The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Can you be immune to codeine?  (Read 5310 times)

Offline NothaShrubry

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Can you be immune to codeine?
« on: 11/02/2010 09:09:00 »
I'm writing a novel. I need a character to have an immunity to a major alkaloid component of opium, any one, but codeine seemed a good bet.

I also need to know, if he's immune to one part (say codeine) and smokes opium, how would his experience differ from anybody else's?

I would investigate by experimentation like a good scientist, but I'm not immune to codeine (far from) and do not have any raw opium!

Ta!


 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8122
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Can you be immune to codeine?
« Reply #1 on: 11/02/2010 10:00:27 »
People can become tolerant to opiates.
Heroin users lose this tolerance whilst in jail and accidentally overdose soon after they get out of the clink if they take the same dose they took pre-prison when they had built up tolerance.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC153851/
 

Offline NothaShrubry

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Can you be immune to codeine?
« Reply #2 on: 11/02/2010 10:09:44 »
I need something more permanent - a tolerance discovered as a child which induced the character to explore and experiment with opium later in life.

It also needs to be able to be passed onto his son (potentially).

e.g. I'm naturally immune to TB... probably because my mum had the jab and then breast-fed me. I didn't need the jab.
 

Offline NothaShrubry

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Can you be immune to codeine?
« Reply #3 on: 22/02/2010 15:38:19 »
Thanks DD, that's quite helpful.

Let me just get a few things clear.

a) Exposed to a "bad batch of codeine" - i.e. a sample of painkiller which wasn't properly purified?

- and what would be the immediate perceivable effects - convulsions similar to strychnine poisoning?

b) His brain is sensitive to thebaine - does this mean he experiences enhanced stimulation experiences from it (which would work in the context of the novel)? Or would he experience unpleasant contractions, et cetera, on exposure (which wouldn't)?

 

Offline NothaShrubry

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Can you be immune to codeine?
« Reply #4 on: 23/02/2010 08:56:27 »
Okay, well - yay! Short term effects are brilliant for novel context (small child goes into spasms; how can that not be gripping?).

I'm not sure about depression though. He has quite a negative life - but his approach is not so much depression as revenge. Then again, by the time the two novels overlap (the main novel and his novel) he is an adult, and there is no reason to suppose he is not already addicted to opium: certainly he will become so later.

Interesting quote, btw. It reminds me of hatters, when they used to ingest mercury fumes and behave strangely. ;D
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Can you be immune to codeine?
« Reply #4 on: 23/02/2010 08:56:27 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums