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What is hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is in a group of medicines which are called narcotic pain relievers. Sometimes hydrocodone is used together with Acetaminophen which is a less powerful pain reliever that enhances the effects of hydrocodone. Doctors prescribe the combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone as the treatment for moderate to extreme pain. Some doctors may prescribe hydrocodone for many other health problems as well.

Why hydrocodone is prescribed?

Hydrocodone is recommended only in combination with other compounds, and different combination medicines are prescribed for various uses. A number of hydrocodone products are recommended to relieve moderate to extreme pain. Some other hydrocodone products are prescribed to relieve cough. Hydrocodone is in a group of medicines called opiate analgesics and in a group of medications which are called antitussives. Hydrocodone reduces pain by altering the way our nervous system and brain respond to pain. Hydrocodone reduces cough by reducing activity in the part of our brain that triggers coughing.

Hydrocodone must be used with extreme caution in children. Prolonged-release products comprising of hydrocodone should not be prescribed to children younger than six years of age and must be used with careful attention in children from six to twelve years of age. You should consult with your doctor or physician about the consequences of giving hydrocodone to your kid. You should ask your pharmacist or your doctor when you have any concerns or questions about the medicine before taking it.

What do patients need to know before taking hydrocodone?

Before taking hydrocodone, you should tell your doctor or physician if you experience any of these conditions: sleep apnea, asthma, COPD, or other types of breathing disorders; kidney disease; mental illness; Addison's disease; underactive thyroid; liver disease; urination problems; epilepsy, other seizure disorder; any brain tumor or head injury; gallbladder disease; low blood pressure; or any record of addiction.

Taking hydrocodone during pregnancy

Hydrocodone can cause problems to an unborn child. Hydrocodone can also cause withdrawal symptoms or addiction in a child if the mother has a history of taking the drug during her pregnancy. If you are pregnant or decided to conceive you need to tell your doctor or physician before taking this medicine.

Again, hydrocodone may pass into the breast milk and might cause a lot of harm to a nursing baby. Thus when you are breast feeding a child, you must not take the medicine without discussion with your doctor about taking hydrocodone.

What are the possible side effects of Hydrocodone?

You should get emergency help if you detect any of the allergic reactions to hydrocodone such as difficulty breathing; hives; swelling of face, tongue, lips, or throat. You should look for a doctor if you experience any of the following serious side effects including shallow breathing; confusion or hallucinations; chest pain, fainting, dizziness, fast and heavy heartbeat; or feeling light-headed, trouble breathing, itching, jaundice, clay-colored stools, dark urine, or fainting.

Some of the less serious hydrocodone side effects are: feeling nervous, anxious, or restless; feeling weak, sleepy or drowsy; sleep problems or insomnia; nausea, dry mouth, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite; headache; blurred vision; mood changes; or dry mouth; or impotence, and decreased sex drive.

However, this is not a full list of all the possible side effects and many other side effects may occur in few occasions. If you experience any unusual side effects after taking the medicine you should talk with your doctor immediately.

What happens if a patient misses a dose?

Since hydrocodone is taken as needed, in most of the case patients may not be on a dosing schedule. If a patient is taking hydrocodone regularly, he should take the missed dose wheneever he can remember. When it is the time to take the next dose he should skip that and more to his regular dose afterwards.

What happens if you overdose?

You need to seek emergency medical assistance if you feel you have taken hydrocodone more than you have been prescribed. In some situation an overdose of acetaminophen and hydrocodone can cause very serious health problems.

Overdose symptoms include sweating, extreme drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, vomiting, nausea, dark urine, jaundice, cold and clammy skin, confusion, fainting, muscle weakness, weak pulse, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, blue lips, coma, or no breathing.

So like all other medicines proper precautions and safety measures should be taken before having the medicine. Again this medicine should only be taken in a proper way after consulting with a doctor.


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