IndicationsHydrocodone is available only in combination with other ingredients, and different combination products are prescribed for different uses. Some hydrocodone products are used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Other hydrocodone products are used to relieve cough. Hydrocodone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics and in a class of medications called antitussives. Hydrocodone relieves pain by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. Hydrocodone relieves cough by decreasing activity in the part of the brain that causes coughing. Hydrocodone must be used with caution in children. Extended-release products containing hydrocodone should not be given to children younger than 6 years of age and should be used with caution in children 6 to 12 years of age. Talk to your doctor about the risks of giving hydrocodone to your child. You will take hydrocodone in combination with at least one other medication, but this monograph only provides information about hydrocodone. Be sure to read information about the other ingredients in the hydrocodone product you are taking. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
DoseringHydrocodone comes as a tablet, a capsule, a syrup, a solution (clear liquid), an extended-release (long-acting) capsule, and an extended-release (long-acting) suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. The tablet, capsule, syrup, and solution are usually taken every 4-6 hours as needed. The extended-release capsule and the extended-release suspension are usually taken every 12 hours as needed. If you are taking hydrocodone on a regular schedule, take it at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Swallow the extended-release capsules whole; do not split, chew, or crush them. Shake the extended-release suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Do not mix the extended-release suspension with other medications or with other liquids such as water. If you will be using hydrocodone solution, syrup, or extended-release suspension, do not use a household teaspoon to measure your dose. Household teaspoons are not accurate measuring devices, and you may receive too much medication or not enough medication if you measure your dose with a household teaspoon. Instead, use a properly marked measuring device such as a dropper, medicine spoon, or oral syringe. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you need help getting or using a measuring device. Call your doctor if your symptoms are not controlled by the hydrocodone product you are taking. Do not increase your dose of medication on your own. You may receive a dangerous overdose if you take more medication or take your medication more often than prescribed by your doctor. Hydrocodone may be habit-forming. Take hydrocodone exactly as directed. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor. Call your doctor if you develop a strong desire to take more medication than prescribed. If you have taken hydrocodone for several weeks or longer, do not stop taking the medication without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking hydrocodone, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient, available for certain hydrocodone combination products.
VoorzichtigBefore taking hydrocodone, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to hydrocodone, the other medication in the hydrocodone combination product you are taking, other opiate (narcotic) medications such as morphine or codeine, or any other medications. tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants; antihistamines; antipsychotics (medications for mental illness); ipratropium (Atrovent); medications for irritable bowel disease, motion sickness, Parkinson's disease, seizures, ulcers, or urinary problems; monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate); sedatives; sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. tell your doctor if you have recently had surgery and if you have or have ever had lung disease; breathing problems; croup (a barking cough that most often occurs at night); a head injury; any condition that causes increased pressure in your brain; prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement of a male reproductive gland); urethral stricture (narrowing of the tube that removes urine from the body); Addison's disease (condition in which the body does not make enough of certain natural substances); glaucoma; or thyroid, intestinal, liver, or kidney disease. if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking hydrocodone. you should know that hydrocodone may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you. ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking hydrocodone. Alcohol can make the side effects from hydrocodone worse.
Hydrocodone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- fuzzy thinking
- abnormally happy or abnormally sad mood
- dry throat
- difficulty urinating
- narrowing of the pupils (black circles in the center of the eyes)
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- slowed or irregular breathing
- chest tightness
Hydrocodone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch
] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].