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Vicodin; usage, dosage, side effects, drug interactions, alternatives

Vicodin is a useful analgesic (pain reliever) that is made up of two medications: hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It is highly useful for relieving moderate to severe pain in regard to an injury or surgery as well. However, while Vicodin can be a helpful pain relief option, it also has the potential for misuse and can be habit-forming. In this regard, one must know its usage, dosage, side effects, drug interactions, and alternatives before starting the treatment.

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin is a pain reliever that contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is an opioid pain medication, and acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever that increases the effects of hydrocodone. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain, thereby effectively offering you relief from moderate to severe pain.

How is Vicodin used?

The presence of hydrocodone acts as an opioid pain reliever, while acetaminophen aids in reducing fever and relieves minor aches and pains. The time-release mechanism in Vicodin makes it slightly different than other opioids, as the medication gradually releases into the body over several hours, providing long-term relief for chronic pain. It’s important to note that Buy Valium Online with your doctor’s prescription could become addictive and cause serious side effects if the patient does not consume it under the direction of a healthcare professional.

What are the side effects of Vicodin?

Being a narcotic pain reliever and a Schedule II controlled substance, Vicodin comes with side effects for sure.

Common side effects of Vicodin include-

  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Constipation
  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness

More serious side effects include:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Seizures
  • Fainting
  • Coma

If you experience any of these side effects, you should seek medical attention immediately.

What are the drug interactions with Vicodin?

There are many drug interactions with Vicodin. Some of these interactions can be dangerous and life-threatening. Therefore, it is important to check with your healthcare provider before taking this medication.
Some of the drugs that interact with Vicodin include but are not limited to:

Alcohol- Drinking alcohol while taking Vicodin can increase the risk of liver damage and other side effects.
Antiplatelet or “blood thinners” such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid) – Taking these medications with Vicodin may increase the risk of bleeding.
Certain antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E-Mycin, Eryc, Ery-Tab, PCE, Pediazole), levofloxacin (Levaquin), linezolid (Zyvox) – Taking these antibiotics with Vicodin may increase the level of Vicodin in your blood which could lead to more side effects.

What are the alternatives to Vicodin?

There are many alternatives to Vicodin, depending on the individual’s needs. Some may require a prescription, while others are available over-the-counter. The important thing is to find an alternative that works for the individual and their specific situation.

Some common alternatives to Vicodin include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, celecoxib, diclofenac, and indomethacin. You can take them orally or topically as per your doctor’s advice. Your doctor may also suggest alternatives such as tramadol, codeine, and hydrocodone, depending on your pain level.

It is important to understand that each person will respond differently to various medications, so it is important to work with a healthcare professional to determine which alternative is best for you. Be sure to discuss all risks and benefits of each option before making a decision.

Vicodin and Alcohol-

You should never take Vicodin and alcohol together as the effects can be extremely serious. Using Vicodin, or any other narcotic analgesic, with alcohol, can create a heightened risk of certain side effects such as extreme sleepiness, mental confusion, and difficulty breathing.

It can even lead to death, so consuming these substances together is incredibly dangerous. Those who are taking Vicodin should abstain from drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage entirely to avoid these risks. Additionally, it is important to closely follow any instructions that are provided by a healthcare professional when mixing these medications, as small differences can make a big difference in terms of safety.

Vicodin and Pregnancy-

Vicodin is not recommended for pregnant women. The drug can cross the placenta to increase the risk of potentially serious health issues for the unborn baby. If you’re pregnant, you should avoid using Vicodin unless your doctor advises so under strict medical instructions.

Several studies have found that Vicodin use in pregnancy can cause adverse effects such as birth defects, breathing problems, premature delivery, and even being born with opioid dependency. It is, therefore, important that pregnant women discuss any potential risks with a doctor before taking Vicodin for sure. Taking measures such as minimizing use and discussing other treatment options are essential for minimizing risks to mother and child.


Vicodin is a powerful drug for moderate-to-severe pain, but the drug is prone to abuse in the absence of proper administration. Additionally, there are alternatives available to Vicodin for pain management on different levels without some of the harsh side effects associated with Vicodin. Do not forget to discuss with your doctor your ongoing medication to avoid Vicodin drug interactions and to help your doctor make a wise decision for your pain management.


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