Log in
British Lung Foundation
39,079 members45,934 posts

I need your opinion please..

My husband has the same problem. Coughing until he almost passed out. Our doctor will not prescribe codine cough medication for him. He refused. It is the only thing that helps give him a slightly normal life. It has been 3 years now. I don't understand why a 74 year old who never took drugs can't get codine cough syrup. Does anyone know why this is forbidden. He is healthy only the terrible coughing fits.

10 Replies

Hi Pheona, has the coughing been thoroughly investigated? It’s not good for your husband to be left like that. I hope he gets much needed help soon. Xxxx



Not really suitable for people with lung condition.


As your GP offered a alternative, or a more defined reason for the persistent cough.


Whether or not this is suitable for him will depend on his underlying condition. Unless he has a consultant his GP is the best person to advise him.


We can't diagnose Pheona, but to give some personal experience, Ive had that kind of coughing which in my case was (is) bronchospasm. Really awful. But your husband's coughing could be something else - you don't say what triggers it, whether it is productive or not. The reason why your GP won't give him codeine may be because it suppresses the cough reflux which can be dangerous if you have a lung condition. So you need to go and ask firmly for an explanation and if you're not happy, then ask for a second opinion.

From what you say, he has had codeine linctus in the past so I would be wanting to know what has changed that he apparently can't be given it now.

When I was recently in hospital, the only thing which relieved the coughing was Oramorph. It sounds extreme as it is morphine based but a very small amount. I could take it up to 4 times a day, and now that my coughing is controlled and my health improved, I use it less than once a week. No-one thought to offer this to me before and since it has been so successful, I can't imagine why. Im 72 btw, and stage 3/4 copd plus bronchiectasis and asthma.


Has his doctor run any tests on him to find the reason for his cough? A CT scan for example? Or an X-ray? If not I would ask for them. x


If it's been that long I would say he absolutely needs the opinion of a consultant asap. They will be able to find out what's going on and discuss the best medications to help him.


This sounds as if he needs a second opinion or a referral to a consultant but as mrsmummy says the GP is the first port of call.



there was a report on BBC regarding codeine syrup abuse in Nigeria and I know Drs are worried about prescribing Opiates cos of addiction but common sense seems to have gone out of the window when this syrup is helpful for an older gent's distressing symptoms !


Ps My friend has Oramorph for her breathing and is not a junkie


That medicine suppresses coughing and that isn’t good. I have bronchiectasis and worry if I’m not coughing: it keeps the lungs clear and keeps infection away. I would love to shut myself up and was a strong follower of linctus codeine (even though they were reluctant as I have asthma) before bronchiectasis. I hope you get this sorted soon. X


You may also like...