Everything you should know about Hydrocodone
Uses of Hydrocodone
This combination medication is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It contains an opioid(narcotic) pain reliever (hydrocodone) and a non-opioid pain reliever (acetaminophen). Hydrocodone works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. Acetaminophen can also reduce a fever.
This product is not recommended for use in children younger than 6 years due to an increased risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing).
How to use Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen
Take Hydrocodone by mouth as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
If you are using a liquid form of this medication, use a medication measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
In children, the dosage is also based on weight. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
If you have ongoing pain (such as due to cancer), your doctor may direct you to also take long-acting opioid medications. Other pain relievers (such as ibuprofen, naproxen) may also be prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely with other drugs.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if your pain persists or worsens.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other opioids (such as hydromorphone, morphine, codeine); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: brain disorders (such as head injury, tumor, seizures), breathing problems, stomach/intestinal problems (such as blockage, constipation, diarrhea due to infection, paralytic ileus), difficulty urinating (such as due to enlarged prostate), gallbladder disease, disease of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Liquid products may contain sugar and alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, liver disease, or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially slow/shallow breathing.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, and slow/shallow breathing.
During pregnancy: this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Tell the doctor right away if your baby develops unusual sleepiness, difficulty feeding, or trouble breathing. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, give them naloxone if available,
Symptoms of overdose may include: slow/shallow breathing, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sweating, stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness, slow heartbeat, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, coma.
Do not share this medication with others. Sharing it is against the law.
Do not use it later for another condition unless your doctor directs you to do so. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should have naloxone available to treat opioid overdose. Teach your family or household members about the signs of an opioid overdose and how to treat it.
If you are taking this product on a regular schedule and miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Different brands of this medicationhave different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so.