Skip to main content
Select Source:

Codeine

Codeine

Like morphine, codeine is an alkaloid (a naturally occurring base) of opium, a drug made from the milky juice of unripe seed capsules of the opium poppy plant. The opium poppy was once native to Asia Minor (a large penninsula in western Asia between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean), but it is now grown legally and illegally in many parts of the world. Codeine, morphine, opium, heroin, and other opium alkaloidsthe opioidsmake up the class of drugs known as the narcotic analgesics. Because of their ability to relieve pain, narcotic analgesics have been some of the most important drugs in medicine.

An Ancient Pain Reliever

Opium is believed to have been used by the people of Babylonia (an ancient empire in southwest Asia) in 4000 b.c. as a pain reliever and to promote sleep. The first undisputed (certain) writings about poppy juice were by Greek philosopher Theophrastus in the third century b.c. Highly praised by peoples of many civilizations since that time, opium preparations were given the name laudanum (from the Latin word "laudare," meaning "to praise") by the Swiss physician Paracelsus (1493-1541). Beginning in the late 1600s until the discovery of anesthesia in the mid-1800s, a preparation of alcohol and opium, usually given in whisky or rum, was the drug most widely used to prepare patients for surgery.

Although opioids may be physiologically addicting in high doses, they are widely used. The use of heroin, however, is prohibited in the United States today, even in medicine. The abuse of opioids became worse with the introduction of the hypodermic syringe (needle), which made it easier to use opioids more frequently and in greater amounts. In early times, opium was usually smoked or eaten.

Today only a few opioidsmainly codeine, morphine, and papaverineare useful in medicine. Codeine is the least habit-forming of the opioids. It is used to reduce pain and suppress (lessen) coughing. The amount of codeine that is naturally present in opium is small in relation to the amount of morphine found in opium, but codeine can be synthesized by a chemical change in morphine called methylation. Morphine is the most powerful painkiller available, and papaverine is used as a smooth muscle relaxant.

In the nineteenth century scientists began to separate the active ingredients of opium. This resulted in the isolation (separation) of morphine, codeine, heroin, and other opium alkaloids. When German pharmacist Friedrich Wilhelm Seturner isolated morphine from opium in 1805, a new era in drug production and use began. Soon many other new drugs were obtained by isolating active elements from crude drugs. One of these was codeine, which was discovered and named by Pierre-Jean Robiquet (1780-1840) in 1832. The chemical works of E. Merck, established in 1827 to manufacture morphine, began producing codeine the same year the drug was discovered. Years later, Thomas Anderson (1819-1874), a professor of chemistry at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, described the elemental makeup of codeine.

Cocaine Use Today

Today, codeine is commonly used in prescription drugs in combination with aspirin or acetaminophen to relieve pain, which it does by altering the way the brain reacts to painful sensations. It is also a common ingredient in prescription cough medicines. Codeine depresses the cough reflex by acting on a cough center in the part of the brain known as the medulla. It can be addictive, which is why it is only available by prescription. Many cough suppressants that do not contain codeine are available without a prescription. Codeine and other opioids cause nausea and vomiting in some patients.

Opium, morphine, and codeine are among drugs classified as Schedule II in the U.S. Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. This means they have a high potential for abuse and a severe like-lihood of causing physical or psychological dependence. Because of this, the federal government regulates how they are produced and how they are dispensed by pharmacists. It is illegal to make, sell, or use these drugs in any way that does not follow these governmental rules.

In the 1970s scientists discovered naturally occurring opioids in the brai called enkephalins. Many scientists believe a person becomes addicted to opioids because of a deficiency in these natural substances.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Codeine." Medical Discoveries. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Codeine." Medical Discoveries. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/medical-journals/codeine

"Codeine." Medical Discoveries. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/medical-journals/codeine

Codeine

CODEINE

Codeine is a natural product found in the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum ). An alkaloid of Opium, codeine can be separated from the other opium Alkaloids, purified, and used alone as an Analgesic (painkiller). It is however most often used along with mild nonopioid analgesics, such as aspirin, acetominophen, and ibuprofen. These combinations are particularly effective; the presence of the mild analgesics permits far lower codeine doses. Using lower doses of codeine has the advantage of reducing side effects, such as constipation. Codeine is one of the most widely used analgesics for mild to moderate pain.

Structurally, codeine is very similar to Mor-Phine, differing only by the presence of a methoxy (-OCH3) group at position 3, instead of morphine's hydroxy (-OH) group. The major advantage of codeine is its excellent activity when taken by mouth, unlike many opioid analgesics. Codeine itself has very low affinity for opioid receptors, yet it has significant analgesic potency. In the body, it is metabolized into morphine, and it is believed that the morphine generated from codeine is actually the active agent. Codeine has also been widely used as a cough suppressant. Codeine can be abused, and problems of abuse have often been linked to codeine-containing cough medicines, since they were once easily obtained over the counter. Chronic dosing with high codeine doses will produce Tolerance and Physical Dependence, much like morphine.

(See also: Papaver somniferum )

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Reisine, T., & Pasternak, G. (1996) Opioid analgesics and antagonists. In J. G. Hardman et al. (Eds.), The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 9th ed. (pp. 521-555). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Gavril W. Pasternak

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Codeine." Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Codeine." Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/codeine

"Codeine." Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/codeine

codeine

codeine (koh-deen) n. an analgesic derived from morphine but less potent as a pain killer and sedative and less toxic. It is administered by mouth or injection to relieve pain and by mouth to suppress coughs and treat diarrhoea. Codeine may also be administered orally in combination with paracetamol (as co-codamol) or aspirin (as co-codaprin) for pain relief.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"codeine." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"codeine." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/codeine

"codeine." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/codeine

codeine

codeine (kō´dēn), alkaloid found in opium. It is a narcotic whose effects, though less potent, resemble those of morphine. An effective cough suppressant, it is mainly used in cough medicines. Like other narcotics, codeine is addictive. See drug addiction and drug abuse.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"codeine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"codeine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/codeine

"codeine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/codeine

codeine

codeine White, crystalline alkaloid extracted from opium by the methylation of morphine, with the properties of weak morphine. It is used in medicine as an analgesic to treat mild to moderate pain, as a cough suppressant and to treat diarrhoea.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"codeine." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"codeine." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/codeine

"codeine." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/codeine

codeine

co·deine / ˈkōˌdēn/ • n. Med. a sleep-inducing and analgesic drug, C18H21N03, derived from morphine.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"codeine." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"codeine." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/codeine-0

"codeine." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/codeine-0

codeine

codeine A pain-relieving drug that is derived from the plant Papaver somniferum. See opiate; analgesic.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"codeine." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"codeine." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/codeine

"codeine." A Dictionary of Biology. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/codeine

codeine

codeine •gradine • sanidine •codeine, Roedean •undine • iodine •Aberdeen, gaberdine •almandine • grenadine • Geraldine •caffeine • Delphine • Josephine •morphine • carrageen • aubergine •indigene • hygiene • phosgene •Eugene • Tolkien • Kathleen •Arlene, Charlene, Darlene, Marlene, praline •Hellene, philhellene •Aileen, Raelene, scalene •spring-clean • crimplene • Abilene •Ghibelline • Cymbeline • terylene •vaseline • acetylene • Mytilene •Eileen • colleen • Pauline •mousseline • Hölderlin • nepheline •Evangeline •Jacqueline, Sakhalin •Emmeline • tourmaline • trampoline •gasoline • naphthalene • Rosaleen •rosaline

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"codeine." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"codeine." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/codeine

"codeine." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/codeine