Vicodin is a brand name prescription painkiller that contains a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is an opioid narcotic painkiller, while acetaminophen is an over-the-counter painkiller.
Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen Combination
Opioids act on the central nervous system and produce a euphoric feeling in addition to pain relief. For this reason, opioids are susceptible to abuse and are habit-forming. When taken in larger doses than prescribed by a doctor or for longer than is recommended, abuse can lead to Vicodin addiction. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
Acetaminophen is not an opioid. It is included in the Vicodin formulation because it is a painkiller that can supplement the hydrocodone. The combination is safer in many ways than taking pure hydrocodone. Side effects of acetaminophen are rare, but the drug can cause liver damage when used for too long or when combined with alcohol.
Side Effects and Vicodin Addiction
Vicodin can cause some side effects, most of which are products of the hydrocodone. These include nausea, constipation, vomiting, dizziness and lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry throat and mouth, anxiety, mood swings, an itchy rash and trouble urinating. Most of these are not serious, but can cause discomfort. Speak with your doctor if you experience any side effects. Side effects to be more concerned about include tightness or pain in the chest or slow and irregular breathing.
It is also possible to overdose on Vicodin. Know the signs of an overdose so that you can get help for yourself or for someone else who is taking more Vicodin than directed. Overdose signs include loss of consciousness, inability to move, extreme sleepiness, cold or clammy skin, chest pains, an irregular heartbeat, a sudden decrease in urination or bloody urine, vomiting blood and a slow pulse.
Abusing Vicodin, which means taking larger doses than directed or taking it for longer than recommended, can lead to physical dependence. You may even experience some withdrawal symptoms, like irritability, anxiety, nausea, headaches and depression, when you have been following your doctor’s instructions. To avoid these symptoms, talk to your doctor about how to slowly reduce the amount of Vicodin you take. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
Anyone struggling with Vicodin addiction should know that treatment is available and can help with pain management, addiction recovery, and creating a life that is healthy and joyful.