The combination of codeine and ibuprofen is deadly dangerous: European Medicines Agency

Codeine and ibuprofen-containing medications are discouraged by the European Medicines Agency. The prolonged use of these painkillers has been linked to deaths in Europe.

Overuse of these drugs can damage your kidneys

When taken in high doses or for a long time, the combination of codeine and ibuprofen can hurt the kidneys and make it hard for them to get rid of acids from the blood.

The EMA adds that kidney failure can result in hypokalaemia, or extremely low potassium levels in the blood. Then, symptoms like lightheadedness and muscle weakness might appear.

EMA with an appeal to pharmaceutical companies

Pharmaceutical firms are being urged by the European Medicines Agency to include these risks in the list of side effects in their leaflets. The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) noted that some European nations allow people to buy medications containing both compounds over-the-counter.

The majority of the recorded deaths occurred here. The committee working at the EMA came to the conclusion that giving codeine and ibuprofen medications the status of a prescription-only drug could successfully reduce the risk of addiction and abuse.

Codeine is a natural ingredient in opium

Codeine has a significant impact on the central nervous system, so the European Medicines Agency advises using products containing it with extreme caution. Numerous scientists think that it may be harmful, ineffective, and even addictive for the millions of people who regularly take it.

Opium, which is made from morphine and used to make cough syrups and painkillers, naturally contains codeine. According to DNA studies, people with different genetic backgrounds have different responses to the opioid, which is inactive until the body changes it into the highly addictive morphine. This has led scientists to warn against the widespread use of these drugs.

The rate at which the liver breaks down codeine is influenced by a wide range of genetic factors, making the body’s reaction to the drug unpredictable. Every genetic variation has the potential to have negative clinical outcomes. Even with standard doses of codeine, the wrong combination can produce toxic levels of morphine. Given that age plays a significant role in the susceptibility to morphine’s adverse effects, this can be fatal for young children and infants in particular.



3rd Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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