Products that contain codeine or dihydrocodeine should not be used in children after certain surgeries (including tonsil/adenoid removal). Also, for children younger than 12 years, do not use codeine or dihydrocodeine to treat cough or pain unless specifically directed by the doctor. Some children are more sensitive to codeine or dihydrocodeine and have had very serious (rarely fatal) breathing problems such as slow/shallow breathing (see also Side Effects section). Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the risks and benefits of this medication.Who should not take Ambenyl?
See also Warning section.
This combination product is used to treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, hay fever, or other breathing illnesses (e.g., sinusitis, bronchitis). This product contains a narcotic cough suppressant (antitussive) that affects a certain part of the brain, reducing the urge to cough. Antihistamines relieve watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, runny nose, and sneezing.
Cough-and-cold products have not been shown to be safe or effective in children younger than 6 years. Therefore, this product is not recommended to treat cold symptoms in children younger than 6 years. Some products (including some long-acting tablets/capsules) are not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details about using your product safely.
These products do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold and may cause serious side effects. To decrease the risk for serious side effects, carefully follow all dosage directions. Giving more than the recommended dose or using this medication along with other cough-and-cold products has resulted in serious (even fatal) side effects, including slowed/stopped breathing. Talk to the doctor or pharmacist before giving other cough-and-cold medication that might contain the same or similar ingredients (see also Drug Interactions section). Ask about other ways to relieve cough and cold symptoms (such as drinking enough fluids, using a humidifier or saline nose drops/spray). Do not use this product to make a child sleepy.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) or as directed by your doctor. This medication may be taken with food or milk if stomach upset occurs. Do not take the sustained-release products more often than every 12 hours.
If you are using the liquid form, use a medication measuring device or spoon to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. If your liquid form is a suspension, shake the bottle well before each dose.
If you are using the extended-release capsules, swallow them whole. Do not crush or chew extended-release capsules or tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
If you are using a sustained-release liquid that contains hydrocodone polistirex, do not mix the liquid with other liquids or medications. Doing so can destroy the long action of the drug and may increase side effects.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time (more than a few weeks) or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, restlessness, sweating, shaking chills, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
Though it is very unlikely to occur, this medication can also result in abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction/habit forming). Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or use it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed. This will lessen the chances of becoming addicted.
When used for an extended time, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists for more than 1 week, if it worsens, or if it occurs with fever, rash, or persistent headache. These may be symptoms of a serious medical problem and should be checked by a doctor.
Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, upset stomach, nausea, constipation, or dry mouth/nose/throat may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute. This medication can dry up and thicken mucus in your lungs, making it more difficult to breathe and clear your lungs. To help prevent this effect, drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (e.g., hallucinations), ringing in the ears, trouble urinating, easy bruising/bleeding, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizure.
This product may cause serious mental/mood changes and very serious (rarely fatal) breathing problems. This product may contain codeine or dihydrocodeine. Codeine and dihydrocodeine are changed into strong narcotic drugs (morphine or dihydromorphine) in your body. In some people this happens faster and more completely than usual, which increases the risk of very serious side effects. Get medical help right away if you notice any of the following: slow/shallow breathing, unusual drowsiness/difficulty waking up, confusion.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
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Before taking this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: abdominal problems (e.g., chronic constipation, ileus, pancreatitis), gallbladder disease, adrenal gland problem (e.g., Addison's disease), certain brain disorders (e.g., head injury, tumor, increased intracranial pressure), breathing problems (e.g., asthma, emphysema, sleep apnea), diabetes, a certain eye problem (glaucoma), heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver disease, mental/mood problems (e.g., depression, psychosis), seizures, stomach/intestinal problems (e.g., ulcers, blockage), underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), urination problems (e.g., trouble urinating due to enlarged prostate, urinary retention), use/abuse of drugs/alcohol.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit the use of alcohol and certain other medications that cause drowsiness. (See also Drug Interactions.)
To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
This medicine may contain aspartame. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that requires you to restrict your intake of aspartame (or phenylalanine), consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding the safe use of this medicine.
This medication may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, or liver disease. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safe use of this product.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of antihistamines. In young children, antihistamines may cause agitation/excitement instead of drowsiness. Children may also be more sensitive to the side effects of the narcotic cough suppressant, especially extreme sleepiness, confusion, or slow/shallow/noisy breathing. (See also Warning section.)
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, and slow/shallow breathing.
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, take the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as slow/shallow breathing, irritability, abnormal/persistent crying, vomiting, or diarrhea.
This product may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Products that contain codeine or dihydrocodeine may rarely have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Tell the doctor right away if your infant develops increased sleepiness, trouble breast-feeding, trouble breathing, or unusual limpness. If your product contains codeine or dihydrocodeine, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: anticholinergic drugs (e.g., benztropine, belladonna alkaloids), antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray), cimetidine, MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine), narcotic antagonists (e.g., naltrexone, naloxone), scopolamine, tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, desipramine).
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, trazodone). Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including amylase/lipase levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: confusion, cold/clammy skin, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, slow/shallow breathing, seizures, loss of consciousness.
Do not share this medication with others. It is against the law.
Do not take this medication for several days before allergy testing because test results can be affected.
If you are prescribed this medication on a regular schedule and miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised February 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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