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Hydrocodone ( Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin ) medication is a combination of a narcotic ( hydrocodone ) and a non-narcotic (acetaminophen ) used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Hydrocodone works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, and acetaminophen decreases the formation of prostaglandins, therefore relieving pain.
HOW TO USE
Take Hydrocodone ( Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin ) by mouth, as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, you may take this drug with food, although doing so may decrease its effectiveness. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about alternatives for decreasing nausea (e.g., antihistamines, lying down for 1-2 hours with minimal head movement). The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Pain medications work best in relieving pain before it becomes severe. Once the pain becomes intense, the medication is not as effective in relieving it. Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently or use it for a longer period of time than prescribed because this drug can be habit-forming. Also, if used for an extended period of time, do not suddenly stop using this drug without your doctor's approval. When used for an extended period, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well. Adults - Do not take more than a total of 4 grams per day of acetaminophen (3 grams per day if you have liver disease). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information. See also Precautions and Drug Interactions.
Hydrocodone ( Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin ) should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: naltrexone. If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting this drug. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription products you may use, especially of: other medications for pain, cimetidine, isoniazid, MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine procarbazine, selegiline, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin), anticholinergic drugs/antihistamines (e.g., hydroxyzine, oxybutynin, scopolamine). Also report drugs that cause drowsiness such as: medicine for sleep (e.g., sedatives), tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine, or tricyclics such as amitriptyline), muscle relaxants, antihistamines that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine). Check the labels on all your medicines (including other pain relievers, cough-and-cold medicines, or allergy products) because they may also contain acetaminophen. An overdose of acetaminophen can be harmful. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
Hydrocodone ( Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin ) should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe breathing problems (e.g., respiratory depression, hypercapnia), severe diarrhea (e.g., pseudomembranous colitis, infectious diarrhea due to toxins). Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, difficulty urinating (e.g., enlarged prostate, urethral stricture), alcohol use, drug dependency, heart problems (e.g., slow/irregular heartbeat, very low blood pressure), abdominal/stomach problems (e.g., gallbladder disease), lung disease (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), seizure disorders, serious head injury or brain disease, spinal problems (kyphoscoliosis), low thyroid disease (hypothyroidism), adrenal gland problems (Addison's disease), psychiatric problems (toxic psychosis), any allergies (especially to codeine or codeine-like medications). This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages because they may increase the risk of side effects of this drug. This product contains acetaminophen which may cause liver damage. Daily use of alcohol and acetaminophen may increase your risk for liver damage (symptoms include yellowing eyes or skin, stomach pain, dark urine). Check with your doctor or pharmacist for more information. To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the side effects of the drug, especially the possible decreased breathing and drowsiness effects. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. It is not recommended for use for long periods or in high doses near the expected delivery date because of the potential for fetal harm. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Based on information from related drugs, this drug may pass into breast milk. Due to the potential risk to the infant, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include: persistent nausea or vomiting, stomach pain, slow breathing, slow heartbeat, cold/clammy skin, unusual sweating, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, extreme fatigue, loss of consciousness.
Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, flushing, vision changes, or mental/mood changes may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: slow/irregular breathing, slow/irregular heartbeat, change in the amount of urine. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: impairment or loss of hearing (especially with high doses for long periods). See also Overdose Section. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
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