A Vicodin prescription is always carefully monitored by a healthcare provider. They will consider the patient's current medical conditions, responses to the drug, plus their current medications. The maximum doses of Vicodin allowed, keep the total amount of acetaminophen under 4 grams per day. This is because serious liver damage can occur whenever high doses of acetaminophen are taken.
An Introduction To Vicodin Dosing
The Vicodin dosage recommended by your treating physician
will depend upon the following factors:
- Medications you currently take.
- Your response to Vicodin.
- Your current medical conditions (if any).
Only adjust your dosage under the strict guidance of your treating physician.
Vicodin Doses for Pain Treatment
The recommended dose for normal strength 5-500 mg Vicodin is 1 to 2 tablets approximately every 4 to 6 hours as required, not exceeding 8 tablets within a 24 hour period. With Vicodin ES strength 7.5-750 mg, it is recommended to take one tablet at intervals of 4 to 6 hours as required with a limit of 5 tablets per day. With Vicodin HP strength 10-660 mg, it is recommended to take 1 tablet at intervals of 4 to 6 hours as required for the relief of pain with a limit of 6 tablets within 24 hours.
These Vicodin dosage recommendations
are created to limit acetaminophen to less than 4000 mg or 4 grams of Vicodin per day. This is to avoid the serious liver damage that can occur with high levels of acetaminophen. It is recommended that you always keep your acetaminophen levels down by avoiding other medications including Tylenol, pain relief meds
, and other over-the-counter products that also contain acetaminophen. A safer option is to eliminate taking any medications that contain acetaminophen while using Vicodin. If you must take other medications, extreme caution is needed to ensure your levels of acetaminophen remain below the recommended 4000 mg per day. The amount of acetaminophen in Vicodin is 500 mg with the regular-strength tablet, Vicodin ES
is 750 mg and Vicodin HP is 660 mg per tablet.
Vicodin should not be taken continually 24 hours a day, even on the minimum dose. This is because even taking just the minimum dose every four hours, for a full 24 hour period would still exceed safe levels and the maximum recommended dose.
Your Vicodin Dosage - General Information
People taking Vicodin should consider the following:
- Vicodin is taken in tablet form, orally at 4 to 6 hour intervals as required to relieve pain.
- Vicodin is taken either 'on schedule' or 'as needed.' A scheduled basis would mean taking the medication at the required intervals whether you experience pain or not. 'As needed' is taking the drug at the required intervals only when you experience pain. Vicodin is generally prescribed on an 'as needed' basis.
- Vicodin may cause an upset stomach so it is best taken with food.
- It is important not to take more than the daily dosage recommended by your healthcare provider. Exceeding the recommended dose may cause poisoning, overdose symptoms, or liver failure, due to the increased levels of acetaminophen.
- You must use Vicodin as prescribed by your doctor for it to work effectively. Never increase the dosage without the express consent of your treating physician. If you have been taking Vicodin for more than a few weeks, do not stop taking the drug suddenly. (refer to Vicodin Withdrawal).
- Please consult your nurse, pharmacist or doctor if you are concerned about anything to do with Vicodin. If already taking Vicodin, always consult your doctor before you consider stopping the drug.