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Hydrocodone/APAP Warnings and Precautions

Prior to taking hydrocodone/APAP, warnings and precautions for the drug should be reviewed with your healthcare provider. This includes understanding the significance of drug interactions, side effects to watch for, and conditions to tell your healthcare provider about. By understanding precautions and warnings with hydrocodone/APAP, you can ensure a safe treatment process.

Hydrocodone/APAP: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking hydrocodone/APAP (hydrocodone and acetaminophen) if you have:
  • Lung disease of any sort
  • A history of drug or alcohol dependence
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver disease, such as cirrhosis, liver failure, or hepatitis
  • A head injury or high intracranial pressure
  • Severe abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Addison's disease
  • An enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Hydrocodone/APAP Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking hydrocodone/APAP include the following:
  • The medication contains quite a bit of acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Taking too much hydrocodone/APAP (or taking it in combination with other products that contain acetaminophen) can cause severe liver problems or even death due to Tylenol poisoning. Hydrocodone/APAP may not be a good choice for people who already have liver disease.
  • Hydrocodone/APAP is a narcotic medication with significant potential for abuse. It is not a good choice for people who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse (see Hydrocodone/APAP Abuse). Do not take the drug more frequently, longer, or at a higher dose than prescribed. If you feel you may be developing a problem with hydrocodone/APAP, please seek help from your healthcare provider.
  • The medication can cause slow and irregular breathing. In severe situations, this may be life-threatening. This may be especially dangerous in people with lung problems.
  • The medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intercranial pressure. Hydrocodone/APAP should only be used with extreme caution in such circumstances.
  • Hydrocodone/APAP can interfere with the diagnosis of many conditions that cause severe abdominal (stomach) pain.
  • Like any other narcotic, hydrocodone/APAP can cause dizziness and drowsiness, and may increase the risk of falls in elderly people.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how hydrocodone/APAP affects you. Your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
  • Check with your healthcare provider before taking the drug if you have hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, an enlarged prostate, or kidney disease, as hydrocodone/APAP may not be the best choice for you.
  • Narcotics such as hydrocodone/APAP are likely to cause constipation. This side effect does not go away as you continue to take the drug. Usually, laxatives are necessary to treat and prevent constipation due to hydrocodone/APAP (see Hydrocodone/APAP and Constipation).
  • Hydrocodone/APAP can potentially interact with several other medications (see Hydrocodone/APAP Drug Interactions).
  • Hydrocodone/APAP is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Hydrocodone/APAP and Pregnancy).
  • Hydrocodone/APAP passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Hydrocodone/APAP and Breastfeeding).
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