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Information about Vicodin

Brand Name(s): APAP and Hydrocodone, Anexsia, Bancap HC, Ceta-Plus, Co-gesic, Dolacet, Duocet, Hy-Phen, Hydrocet, Hydrogesic, Lorcet Plus, Lorcet-HD, Lortab, Margesic H, Maxidone, Norco, Panacet, Stagesic, T-Gesic, Vanacet, Vicodin, Vicodin ES, Vicodin HP, Zydone

Generic Name Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone

What are acetaminophen-hydrocodone tablets or capsules?

ACETAMINOPHEN-HYDROCODONE (Lortab®, Lorcet®, Vicodin®, and others) is a combination of two different types of pain medicine and is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Federal law prohibits the transfer of acetaminophen-hydrocodone to any person other than the patient for whom it was prescribed. Generic acetaminophen-hydrocodone tablets and capsules are available. Acetaminophen-hydrocodone is also available as caplets.

What should my health care professional know before I take acetaminophen-hydrocodone?

You must notify them, if you have any of these conditions:

  • drink more than 3 alcohol-containing drinks per day
  • anemia
  • infection
  • heart or circulation problems
  • lung disease or breathing difficulties
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • problems urinating
  • seizures or other neurologic disorders
  • hepatitis
  • constipation
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to acetaminophen, hydrocodone, other opioid analgesics, foods, dyes or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?

Take acetaminophen-hydrocodone tablets or capsules by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water. You can take acetaminophen-hydrocodone with food to prevent stomach upset. Do not take your medicine more frequently than directed.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed, in that case.

Do not share this medicine with anyone.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with acetaminophen-hydrocodone?

  • medicines for seizures
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • alcohol
  • warfarin
  • cimetidine
  • antacids

Because acetaminophen-hydrocodone can cause drowsiness, other medicines that also cause drowsiness may increase this effect of acetaminophen-hydrocodone. Some other medicines that cause drowsiness are:

  • alcohol-containing medicines
  • barbiturates such as phenobarbital
  • certain antidepressants or tranquilizers
  • muscle relaxants
  • certain antihistamines used in cold medicines

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines, which you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequently take drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine affects you. Check with your health care professional before stopping, starting or change dozes of any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking acetaminophen-hydrocodone?

Elderly patients are more likely to get side effects.

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • chest pain or irregular heartbeat
  • difficulty breathing, wheezing
  • severe rash
  • cold, clammy skin
  • unusual weakness
  • fever, chills, muscle aches and pains

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation
  • dizziness, drowsiness
  • confusion
  • gas or heartburn
  • nausea, vomiting
  • dry mouth
  • itching
  • flushing
  • pinpoint pupils

What should I watch for while taking acetaminophen-hydrocodone?

Tell your prescriber or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it increases, or if you have new or different type of pain. Do not take other pain medicines with acetaminophen-hydrocodone without advice.

Use exactly as directed by your prescriber or health care professional. Do not take more than the recommended dose due to the possibility of liver damage or effects on your breathing.

If you get flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, muscle aches and pains), call your prescriber or health care professional; do not treat yourself.

If you are receiving cancer chemotherapy or other immunosuppression medicine, do not take acetaminophen with out checking with your prescriber or health care professional. Acetaminophen may hide the signs of an infection such as fever or pain.

To reduce unpleasant effects on your throat and stomach, take acetaminophen-hydrocodone with a full glass of water and never just before lying down. You may also take it with food or milk.

Acetaminophen-hydrocodone may make you drowsy when you first start taking it or change doses. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how acetaminophen-hydrocodone affects you. Do not sit or stand up quickly. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting effects. These spells may be worse if you are an older patient. The drowsiness should decrease after taking acetaminophen-hydrocodone for a couple of days. If you have not slept because of your pain, you may sleep more the first few days your pain is controlled to catch-up on missed sleep.

Be careful if you taking other medicines that may also make you sleepy. This effect may be worse when taking these medicines with acetaminophen-hydrocodone. Alcohol can increase possible drowsiness, dizziness, confusion and affect your breathing. Using of alcohol can increase possible damage to your liver. Avoid alcohol taking while taking acetaminophen-hydrocodone.

Acetaminophen-hydrocodone can cause constipation. Make sure to take a laxative and/or a stool softener. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2—3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days or more call your prescriber or health care professional. They may recommend using an enema or suppository to help you move your bowels.

Many non-prescription medicines contain acetaminophen as an ingredient. Always read the labels carefully to avoid taking an accidental overdose, which can be dangerous.

Acetaminophen can affect the results from some blood sugar tests used by diabetic patients. Check with your prescriber or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

If you are going to have surgery tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking acetaminophen-hydrocodone.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open. Do not share or give this medicine to anyone else. Avoid accidental swallowing of acetaminophen-hydrocodone by someone (especially children) other than for whom it was prescribed as this may result in severe side effects and possibly death.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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