Hydrocodone relieves pain. Acetaminophen is a
less potent pain reliever that increases the effects of
hydrocodone. Together, acetaminophen and hydrocodone are
most commonly used to relieve moderate-to-severe pain.
Acetaminophen and hydrocodone may also be used for
purposes other than those listed here.
Why is this drug
Vicodin combines a narcotic analgesic
(painkiller) and cough reliever with a non-narcotic
analgesic for the relief of moderate to moderately
Most important fact about this
Vicodin can be habit-forming. If you take this drug over
a long period of time, you can become mentally and
physically dependent on it, and you may find the drug no
longer works for you at the prescribed dosage.
How should you take this
Take Vicodin exactly as prescribed. Do not
increase the amount you take or the frequency without
your doctor's approval. Do not take this drug for any
reason other than the one prescribed.
Do not give this drug to others who may have similar
If you miss a dose...
If you take Vicodin regularly, take the forgotten dose
as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your
next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your
regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container,
away from light.
What side effects may occur?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or
change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as
possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe
for you to continue taking Vicodin.
More common side effects may include:
Dizziness, light-headedness, nausea,
If these side effects occur, it may help if you lie down
after taking the medication.
Less common or rare side effects may include:
Allergic reactions, anxiety, blood disorders,
constipation, decreased mental and physical capability,
difficulty urinating, drowsiness, fear, hearing loss,
itching, mental clouding, mood changes, restlessness,
skin rash, slowed breathing, sluggishness
Why should this drug not be
If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic
reaction to hydrocodone or acetaminophen (Tylenol), you
should not take this medication. Make sure your doctor
is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.
Special warnings about this
Vicodin may make you drowsy, less alert, or unable to
function well physically. Do not drive a car, operate
machinery, or perform any other potentially dangerous
activities until you know how this drug affects you.
Use caution in taking Vicodin if you have a head injury.
Narcotics tend to increase the pressure of the fluid
within the skull, and this effect may be exaggerated by
head injuries. Side effects of narcotics can interfere
in the treatment of people with head injuries.
Use Vicodin with caution if you have a severe liver or
kidney disorder, an underactive thyroid gland, Addison's
disease (a disease of the adrenal glands), an enlarged
prostate, or urethral stricture (narrowing of the tube
carrying urine from the bladder).
Older adults and those in a weakened condition should be
careful using this drug, since it contains a narcotic.
Narcotics such as Vicodin may interfere with the
diagnosis and treatment of people with abdominal
Hydrocodone suppresses the cough reflex; therefore, be
careful using Vicodin after an operation or if you have
a lung disease.
High doses of hydrocodone may produce slowed breathing;
if you are sensitive to this drug, you are more likely
to experience this effect.
Possible food and drug
interactions when taking this medication
Vicodin slows the nervous system. Alcohol can intensify
If Vicodin is taken with certain other drugs, the
effects of either may be increased, decreased, or
altered. It is especially important to check with your
doctor before combining Vicodin with the following:
Antianxiety drugs such as Valium and Librium
Antidepressant medications classified as "tricyclics,"
such as Elavil and Tofranil
Antihistamines such as Tavist
Drugs classified as MAO inhibitors, including the
antidepressants Nardil and Parnate
Major tranquilizers such as Thorazine and Haldol
Other narcotic analgesics such as Demerol
Other central nervous system depressants such as Halcion
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
The effects of Vicodin in pregnancy have not been
adequately studied. Do not take this drug if you are
pregnant or plan to become pregnant unless you are
directed to do so by your doctor. Drug dependence occurs
in newborns when the mother has taken this drug
regularly prior to delivery. If you take it shortly
before delivery, the baby's breathing may be slowed.
Acetaminophen does, and hydrocodone may, appear in
breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this
medication is essential to your health, your doctor may
advise you to discontinue breastfeeding your baby until
your treatment is finished.
Your doctor will adjust the dosage according to the
severity of the pain and the way the medication affects
The dosages given below are for Vicodin products only.
If your doctor prescribes other brands, your daily dose
All forms of Vicodin are taken every 4 to 6 hours as
needed for pain. The usual dose of Vicodin is 1 or 2
tablets, up to a maximum of 8 tablets per day. The usual
dose of Vicodin HP is 1 tablet, up to a maximum of 6
tablets per day. For Vicodin ES, the usual dose is 1
tablet, up to a maximum of 5 tablets per day.
The safety and effectiveness of Vicodin have not been
established in children.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious
consequences. A severe overdose of Vicodin can be fatal.
If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency medical
Symptoms of a Vicodin overdose include:
Blood disorders, bluish tinge to skin, cold and clammy
skin, extreme sleepiness progressing to a state of
unresponsiveness or coma, general feeling of bodily
discomfort, heart problems, heavy perspiration, kidney
problems, limp muscles, liver failure, low blood
pressure, nausea, slow heartbeat, troubled or slowed
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