The Dangers of Codeine in Children

In recent years, there have been more and more instances of codeine related issues in children. Recently, the FDA provided an official warning on the dangers of pediatric use. The basic problem is that 1-7% of people have an enzyme in the liver that converts codeine to morphine at an unusually fast rate. High levels of morphine can suppress the body's drive to breathe and serious injury or even death can occur. Because of these risks, and the unpredictable response to codeine, I do not prescribe this drug. Click here for the FDA cosumer warning and suggestions on how to monitor for this unusual, but dangerous occurence