Apnea in a child after oral codeine: A genetic variant - An ultra-rapid metabolizer

Polina Voronov*, Henry J. Przybylo, Narasimhan Jagannathan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


We present a case of a 29 months old previously healthy child who experienced apnea resulting in brain injury following a dose of acetaminophen and codeine 2 days after an uneventful anesthetic for tonsillectomy. A genetic polymorphism leading to ultra-rapid metabolism of codeine into morphine resulted in narcosis and apnea. This paper discusses the use of codeine for pain relief, obstructive sleep apnea, the alteration of the CYP2D6 gene and the resulting effect on drug metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)684-687
Number of pages4
JournalPaediatric anaesthesia
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Apnea
  • Codeine
  • Complications
  • Genetic polymorphism
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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