Vicodin: Uses, Side Effects, Warnings, & More

Even if you’ve never used it before, chances are you’ve heard of the prescription medication “Vicodin.” This brand-name substance is, in some cases, known for its ability to treat pain. In others, it is known for its potential to cause abuse or addiction. Like many other prescription drugs, Vicodin comes with its own unique set of beneficial effects and negative symptoms.

What Is Vicodin & Why Do People Use It?

Vicodin is the brand name for a combination of two generic medications: hydrocodone & acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is in the opioid pain reliever category of drugs, while acetaminophen is a non-opioid. As hydrocodone changes how the body feels and responds to pain, acetaminophen works to reduce fever and other unwanted side effects of illness. Acetaminophen may also increase the positive effects of hydrocodone to further relieve pain.

This narcotic medication is prescribed in the form of a capsule, tablet, or liquid to treat moderate to moderately-severe pain. It is ideal for individuals with body aches or temporary injuries. If someone takes too much Vicodin or uses the medication for an extended period of time, they may stop feeling the effects of the medicine or may begin to experience uncomfortable and potentially dangerous symptoms.

Vicodin Side Effects & Risks

Since Vicodin is a narcotic, it can very easily be habit-forming and addictive. If someone decides to stop taking Vicodin suddenly after using it for more than a few months or so, it is likely that they will experience side effects of drug withdrawal. If narcotics like Vicodin are misused, they can also cause overdose, coma, or death.

Even individuals who use Vicodin according to their dosage may experience some unwanted side effects including drowsiness, headache, upset stomach, constipation, blurred vision, dry mouth, dizziness, fainting, nausea, weakness, lightheadedness, anxiety, and more.

If someone uses Vicodin for too long, the drug will no longer work to relieve pain. If you need more intense or long-term pain management, talk to your doctor about an alternative option.

How To Use Vicodin Responsibly

Vicodin can usually be taken every day, either with or without food. Someone who experiences nausea and vomiting are recommended to take it with both food and water. A typical Vicodin dosage is one or two capsules/tablets per day. Do not take this if you’re pregnant or want to be.

As we mentioned earlier, stopping Vicodin suddenly is likely to lead to withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may include, but aren’t limited to: anxiety, agitation, excessive yawning, runny nose, insomnia, chills, sweating, muscle aches, and more. If you or someone you know experiences Vicodin withdrawal, seek out emergency medical assistance as soon as possible.

If you’re on Vicodin and no longer feel pain, talk to your doctor about decreasing your dose and weaning you off of the medication. They will create a treatment plan to help you safely go off the medication with minimal risks or side effects.

 Vicodin can be a very helpful pain reliever, but it can also come with its risks. If you or a family member uses Vicodin and has concerns about the effects, contact your doctor or a substance abuse treatment representative as soon as possible. While this medication comes with a chance of addiction, there are many treatment options to help individuals overcome their abuse.

To learn more about Vicodin and if you are interested in admitting into treatment for Vicodin use call 866-345-2147