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1) What is Vicodin?
Vicodin is a combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and the opioid pain medication hydrocodone used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain.
Vicodin is a commonly prescribed narcotic drug that can create sensations such as calm or euphoria, mimicking the effects of heroin or morphine. Vicodin is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen and intended to provide relief for moderate to severe pain.
The drug works in the body by blocking pain receptors in the brain but can also produce a sense of euphoria, which can make the drug highly addictive. While Vicodin is regulated by state and federal law, it is not as closely controlled as other potent painkillers.
This minimal regulation has made Vicodin more easily accessible through over-prescription, forged prescriptions, and theft, increasing the widespread abuse of the drug. Street names of the drug Vicodin include “hydros”, “vikes”, “V”, and “Watson 387”. When used for recreational purposes, Vicodin is typically crushed into a powder form and snorted or injected in order to achieve a “high” more rapidly.
While the sense of euphoria attained when abusing Vicodin may temporarily create feelings of happiness and satisfaction, serious physical complications can result from misuse. A Vicodin addiction does not only result in physical effects but psychological and social as well.
2) What is the most important information I should know about Vicodin?
Vicodin has the potential for dependence and abuse and should be taken in the dose prescribed, only for the length of time your doctor recommends it. One ingredient of Vicodin, hydrocodone, can cause severe adverse effects, including severe breathing problems and even death if not taken according to your doctor's directions, especially if you have never been exposed to opioids, are elderly or debilitated, or have conditions that can cause you to become oxygen depleted.
3) Who should not take Vicodin?
Do not begin treatment with Vicodin if you are allergic to any of its ingredients or other opioids.
4) What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Vicodin?
Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Vicodin. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver, kidney, lung, or thyroid problems, a history of alcohol abuse or drug dependence, stomach problems, a history of head injury, or low blood pressure, or if you are taking medications to lower your blood pressure. Also, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
5) What is the usual dosage?
The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual dosage is one or two tablets every 4-6 hours. Do not exceed eight tablets per day.
6) How should I take Vicodin?
Take Vicodin exactly as your doctor prescribes it.
7) What should I avoid while taking Vicodin?
Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how Vicodin will affect you.
Do not share this medication with others.
8) What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Vicodin?
If Vicodin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered.
It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Vicodin with the following: alcohol, antianxiety medications, antihistamines, antipsychotics, MAO inhibitors, other narcotic analgesics, sedatives, tranquilizers, tricyclic antidepressants.
9) What are the possible side effects of Vicodin?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug. Side effects may include: dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, sleepiness, vomiting
10) Can I receive Vicodin if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
The effects of Vicodin during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
11) What should I do if I miss a dose of Vicodin?
If you miss a dose of Vicodin, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
12) How should I store Vicodin?
Store at room temperature.