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Hydrocodone Side Effects

Not all side effects for hydrocodone may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to hydrocodone: oral capsule extended release, oral liquid, oral syrup, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by hydrocodone. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking hydrocodone:

Less common
  • Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • body aches or pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • depression
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • ear congestion
  • fear or nervousness
  • fever
  • headache
  • loss of voice
  • nasal congestion
  • rapid weight gain
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • tightness in the chest
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking hydrocodone, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Blue lips and fingernails
  • blurred vision
  • change in consciousness
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • cold and clammy skin
  • confusion
  • constricted pupil (black part of the eye)
  • coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
  • decreased awareness or responsiveness
  • difficult, fast, noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • increased sweating
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • loss of consciousness
  • no muscle tone or movement
  • pale skin
  • severe sleepiness
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • slow or irregular heartbeat

Some of the side effects that can occur with hydrocodone may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • nausea
Less common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain or discomfort
  • back pain
  • bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • dry mouth
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • heartburn
  • itching skin
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle spasms
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to hydrocodone: compounding powder, oral capsule extended release, oral tablet extended release


Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus (3%), skin laceration (1 to 10%), hyperhidrosis (1 to 10%), night sweats (1 to 10%), rash (1 to 10%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Constipation (8 to 11%), nausea (7 to 10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dry mouth (3%), vomiting (3 to 5%), abdominal pain or discomfort (2 to 3%), gastroesophageal reflux disease (1 to 10%)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Peripheral edema (1 to 3%), noncardiac chest pain (1 to 10%), pain (1 to 10%), pyrexia (1 to 10%), dehydration (1 to 10%), hypokalemia (1 to 10%)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection (1 to 5%)[Ref]


Common (1 to 10%): Increased glutamyltransferase (1 to 10%)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Back pain (1 to 4%), muscle spasms (1 to 3%), contusion (1 to 10%), fall (1 to 10%), foot fracture (1 to 10%)joint injury or sprain (1 to 10%), muscle strain (1 to 10%), arthralgia (1 to 10%), musculoskeletal pain (1 to 10%), myalgia (1 to 10%), neck pain (1 to 10%), osteoarthritis (1 to 10%), pain in extremity (1 to 10%)[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Somnolence (1 to 5%), fatigue (1 to 4%), headache (4%), tremor (3%), dizziness (2 to 3%), lethargy (1 to 10%), migraine (1 to 10%), paresthesia (1 to 10%)[Ref]


Common (1 to 10%): Anxiety (1 to 10%), depression (1 to 10%), insomnia (1 to 10%)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Upper respiratory tract infection (1 to 3%), cough (1 to 10%), dyspnea (1 to 10%)[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Zohydro ER (HYDROcodone)." Zogenix, Inc, San Diego, CA.

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