Skip to Content

hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine (Oral route)

hye-droe-KOE-done bye-TAR-trate, klor-fen-IR-a-meen MAL-ee-ate

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Vituz

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Liquid
  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Antitussive, Opioid/Antihistamine Combination

Pharmacologic Class: Chlorpheniramine

Chemical Class: Hydrocodone

Uses For hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine

Hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine combination is used to relieve cough and nasal congestion associated with the common cold and upper respiratory allergies in adults.

Hydrocodone is a narcotic antitussive (cough suppressant). It acts directly on the cough center in the brain to relieve cough. Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine, which is used to relieve or prevent symptoms of an allergy.

When hydrocodone is used for a long time, it may become habit-forming, causing mental or physical dependence. Physical dependence may lead to withdrawal side effects if treatment is stopped suddenly.

hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


The use of hydrocodone in children younger than 6 years old has caused serious breathing problems, sometimes causing death. Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine combination in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine combination in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to develop age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine.


Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Naltrexone

Using hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Abiraterone
  • Acetophenazine
  • Alfentanil
  • Almotriptan
  • Alprazolam
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amobarbital
  • Amoxapine
  • Amprenavir
  • Anileridine
  • Aprepitant
  • Aprobarbital
  • Atazanavir
  • Baclofen
  • Boceprevir
  • Bosentan
  • Bromazepam
  • Brotizolam
  • Buprenorphine
  • Bupropion
  • Buspirone
  • Butabarbital
  • Butalbital
  • Butorphanol
  • Carbamazepine
  • Carbinoxamine
  • Carisoprodol
  • Ceritinib
  • Chloral Hydrate
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Chlorzoxazone
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Clobazam
  • Clonazepam
  • Clorazepate
  • Cobicistat
  • Codeine
  • Conivaptan
  • Crizotinib
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Dabrafenib
  • Dantrolene
  • Darunavir
  • Delavirdine
  • Desvenlafaxine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Dezocine
  • Diacetylmorphine
  • Diazepam
  • Difenoxin
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Diltiazem
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Diphenoxylate
  • Dixyrazine
  • Dolasetron
  • Donepezil
  • Doxylamine
  • Dronedarone
  • Efavirenz
  • Enzalutamide
  • Erythromycin
  • Eslicarbazepine Acetate
  • Estazolam
  • Eszopiclone
  • Ethchlorvynol
  • Ethopropazine
  • Ethylmorphine
  • Etravirine
  • Fentanyl
  • Fluconazole
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluphenazine
  • Flurazepam
  • Fosamprenavir
  • Fosaprepitant
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Fospropofol
  • Furazolidone
  • Granisetron
  • Halazepam
  • Hexobarbital
  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydroxytryptophan
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Idelalisib
  • Imatinib
  • Indinavir
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketazolam
  • Ketobemidone
  • Ketoconazole
  • Levomilnacipran
  • Levorphanol
  • Linezolid
  • Lomitapide
  • Lopinavir
  • Lorazepam
  • Lorcaserin
  • Lormetazepam
  • Loxapine
  • Meclizine
  • Medazepam
  • Meperidine
  • Mephenesin
  • Mephobarbital
  • Meprobamate
  • Meptazinol
  • Mesoridazine
  • Metaxalone
  • Methadone
  • Methdilazine
  • Methocarbamol
  • Methohexital
  • Methotrimeprazine
  • Methylene Blue
  • Metopimazine
  • Miconazole
  • Midazolam
  • Mifepristone
  • Mirtazapine
  • Mitotane
  • Moclobemide
  • Modafinil
  • Morphine
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Nafcillin
  • Nalbuphine
  • Nefazodone
  • Nelfinavir
  • Nevirapine
  • Nicomorphine
  • Nilotinib
  • Nitrazepam
  • Opium
  • Opium Alkaloids
  • Orphenadrine
  • Oxazepam
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Palonosetron
  • Papaveretum
  • Paregoric
  • Pentazocine
  • Pentobarbital
  • Perampanel
  • Perazine
  • Periciazine
  • Perphenazine
  • Phenelzine
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Piperaquine
  • Pipotiazine
  • Piritramide
  • Posaconazole
  • Prazepam
  • Prednisolone
  • Prednisone
  • Primidone
  • Procarbazine
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Promazine
  • Promethazine
  • Propiomazine
  • Propofol
  • Quazepam
  • Ramelteon
  • Rasagiline
  • Regorafenib
  • Remifentanil
  • Rifabutin
  • Rifampin
  • Rifapentine
  • Ritonavir
  • Saquinavir
  • Secobarbital
  • Selegiline
  • Siltuximab
  • Sodium Oxybate
  • St John's Wort
  • Sufentanil
  • Suvorexant
  • Tapentadol
  • Telaprevir
  • Telithromycin
  • Temazepam
  • Thiethylperazine
  • Thiopental
  • Thiopropazate
  • Thioproperazine
  • Thioridazine
  • Ticagrelor
  • Tilidine
  • Tipranavir
  • Tizanidine
  • Topiramate
  • Tramadol
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Trazodone
  • Triazolam
  • Triflupromazine
  • Trimeprazine
  • Umeclidinium
  • Verapamil
  • Vilazodone
  • Voriconazole
  • Vortioxetine
  • Zaleplon
  • Ziprasidone
  • Zolpidem
  • Zopiclone

