What is/are Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from codeine. Hydrocodone is used orally as narcotic analgesic and antitussive, often in combination with paracetamol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen. Hydrocodone is prescribed predominantly in the United States. International Narcotics Control Board reports that 99% of worldwide supply in 2007 was consumed in the United States.
Hydrocodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain and as an antitussive to treat cough. It is approximately 1.5 times less potent opioid than oxycodone. Analgesic action of hydrocodone begins 20–30 minutes after taking it and lasts 4–8 hours.
Common side effects of hydrocodone are nausea, vomiting, constipation, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, fuzzy thinking, anxiety, abnormally happy or sad mood, dry throat, difficulty urinating, rash, itching, and narrowing of the pupils. Serious side effects include slowed or irregular breathing and chest tightness.
Several cases of progressive bilateral hearing loss unresponsive to steroid therapy have been described as an infrequent adverse reaction to hydrocodone/acetaminophene combination. This adverse effect has been considered due to the ototoxicity of hydrocodone. Recently, researchers suggested that acetaminophen is the primary agent responsible for the ototoxicity.
It is in FDA pregnancy category C. No adequate and well-controlled studies in humans have been conducted. A newborn of a mother taking opioid medications regularly prior to the birth will be physically dependent. The baby may also exhibit respiratory depression if the opioid dose was high. An epidemiological study indicated that opioid treatment during early pregnancy results in increased risk of various birth defects.
Symptoms of hydrocodone overdose include narrowed or widened pupils; slow, shallow, or stopped breathing; slowed or stopped heartbeat; cold, clammy, or blue skin; excessive sleepiness; loss of consciousness; seizures; and death.
Hydrocodone can be habit-forming, causing physical and psychological dependence. Its abuse liability is similar to morphine and less than oxycodone.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Hydrocodone, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.