hydrocodone and ibuprofen, Vicoprofen

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD

    Dr. Eni Williams graduated from Creighton University in 1988 with a B.S. degree in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Howard University in 1994. She also obtained a Ph.D. in Public Policy in 2009 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is hydrocodone and ibuprofen, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Vicoprofen is a combination of an opioid analgesic (hydrocodone bitartrate, a pain reliever related to narcotics) and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (ibuprofen). Both medications are effective for pain management. It is estimated that one tablet of Vicoprofen is as effective as two tablets of Tylenol #3 (acetaminophen 300 mg plus codeine 30 mg). Vicoprofen was approved by the FDA in 1997.

What brand names are available for hydrocodone and ibuprofen?

Vicoprofen, Reprexain, Xylon

Is hydrocodone and ibuprofen available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for hydrocodone and ibuprofen?

Yes

What are the side effects of hydrocodone and ibuprofen?

The most frequent side effects experienced with hydrocodone include:

Other important side effects include constipation and spasm of the ureter, which can lead to difficulty inurinating.

The most common side effects of ibuprofen involve the gastrointestinal system. It can cause ulcerations, abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, gastritis, and even serious gastrointestinal bleeding. Sometimes, stomach ulceration and bleeding can occur without abdominal pain, and black tarry stools, weakness, and dizziness upon standing may be the only signs of internal bleeding. Rash, kidney impairment, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and lightheadedness can also occur.

Hydrocodone can depress breathing, and is used with caution in the elderly, debilitated patients and those with a history of ulcer or serious lung disease. Hydrocodone can impair thinking and the physical abilities required for driving or operating machinery. 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

Chronic Pain: Causes and Solutions

What is the dosage for hydrocodone and ibuprofen?

The usual dose of Vicoprofen is one tablet every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain. The manufacturer recommends a maximum of 5 tablets per day and a short-term duration of treatment (less than 10 days).

Which drugs or supplements interact with hydrocodone and ibuprofen?

Hydrocodone, like other narcotic pain-relievers, interacts with medications and drugs that slow the brain's processes, such as alcohol, barbiturates, skeletal muscle relaxants including carisoprodol (Soma), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), and benzodiazepines (for example, lorazepam [Ativan], and clonazepam [Klonopin]).

Opioids such as hydrocodone can slow bowel motility. When combined with medications that possess anticholinergic activity, this effect on the bowel may be accentuated, leading to marked constipation. Such drugs include dicyclomine (Bentyl), some antihistamines (for example, carbinoxamine [Rondec], clemastine [Tavist], diphenhydramine [Benadryl], promethazine [Phenergan]); some phenothiazines (for example, thioridazine [Mellaril], triflupromazine [Stelazine]); some tricyclic antidepressants (for example, amitriptyline [Elavil, Endep] amoxapine [Asendin], clomipramine [Anafranil], protriptyline [Vivactil]); clozapine (Clozaril), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), and disopyramide (Norpace). The use of antidiarrheals (for example, diphenoxylate [Lomotil], loperamide [Imodium]) in persons taking opioid analgesics such as hydrocodone can lead to severe constipation and possibly greater sedation.

Cimetidine (Tagamet), when used with opiate analgesics such as hydrocodone, can cause confusion, disorientation, seizures or respiratory depression by increasing blood concentrations of the opiate.

Ibuprofen, which has blood thinning (anticoagulant) properties, is used with caution in patients taking other blood thinning anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin), because of an increased risk of bleeding. Concurrent use of ibuprofen and clopidogrel (Plavix) can also lead to increased risk of bleeding. Patients taking lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) can develop toxic blood lithium levels if ibuprofen is taken at the same time. Ibuprofen may increase methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) toxicity when used together.

Is hydrocodone and ibuprofen safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Hydrocodone and ibuprofen crosses the placenta. However, there is not enough information known about the effects of hydrocodone and ibuprofen on the fetus. Physicians may choose to use hydrocodone and ibuprofen if the benefits outweigh potential risks.

It is not known if hydrocodone is secreted in breast milk.

What else should I know about hydrocodone and ibuprofen?

What preparations of hydrocodone and ibuprofen are available?

Tablets: hydrocodone bitartrate 7.5 mg and ibuprofen 200 mg.

How should I keep hydrocodone and ibuprofen stored?

Tablets should be stored at room temperature between 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Summary

Hydrocodone and ibuprofen (Vicoprofen) is an opioid analgesic prescribed for the management of moderate to severe pain, used on a short-term basis. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

FDA Logo

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.

Reviewed on 10/7/2015
References
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors