Codeine for Dogs and Cats

Codeine for Dogs and Cats

Codeine for Cats and DogsCodeine for Cats and Dogs
Codeine for Cats and DogsCodeine for Cats and Dogs


Overview of Codeine for Dogs and Cats

  • Codeine is derived from the opium poppy. Similar in structure to morphine, codeine is used in dogs to relieve pain, to suppress cough and act as a sedative. It can also be used to treat diarrhea in dogs and cats. There are combination products of Codeine mixed with acetaminophen. These combination products should NEVER BE USED IN CATS.
  • Like morphine, codeine is addictive. It causes dose-dependent respiratory depression, may result in constipation, and also may cause symptoms of withdrawal if discontinued abruptly following prolonged use.
  • Codeine is primarily used in dogs. It has not been used clinically in cats to any great extent, possibly because of the known sensitivity of cats to morphine-like drugs.
  • Codeine is classified as a narcotic agonist (or opiate). Other drugs in this class include morphine, fentanyl, meperidine and oxymorphone.
  • Codeine is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • Codeine is listed as a controlled substance.
  • Codeine is not approved for use in animals by the FDA, but may be prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

Brand Names and Other Names of Codeine

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Codeine sulfate (generic) and codeine phosphate (generic)
  • Veterinary formulations: None

Uses of Codeine for Dogs and Cats.

  • Codeine is used primarily as a pain killer to relieve mild to moderate pain, such as joint pain, muscle pain, back pain and post-surgical pain.
  • Codeine is also used as a cough suppressant and as an anti-diarrheal.

Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, codeine may cause side effects in some animals.
  • Codeine should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • The drug should be avoided in animals with chronic heart failure, advanced respiratory disease and when there is increased pressure within the brain.
  • Codeine should be avoided in patients with head trauma, brain tumors, or hydrocephalus.
  • Codeine should be used with caution in animals with severe kidney or liver disease, and in animals suffering from urinary retention.
  • Codeine may interact with other medications. Consult your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with codeine. Such drugs include dexamethasone, phenobarbital, rifampin and all central nervous system depressants.

How Codeine Is Supplied

  • Codeine sulfate is available in 15 mg, 30 mg and 60 mg tablets.
  • Codeine phosphate is available as a 30 mg/ml and 60 mg/ml injection.

Dosing Information of Codeine for Dogs and Cats

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • In dogs, codeine is dosed at 0.55 mg to 1.1 mg per pound (1.1 to 2.2 mg/kg) orally every 6 to 8 hours to alleviate irritating cough.
  • For pain relief, codeine is dosed at 0.25 to 1 mg per pound (0.5 to 2 mg/kg) orally every 6 to 8 hours.
  • In cats, codeine is dosed at 0.25 to 1 mg per pound (0.5 to 2 mg/kg) orally every 6 to 8 hours. The combination produce of Codeine with Acetaminophen should NEVER BE USED IN CATS.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian.


<!–Analgesic Drugs
Anti-Diarrheal Drugs
Antitussive Drugs
Autonomic Nervous System Drugs; Anesthetics; Analgesics



<!–Respiratory & Thoracic diseases
Neurology & Nervous System disorders



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