Codeine is an opioid medication for the treatment of pain and coughing. Unlike most other opioids, a small amount of codeine is converted into morphine by the body.
What is an Ultra-Rapid Metabolizer?
Some people are “ultra-rapid metabolizers” of codeine, which means they convert codeine into morphine much faster than an average person. This increases the effects of codeine, but it also increases their risk of overdose, addiction, and death.
Physical Effects of Codeine
Anyone who uses codeine for more than a few days will become physically dependent on codeine. This means their body is tolerant to the effects of codeine and they will experience cravings to take a higher dose to experience the same effects they experienced before.
Like morphine and other opioid painkillers, codeine can be addictive. Overdoses can cause life-threatening side effects or death in anyone who takes too much codeine, or combines codeine with other medications that slow down breathing or the central nervous system.
Symptoms of Codeine Overdose
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive drowsiness
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of muscle tone
- Cold and clammy skin
- Slow heartbeat
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed by individuals and states that are fighting an epidemic of opioid overdoses and deaths. As of January 2018, over 200 lawsuits are centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio — Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2804) — IN RE: National Prescription Opiate Litigation..