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Signs and Symptoms of Hydrocodone Overdose

Hydrocodone belongs to the class of narcotic medications called opiates. They are man-made version of the natural compound found in opium and used in the treatment of moderate to severe pain conditions. Hydrocodone overdose occurs when a person intentionally or unintentionally take too much of the medication than what was originally prescribed by the physician to manage pain. Hydrocodone overdose can be extremely dangerous and life threatening.

The highly addictive nature of hydrocodone has created widespread Hydrocodone abuse and misuse among its patients. Medical experts have stated that a person can become addicted to Hydrocodone within as little as 4 weeks of usage. Also, individuals who use the drug for a long period of time may develop tolerance to the drug. Eventually, people who develop tolerance to the drug have to take more and more of the medication in order to get the desired effect. This increases the risk of Hydrocodone addiction, and possible overdose considerably.

Signs and symptoms of Hydrocodone overdose:

The narcotic analgesic, Hydrocodone causes a number of side effects on the individual. Common side effects experienced by the user include drowsiness, nausea, tiredness, disorientation, and constipation among many others. Hydrocodone side effects can develop when the patient takes the prescribed dose of medication. However, during an over dose these side effects might be magnified.

An overdose of the medication can cause vomiting that might be quite violent, , instead of nausea. Simple tiredness may transform into extreme weakness, which might prevent or impair even simple movements. The patient might go unconscious, and do not respond to shaking, shouting or any other attempts to wake the individual. This is probably the first symptom one will notice after an overdose. The extent of sleepiness depends on how much medication is taken by the person.

It has been noted that, rarely grown-ups may develop acute overdose with Hydrocodone when only less than 10 grams of the medication is taken, and in very rare cases death may occur when less than 15 grams of the medication is taken.

The early signs of hepatotoxic overdose with Hydrocodone include nausea, vomiting, general feeling of uneasiness, and diaphoresis. However, clinical or laboratory proof of hepatotoxicity cannot be noticed until 48 to 72 hours of Hydrocodone ingestion.

An overdose of hydrocodone may cause a dangerous drop in heart rate and blood pressure, thereby not providing sufficient oxygen to the body. Improper oxygen supply to the body may cause the lips to become blue, and the skin may become clammy and cold. Cardiac arrest may occur and the heart may stop beating completely. Cardiac arrest can be life threatening to the patient.

The most troublesome problem with hydrocodone is what it does to the breathing. During a Hydrocodone overdose, breathing becomes slow and shallow. Together with a reduced blood flow, this slow and shallow breathing starves the body cells of vital oxygen and slows down other body functions even further. Any further overdose may sedate the person sufficiently to stop breathing completely.

Overdose of hydrocodone may have debilitating effect on the kidneys. Severe necrosis of the liver, and permanent kidney damage may occur.

If someone else were to look in to the eyes of the person suffering from Hydrocodone overdose, they would notice a considerable constriction in the pupil. This condition is medically termed as "pinpoint pupils", which is a characteristic sign of overdose with Hydrocodone.

The chances of Hydrocodone overdose may be enhanced when it is taken with certain substances like cocaine, alcohol, barbiturates, methylphenidate, benzodiazepines, and many other medications. Non-prescription, prescription or illicit medications may also react badly with Hydrocodone, especially if they have soporific or sedative effects.

Hydrocodone Overdose treatment:

Immediate medical attention is necessary when a hydrocodone overdose is suspected. Indications of overdose with hydrocodone may include but not limited to: dizziness, drowsiness, seizures, slow breathing, loss of consciousness, weakness, nausea and vomiting, blurred or reduced vision, small pupils, confusion, and coma.

When medical help comes, they should be provided with the most accurate information in order to get the best possible treatment. Information such as name of the medication, the dosage and the time it was taken, and whether it was prescribed to the individual should be supplied to the medical professionals. Providing with the right information gives the victim the best possible chances of survival and recovery.


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