Vicodin - an overview
Vicodin is a schedule III prescription, narcotic pain killer that is made up of acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is an opiate that offers a euphoric feeling in the body. Opiates are very addictive. There is the potential for withdrawal effects that are very severe, but are not as severe as heroin.
Your doctor may prescribe Vicodin to treat pain that ranges from mild to severe that occurs after a surgery, but it will occasionally be used for the long term treatment of pain. Knoll Laboratories is the maker of Vicodin. This medication can be found in three forms: Vicodin HP, Vicodin ES and Vicodin. This is a narcotic pain reliever and is considered to be a controlled substance, so there are regulations and laws regarding the use and sale of this medication.
Abbott Laboratories is the maker of this prescription medication.
What it does
Hydrocodone is a narcotic semi-synthetic drug. This opioid pain medication is a similar to codeine medicine. Hydrocodone medication can help to manage pain, at the same time it can also cause changes in the mood, mental fuzziness and drowsiness. Hydrocodone can only be obtained as a combination drug with other kinds of medications in United States.
APAP is the chemical name for acetaminophen. It is a fever reducer and pain reliever that is often found in over the counter medications that include Tylenol.
When acetaminophen is combined with hydrocodone, the effectiveness at easing pain is increased and it is thought that the abuse potential is lower than administering hydrocodone alone. The acetaminophen content works to reduce the maximum dosage of Vicodin.
Since Vicodin is an opiate narcotic, it does have secondary effects that are much like other opioids. These effects may include:
- Changes in the mood
- Trouble or shallow breathing
- Fear and anxiety
- Dependence and/or addiction
Potential Abuse and/or overdose
Vicodin has effects on the body's nervous system which makes this prescription painkiller very commonly abused. Vicodin can also cause death is not taken correctly. In order to avoid the potential for an opioid overdose, you should never take Vicodin with any other kinds of CNS depressants. This includes alcohol, some antidepressants and sleep aids. The tablets should only be taken as prescribed and you should never chew or crush them because this could cause a possibly fatal overdose.
What you should know
Taking Vicodin has the ability to slow your reactions and thinking. If you do anything that requires that you stay alert, such as driving, you should be very careful. Do not drink alcohol while being treated with this medication as it can increase the risk for damage to the liver from the acetaminophen content.
Be sure to tell your health care provider if your medication seems like it is not working to relieve your pain anymore. Hydrocodone has the potential to be habit forming and should only be taken by the person it was intended for. Make sure that you keep this medicine where others cannot get to it.