last revision : June 28, 1994
EFFECTS AND USES
Codeine is a member of the drug class opiates. Opiates include all naturally
occurring drugs with morphine-like effects such as codeine and all semi and
fully synthetic drugs with morphine-like effects such as heroin and
Codeine was first discovered as a natural constituent of opium in very small
concentrations, in the range of 0.7% - 2.5% by weight. Most codeine found in
pharmaceutical products today is synthetically produced via the methylation
Codeine is available by prescription only in most areas of the US.
Exceptions are seen in some states where codeine can be purchased
over-the-counter (OTC) in products containing a small dose of codeine. Also
in Canada, some codeine containing products are available OTC in most if not
all provinces. With the codeine available in the US OTC, release forms may
have to be signed, including your name and address, in order to keep track
of how much codeine you are buying.
The amount of codeine allowable by law in OTC products is 8mg per unit dose
of a drug. A example is 325mg of acetaminophen (a unit dose of
acetaminophen) and 8mg codeine per tablet. This law is used to prevent the
excessive use of codeine as one would have to take doses reaching toxicity
of acetaminophen before any real problems with the codeine administration
would occur. It's the same situation with aspirin. With OTC cough
medications, the highest amount of codeine allowed is 3.3mg/ml. This
concentration is _so_ low that this FAQ will not be discussing cough syrups
as a source of recreational codeine. The tablet form of OTC codeine products
usually also includes 15mg of caffeine in each standard dose.
Prescription codeine containing products are usually not available without
another drug included such as acetaminophen. Rx (prescription) products
include the Tylenol w/ codeine series (#1,2,3,4) containing respectively
8mg, 15mg, 30mg, 60mg of codeine. Each tablet also contains caffeine in
doses of 15mg, 30mg, 30mg and 0mg respectively. Thus Tylenol #4 w/ codeine
(the most desired one) contains 325mg of acetaminophen, 60mg of codeine and
no caffeine. Another Rx product is the 222, 292, 293, 294 series. They are
identical to the Tylenol w/ codeine series, except aspirin replaces the
acetaminophen. The Rx products are good sources of codeine for recreational
use except most of us don't have sources that can obtain these drugs,
therefore this FAQ contains a procedure so that one can easily obtain large
amount of codeine from OTC products.
EFFECTS AND USES
Codeine is mainly used as a pain reliever, but is also used for the relief
of a non-productive cough, and as a anti-diarrheal agent. 120mg of codeine
administered SC (subcutaneously, injected under the skin) provides pain
relief equal to 10mg of morphine administered by the same route. Doses used
to relieve cough or diarrhea range from 5mg to 30mg.
Codeine is absorbed quickly from the GI tract and it's first pass through
the liver results in very little loss of the drug. This contrasts with
morphine in which over 90% of the drug is metabolized in the first pass
through the liver resulting in a considerable loss of potency when
administered orally. This is why codeine is a common opiate in the relief of
pain, the ease of oral administration.
Codeine can be administered by many routes, this includes, SC, IM
(intramuscularly), as an enema, and orally. Note, codeine can't be
administered safely by IV (intravenously) injection as it can result in
pulmonary edema (fluid in lungs), facial swelling and other life threatening
Codeine is converted to morphine in the brain. This of course will result in
a positive result in a drug test for the opiates. It is not known whether or
not the drugs heroin, morphine or codeine can be separately determined on a
drug test. In other words it isn't likely that the drug tester can determine
which of the three above drugs you have taken, he just knows you've taken
one or more of them.
Note! Addiction to codeine can occur. Tolerance is also seen with chronic
use. Although the withdrawal is minimal with codeine, it is not a fun time.
Please be cautious in your use of the drug.
Some common side effects from codeine include drowsiness, light-headedness,
dry mouth, urinary retention (difficulty in urination), constipation and of
course, euphoria. Adverse effects can include itchiness (common), confusion,
nausea and vomiting. The nausea experienced with codeine is less common and
less intense than that experienced with the stronger opiates such as
morphine. A tip to all those using opiates, lying down does wonders to the
nausea. If you ever experience nausea on opiates it is different than the
commonly experienced nausea as it is more of a light-headed nausea. Lying
down will almost always relieve the nausea in a couple minutes, which after
you can attempt to stand up again.
Codeine is a _excellent_ opiate to start experimenting with. Although the
euphoria is not as intense as that experienced with the stronger opiates,
the euphoria can still be quite intense. It also must be noted that like
most other drugs, some experience is required before the full effects can be
noticed and enjoyed. The best dose to start at is the 30mg - 60mg dosage.
That way you won't experience many adverse effects and you can continue to
take this small amount until you feel the desired effects, after that you
can increase the dosage as you please. Most people settle around the 250mg
mark for the best euphoria, with the least side effects. The best idea is to
take in a situation where you won't become distracted. You can get yourself
into a comfortable position and relax because you will become _quite_
relaxed. It may take 5 to 20 times before you can appreciate the effects.
The effects are subtle like marijuana and it takes some time before you come
to recognize them all.
The LD50 (lethal dose for %50) is 800mg in the average person. Death from
codeine, unlike most opiates, includes restlessness, seizures and eventually
death from respiratory arrest.
