, and tolerance may develop upon repeated administration and it should be prescribed and administered with the same degree of caution appropriate to the use of other oral narcotic medications.

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