Codeine Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, & Treatment

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Codeine is an opioid that is typically paired with other substances to treat coughs and manage pain. Being a controlled substance, misuse presents a high risk of addiction. This can happen in individuals with or without a prescription for codeine. Withdrawal symptoms may arise in individuals who are unable to take the substance and can be a sign that dependence has formed.  

Today, our Lake Worth facility is sharing the symptoms of codeine withdrawal and what you can do about it.  

What Is Codeine?

Codeine is a prescription pain reliever useful in managing mild to moderate pain. It usually serves as an ingredient, like when it is combined with Acetaminophen to create Tylenol-Codeine No. 3 (also called Tylenol 3), a prominent painkiller. It is a narcotic that belongs to the opiate class of drugs. Alternative opiates include heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. Due to its potential for addiction, even medicines with small traces contain warnings and advise patients not to take them for more than three days without consulting with their doctor. 

By itself, codeine is a prescription-only opiate and can be found as a pill, in cough syrups, and even in injectable solutions. In cases where the person has not been prescribed codeine, some will choose to break down the pills to snort them.  

Codeine can give users sensations of drowsiness, calmness, constipation, and even irritate their skin. Someone high on codeine may feel tired and look like they are about to fall asleep.  

Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms 

Withdrawing from codeine can be an uncomfortable and even painful process. It typically occurs in two phases, and symptoms can affect both the user’s body and mind. Common symptoms include: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Bloating 
  • Constipation 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Body chills 

A number of symptoms experienced in codeine withdrawal are a turnaround of the drug’s side effects. An example of this is when the patient experiences severe diarrhea during a withdrawal, whereas their usage of the drug could have caused constipation.  

Codeine Withdrawal Timeline

Symptoms of a codeine withdrawal typically start 8 to 24 hours after their discontinuation of use.1 The severity of the withdrawal symptoms will be different for each user, as is the duration. Some patients opt to try managing their withdrawal symptoms by ingesting a smaller amount of the substance; however, this only serves as a temporary solution. Once codeine re-enters their system, the withdrawal cycle will start over again.  

If you or a loved one are struggling through a withdrawal, our BHOPB detox is here to help.  

Codeine Addiction Treatment

Codeine is a narcotic opiate with a high risk for addiction. The withdrawal, as with many substances, can easily morph into a painful and frustrating cycle that many struggle to break out of alone. That’s where we come in. Our Banyan Lake Worth rehab is equipped with the tools to assist with the medical withdrawal, treatment plans, and programs necessary in your path to sobriety.  

For more information on our addiction treatment in Lake Worth, call Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches today at 561-220-3981. 



  1. NCBI – Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings. 


Related Reading:  

Hydrocodone vs. Codeine 

Promethazine and Codeine 

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