Again a good dose to start using codeine at is in the 30mg to 60mg range. At
this dosage range the adverse effects tend to be minimal, and the
pleasurable effects quite noticeable. It is usually a good idea to take the
drug on a empty stomach, and if nausea is experienced or you get hungry (not
likely) you can have something to eat. On an empty stomach the effects will
become noticeable within 15 min depending on the dose. With higher doses the
effects can begin in as little as 7 min. The effects peak at around 1 hr
with the experience nearing it's end at around the 3 - 4 hr point. Again
with higher doses effects may last 4 - 6 hours.
The effects will usually begin with a slight sedation, and a feeling of
warmth coming over you body. Muscular relaxation is also quite noticeable.
The subjective effects are quite hard to describe beyond the word euphoria.
The sedation associated with codeine is quite a lot less than that
experienced with morphine or other stronger opiates. A strong feeling of
contentment is usually also experienced. Most people enter a phase where you
become quite content and tend to lose interest in their surroundings. A
heavy feeling in the limbs also becomes quite noticeable. This will peak at
1hr with the effects slowly tapering off after 2hr.
CODEINE EXTRACTION TECHNIQUE
Due to the difficulty in obtaining Rx drugs containing enough codeine to be
used recreationally, I have included a procedure that allows one to extract
the codeine from OTC products to obtain enough of the drug to use
This extraction can *only* be used on OTC products containing either
acetaminophen or aspirin in addition to the codeine. There is one exception
to this rule. Products containing caffeine can be used with the knowledge
that the most of the caffeine contained in the OTC product, *will* be found
in the finished product. This should not matter to most people, but to those
with problems in taking caffeine, *you have been warned*!
The idea behind the following extraction is that acetaminophen and aspirin
(I'll use A/A from now on) are very _insoluble_ in cold water. Codeine
phosphate (the most common salt of codeine) is very _soluble_ in water
including cold water. The following table explains:
Substance Solubility (31C water) Solubility (21C water)
Aspirin 1g / 100 ml 1g / 300ml
Acetaminophen 1g / 70 ml 1g / 150 ml
Codeine Phosphate1g / 2.3 ml 1g / 0.7 ml
So as you can see, both A/A aren't very soluble in 21C water, so if you cool
the water to around 10C, the solubility will drop even further. That way you
can dissolve 20 tablets in 50ml of hot water, cool the water down to 10C,
filter the solution and end up with the same amount of codeine as the
tablets contained but only a fraction of the original amount of A/A.
It must be noted that because most of the caffeine will also be in the
finished product, using large amount of tablets in the following procedure
will result in large amount of caffeine in the finished product. For example
the use of 20 tablets will result in about 300mg of caffeine in the finished
product (15mg/tablets * 20 tablets). I personally haven't experienced any
adverse reactions due to this amount of caffeine. Because of codeine's
sedative effects the "jitters" and other adverse effects of large amount of
caffeine are not experienced.
1. Obtain a quantity of tablets containing codeine, check to see if they
contain anything other than codeine, caffeine, acetaminophen or
aspirin. If they do, and you don't know whether or not it will be a
problem, your best bet is not to use them. Measure out your desired
amount of codeine (ex. 64 mg = 8 tablets * 8mg/tablet). You may want to
add 2 extra tablets as it is quite likely you will lose some codeine in
the procedure. As you get more experience with the procedure you will
be able to get approx. 95% of the codeine extracted.
2. Measure out some nice hot water, use approx. 40ml / 20 tablets or more
if needed. I would suggest you don't go over 50ml for 20 tablets. I
don't know if the use of boiling water would destroy any of the codeine
but your best bet is not to use it. Use hot water but not boiling. Make
sure the tablets dissolve completely. Some dissolve on contact with
water while others need some help dissolving by crushing them. Note :
not all of the tablet will dissolve, there are water-insoluble fillers
in the tablet and not all of the A/A will dissolve either(which is what
3. Place the solution in a cold bath, I just use some ice cubes in a
container of water. Stir the mixture occasionally until the solution
drops to about 15C or lower. You won't need a thermometer to measure
the temperature, just make sure it's "cold". This will take about 30
min. If you wish to speed this up, you can use less water to dissolve
the tablets, and add ice chips to cool the mixture faster. Just make
sure you don't add so much ice that you drastically increase the volume
of the mixture.
4. Filter the solution using whatever you have. Coffee filters work well,
but lab filters work the best. Just make sure you don't end up with
obvious solids in the filtered solution. This will take about 1 hr. You
may also want to rinse the solids left over in the filter with some
ice-water to extract any remaining codeine.
5. Drink and enjoy! The solution will be _very_ bitter, so I mix a little
Kool-aid powder into the solution. The taste isn't really bad but it's
similar to sucking on a lemon.
6. Sit back and wait for the effects. Because the codeine is already in
solution it only needs to be absorbed, while codeine in the tablet form
must dissolve before being absorbed. Because of this, the effects will
probably become noticeable within 15min.
Note : I don't suggest you evaporate the mixture unless you are willing to
wait a while. The Merck index warns that codeine is sensitive to heat and
light. For that reason if you wish to evaporate the mixture, do it without
heat, and shield the solution from light.https://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/drugs/Codeine_Faq.txt