Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone

Pronunciation

Generic Name: acetaminophen and hydrocodone (a SEET a MIN oh fen and hye droe KOE done)
Brand Names: Anexsia, Dolorex Forte, Hycet, Liquicet, Lorcet, Lortab, Maxidone, Norco, Polygesic, Stagesic, Vicodin, Xodol, Zamicet, Zydone

What is acetaminophen and hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers.

Acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever that increases the effects of hydrocodone.

The combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone is used to relieve moderate to severe pain.

Acetaminophen and hydrocodone may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Tell your doctor if you drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day or if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis). You may not be able to take medication that contains acetaminophen.

Slideshow: 2014 Update - First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Hydrocodone may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Acetaminophen and hydrocodone can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Before taking this medicine

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to acetaminophen (Tylenol) or hydrocodone. Hydrocodone may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Acetaminophen and hydrocodone should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Before using acetaminophen and hydrocodone, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a history of head injury or brain tumor;

  • low blood pressure;

  • a stomach or intestinal disorder;

  • underactive thyroid;

  • Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorder;

  • curvature of the spine;

  • mental illness; or

  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use acetaminophen and hydrocodone, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Tell your doctor if you drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day or if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis). You may not be able to take medication that contains acetaminophen.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby, and could cause breathing problems or addiction/withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Acetaminophen and hydrocodone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

How should I take acetaminophen and hydrocodone?

Take acetaminophen and hydrocodone exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take it in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

An overdose of acetaminophen can cause serious harm to your liver. The maximum amount of acetaminophen for adults is 1 gram (1000 mg) per dose and 4 grams (4000 mg) per day. One acetaminophen and hydrocodone tablet may contain up to 750 mg of acetaminophen. Know the amount of acetaminophen in the specific product you are taking.

Measure the liquid form of this medication with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Drink 6 to 8 full glasses of water daily to help prevent constipation while you are taking acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Ask your doctor about ways to increase the fiber in your diet. Do not use a stool softener (laxative) without first asking your doctor. You may have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using acetaminophen and hydrocodone after using it over a long period of time. Do not stop using acetaminophen and hydrocodone suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain urine tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using acetaminophen and hydrocodone.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using acetaminophen and hydrocodone. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store acetaminophen and hydrocodone at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep track of how many tablets have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Hydrocodone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since acetaminophen and hydrocodone is taken as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of acetaminophen and hydrocodone can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, sweating, pinpoint pupils, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), confusion, cold and clammy skin, muscle weakness, fainting, weak pulse, slow heart rate, coma, blue lips, shallow breathing, or no breathing.

What should I avoid?

This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Do not use any other over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, or pain medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen is contained in many medicines available over the counter. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much acetaminophen. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains acetaminophen. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Alcohol may increase your risk of liver damage while taking acetaminophen. Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, antidepressants, or seizure medication can add to sleepiness caused by hydrocodone, or could slow your breathing. Tell your doctor if you need to use any of these other medicines while you are taking acetaminophen and hydrocodone.

Acetaminophen and hydrocodone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;

  • feeling light-headed, fainting;

  • confusion, fear, unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • problems with urination; or

  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects include:

  • feeling anxious, dizzy, or drowsy;

  • mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, constipation;

  • headache, mood changes;

  • blurred vision;

  • ringing in your ears; or

  • dry mouth.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect acetaminophen and hydrocodone?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), and others;

  • an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate);

  • atropine (Donnatal, and others), benztropine (Cogentin), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), glycopyrrolate (Robinul), mepenzolate (Cantil), methscopolamine (Pamine), or scopolamine (Transderm-Scop);

  • bladder or urinary medications such as darifenacin (Enablex), flavoxate (Urispas), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), tolterodine (Detrol), or solifenacin (Vesicare);

  • a bronchodilator such as ipratropium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva); or

  • irritable bowel medications such as dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others), or propantheline (Pro-Banthine).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use acetaminophen and hydrocodone, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about acetaminophen and hydrocodone written for health professionals that you may read.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.03. Revision Date: 06/25/2007 1:05:53 PM.
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