Pain Treatment Vicodin Hydrocodone

Vicodin® is a powerful pain killer that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Vicodin® is known generically as acetaminophen and hydrocodone:

  • Acetaminophen, a relatively mild painkiller, is used to boost the effects of hydrocodone. Acetaminophen also works to reduce fever and various types of headache. A well-known brand name for acetaminophen is Tylenol®.
  • Hydrocodone, a synthetic narcotic, is a pain reliever that is similar to codeine.

In addition to Vicodin®, brand names of this pain killer include:

  • Anexsia®
  • Lorcet®
  • Lorcet Plus®
  • Lortab®
  • Norco®
  • Vicodin ES®
  • Zydone®.

Doctors may prescribe Vicodin® to help with pain after surgery or for a serious injury.

Avoiding Vicodin®

People should not take Vicodin® if they:

  • are breastfeeding
  • are pregnant or are planning on getting pregnant
  • have adrenal gland problems
  • have an enlarged prostate
  • have an under-active thyroid
  • have asthma
  • have epilepsy
  • have gall bladder disease
  • have low blood pressure
  • have serious lung diseases.

If you have any type of medical condition or disorder, discuss Vicodin® with your physician before taking it.

In addition, make sure that you discuss any other types of medication that you are taking with your doctor to avoid adverse drug interactions. Among the drugs that may interact badly with Vicodin® are:

  • Elavil®, an antidepressant medication
  • Demerol®, a pain killer
  • Haldol®, a tranquilizer
  • Parnate®, an antidepressant medication
  • Tavist®, an antihistamine
  • Trofranil®, an antidepressant medication.

Vicodin® Side Effects

Side effects of Vicodin® include:

  • anxiety
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • mood changes
  • nausea
  • respiratory depression
  • urinary retention
  • vomiting.

Some people cannot handle the side effects of Vicodin® or are unable to eat due to the severity of nausea when taking this medication. If this is the case, your doctor can prescribe a less severe pain reliever. Other pain relievers may not reduce pain as well as Vicodin®, but sufferers will not have to deal with as many side effects with other medications.

Additionally, it is unwise to drink alcohol when taking Vicodin®. Since Vicodin® can affect your thinking and decision-making processes, it may also be unwise to drive or operate heavy equipment when taking this painkiller.

Vicodin® Overdose

Overdosing on Vicodin® can be life-threatening. Symptoms of overdosing include:

  • clammy and cold skin
  • coma
  • difficulty breathing
  • heavy perspiration
  • low blood pressure
  • overwhelming sleepiness
  • slow heartbeat
  • vomiting.

If you suspect that you or someone that you know who is taking Vicodin® has overdosed, get emergency medical treatment as quickly as possible.

Vicodin® Addiction

Vicodin® is highly addictive, both physically and mentally. To avoid Vicodin® addiction, take your prescription exactly as your physician directs. Let your doctor know if the Vicodin® has stopped killing pain, but do not increase your dosage without your doctor’s approval.

If you are taking Vicodin® for a long period of time, discuss how to stop taking the drug with your doctor. If you stop cold turkey, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms might include:

  • anxiety
  • chills
  • headaches
  • insomnia.

Resources

Drugs.com (2006). Vicodin. Retrieved August 28, 2007, from the Drugs.com Web site: http://www.drugs.com/vicodin.html.

Health Square (n.d.). Brand Name: Vicodin. Retrieved August 28, 2007, from the healthsquare.com Web site: http://www.healthsquare.com/newrx/vic1480.htm.

MedicineNet (reviewed 1999). Hydrocodone/acetaminophen Index. Retrieved August 28, 2007, from the MedicineNet Web site: http://www.medicinenet.com/hydrocodoneacetaminophen/article.htm.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2005). Buying Drugs Online (Internet). Retrieved August 29, 2007, from the FDA Web site: http://www.fda.gov/womens/getthefacts/onlinedrugs.html.