The Signs of Codeine Withdrawal

All You Need to Know About the Signs of Codeine Withdrawal

The narcotic medication, known as codeine, is an effective treatment for pain relief and is also used as a cough suppressant. Like any medication in the narcotic family, this drug blocks pain and produces euphoric feelings that some individuals try and chase, even after the medication is no longer necessary. Codeine can serve as a sedative, in ways, since the feelings of relaxation and drowsiness also occur with this drug. Codeine isn’t as highly addictive as other narcotics; however, like any substance used over time, it can be habit-forming. If you or someone you know abuses codeine and are looking to seek help, there are signs of codeine withdrawal you should become familiar with.

The Side Effects of Codeine

Codeine is often used in different variations, in both prescription medications, and in street formulations. Even when it’s being used as directed, codeine can bring certain side effects including:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and constipation
  • Dry eyes
  • Itchy feeling
  • Confusion/lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Drowsiness
  • Flushing or redness of skin

Codeine abuse begins when the feelings of calmness and euphoria are desired so much that the substance gets abused to continue those feelings. Addiction and dependence are likely with codeine, which is why it’s important to seek help as soon as possible, once the problem is established. The codeine withdrawal stages can feel intense, which is why drug addiction specialists recommend experiencing detox at a drug rehab facility.

The Codeine Withdrawal Timeline

The Codeine withdrawal timeline is very similar to that of opiate withdrawal. The first physical signs of codeine withdrawal typically begin between 4-12 hours after the last dose. These symptoms usually peak within 48 hours and can last up to a week.

The length of time of codeine withdrawal stages, of course, varies and depends on the individual. The first physical signs of codeine withdrawal can appear as flu-like symptoms: body aches, drowsiness, and runny nose. Whereas, the second stage on the codeine withdrawal timeline comes with more uncomfortable symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, increased sensitivity to pain, sweating, and fever-like chills, which can last up to a month.

Like with any detox, physical symptoms are not the only side effect that occurs during withdrawal. The emotional signs of codeine withdrawal include mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Individuals that struggle with codeine addiction are highly encouraged to enter a drug rehab facility to not only be monitored by healthcare professionals but to also partake in counseling sessions to treat emotional withdrawal symptoms as well. Emotional signs of codeine withdrawal tend to last longer than physical ones, especially in cases where addiction is fueled by dual-diagnosis.

The Benefits of Professional Addiction Help

Working with counselors in individual and group therapy can help restore balance back to the addict’s life while they physically recovery from codeine withdrawal stages. Many addicts allow fear of the codeine withdrawal process to discourage them from getting professional help. However, inpatient rehab facilities provide a safe and welcoming environment for anyone who is ready to end addiction.

White Sands Tampa not only provides inpatient services for the initial withdrawal process to lessen the intense symptoms of withdrawal but also treats patients with various types of counseling to instill the skills and tools necessary for a successful and stable recovery. Outpatient programs are offered once patients have completed inpatient rehab, to keep recovering addicts active in their addiction treatment.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.