hydrocodone/homatropine (Tussigon; Hycodan)
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: hydrocodone/homatropine
BRAND NAMES: Tussigon; Hycodan (discontinued in US)
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Hydrocodone is an opioid narcotic pain-reliever cough suppressant that is similar to codeine, oxycodone, morphine, methadone, fentanyl, and other opioids. Hydrocodone, like other opioids, stimulates receptors on nerves in the brain to increase the threshold to pain (the amount of stimulation it takes to feel pain) and reduce the perception of pain (the perceived importance of the pain). It also works directly on the cough center in the brain to reduce cough.
Homatropine blocks the action of acetylcholine, a chemical (neurotransmitter) that nerves use to communicate. It is added in low doses to discourage deliberate overdoses of hydrocodone. The FDA approved hydrocodone/homatropine in July 1985.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablet: 5 mg /1.5 mg
STORAGE: Hydrocodone/homatropine should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Hydrocodone/homatropine is prescribed for the treatment of cough in adults and in children 6 years of age and older.
DOSING: The dose for adults and children older than 12 years is one tablet (5 mg/1.5 mg) orally every 4 to 6 hours. The maximum dose is 30 mg/9 mg (6 tablets) in 24 hours.
Children 6 to 12 years of age receive a 1/2 tablet (2.5 mg/0.75 mg) every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 3 tablets (15 mg/4.5 mg)
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Combining alcohol and other sedatives with hydrocodone can lead to increased sedation and even cause confusion. Hydrocodone should not be taken with any of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) class of antidepressants, for example, isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), selegiline (Eldepryl), and procarba-zine (Matulane) or other drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase, for example, linezolid (Zyvox). Such combinations may lead to confusion, high blood pressure, tremor, hyperactivity, coma, and death. Hydrocodone should not be administered within 14 days of stopping an MAOI.
PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of hydrocodone in regnant women.
NURSING MOTHERS: Hydrocodone is excreted in breast milk, and, therefore, should be used cautiously by nursing mothers.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most frequent adverse reactions include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, and vomiting. Other side effects include drowsiness, constipation, and spasm of the ureter, which can lead to difficulty in urinating. Hydrocodone can impair thinking and the physical abilities required for driving or operating machinery. Hydrocodone can depress breathing, and should be used with caution in elderly, debilitated patients, and in patients with serious lung disease. Hydrocodone is habit forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur when used long-term.
Homatropine can increase pressure inside the eye and this is dangerous for those with glaucoma.
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.
Last Editorial Review: 4/17/2014
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Back to Medications Index