Vicodin ® is a combination of Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen. Hydrocodone belongs to a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers.
Vicodin ® is used in the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Acetaminophen enhances the pain relieving qualities of the Hydrocodone.
Vicodin® can be habit forming, both physically and psychologically. If Vicodin ® is taken over a long period of time, one may experience withdrawal syndrome. Take this medication under close supervision of a healthcare professional.
Vicodin is a commonly prescribed opiate painkiller made up of hydrocodone and paracetamol, which is acetaminophen. Vicodin is the trademark name for the drug, which is also marketed under the names Vicodin ES and Vicodin HP.
- Vicodin contains 500 mg of paracetamol and 5 mg of hydrocodone.
- Vicodin ES contains 750 mg of paracetamol and 7.5 mg of hydrocodone.
- Vicodin HP contains 660 mg of paracetamol and 10 mg of hydrocodone.
Vicodin is often prescribed for moderate to severe pain. It also has antitussive properties, meaning it helps to suppress chronic coughs.
Other analgesics with the same chemical composition and similar appearance are marketed under names including:
Some of these are made up of a combination of hydrocodone and ibuprofen or aspirin. Adding paracetamol to the formula increases the pain-relieving effects of hydrocodone but also discourages abuse. Ingesting too much paracetamol can have life-threatening or fatal consequences.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency regulates drugs including Vicodin, classifying them in a schedule according to their potential for dependence and abuse. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 puts the federal government in charge of enforcing drug laws concerning manufacturing, importing, possession and distribution.
Federal and state entities are responsible for punishing those who break laws concerning drugs. Vicodin is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance in the U.S. According to the U.S. government, the classification means Vicodin has the potential to cause physical or psychological dependence if abused.
Possible Side Effects of Vicodin
Upset stomach, nausea, constipation, dizziness and dry mouth are considered among the most commonly reported side effects. Less common effects include:
- allergic reaction
- clammy skin
- extreme weakness
- decreased appetite
- hot flashes
- hearing loss
- decreased sex drive
- muscle twitches
- hearing loss
Because of the hydrocodone, Vicodin can also depress the central nervous system. Other side effects, which may attract some recreational users, include extreme relaxation, euphoria and drowsiness. Taking more than 4 grams of acetaminophen in a day can cause severe liver damage or failure.
Taken as prescribed, Vicodin is useful in the treatment of pain. Prolonged use can cause patients to develop a tolerance which requires them to take more and more to stop the pain. A tell-tale sign of dependence is a strong craving for the drug. Once addicted, withdrawal symptoms can set in and they may include:
- muscle and bone pain
- other flu-like symptom
- involuntary leg movements
Overdosing on Vicodin or other opiates can be fatal. Kicking an addiction to opiates can be difficult. Many users delay treatment because of a fear of withdrawal. Numerous treatment options are available on an in-patient or out-patient basis. They include hospital-based detoxification, rehabilitation, faith or therapy-based programs and rapid drug detox.
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