Pharmacology Cough & Allergy #5

Question

Which side effect(s) should the nurse educate the client about when a client is prescribed a cough suppressant with codeine? Select all that apply.

Answers

  1. Constipation
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because constipation is a common side effect of codeine. Codeine is an opioid used as a cough suppressant. Opioid side effects will occur in the client using codeine as a cough suppressant. These side effects include drowsiness, constipation, hypotension, and respiratory depression. The client should be carefully monitored for these CNS and respiratory depression symptoms. The side effect of drowsiness can be helpful in the client needing to rest due to excessive coughing.

  2. Sun sensitivity
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because sun sensitivity is not a side effect of codeine. Opioid side effects will occur in the client using codeine as a cough suppressant. These side effects include drowsiness, constipation, hypotension, and respiratory depression.

  3. Insomnia
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because insomnia is not a usual side effect of codeine. Opioid side effects will occur in the client using codeine as a cough suppressant. These side effects include drowsiness, constipation, hypotension, and respiratory depression. The client should be carefully monitored for these CNS and respiratory depression symptoms. The side effect of drowsiness can be helpful in the client needing to rest due to excessive coughing.

  4. Heart palpitations
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because heart palpitations are not side effects of codeine. Bradycardia is most associated with use of codeine since codeine is an opioid. Opioid side effects will occur in the client using codeine as a cough suppressant. These side effects include drowsiness, constipation, hypotension, and respiratory depression. The client should be carefully monitored for these CNS and respiratory depression symptoms. The side effect of drowsiness can be helpful in the client needing to rest due to excessive coughing.

  5. Orthostatic hypotension
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because orthostatic hypotension is a common side effect of codeine. Codeine is an opioid used as a cough suppressant. Opioid side effects will occur in the client using codeine as a cough suppressant. These side effects include drowsiness, constipation, hypotension, and respiratory depression. The client should be carefully monitored for these CNS and respiratory depression symptoms. The side effect of drowsiness can be helpful in the client needing to rest due to excessive coughing.

Overview

Codeine is an opioid used as a cough suppressant. It will cause all the usual central nervous system (CNS) depression effects as other opioids so the client should be monitored for these side effects.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Codeine is a common opioid used for pain control but it is also effective as a cough suppressant. Opioid side effects will occur in the client using codeine as a cough suppressant. These side effects include drowsiness, constipation, hypotension, and respiratory depression. The client should be carefully monitored for these CNS and respiratory depression symptoms. The side effect of drowsiness can be helpful in the client needing to rest due to excessive coughing.

Test Taking Tip

When you understand how a medication class works, it works the same, regardless how it is used. For example, if codeine is used as a pain reliever, it will have CNS and respiratory depression the same when it is used as a cough suppressant. Be alert and monitor clients carefully.

Video Rationale