Hydrocodone – Acetaminophen
Used to treat moderate to severe pain, Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen is mixture of an opioid (Hydrocodone) and non-opioid (Acetaminophen). The opioid is used to treat pain whereas the non-opioid is used to treat fever. Moreover, the medicine shouldn’t be used to treat kids under age 6 as the side-effects can prove to be lethal for kids.
How to take the medicine?
This medicine can be administered orally with or without food. Also, take this drug with food if you’ve nausea. If you’re taking this drug in liquid form, ensure you’re using the medical apparatus to measure the correct dosage as home spoon may not necessarily calibrate the right kind of dosage.
The following dosing recommendations can only be considered suggested approaches to what is actually a series of clinical decisions over time; each patient should be managed individually.
As First Opioid Analgesic and For Patients who are NOT Opioid Tolerant:
Extended-Release Capsules): Initial dose: 10 mg orally every 12 hours
Extended-Release Tablets : Initial dose: 20 mg orally every 24 hours
Hydrocodone side effects
Opioid medicines can slow or stop your breathing, and death may occur. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
Stop using hydrocodone and call your doctor at once if you have:
- noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing;
- a slow heart rate or weak pulse;
- pain or burning when you urinate;
- confusion, tremors, severe drowsiness;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or
- low cortisol levels – nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.
Opioid medication can interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. Be sure your doctor knows if you also use:
- cold or allergy medicines, bronchodilator asthma/COPD medication, or a diuretic (“water pill”);
- medicines for motion sickness, irritable bowel syndrome, or overactive bladder;
- other narcotic medications – opioid pain medicine or prescription cough medicine;
- a sedative like Valium – diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, Xanax, Klonopin, Versed, and others;
- drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing – a sleeping pill, muscle relaxers, medicine to treat mood disorders or mental illness; or
- drugs that affect serotonin levels in your body – a stimulant, or medicine for depression, Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or nausea and vomiting.
You should not use hydrocodone if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- severe asthma or breathing problems; or
- a blockage in your stomach or intestines.
To make sure hydrocodone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- any type of breathing problem or lung disease;
- a head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;
- drug or alcohol addiction, or mental illness;
- urination problems;
- liver or kidney disease;
- problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid; or
- a heart rhythm disorder called long QT syndrome.
If you use opioid medicine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on opioids may need medical treatment for several weeks.
Do not breast-feed while taking this medicine. Hydrocodone can pass into breast milk and cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death in a nursing baby.