Stagesic is a prescription pain relief medication used for treating moderate to moderately severe pain. It comes in capsule form and is generally taken every four to six hours as needed for pain, although some people may need to take it on a scheduled basis for chronic pain. Stagesic contains both acetaminophen (a drug found in many over-the-counter medicines) and hydrocodone (a narcotic).
What Is Stagesic?
Stagesic™ (hydrocodone/APAP) is a prescription medication approved to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. As a narcotic medication, Stagesic is classified as a controlled substance, which means that special federal (and state) laws and regulations control its sale and use. This also means that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is involved in various aspects of Stagesic prescribing, dispensing, and criminal investigations.
Stagesic contains hydrocodone bitartrate (usually known as just "hydrocodone") and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a narcotic opioid pain reliever. It acts similarly to codeine. Hydrocodone relieves pain and 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 Stagesic's effectiveness at relieving pain and may limit the abuse potential of hydrocodone, as the maximum dose of Stagesic 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):
MAGNA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Product information guide (no publication date). MAGNA Web site. Available at: http://www.magnaweb.com/magna_product_guide.pdf. Accessed April 18, 2008.
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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