Potential High-Dose Risks of Hydrocodone

Potential High-Dose Risks of Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone is listed as a Schedule II prescription medication according to the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. When mixed with other drugs, such as acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol), hydrocodone has a less serious Schedule III rating. Used correctly, hydrocodone may relieve moderate to severe pain, but when abused it may prove fatal.

Hydrocodone Overdose Symptoms

The recommended maximum intake for hydrocodone is 40 mg within 24 hours, but patients with chronic pain may be prescribed up to 180 mg per day. Laws forbid US companies from manufacturing hydrocodone that contains more than 15 mg of hydrocodone per dosage. The symptoms of a hydrocodone overdose may include the following:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Blue skin around the eye lids or lips
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pupil dilation
  • Slowed, irregular or stopped breathing or heartbeat

Here are essential questions to have about someone overdosing on hydrocodone before calling emergency services:

  • Weight
  • Age
  • Overall physical condition
  • Brand name of product
  • Ingredients
  • Strength (example, acetaminophen 500 mg + hydrocodone 5 mg)
  • Time swallowed
  • Amount swallowed
  • Whose prescription was it

This information will help emergency professionals treat overdose faster and more effectively.

Alcohol, Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone

Mixing hydrocodone with other substances, such as alcohol, may cause symptoms similar to overdose. It’s also possible to overdose on hydrocodone when combined with acetaminophen, because such additives are frequently found in over-the-counter medications and other prescription medications. The recommended daily dose of acetaminophen is 4,000 mg, but overdose may occur with 10,000-15,000 mg of acetaminophen and become fatal at 15,000-20,000 mg. Always follow your doctor’s dosing instructions, never use someone else’s prescription and check the drug interactions of all your medications.

Long-Term Effects of High-Dose Hydrocodone

Rare cases of long-term hearing loss have been reported while taking hydrocodone. The liver transforms this drug into hydromorphone, but sometimes the body is unable to process this new substance, causing liver damage or failure. People taking hydrocodone for pain may notice stronger pain after suddenly stopping a high-dose regiment, which is known as the rebound effect.

Mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety disorder, are common among heavy or high-dose hydrocodone users. Emotional instability is also a problem for people who regularly take large doses. Neglecting responsibilities is a common occurrence among heavy hydrocodone abusers because of its lethargic, euphoric effects. An apathetic hydrocodone abuser may struggle at school or work. Financial difficulties and legal trouble may occur as addicts seek to sustain their dangerously high doses.

Hydrocodone Addiction Help

If you suffer from addiction, call our toll-free helpline and get in touch with experienced, caring professionals who can answer all your questions about addiction and recovery. We’re waiting for your call 24 hours a day. Don’t let money problems cause you even the slightest hesitation when it comes to your health and sobriety. When you call, ask how your insurance may cover the costs of rehab.