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Vicodin Oral

A healthcare provider may prescribe Vicodin® (hydrocodone/APAP) to help relieve moderate to moderately severe pain. This pain medication is only approved for adults.
An oral medication, Vicodin contains two different medications, hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic narcotic, opioid pain reliever. It acts similarly to codeine and is effective at decreasing pain and relieving coughing.
The acetaminophen component in Vicodin is a pain reliever and fever reducer. Combining hydrocodone with acetaminophen helps improve the effectiveness of acetaminophen at relieving pain and may limit the abuse potential of hydrocodone (the maximum dose of Vicodin is limited by the acetaminophen content).
The drug comes in tablet form, and is typically taken every four to six hours as needed for pain.
In 2012, the manufacturer of Vicodin changed the strengths of its products in order to comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements to lower the acetaminophen content. The old Vicodin tablets were available in the following strengths:
  • Vicodin 5/500 -- 5 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and 500 mg of acetaminophen
  • Vicodin HP® 10/660 -- 10 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and 660 mg of acetaminophen
  • Vicodin ES® 7.5/750 -- 7.5 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and 750 mg of acetaminophen.
The new Vicodin strengths are as follows:
  • Vicodin 5/300 -- 5 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and 300 mg of acetaminophen
  • Vicodin HP 10/300 -- 10 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and 300 mg of acetaminophen
  • Vicodin ES 7.5/300 -- 7.5 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and 300 mg of acetaminophen.
Although most people tolerate this medication well, it is not suitable for everyone. Possible side effects include drowsiness, nausea, and constipation.
(Click Vicodin for more information on how Vicodin can help relieve pain. This article also discusses general dosing guidelines, safety precautions, and tips on effectively using this medication.)
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