What is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is a narcotic, opioid medication that relieves moderate to severe pain, and also used as an antitussive or suppressant for those who have cough. The generic name for hydrocodone is hydrocodone oral; its available brand names are Hysingla ER and Zohydro ER which are only used as round-the-clock medicine when patients manifest severe pain, and not for as needed doses when the pain arises.
Hydrocodone has been known to have an analgesic action to start in 10 minutes to 30 minutes after the drug is taken; with a duration of 4 hours to 6 hours of relieving the pain; and the recommended interval between each dose should be every 4 hours to 6 hours.
The usual prescription direction is combination therapy of hydrocodone with any other analgesic or antitussive for controlling the moderate to severe pain or coughing.
One of the very important facts to consider about this drug is that, it has the tendency to decrease breathing or even stop the breathing of the person taking it. As such, it has to be taken cautiously as prescribed by an attending physician and it should not be taken in doses of larger amounts nor should it be used for a long period of time.
It can be habit forming even when taken at regular dose intervals, so that it should not be shared with anybody else, such as those with an addiction history to drugs. The addicted individual may develop both psychological and physical dependence on hydrocodone.
Points to remember before taking Hydrocodone
Hydrocodone can have some fatal results on an individual. To prevent these, here are some necessary tips to remember before the start of the drug:
- It should not be taken for those with severe asthma or breathing problems
- It should not be taken by those who have stomach or intestine blockage
- Pregnant women should inform attending physicians since the drug can lead to a newborn’s withdrawal symptoms which can be life- threatening
- Avoid alcoholic drinks while on hydrocodone since a risky side effect of this is death when combined together
How is Hydrocodone taken?
It is always a must to follow instructions directed by physicians in specifically taking this drug based on each individual’s different indication. Prescription labels of the drug should be checked for further information and how it is stored safely at home. The drug should not be stopped suddenly to prevent symptoms of withdrawal which might be unpleasant.
Side effects of Hydrocodone
Patients must inform attending physicians if the following are noted while on the drug:
- Feeling of faintness
- Breathing is weak and decreased
- Burning discomfort or feelings of pain upon urination
- Severe drowsiness, presence of tremors and confusion state
Common side effects of hydrocodone:
- Symptoms of colds
- Headache, tiredness and dizziness
- Pain in the back and muscles
- Sensations of itchiness
- Hands and feet might be swollen
- Dry mouth noted
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain and constipation
Hydrocodone withdrawal Effect
Hydrocodone having withdrawal effect, as both physiological and physiological system is altered due to effect of hydrocodone and sudden withdrawal of drug can cause harsh outcome.
This effect is usually occurs for chronic useres, who are taking continuously hydrocodone for few weeks. It is always advisable to gradual reduction of dose of hydrocodone before stopping intake of drug. The withdrawal symptoms are more or less similar with side effect.
Detection of Hydrocodone in the Body
The half-life of this drug is just 4 hours in an adult and blood peak level is just about 1.3 hours, which means generally that traces of this drug stays for shorter period of time with its rapid metabolism; so that its detection is somewhat difficult when a person is not a habitual user of the drug, especially if it was done after 24 hours or more already.
The drug can be noticeable mostly in drug tests when it is taken within a period of 24 hours only. A blood test is usually conducted in cases of emergency medical care, motor vehicle accident analysis, or any other circumstances, where there is a need to analysis the person under the persuade of hydrocodone.
Hydrocodone is known to have a detection window which starts from the time the drug is taken wherein evidence can be detected through a drug test procedure, though hydrocodone detection is unknown yet using sweat screens and blood screens. The concentration levels of hydrocodone in the body are being measured to assess evidences of drug misuse, confirm poisoning diagnosis and investigate reasons of death.
Hydrocodone detection times are as follows:
- In the saliva for 12 hours to 36 hours after taking the last dose
- The drug reaches peak urine concentration after 8 hours of taking the drug although this may vary and be detected after 6 hours to 24 hours of taking the drug depending on the dose taken; it can stay in the urine for 2 days to 4 days after the last dose
- In the hair until 90 days after the last dose is being taken
Hydrocodone: Overview, Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions, Patient Tips at http://www.drugs.com/hydrocodone.html
How Do You Take Hydrocodone?, Peak Levels And Half Life Of Hydrocodone, Hydrocodone Drug Testing Detection Times, Hydrocodone Detection Time In Hair & Urine, Problems With Hydrocodone? at http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/hydrocodone-detection-times/
Vallejo, R.; Barkin, R. L.; Wang, V. C. (2011). “Pharmacology of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain syndromes”. Pain physician 14 (4): E343–E360.
Zacny, J. P.; Gutierrez, S. (2009). “Within-subject comparison of the psychopharmacological profiles of oral hydrocodone and oxycodone combination products in non-drug-abusing volunteers”. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 101 (1–2): 107–114.
Karch, Steven B. (2008). Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of abused drugs. Boca Raton: CRC Press. pp. 55–56.