what is Vicodin (hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen)
Vicodin (hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen) is a narcotic analgesic. it is prescribed to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain. Researchers believe that the ingredient hydrocodone relieves pain by changing how the brain and nervous system respond to painful stimuli.
The dosage of Vicodin (hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen) should be adjusted according to your pain level, without exceeding the total allowable daily dosage. With continued use, a tolerance to hydrocodone can develop, and with increased dosage, there may be increased side effects.
Who Should Not Take It
People who previously exhibited hypersensitivity to hydrocodone or acetaminophen should not take medications with these active ingredients.
Special Instructions for Pregnant Women
Hydrocodone/acetaminophen should be used with caution by pregnant women. Its use during pregnancy may lead to physical dependence or breathing problems in the newborn. Mothers who are breastfeeding should not use hydrocodone/acetaminophen since it is excreted in breast milk.
There may be drug interactions with narcotic analgesics and antihistamines, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety medications, or other central nervous system depressants, including alcohol and sedatives. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose of hydrocodone/acetaminophen if you take any of these drugs.
Signs of Overdose
Signs and symptoms of overdose include respiratory depression, extreme sleepiness that progresses to coma, skeletal muscle flaccidity (limpness), cold or clammy skin, bradycardia (slow heartbeat), and hypotension (low blood pressure). With very severe overdose, there can be apnea, circulatory collapse, cardiac arrest, and death. The acetaminophen portion can result in fatal hepatic necrosis, renal tubular necrosis, hypoglycemic coma, and thrombocytopenia (low platelets).
Common Side Effects
Some of the common side effects that may be associated with hydrocodone/acetaminophen include:
There are also adverse events related to the central nervous system, gastrointestinal system, genitourinary system, respiratory system, the senses, and dermatology:
Central nervous system: drowsiness, lethargy, cloudy thinking, impairment of mental and physical performance, anxiety, fear, dysphoria, mood changes, and psychic dependence
Gastrointestinal: constipation with prolonged use
Genitourinary: ureteral spasm, bladder sphincter spasm, urinary retention
Respiratory: respiratory depression that is dose-related
Special senses: hearing impairment or hearing loss related to chronic overdose
Dermatology: skin rash, pruritis
Warnings and Precautions
Hydrocodone/acetaminophen should be used with caution in the elderly population and with debilitated patients, patients with severe liver or kidney impairment, hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, prostatic hypertrophy, or urethral stricture. It should always be remembered that there is the potential for respiratory depression and that the drug suppresses the cough mechanism.
Patients should use caution when driving and operating machinery while taking hydrocodone/acetaminophen. The drug can be habit-forming, so being aware of your dose will serve you well. If you require more and more to achieve the same therapeutic benefit, talk to your doctor.