About Codeine Phosphate For IBS

Codeine phosphate for IBS is a commonly used opiate based pain killer and anti-diarrheal too, useful for anyone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome!

On this page you will find information about this medication including the doses, side effects and much more.

You may know this drug by its trade names Diarrest and Kaodene.

Select A Topic:

  • Indications - find here the indications for taking Codeine, a narcotic analgesic
  • Cautions - when should you be cautious in taking this drug, find out here what you need to do
  • Contraindications  - are there any reasons not to take this medication? You can find more details here
  • Side Effects - like all drugs this medicine does have potential side effects. You can find out more about these here
  • Dose - How much can I take?
  • My View Of Codeine - I'll give you my views on taking this medicine for irritable bowel syndrome

Codeine Phosphate Tablets For IBS Picture


The drug is licensed for use in chronic diarrhea and as an analgesic pain killer. This makes it useful in anyone with pain associated with their diarrhea symptoms.

It is often used unlicensed in Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhea predominance, particularly when your symptoms are bad.


The drug may cause drowsiness and you should avoid driving or operating machinery when experiencing this.

It can also cause abdominal distension in some people, so if you are prone to bloating, you may be better off with an alternative.

You should discuss with a health professional before taking if:

  • You are pregnant or breast feeding
  • Taking any medications
  • Have a tendency to constipation
  • Any history of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Any history of nausea or vomiting
  • If you have a history of breathing problems such as asthma or COPD
  • If you drink excessive quantities of alcohol
  • Have a history of drug allergy
  • If you have any history of heart or kidney problems


It should be avoided in acute diarrhea conditions such as acute inflammatory colitis or antibiotic associated colitis unless under the guidance of a doctor.

You should not take this medication if you have any history of allergy to codeine.

Side Effects

The main side effects of this drug include

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Rash
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Confusion
  • Breathing problems
  • Palpitations

If you experience any of these, seek medical advice.

Adult Dose

Codeine 30 mg three to four times a day (range 15 mg to 60 mg) unless under the guidance of a doctor


This drug is available as tablets, syrup and liquid (solution)  as well as combination preparations.

My View Of Codeine Phosphate For IBS

Codeine Phosphate is a particularly good treatment for diarrhea.

It has the qualities of both reducing diarrhea and also a pain killing or analgesic effect, when cramps are an issue.

It can cause drowsiness so you should refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery if you experience this symptom.

It is a great drug to use when symptoms are bad, although I would always advise taking this medication in conjunction with other therapies.

Note: It is part of the opiate family which includes morphine and diamorphine, so short term use is recommended as it can become a drug of addiction if not controlled.

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The References:

1) Double-blind cross-over study comparing loperamide, codeine and diphenoxylate in the treatment of chronic diarrhea. Palmer KR, Corbett CL, Holdsworth CD. Gastroenterology. 1980 Dec;79(6):1272-5.

2) Loperamide, diphenoxylate, and codeine in chronic diarrhoea. Shee CD, Pounder RE. Br Med J. 1980 Feb 23;280(6213):524

PLEASE NOTE: Whilst this website has taken every care to make sure the information is correct, I cannot accept any liability for any of the above information. If any concerns, always read the drug manufacturers guidelines or consult a doctor.

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