This combination medication is used to temporarily treat coughing and chest congestion symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, or other breathing illnesses (e.g., sinusitis, bronchitis). Guaifenesin is an expectorant that helps thin and loosen mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough up the mucus. Codeine is an opioid cough suppressant (antitussive) that affects a certain part of the brain, reducing the urge to cough.
This medication is not usually used for ongoing coughs from smoking, asthma, other long-term breathing problems (e.g., emphysema), or for coughs with a lot of mucus, unless directed by your doctor.
Opioid cough suppressants should not be used in children younger than 18 years. Children are at higher risk for serious (even fatal) side effects, especially breathing problems. Talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.
Cough-and-cold products do not cure colds. Cough due to a common cold often does not need to be treated with medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to relieve cough and cold symptoms, such as drinking enough fluids, using a humidifier, or saline nose drops/spray.