The formulation of Vicodin has changed to comply with new laws regarding the acetaminophen content, and these new formulations are not yet available in generic form. There are no outstanding patents for these products, so it is unclear when this situation will change. The older strengths are still available as generics.
An Introduction to Generic Vicodin
Vicodin® (hydrocodone/APAP) is a prescription pain medication. It contains two different drugs: hydrocodone (a narcotic) and acetaminophen (Tylenol®). "APAP" is an acronym for one of the chemical names for acetaminophen.
Vicodin is made by Mikart, Inc., for AbbVie, Inc. In 2012, AbbVie reformulated all its Vicodin products to contain a lower dosage of acetaminophen. The new Vicodin products are not yet available in generic form. The old products are available in generic form.Interestingly, AbbVie is marketing Vicodin as a "branded generic" (a generic drug with a brand name).
Generic Vicodin is available in the following strengths:
- Hydrocodone/APAP 5/500 mg tablets (equivalent to regular-strength Vicodin)
- Hydrocodone/APAP 7.5/750 mg tablets (equivalent to Vicodin ES®)
- Hydrocodone/APAP 10/660 mg tablets (equivalent to Vicodin HP®).
By law, no prescription hydrocodone/APAP drugs may contain more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per tablet after January 2014. These generics will no longer be available after this time.
The new Vicodin versions all contain 300 mg of acetaminophen per tablet. It is unknown when generic versions of the new formulation will become available. There do not appear to be any unexpired patents listed for these products.
If your doctor specifies an older strength (5/500, 7.5/750, or 10/660), your pharmacist may substitute a generic product. If your doctor does not specify an older strength, a generic product may not be substituted.