Hydrocodone is an opioid used to treat pain and as a cough suppressant. It is taken by mouth. Typically it is dispensed as the combination acetaminophen/hydrocodone or ibuprofen/hydrocodone for pain severe enough to require an opioid and in combination with homatropine methylbromide to relieve cough. It is also available by itself in a long-acting form under the brand name Zohydro ER, among others, to treat severe pain of a prolonged duration.
How to use Hydrocodone
- Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
- If you are using a liquid form of this medication, use a medication measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur. Some of these side effects may decrease after you have been using this medication for a while. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
- To prevent constipation, eat dietary fiber, drink enough water, and exercise. You may also need to take a laxative. Ask your pharmacist which type of laxative is right for you.
- To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
- Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: interrupted breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations), stomach/abdominal pain, difficulty urinating, signs of your adrenal glands not working well (such as loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, weight loss).
- Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fainting, seizure, slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/difficulty waking up.
- A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
- This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.