A combination of acetaminophen (APAP, paracetamol) and hydrocodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Hydrocodone belongs to narcotic pain relievers. Acetaminophen is a milder pain reliever and a fever reducer that increases the effects of hydrocodone.
Acetaminophen/hydrocodone is used in the treatment of back pain; pain; rheumatoid arthritis; cough and belongs to the drug class narcotic analgesic combinations. It may cause addiction, so it’s important to only take this medication exactly as prescribed by the doctor. Hydrocodone is a medication used to alter the way the body reacts to pain, while acetaminophen is used to reduce fever and minor pain. This class of medication is most effective when it is taken at the first sign of pain.
Take this medicine only as prescribed and follow prescription labels. Do not stop using unless you are advised to do so. To prevent any reaction to medication and treatment, inform the doctor the following: allergy to acetaminophen and hydrocodone; underlying illnesses or diseases; other medicines or alcoholic beverages taken; and if you intend to undergo surgery and other treatment.
Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Avoid use if you are breastfeeding as this passes to breast milk and may be harmful to the nursing baby.
Increase water and fiber intake while taking this medicine. Acetaminophen and hydrocodone causes constipation. Avoid use of laxatives while on treatment and inform the doctor if you intend to take other medications.
Hydrocodone is habit-forming therefore it should only be used by the person to whom it was prescribed for and it should be stored in a secure place. Effects of this medication may impair your reactions and thinking so avoid driving or any activity that requires you to be awake and alert.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
It is important to note symptoms of allergic reaction such as hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Immediately call the doctor in case this happens. Other side effects include:
Minor Side Effects
- feeling anxious, dizzy, or drowsy;
- mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, constipation;
- headache, mood changes;
- blurred vision;
- ringing in your ears; or
- dry mouth.
These symptoms may or may not disappear. It may disappear once your body has adjusted to treatment; however, inform your doctor if symptoms persist or if it becomes bothersome.
Severe Side Effects
Call the doctor at once if you have these symptoms: shallow breathing, slow heartbeat; feeling light-headed, fainting; confusion, fear, unusual thoughts or behavior; seizure (convulsions); problems with urination; or nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Signs of Overdose
Seek emergency help in case of extreme drowsiness, sweating, pinpoint pupils, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), confusion, cold and clammy skin, muscle weakness, fainting, weak pulse, slow heart rate, coma, blue lips, shallow breathing, or no breathing.
This is not a complete list of side effects and precautionary measures. It is best to talk with your doctor and ask for assistance whenever necessary.
This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.