Vicodin (important information)

2021-06-28 04:31 AM

Acetaminophen and hydrocodone can exist in breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Vicodin without telling your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin contains a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone belongs to a class of drugs called opioid analgesics.

Acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever that increases the effectiveness of hydrocodone.

Vicodin is used to relieve moderate to severe pain.

Vicodin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about Vicodin?

Vicodin may decrease thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know Vicodin has no effect. Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase the risk of liver damage while taking acetaminophen.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis) or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day. It may not be possible to take medicine that contains acetaminophen. Vicodin should not be taken more than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage the liver or cause death.

Tell your doctor if Vicodin seems to stop working as well as in pain relief. Hydrocodone can be addictive and should only be used by the person prescribed. Keep the medicine in a safe place where others cannot get to it.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, pain reliever, or sleeping pill. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is found in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause too much acetaminophen and can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if the medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.

Before taking Vicodin

Do not use Vicodin if you are allergic to acetaminophen (Tylenol) or hydrocodone. Tell your doctor if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis) or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day. It may not be possible to take medicine that contains acetaminophen.

To make sure you can safely take Vicodin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

Asthma, COPD, sleep apnea or other breathing disorders.

Liver or kidney disease.

Have a history of head injury or brain tumor.

Low blood pressure.

Stomach or intestinal disorders.

Thyroid failure.

Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorder.

Curved spine.

Mental illness.

History of drug or alcohol addiction.

Hydrocodone can be habit-forming and should be used by the person prescribed. Never share Vicodin with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medicine in a place where others cannot get it.

It is not known whether Vicodin is harmful to an unborn baby, but it may cause breathing problems or addiction/withdrawal symptoms in a newborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Vicodin. Acetaminophen and hydrocodone can pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Vicodin without telling your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

How should I use Vicodin?

Take Vicodin exactly as prescribed. Never take Vicodin in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage the liver or cause death.

Vicodin tablets can contain up to 750 mg of acetaminophen (Vicodin ES). Know the amount of acetaminophen in the specific products you are taking.

Follow the directions on the medicine label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well as in relieving pain.

Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day to help prevent constipation while taking Vicodin. Ask your doctor about ways to increase fiber in your diet. Do not use stool softeners (laxatives) without asking your doctor. Vicodin should not be stopped suddenly after long-term use, or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms may occur. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Vicodin.

Acetaminophen may cause false results with some urine glucose (sugar) tests. Talk to your doctor if you have diabetes and notice changes in your sugar levels during treatment.

If surgery is needed, tell the surgeon ahead of time how long you are taking Vicodin. It may be necessary to stop using the drug for a short time.

Store Vicodin at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep track of the number of Vicodin tablets used from each new bottle. Hydrocodone is a drug of abuse and should be known if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if a dose is missed?

When Vicodin is taken as needed, a dosing schedule may not be followed. If you are taking your medicine regularly, take it as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for the next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

What happens if you overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention, an overdose of Vicodin can be fatal.

The first signs of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Later, symptoms may include pain in the upper abdomen, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes.

Overdose symptoms may also include extreme drowsiness, cold and moist skin, muscle weakness, fainting, weak pulse, slow heartbeat, coma, blue lips, shallow breathing, apnea.

Should be avoided while taking Vicodin?

Vicodin may decrease thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know Vicodin will stop affecting you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medicine. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is found in many combination drugs. Taking certain products together can cause too much acetaminophen and can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if the medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP. Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase the risk of liver damage while taking acetaminophen.

Vicodin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Vicodin: hives, difficult breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects while taking Vicodin:

Shallow breathing, slow heart rate.

Feeling dizzy, fainting.

Confusion, fear, unusual thinking or behavior.

Convulsions.

Problems urinating.

Nausea, upper abdominal pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects of Vicodin may include:

Anxiety, dizziness, drowsiness.

Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation.

Headache, mood swings.

Blurred vision.

Tinnitus.

Dry mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Will other drugs affect Vicodin?

Do not take Vicodin with any narcotic pain medicine, sedatives, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Dangerous side effects may occur.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

Antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others.

MAO inhibitors such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), marked reduction (Azilect), selegiline (ELDEPRYL, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).

Atropine (Donnatal, and others), benztropine (Cogentin), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), glycopyrrolate (Robinul), mepenzolate (Cantil), methscopolamine (Pamine), or scopolamine (Transderm-scop).

Urinary drugs such as darifenacin (Enablex), Flavoxate (Urispas), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), tolterodine (Detrol), or solifenacin (Vesicare).

Bronchodilators such as ipratropium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva).

Bowel stimulants such as dicyclomine (BENTYL), hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others), or propantheline (Pro-Banthine).

This list is not exhaustive and other drugs may interact with Vicodin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, OTC, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medicine without telling your doctor.