Doctors and pharmacists: Does codeine cause chills

…by slowing down circulation? I ask because I’m currently on it for postsurgical pain and I’m sitting in my house fully dressed with a terrycloth bathrobe over my clothes. I never do that ordinarily.

Or could that be from blood lost during the procedure? It was a septoplasty, so I not only lost blood during the surgery, but also when the doctor took out the padding today.

Warning! IANAD! But I did a Google search.

According to the site the following are codeine side effects:

Codeine side effects include but are not limited to:

stomach bleeding
kidney damage
liver damage
tiny pupils
blurred vision
poor night vision
impair your ability to drive
lowered heart rate, blood pressure and breathing
sexual problems

Nothing on there about chills, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

Any doctors care to chime in to help? Hope your surgery went okay and you’re healing quickly.

Lots of post-op patients have chills, related to fluid shifts, healing, possible infections, etc. etc. unrelated to opiates like codiene. I suppose the codiene could even contribute too. But it’s not a typical side-effect.

The best expert the OP could consult would be the surgeon who did the operation. You’re paying for that doctor’s advice.


I was treated for addiction to codeine. I abused that stuff for a long, long, time and I can attest to the accuracy of the above posted list of side effects. I don’t remember having chills, although there are lots of things I don’t remember from those years. I’m feeling much better now, though.

Morphine can have a hypothermic effect:

Many more.
As QtM says, it’s typically not a problem. On the other hand, having remarkably large stents removed from ones nose while doped on codeine is a very disturbing experience.

Thanks, all, for for your replies so far.

It occurred to me that opiates could have a chilling effect, and that might account for why many homeless people seem to be inappropriately bundled up in warm weather, if they’re addicts.

It was disturbing to have the packing taken out of my nose, let me tell you! As a matter of fact I delayed my next dose of painkiller so that I could take it just when I was leaving for the doctor’s office, and hopefully minimize the pain. It hurt, but the relief of getting those things out was stupendous.

Hey, I had a septoplasty this week, too! On the 4th. I was warned that chills could be a sign of infection (though normally when alternating with fever). Just being cold is most likely just the post-op thing, as QtM knows better than I.

For some reason I thought I’d be anaesthetized by the doctor, so I didn’t take a Vicodin before getting the packing out. Big mistake – I was crawling the walls by the time he finished, and then he had to take out the (what were they, splints?) enormous plastic disks, which didn’t look like they could ever have fit up my nose. And then there was the suction – I don’t want to think about the suction.

The homeless are bundled up for three reasons: (1) starving causes hypothermia, (2) it’s the only place some of them can carry their clothes, and (3) some of them are a little crazy.