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What is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is a semi synthetic narcotic pain-relieving drug that has similar effects as codeine. It is commonly used to treat and manage mild to moderate pains. It is also used as a cough suppressant (anti-tussive). Drugs containing Hydrocodone are very effective in reducing pain as well as relieving coughing. Hydrocodone is not manufactured by itself but it is always mixed with other active ingredients such as acetaminophen. Pure Hydrocodone is classified as controlled drug by food and drugs associations that its usage is heavily restricted. When it is blended with other non-narcotic drugs, it is not as heavily restricted as in its pure form. For example, Hydrocodone is mixed with aspirin, ibuprofen and antihistamines.

Hydrocodone is usually rolled out in various forms such as capsules, tablets and liquids. Most of Hydrocodone formulations are obtainable in generic form but not all the products. Keep reading to learn more about Hydrocodone, its uses, its effects and side effects, as well as more detailed usage guidelines.

Uses of Hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone has many medical as well as recreational uses. Medically, it is often used to relieve pain and sometimes used for relieving coughing. On the other hand it has some recreational effects similar to those of morphine whereby Hydrocodone usage leads one to experience euphoria. It is therefore commonly abused due to this characteristic and its prolonged usage leads to addiction and tolerance.

Hydrocodone can be used for short term pain control such as after dental procedure or after surgery, as well as for long term pain reliever. Hydrocodone works like other opioid pain relievers by connecting to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. However, since it is a narcotic drug it is not highly recommended that one should not use it for a prolonged period of time due to its addictive nature. Hydrocodone formulations that are designed for relieving coughing have a variety of other active ingredients such as antihistamines and other compounds aimed at prohibiting from taking more dose than prescribed. In addition there other off-label uses of Hydrocodone that your physician may occasionally recommend.

Hydrocodone products are not recommended for use in children under the age of 6 years since no adequate clinical research has been carried out on this group. Despite the Hydrocodone manufacturers' claims that Hydrocodone cough syrups may be used in children who are as young as 2 years old, such claims are futile since no Hydrocodone product has been proven effective or safe for children use.

Hydrocodone Dosage

Hydrocodone does not have a standardized dosage since different products contain different proportions of the active drug. Typically Hydrocodone drugs are take at an interval of 4 to 6 hours although there are other factors that affect the dosage rate such as the type of Hydrocodone product, how a patient is responding to the drug, other drugs that a patient may be taking as well as the state of health of a patient. In addition, if Hydrocodone is to be taken for a prolonged duration of time it should be taken less frequently such as twice daily.

Hydrocodone can be taken either as need arises or on scheduled basis. When taken as need arises means that one takes the dose when one experiences the pain only which is actually recommendable. When taken on a scheduled basis it means that a person only takes the dose at a regular intervals regardless of whether one is experiencing pain or not. In both cases one should take hydrocodone after taking meals so as to reduce stomach upsets. Hydrocodone dosage should not be stopped abruptly especially if one has been taking it regularly for a couple of weeks since one may experience Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms.

Hydrocodone Side effects.

As with any other drug there are possible Hydrocodone side effects. However, the likelihood of experiencing these side effects is very low since most patients who have used it tolerate it well. In fact those Hydrocodone users who have ever experience adverse effects usually report minor side effects and may require no medical attention or are treatable and therefore they may not cause long term health problems.

Hydrocodone is a commonly used drug worldwide and it has been prescribed to millions of people over the years. Majority of people who have used it put up with it well, but still there are few people who have reported to have been negatively affected by this drug. As a result, the most common side effects associated with Hydrocodone use reported so far include but are not limited to: Light-headedness, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Nausea, Vomiting and constipation.

Some Hydrocodone side effects are very serious and if a person experiences them in the course of using Hydrocodone products they should be reported immediately to a medical professional. They include but are not limited to:
Confusion, anxiety or fear, Severe constipation, irregular or slow breathing, bradycardia (slow heart rate), Difficulty when urinating, hypotension (low blood Pressure), Severe drowsiness, Loss of balance or falling and allergic reactions such as unexplained rash, Hives, Itching, Swelling in the mouth or throat, Wheezing and Difficulties in breathing.

Constipation Due to Hydrocodone Use

Various clinical studies have reported that constipation is the most common side effect associated with Hydrocodone. Most people who have ever take Hydrocodone products experience some sought of constipation. Unfortunately, constipation due to hydrocodone use does not disappear on its own and as long as one continues to take this drug. The body never adapts to the hydrocodone effects that render constipation and therefore it is necessary to put some measures in place so as to prevent and treat constipation.

Organic treatments for constipation such as increased water and fiber intake as well as exercises usually do less to treat and prevent constipation due to hydrocodone. On the other hand, stool softeners such as docusate may as well be used to prevent and treat constipation but they only provide some relief. What at least significantly relieve constipation due to hydrocodone are stimulant laxatives. A combination of a stimulant laxative and a stool softener is the best work out for preventing and treating constipation. Therefore it is extremely important for those patients under Hydrocodone therapy to use laxatives in order to avoid or treat constipation.

Other Considerations

In conclusion the information presented may not be complete but rather acts a guide. Therefore you should seek more information about uses of hydrocodone and further warnings needed to prevent you from experiencing adverse effects.