We have observed a strange couple of facts about blogsites that talk about medications. Namely, in most of the cases, the people who are writing articles about the medications and that choose which articles will be published tend to leave out articles that explain how a particular medication works, or do not even bother two write them. We can think of a few reasons for this. Sure, there are blog sites that are dedicated to different natural products that are scams and that do not have a specific and worked out way in which they work. It is natural that the writers for these bogs will leave out articles about the mechanism of action of those products as no one knows if the mechanism of action even exists. The, there are those who probably think that writing about stuff like that will only confuse the readers and that they might not be capable of explaining those mechanisms clearly enough. We tend to think that the common reader would appreciate to know exactly how a medication works and that they will have no troubles understanding it if we make enough of an effort to explain it. So, here is how Codeine works.
The first thing that you need to remember is that Codeine is an opiate. This means that it comes from a plant known as poppy, but a specific kind from which opium can be obtained. Morphine is then obtained from opium and through a process known as methylation, Codeine is obtained. There are certain companies that still get their Codeine directly from opium, but as the levels of that can be found in opium are very small; it is more common to get it from morphine.When you ingest opium, believe it or not, your body converts a percentage of it back into morphine, about 10% of it. It converts the majority of it (around 70%) into codeine-6-glucuronide. It is now believed that the most of the effects of Codeine come from C6G and not from morphine.Morphine and C6G then interact with certain receptors found in the central nervous system (mostly) and that is how the effects of Codeine are produced.
The receptors which interact with opiates, including Codeine are mu, kappa and delta receptors, which have further subdivision, but we will not tire you with that now. When Codeine interacts with mu-receptors, the analgesic properties are observed, namely, the reduction of pain. When Codeine binds to these receptors, the pain signals from the body cannot reach these receptors, which is how pain is stopped from being acknowledged. The other opiate-sensitive receptors also account for some analgesic properties, as well as for other effects of Codeine, like relaxation, miosis, euphoria, respiratory depression, and hypotension. Some of these are beneficial effects and some are adverse effects that sometimes are powerful enough to be noticed by the patient. These are side effects that Codeine may cause.
We hope that this explanation is simple enough without being too much of a simplification and that you are now more knowledgeable about the way in which Codeine works.