Hydrocodone is a combination drug used as a pain reliever through oral intake. Its basic components are hydrocodone(an opioid) and acetaminophen(non opioid pain reliever). Sold under the brand names such as Lortab,Hycomine,Norco and many others, its function is to alter the pain management system of one’s body.
The hydrocodone part binds with the hydrocodone receptors in the brain cells and signals the body to forget pain or not to feel pain.
It is classified as a prescription drug, that in many cases, can pose a threat of withdrawal. In medical terms, withdrawal is a set of conditions developed when someone stops the usage of a prescription drug.
The people who take hydrocodone can experience diarrhea, nausea and other symptoms if they abruptly discontinue it. Therefore, medical practitioners prefer to gradually decrease the dosage of hydrocodone.
The dependency increases with time because it helps alleviate severe pain. Patients tend to overdose with this drug and sometimes can go to the level of addiction.
However, it is strictly advised not to take this medicine without consulting with a doctor or a practicing pharmacist.
Hydrocodone dosages depend on several factors such as:
- Age (not recommended for children under 6 years)
- Body Weight (in case of prescribing to children)
- Form of medicine (tablet or elixir)
A usual adult dosage is one tablet per 4-6 hours depending upon the severity of pain.
The maximum dosage is 8 tablets per day.
If taken in the form of syrup, adults over the age of 14 years weighing more than 46 kgs can take up to a single dose of 11.25 ml. The maximum dose per day should not be more than 67.5 ml.
For children under the age of 14, doctors take their body weights into account and calculate the dosage.
One thing that should be kept in mind is not to use regular spoons instead of marked medicinal cups/spoons for taking a dose.
It is a necessity to maintain the proper dosage. Altered doses can have adverse effects due to the sensitivity of the drug.
This drug is used for treating patients with moderate or severe pain as a last resort. It is only prescribed when a patient is experiencing continuous pain and is not getting it cured by other pain killers.
The non-opioid part of the medicine works to lower fever and cough while the opioid part specifically alters the pain threshold of the patient’s body.
Hydrocodone may pose allergies to some patients. It can cause breath obstruction in children while sleeping(sleep apnea).
There’s a fair chance of getting addicted to the drug, so a patient must inform the doctor of a history of substance abuse or a mental disorder.
Other side effects include drowsiness and dizziness. A patient who is on hydrocodone should avoid tasks such as driving due to the requirement of an alert mind.
Hydrocodone is a prescription drug that requires dose alterations as per prescription. Therefore, a patient should avoid getting it online.