Codeine is an alkaloid which is found in opium plant. It is a narcotic whose effects, though less potent, are similar to morphine. Morphine is an effective cough suppressant, it is mainly used in cough medicines. Like other narcotics, codeine is an addictive drug.
Codeine was first isolated from opium by the French chemist Pierre-Jean Robiquet in 1832. Because of the small concentration found in nature, most codeine found in medical products is synthesized from morphine. Codeine can be found in many pharmaceutical products all around the world, it's found in many forms including tablets, capsules, syrups, etc. In most countries, Codeine is a scheduled substance. This means that it is not available as a sole product. Few products contain codeine that are available without a prescription. Those that do average around only 10mg of Codeine, making it near impossible to overdose.
The most common medical uses for Codeine include relief of mild to moderate
pain (eg arthralgia, back pain, bone pain, dental pain, headache, migraine,
myalgia and surgical pain), relief of non-productive (dry) cough, and relief
of diarrhoea. Codeine can be taken orally, subcutaneously, intramuscularly and
rectally. When taken Rectal administration is considered as more efficient than
oral (up to 125%).
Codeine is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal 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. This is why codeine is a common opiate in the relief of pain, the ease of oral administration.. It is rapidly distributed from the intravascular spaces to the various body tissues, with preferential uptake by the liver, spleen, and kidneys. To experience the effects of codeine, human body must convert the drug to morphine. In most humans, about 10% of codeine is transformed to morphine. Effects of codeine start at 10-30 minutes after ingestion, peak within 1 to 2 hours and may last 4-6 hours, depending on dose administered.
Street names for Codeine include:
- Captain Cody
- Doors & Fours
- Pancakes and Syrup