Co-Gesic is a type of narcotic approved to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. This prescription medication is a combination of two medications, hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen. Co-Gesic is a commonly abused drug and is classified as a controlled substance, which means there are special laws controlling its sale and use. Potential side effects of Co-Gesic include constipation, nausea, and drowsiness.
What Is Co-Gesic?
Co-Gesic® (hydrocodone/APAP) is a prescription medication approved to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. It is a narcotic and is classified as a controlled substance, which means that special laws and regulations control its sale and use.
Co-Gesic 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." In the United States, hydrocodone is only available in combination with other medications; it is not available alone.
"APAP" is an acronym for one of the chemical names for acetaminophen, a pain reliever and fever reducer commonly found in non-prescription medications such as Tylenol®. Combining hydrocodone with acetaminophen helps improve Co-Gesic's effectiveness at relieving pain and may limit the abuse potential of hydrocodone, as the maximum dose of Co-Gesic is usually limited by the acetaminophen content.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Co-Gesic [package insert]. Milwaukee, WI; Schwarz Pharma;(no publication date available).
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 18, 2008.
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