- Surprising Reasons You're in Pain Slideshow
- Take the Pain Quiz
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
- What is hydrocodone/acetaminophen, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for hydrocodone/acetaminophen?
- Is hydrocodone/acetaminophen available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for hydrocodone/acetaminophen?
- What are the side effects of hydrocodone/acetaminophen?
- What is the dosage for hydrocodone/acetaminophen?
- Is hydrocodone/acetaminophen safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about hydrocodone/acetaminophen?
What is hydrocodone/acetaminophen, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Hydrocodone is a narcotic pain-reliever and a cough suppressant, similar to codeine. Hydrocodone blocks the receptors on nerve cells in the brain that give rise to the sensation of pain. Acetaminophen is a non-narcotic analgesic (pain reliever) and antipyretic (fever reducer). Acetaminophen works by elevating the threshold to pain, that is, in order for pain to be felt, greater stimulation of the nerves responsible for the sensation of pain is necessary. It reduces fever through its action on the temperature-regulating center of the brain. Frequently, hydrocodone and acetaminophen are combined to achieve pain relief, as in Vicodin and Lortab. The FDA approved Vicodin in January 1983.
What brand names are available for hydrocodone/acetaminophen?
Vicodin, Vicodin ES, Vicodin HP, Lortab, Lorcet, Lorcet Plus, Norco, Zydone, Hycet, Maxidone, Stagesic, Verdrocet, Xodol, Zamicet, Zolvit and Anexsia (discontinued brand)
Is hydrocodone/acetaminophen available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for hydrocodone/acetaminophen?
What are the side effects of hydrocodone/acetaminophen?
Common side effects of hydrocodone/acetaminophen are:
Other important side effects include:
- 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 may be habit forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur but are unlikely when used for short-term pain relief.
Quick GuideChronic Pain: Causes and Solutions
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.
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Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.