I had a wee holiday last weekend! I went up to Auckland with my very good friend, we drank wine, caught up, ate, drank more wine, went to Waiheke Island, drank more wine and also drank some wine. Long story short, we drank a lot of wine. Not to get too graphic about it, but on the first night we were there she started to feel a bit ill, which was strange considering we hadn’t had THAT much wine by then… anyway, she felt awful, puked, then felt better.

The next day she was like “Man it was weird that I felt so bad… I mean, I took a codeine to help with the headache but I guess I chucked it up…” at which point I punched her in the shoulder and proceeded to screech in shock “You took codeine while you were drinking you f***ing idiot!?” God love her.

So I’m gonna learn you in this post about the interaction between codeine and alcohol so that next time you think you’ll get rid of that dehydration headache with a wee pill leftover from your sprained ankle, you’ll think again.

First off, what is codeine? Actually, codeine is a derivative of morphine. Codeine is most commonly used to treat pain as it is an opiate, like morphine. Common side effects of taking codeine include itchiness, constipation, lightheadedness, drowsiness and (no surprises) vomiting. It gets converted to morphine in the liver, which acts directly on your central nervous system to help decrease feelings of pain. Ideal when you’ve got a broken bone or your wisdom teeth out and you’re in agony!

Hey interesting fact, some people can be intolerant to morphine (and as such, codeine too.) This can manifest as an allergic reaction, so if you have this problem, you probably can’t take morphine or its derivatives, and you’d have to find some other pain meds. (Pst, I am one of these people. I take tramadol instead :))

If you are over the age of about 15 and/or exist as a human being, you probably know the symptoms of being drunk, or overdosing on alcohol. They include impaired motor function, nausea, vomiting, slurring your words, forgetting things, regrettably texting your ex, not noticing your nip has been out the whole evening and dizziness.

Tara’s kryptonite.

Some crossover exists between these two effects, but basically what codeine does is it exacerbates or makes worse the effects of alcohol. It can make you feel drunk off of one beer. In my friends case, because she took the codeine AFTER ingesting alcohol, it exacerbated nausea and vomiting symptoms. Long story short, codeine and alcohol interact. Be aware of this.

Hey team thanks for reading about my dumb friend, stay tuned for the next one! Get Learned!



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