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How Does It Work?

Hydrocodone/APAP contains two different medications: hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic narcotic, opioid pain reliever. It acts similarly to codeine. Hydrocodone is effective at decreasing pain and relieving coughing, but also causes drowsiness, mood changes, and mental "clouding." 
Acetaminophen ("APAP") is a pain reliever and fever reducer commonly found in non-prescription medications such as Tylenol®. APAP is an acronym for one of the chemical names for acetaminophen. Combining hydrocodone with acetaminophen helps improve the medication's effectiveness at relieving pain and may limit the abuse potential of hydrocodone, as the maximum dose of hydrocodone/APAP is usually limited by the acetaminophen content.

What Is the Potential for Abuse?

Hydrocodone/APAP is a commonly abused drug. It is readily available and inexpensive, especially in generic form. It is important to distinguish between actual abuse of the drug and a physical dependence on the drug. Healthcare providers can have difficulty distinguishing behaviors associated with inadequate pain control from drug-seeking behaviors associated with abuse. Because it is a highly desired drug of abuse, people often obtain it through illegal means, such as from foreign countries or online sources that do not require a prescription. People who abuse it and suddenly stop using it are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms.
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Hydrocodone/APAP Medication Info

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