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What is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is an opioid drug that serves two purposes; It is both effective as a cough suppressant and a pain reliever for moderate to severe pain. It is a semisynthetic codeine derivative and has an analgesic effect. Hydrocodone is the most prescribed pain reliever in the USA. It works by attaching itself to the receptors in your brain to change your perception of the pain. The way it works leads to excessive constriction of the pupil of the eye, cough suppression, respiratory depression, and physical dependence. By itself, this drug is sold in a long-acting formulation, which relieves you of pain for a longer time.
Hydrocodone also comes in an extended-release form, which is used for around the clock treatment of pain. A person can buy Hydrocodone online, but few things should be kept in mind while taking it –
- A person with asthma, breathing problems, or a blockage in the stomach or intestines should not take it.
- Hydrocodone can slow or stop breathing, and may be addictive.
- Misuse of this drug can cause overdose, addiction, or death, especially in children using this medication without a prescription.
What are the Dosages of Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone comes in tablet, capsule, or oral solution form. Its dosage should be adjusted according to the severity of the pain and the patient’s response. Dosage is mainly based on the medical condition of the patient and his response to the treatment. However, in children, the dosage can be according to body weight. Typically this drug is sold in combination with other medications like Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone or Ibuprofen/Hydrocodone. Some combinations of this drug are :
Oral tablets: Hydrocodone 5mg Acetaminophen 325mg per dose or Hydrocodone 7.5 mg Acetaminophen 325 mg, initial dosages are 1 or 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours.
Oral solution: Hydrocodone 5mg Acetaminophen 325mg per 15 ml or Hydrocodone 7.5 mg Acetaminophen 325 mg per 15 ml, an initial dose is of 10-15 ml every 4-6 hours.
Weight-based dosing is preferred whenever possible, so children’s doses of Hydrocodone are 0.135 mg/kg and Acetaminophen 4 or 5.85 mg/kg orally every 4 to 6 hours.
Hydrocodone is generally not prescribed during pregnancy as there are risk factors involved in the fetus, and its prolonged use during pregnancy can result in physical dependence in the newborn baby. It can be advised to patients with renal or hepatic impairment, but in these conditions, close monitoring of the patient is necessary.
What are the side effects of Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is mostly used to relieve a patient from severe pain where other options of the treatment are not preferable. Before taking this drug, the patient should inform the doctor of any allergies to any medication. There may be some side effects of Hydrocodone. Tell the doctor if any of these symptoms become severe and don’t go away:
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Ringing in the ears
- Uncontrollable shaking of a body part
- Difficult, frequent, or painful urination
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
- Irregular menstruation
Some of the side effects of Hydrocodone decrease after a patient has been on this medication for a while. To prevent constipation, eating dietary fibers, drinking water, and exercise might help. And for dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a lying position. Remember that the doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she would have judged that the drug benefits are more than the risk of side effects.
There may be side effects other than those mentioned here. Any severe allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, if any serious allergic reaction like severe rashes, itching/swelling occurs, contact the doctor or pharmacist.