Pholcodine is an opioid chemically related to morphine. Pholcodine is a cough suppressant and has a very mild sedative effect which relieves local irritation of the respiratory tract. Pholcodine acts primarily on the CNS causing depression of the cough reflex.

Pholcodine has little or no analgesic action. Unlike other opioids, pholcodine do not cause depression of respiration, euphoria, constipation or other effects associated with narcotics. Pholcodine is believed to be non-addictive.


Chemical name7,8-didehydro-4,5-alpha-epoxy-17-methyl-3-(2-morpholinoethoxy)-Morphinan-6-alpha-ol
Alternative chemical names3-O-(2-Morpholinoethyl)morphine monohydrate, beta-4-Morpholinoethylmorphine, 7,8-Didehydro-4,5-alpha-epoxy-17-methyl-3-(2-morpholinoethoxy)morphinan-6-alpha-ol
CAS Number509-67-1
Chemical formulaC23H30N2O4
Molecular weight398.55

Pholcodine 2D moleculePholcodine occurs as colourless crystals or a white or almost white crystalline powder; it is freely soluble in alcohol and acetone but less soluble in water.