1 What is Altec?

Brand: Altec, Altec-P

Generic: Codeine

Altec is an opiod analgesic used to relieve mild to moderately severe pain by acting on the receptors of the central nervous system. 

Prolonged usage of this drug can cause mental or physical dependence. The dose of this drug must be tapered slowly before you completely stop taking this drug to prevent any withdrawal symptoms. 

This drug requires a prescription.

2 What To Know before Using

Before taking Altec, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider of any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. 

Studies regarding the correlation of age to the effects of codeine in the pediatric population have not been performed while safety and efficacy have not been established.

There are no reports of geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of codeine in the elderly. Adjustments in the dose of this drug for the elderly may be required since they are more likely to have confusion and drowsiness, and age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems.

Adverse effects have been reported in animal studies but studies in pregnant women or animals are still inadequate. This drug poses minimal risk to infants when used during breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions, but in necessary cases, inquire with your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects. 

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as sleeping pills, other narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with codeine, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal products. Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or non-prescription drugs. 

Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with magnesium is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco. 

Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as Addison's disease, alcohol abuse, breathing or lung problems, CNS depression, drug dependence, enlarged prostate, hypothyroidism, kyphoscoliosis, mental illness, problems with passing urine, brain tumor, head injuries, increased pressure in your head, breathing problems, paralytic ileus, respiratory depression, hypotension, pancreatitis, seizures, liver disease, or stomach digestion problems.

3 Proper Usage

Altec must be taken exactly as directed by your doctor. To prevent any side effects, take this drug exactly as directed in the label or as prescribed by your healthcare professional. Excess intake of this drug may cause dependence or even an overdose.

The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients. The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug.  

Adults with mild to moderately severe pain are given 15 to 60 milligrams every 4 hours as needed. The dose must not exceed 360 mg per day. Use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional.

 A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.

4 Precautions To Take

Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of Altec.

This drug will potentiate the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants such as antihistamines or medicine for allergies or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine, other prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. 

Do not take more than your prescribed dose to prevent dependence on this drug. Unwanted side effect such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. Be careful in taking this drug before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous. 

You may be advised to take laxatives, increase fluid intake, or increase the amount of fiber in your diet, since severe constipation is associated with prolonged use of this drug.

Contact your healthcare professional immediately if you experience symptoms of rapid metabolism such as extreme sleepiness, confusion, or shallow breathing while taking a codeine-containing medicine or any other narcotic analgesics. 

Consult with your healthcare professional before you change your dose or suddenly stop using this drug. Your healthcare professional may slowly taper the amount you are using before stopping it completely to help prevent worsening of your condition and reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms, such as abdominal or stomach cramps, anxiety, fever, nausea, runny nose, sweating, tremors, or trouble with sleeping. 

Taking this drug while you are pregnant may cause neonatal withdrawal syndrome in your newborn babies evidenced by abnormal sleep pattern, diarrhea, high-pitched cry, irritability, shakiness or tremor, weight loss, vomiting, or failure to gain weight. 

Seek advice from your healthcare professional before taking any other prescription or non-prescription drugs, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

5 Potential Side Effects

Side effects of Altec may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur. 

Inform you healthcare provider immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as: 

  • Bloating
  • Blurred vision
  • Chills
  • Cold
  • Clammy skin
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Darkened urine
  • Difficult or troubled breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting feeling, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position 
  • Irregular
  • Pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse fast
  • Weak pulse
  • Feeling of warmth
  • Fever
  • Indigestion
  • Irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • No blood pressure or pulse
  • No breathing
  • Pain in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back pale or blue lips, fingernails
  • Skin redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stopping of the heart
  • Sweating, unconsciousness
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing
  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Bluish lips or skin
  • Change in consciousness
  • Chest pain or discomfort 
  • Constricted, pinpoint, or small pupils
  • Decreased awareness or responsiveness
  • Extreme sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe sleepines
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the drug, these side effects may eventually disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. 

If any of the following side effects persists, or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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