MHRA restrictions of codeine for children and adolescents
Codeine has been associated with several child fatalities, largely due to its conversion to morphine in the liver. This can cause excessive morphine blood levels in patients who metabolise more quickly, leading to side-effects or toxicity.
The MHRA has recommended that children under 12, breast feeding mothers and patients known to be CYP2D6 rapid metabolisers should avoid codeine. Children 12-18 years should be treated for a maximum of 3 days, using the lowest effective dose (max 240mg daily).
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