Hydrocodone is a partially synthetic opioid drug, with antitussive and analgesic properties, which is used to treat moderate levels of pain and discomfort. It is also known as dihydrocodone, and is made from one of two opiates which occur naturally, these being thebaine and codeine. Hydrocodone is administered orally and may be taken in the form of a syrup or alternatively as capsules or tablets.
It is frequently found in compound with other, non-opioid drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, there has been a good deal of concern expressed by medical professionals and researchers about the effect on the liver of continuing to use acetaminophen for a long period of time. For this reason, a group of pharmaceutical corporations, including Zogenix and Cephalon, have conducted research into the possibility of producing extended-release capsules which can deliver hydrocone on its own.
The origins of hydrocone date back to 1920, when it was first synthesized. This feat was accomplished by Helene Lowenheim and Carl Mannich, two German chemists. Despite this early date for its creation, however, the drug was not approved for use in the United States until the Food and Drug Administration passed it in March 1943. Since that time, it has also been approved in many other countries, including Canada - where it is sold as Hycodan - and in the United Kingdom and other European nations.
Hydrocone's trade name was decided to be Dicodid. This name was selected on the basis that it worked in a similar way to Dilaudid - which is based on hydromorphone - and also because of the existence of similar drugs such as Dinarkon and Dihydrin. There is also a version of hydrocodone which is six times stronger than orally administered codeine, known as Vicodin. The drug was placed on Schedule II by the United States, on the grounds that it contains over 15 milligrams of the drug per dosage unit. Compounds of hydrocone with acetaminophen do not reach this threshold, and so these are classified as Schedule III drugs.
After the passing of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in the United Kingdom, hydrocone was classified as a Class A drug, the highest possible level. This indicates that that the British authorities were concerned about the potential for hydrocone to do substantial harm, especially if it were abused. Elsewhere in Europe, for example in Germany, a version named Dicodid is commercially available. The purest American form of the drug is found in Codiclear DH, a cough remedy, and this adds ethanol and guaifenesin in small quantities.
It is very important to take hydrocone precisely in accordance with the instructions given to you by your doctor when you were prescribed the medication. You should stick to a regular schedule and take the hydrocone at the same point of each day. The prescription label will give further guidance on how to take the drug, which should be read carefully and followed to the letter. If there are any sections of it which you do not understand or need more guidance with, a pharmacist or doctor will be able to help make them clearer for you.
Hydrocone in syrup or other liquid form should never be measured out with only a standard teaspoon. These spoons are not sufficiently accurate for measuring targeted drugs such as this, and it is possible that you will receive an incorrect dose. This can be harmful and can cause severe effects. It is easy to obtain accurate measuring equipment, for example oral syringes and spoons produced expressly for use with medicines. You can get help with finding these if you talk to your doctor or to a pharmacist.
Never increase the dose of hydrocone you are taking without medical supervision, even if you do not think the drug is having the desired effect on you. It is possible for this to result in an overdose with potentially catastrophic consequences for your health. If you accidentally take too much, make contact with a medical professional immediately and explain the situation, since in many cases of overdose, obtaining early treatment can quite literally make the difference between life and death.
Hydrocordone has the potential to become addictive, must be taken only in accordance with the way your doctor has prescribed you to do so. If you find yourself experiencing a craving to vary the dose beyond that which has been prescribed for you, get in touch with your doctor. It is also important not to stop taking hydrocordone unless your doctor has given you the go-ahead to do so. Withdrawal symptoms from sudden removal of the drug can be quite debilitating, so doctors will usually direct that the dose should be gradually reduced.