What Is Hydrocodone?

The opioid drug hydrocodone is commonly prescribed to treat moderate and severe pain. This active ingredient is found in many prescription drugs, including Vicodin and Norco . Hydrocodone, due to its strong effects on the nervous system, is also a drug that's widely abused.

The semi-synthetic drug hydrocodone comes from Codeine which is a natural alkaloid that is found in the opium poppies. The drug works by binding with opioid receptors within the brain. This changes how the body perceives and reacts to pain. The FDA has approved its use for adults 18 years and older.

Hydrocodone: Uses and Applications

Most commonly, hydrocodone prescribed for moderate-to-severe pain. The drug can treat both chronic pain caused by conditions like arthritis or cancer, and acute pain from an injury, surgery, etc. Coughing, diarrhea, and shortness of breathe are other conditions that it can be used to treat.

Hydrocodone can also be prescribed off-label for Anxiety , Insomnia and other mental conditions. This should only be done under caution as there is a risk that hydrocodone will lead to addiction or abuse.

Hydrocodone: What are the Benefits?

When taken according to prescription, hydrocodone relieves pain and is considered safe. It has been shown in studies that hydrocodone is stronger than other opioids such as codeine. It can therefore be taken in smaller doses and still achieve the same relief.

Hydrocodone can also be combined with Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen to provide added benefits. Ibuprofen, for example, can be used to reduce inflammation, and acetaminophen, can help reduce fever.

Hydrocodone Side Effects

Hydrocodone, like all other medications, can cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects are drowsiness and dizziness. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, headache, constipation, and nausea. Seizures, confusion, slowed respiration, and loss of consciousness are more serious side effects. Long-term hydrocodone use can also lead to psychological and physical dependence.

Hydrocodone may interact with certain medications such as sleeping pills, muscle relaxants and antipsychotics. It Is therefore important that you discuss all medications with your doctor prior to taking hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone: Expert opinions

Hydrocodone is generally accepted by experts as a short-term pain reliever. Long-term use of hydrocodone can cause tolerance, dependency, and addiction. Hydrocodone shouldn't be mixed with alcohol, or any other substance, because this can increase the risks of an overdose, and many other side effects.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends physicians to prescribe only the minimum amount of hydrocodone needed to control pain and monitor closely patients for signs of abuse and addiction. The CDC recommends using non-opioid options, like non-steroidal non-inflammatory drugs.

What To Do When You Start Taking Hydrocodone

Only take hydrocodone as directed by your physician. Adults usually take 5-10 milligrams every 4-6 hours. Maximum daily dosage is 40mg per day.

It is a controlled drug and therefore not sold over-the-counter. A healthcare professional must prescribe it. You can get a prescription filled at any pharmacy if you have one. Online pharmacies may sell hydrocodone, but beware of fraudulent sites that are selling counterfeit medications.

What are the side effects of these drugs?

Hydrocodone can cause a number of side effects. They include dizziness and drowsiness as well as nausea, constipation, headache, and dry mouth. Long-term hydrocodone use can also lead to psychological and physical dependence. It is therefore important that you only take hydrocodone as prescribed by your doctor and speak with him if any strange symptoms occur.

Hydrocodone may interact with certain medications. It's important that you discuss your current medications with your doctor prior to starting any treatment.


The powerful opioid drug hydrocodone can be used to relieve moderate or severe pain. When taken according to prescription, it is considered safe. It can also be combined with other substances, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, in order to gain additional benefits. Hydrocodone is addictive and can be abused, so it should only ever be used as directed. It can also interact with other drugs, so you should discuss your medications with your doctor prior to starting any treatment.