Using hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Escitalopram

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Ethanol
  • Grapefruit Juice

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Addison's disease (adrenal gland problem) or
  • Asthma or
  • Drug dependence, especially narcotic abuse or dependence, or history of or
  • Enlarged prostate (BPH, prostatic hypertrophy) or
  • Problems with passing urine or
  • Thyroid disease—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Brain tumor or
  • Head injuries or
  • Increased pressure in the head or
  • Stomach problems, acute—Some of the side effects of hydrocodone can cause serious problems in people who have these medical problems.
  • Coronary artery disease (heart disease), severe or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure), severe or
  • Narrow angle glaucoma or
  • Urinary retention—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Kidney disease, severe or
  • Liver disease, severe—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use of hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine

Take hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. If too much of hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine is taken for a long time, it may become habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence) or cause an overdose.

Measure the oral liquid correctly using the marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid. Ask your pharmacist for instructions for measuring the correct dose of hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine.


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

  • For oral dosage form (solution):
    • For relief of cough, sneezing, or runny or stuffy nose:
      • Adults—5 milliliters (mL) every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Do not take more than 4 doses (20 mL) in 24 hours.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine

It is very important that your doctor check your progress while you are using hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.

Do not use hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine if you have used an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate® within the past 14 days.

hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.

hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Make sure you know how you react to hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert.

hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that can make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for allergies or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine, other prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of these medicines while you are using hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine.

Using this medication can cause severe constipation. To prevent this, your doctor may direct you to take laxatives, drink a lot of fluids, or increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, because continuing constipation can lead to more serious problems.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
  • bloating
  • constipation
  • decrease in the frequency or amount of urination
  • difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • spasm of the throat
  • tightness of the chest
  • trouble breathing
  • vomiting

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Blurred vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • cold and clammy skin
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • extreme sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • no muscle tone or movement
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • irregular heartbeats
  • nausea
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
Incidence not known
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • chills or fever
  • fast heartbeat
  • flushing or redness of the skin
  • hives or welts
  • itching skin or rash
  • stomach discomfort or upset

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

The information contained in the Truven Health Micromedex products as delivered by is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

The use of the Truven Health products is at your sole risk. These products are provided "AS IS" and "as available" for use, without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. Truven Health and make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, usefulness or completeness of any of the information contained in the products. Additionally, TRUVEN HEALTH MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE OPINIONS OR OTHER SERVICE OR DATA YOU MAY ACCESS, DOWNLOAD OR USE AS A RESULT OF USE OF THE THOMSON REUTERS HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS. ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED. Truven Health does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the Truven Health products.

Copyright 2016 Truven Health Analytics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.