Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are medications that you can buy from a pharmacist without a prescription. Patients often complain that OTC drugs should not be restricted in the Opiate Replacement Therapy program because they are available without a prescription. I will discuss the reasons you should not use OTCs drugs that contain Codeine.
Codeine is a common ingredient in OTC drugs. Please check the ingredients on your OTC medication to see if Codeine is, in fact, present. Examples of OTC medications that contain Codeine include Tylenol 1, some cough syrups, Robaxacet, as well as various allergy and cold remedies.
Even a small amount of Codeine can cause your urine drug test to become positive for Morphine. This is because Codeine is metabolized by the liver into Morphine. In fact, Codeine itself has no pain relieving action on the body. This is why people do not inject Codeine. Codeine must be eaten, and then it will pass through the liver, get metabolized into Morphine. Only then can it give it’s pain relieving qualities. So, in the end, if you take even a small amount of Codeine, your urine drug test results will look the same as if you were using Heroin.
For this reason, it is important that you avoid all Codeine containing products while in treatment.
Pain is a very useful thing. It lets you know that you have caused damage to your body. It is not always to your benefit to remove all, or sometimes even any, of the pain. The pain can help you avoid certain activities that are causing your body harm. Also, any opiate medication that you take will mask the pain, and may result in delayed diagnosis and appropriate treatment of the cause of the pain.
For example, you may have back pain from working. If you take Codeine, the pain will be reduced, and this will allow you to work more. But the cause of the pain has not been treated. So, continuing to do what caused the pain in the first place will make the pain, and damage, worse. The result will likely be more pain. In general, it is important to avoid using Codeine unless advised by a doctor.
If you are using eight or more Advil or Tylenols per day, then you should see a medical professional. Both of these medications have side effects, so prolonged regular use can result in damage to your body. Sometimes this damage can be permanent and potentially life-threatening.