Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid (narcotic) synthesized from codeine, one of the opioid alkaloids found in the opium poppy. It is a narcotic analgesic used orally as an antitussive/cough suppressant, but it is also commonly taken orally for relief of moderate to severe pain. U.S. residents make up five percent of the world’s population, but Americans consume 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs and 99 percent of the world’s hydrocodone.
There are over 200 products containing Hydrocodone in the U.S. In its most usual product forms hydrocodone is combined with acetaminophen (Vicodin, Lortab), but it is also combined with aspirin (Lortab ASA), ibuprofen (Vicoprofen) and antihistamines (Hycomine). Both tablet and liquid forms of hydrocodone are available (e.g., Tussionex). Zohydro ER and Hysingla ER are extended-release forms of hydrocodone that are used for around-the-clock treatment of severe pain.
Precautions when taking hydrocodone
There are many dangerous side effects that might develop when using hydrocodone. Hydrocodone can slow or stop your breathing and should never be taken in larger amounts or for longer than prescribed. Users are advised to not crush, break or open an extended-release pill but to swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose. Hydrocodone may be habit-forming, even at regular doses.
Those with severe asthma or breathing problems or a blockage in their stomach or intestines should notuse hydrocodone. Women should be aware that hydrocodone may cause breathing problems, behavior changes or life-threatening addiction and withdrawal symptoms in their newborn if they use the medication during pregnancy. Since hydrocodone can also pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby, new mothers should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with this medicine. Taking hydrocodone with grapefruit juice is believed to enhance its narcotic effect. Other drugs may interactwith this medicine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal products.
What are the effects of hydrocodone abuse?
Hydrocodone-containing products are in tablet, capsule and liquid forms. A variety of colors, markings and packaging are available. The major source of hydrocodone to the street has been through false call-in and forged prescriptions, professional diversion through unscrupulous pharmacists, doctors and dentists and large-scale thefts. The pills have been sold for $2 to $10 per tablet and $20 to $40 per 8-ounce bottle on the street.
Hydrocodone when abused is taken orally, chewed, crushed and then snorted like cocaine or crushed, then dissolved in water and injected like heroin. As with most opiates, the adverse effects of hydrocodone abuse are dependence and tolerance development.
Taken as prescribed, opioids can be used to manage pain safely and effectively. Properly managed, short-term medical use of opioid analgesics rarely causes addiction. However, regular (e.g., several times a day, for several weeks or more) or longer term use or abuse of opioids can lead to physical dependence and in some cases, addiction. When abused, even a single large dose can cause severe respiratory depression and death. In either case, withdrawal symptoms may occur if drug use is suddenly reduced or stopped. These symptoms can include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps (“cold turkey”) and involuntary leg movements.
Physicians recommend that you do not stop taking hydrocodone abruptly. Depending on the amount of time a person has been taking hydrocodone and how much they have ingested during that period, stopping the drug abruptly can result in very severe side effects, such as slipping into a coma or developing seizures. Anyone who is addicted to this drug should consider using a step-down approach to getting off of hydrocodone.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to hydrocodone or other prescription medications, recovery is possible. With the right drug addiction treatment, thousands of people are finding lasting freedom. Recoveryas.com helps you find the right rehab with reassuring support and less stress during your admission process. Call today at 1 (877) 968-6283 to begin your journey back to a clean and soberlife.
Is Hydrocodone addictive?
First-time abuse of these drugs has been surging among people who are not suffering from chronic pain, most commonly with the oxycodone and hydrocodone-type painkillers. (The two differ slightly in their chemical makeup but have a similar effect on the body.) The abuser of these drugs has been shown not to be the inner city youth but instead a famous actor, a suburban real estate agent or your next door neighbor. Every age group has been affected by the relative ease of hydrocodone availability and the perceived safety of these products by professionals. Sometimes seen as a white-collar addiction, hydrocodone abuse has increased among all ethnic and economic groups.
Abusing hydrocodone may result in the person developing atolerance for the drug, which is a condition whereby they must take increasingly higher doses of a prescription drug to achieve the desired effects. One serious side effect of hydrocodone abuse is that a person may become dependent on the drug, which means they must consume it repeatedly. If the person does not regularly take the drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.
Hydrocodone’s withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of morphine and other opioids. More specifically, the symptoms may include severe pain, pins-and-needles sensations throughout the body, extreme anxiety and restlessness and extreme drug cravings. Furthermore, unlike a light codeine or meptazinol dependence, hydrocodone withdrawal can be expected to reach the worst categories of symptoms, resembling that of morphine or hydromorphone. In a very small number of severe cases withdrawal can be lethal unless undertaken with medical supervision, particularly for users with cardiac or pulmonary disease or those unable to treat the dehydration and resultant acid-base and electrolyte problems.
What is the best way to treat hydrocodone addiction?
The primary option used to treat hydrocodone addiction is slowly reducing the amount of the drug that is taken and continuing this until the person has successfully stopped using the drug. With this treatment option, hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms are reduced to a minimum so that the user can gradually and safely stop taking the medication. Often, an inpatient hydrocodone addiction treatment center is the best option for hydrocodone detox treatment because a hydrocodone rehab treatment center can limit the user’s access to the drug, thus reducing temptation.
If you or someone you love has developed an addiction to hydrocodone, it is important to get professional help as quickly as possible. Call 1 (877) 968-6283 toll free today to speak with a knowledgeable and understanding addiction specialist at