What is hydrocodone?

hydrocodoneHydrocodone is an opioid pain medication. Opioids are sometimes called narcotics.

Hydrocodone is a dangerous medication as it can slow or even stop your breathing. You should never use hydrocodone in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Always swallow hydrocodone pills whole to avoid a potentially fatal dose. Hydrocodone may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share hydrocodone with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.

Zohydro ER and Hysingla ER are extended-release forms of hydrocodone that are used for around-the-clock treatmentof severe pain. Extended-release hydrocodone is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain. You should never crush, break, or open an extended-release pill.

You should not use hydrocodone if you have severe asthma or breathing problems, or a blockage in your stomach or intestines.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Hydrocodone may cause life-threatening addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a newborn.

Do not drink alcohol as dangerous side effects, or death can occur when alcohol is combined with hydrocodone.


You should not use hydrocodone if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • severe asthma or breathing problems
  • a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus

Hydrocodone may be habit forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away hydrocodone is against the law.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a breathing problem or lung disease
  • a history of head injury, brain tumor, or seizures
  • a history of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, or mental illness
  • urination problems
  • liver or kidney disease
  • a heart rhythm disorder called long QT syndrome
  • a blockage in your stomach or intestines
  • problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid

Hydrocodone is more likely to cause breathing problems in older adults and people who are severely ill, malnourished, or otherwise debilitated.

It is not known whether hydrocodone will harm an unborn baby. Hydrocodone may cause breathing problems, behavior changes, or life-threatening addiction and withdrawal symptoms in your newborn if you use the medication during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

Do not stop using hydrocodone suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using this medicine.

In the event of an overdose

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A hydrocodone overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, and fainting.

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to hydrocodone which include:

  • hives
  • difficult breathing
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using hydrocodone and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • weak or shallow breathing
  • pain or burning when you urinate
  • confusion, tremors, severe drowsiness
  • light-headed feeling

Common hydrocodone side effects may include:

  • constipation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting
  • dry mouth
  • itching
  • swelling in your hands or feet
  • muscle pain, back pain
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat
  • mild drowsiness, tired feeling
  • headache, dizziness

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Other drugs may interact with this medicine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.


Just because someone exhibits some or all of the above signs and symptoms does not necessarily warrant that the individual is using, or addicted to Hydrocodone. Certain medical conditions may also produce the above signs and/or symptoms.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this Website is gathered from visitors to this site, government documents, books, Websites and other resources. This information is solely for educational purposes only, and should not be considered by the reader as medical advice of any kind. Detoxification of drugs should only be done under strict medical and professional supervision. Do not attempt to detox from drugs without proper medical supervision, as it can be life threatening. At the very first signs of drug withdrawal symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. If this is a medical emergency dial 911 immediately.

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