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Vicodin (hydrocodone + acetaminophen)

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Updated June 19, 2014

Classification:

An analgesic (pain medication) that is a combination of the synthetic opiate hydrocodone and acetaminophen, commonly known by the brand name Tylenol.

Form:

Tablets of various dosages
  • Vicodin: 500mg acetaminophen/5mg hydrocodone
  • Vicodin ES: 750mg acetaminophen/7.5mg hydrocodone
  • Vicodin HP: 10mg hydrocodone/660mg acetaminophen

Also known As:

Other brand names of the hydrocodone and acetaminophen combination include:
  • Lorcet
  • Lortab
  • Dolacet
  • Anexsia
  • Zydone
  • Norco

Dosages:

Dosages vary depending on the combination and the amount of hydrocodone and acetaminophen in each tablet. Typical dosing for Vicodin 5/500 is 1 to 2 tablets every 6 hours as needed.

Important Warning! - Vicodin and other similar pain medications in this class are intended for short term use only. Extended use can lead to physical and emotional dependence as well as physical tolerance.

The Dangers of Vicodin

Precautions:

People using Vicodin should take the following precautions:
  • use should be avoided in people allergic to codeine or hydrocodone
  • be aware of acetaminophen contained in over the counter products. Excessive acetaminophen can lead to liver damage of failure
  • avoid alcohol when using hydrocodone containing medications
  • don't operate motor vehicles or machinery when taking vicodin

Drug Interactions:

Caution should be used when taking MAO inhibitors or trycyclic antidepressants

Side Effects:

Several side effects can occur including:
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • lightheadedness
  • nausea / vomiting
  • itching
  • constipation
  • respiratory depression

Warning:

Vicodin and other hydrocodone containing medications are intended for short term use only.

Prolonged use or taking dosages greater than prescribed can lead to physical tolerance or physical and emotional dependence. Withdrawal symptoms can occur if Vicodin is discontinued after prolonged use.

More Information:

For more information about Vicodin try About.com's Drug Finder.

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