What Hydrocodone Treats

What Hydrocodone Treats

Hydrocodone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics as well as a class of medications called antitussives. Antitussives are used to suppress coughing. It is used to either relieve moderate to severe pain, or it is taken to relieve coughing. In both cases, hydrocodone helps the patient by going straight to the brain and changing the way it responds to things. For pain, it changes the way the brain responds to pain. With coughing, hydrocodone decreases the activity in the brain that causes coughing.

Hydrocodone is given in correlation with other ingredients, so it is important to look up all the other ingredients in order to better understand your medication. Hydrocodone may be habit-forming, so it is important to only take what your doctor prescribes. Make sure to keep it stored away from children and people with a history of drug abuse to ensure the safety of everyone. Keep the medication in the bottle it originally came in and clearly labeled so there is no confusion. Some brand names of hydrocodone are:

  • Vicodin
  • Lorcet
  • Lortab
  • Norco
  • Anexsia
  • Hycodan
  • Vicoprofen
  • Tramadol
  • Zydone
  • Tylox
  • Tussionex
  • Hycomine

How Hydrocodone Works

It may be surprising to know that scientific research is still ongoing as to exactly how hydrocodone works. What is known is that it appears to work on the central and peripheral nervous system. It also appears as if the hydrocodone binds to the natural opiate neurons in the brain and provides an increase of dopamine, which serves to increase pleasure reactions. The increased pleasure provides a pain relief.

Unfortunately, if a person continues to use hydrocodone, the brain adapts to that chemical level in the brain for everyday normal functioning. This means that to achieve that increased pleasure, a person must increase the dosage of the hydrocodone.

This vicious cycle of use, brain adaptation and increased use appears to be the source of hydrocodone abuse and addiction which leads to needing hydrocodone help possibly through treatment.

Hydrocodone Treatment of Pain

The most common use of hydrocodone is in the use of relieving mild to severe pain. It depends on what the brand name is because they all have different concentrations and are mixed with other medications. A mixture of hydrocodone and acetaminophen is found under the names of Vicodin and Lortcet. Hydrocodone and aspirin is known as Lortab. Some are stronger than others, so they are able to treat severe pain, whereas, some have a lower concentration and will only work on mild pain. It will sometimes be prescribed to treat patients with IBS.

Hydrocodone does not fix the actual problem, but it eases the pain until the problem is fixed with other medication or surgery. It can be given for any number of reasons someone is in pain. It may also be used post-surgery, back pains, etc.

Hydrocodone as Antitussives

Hydrocodone is a cough suppressant as well as a narcotic. When hydrocodone is mixed with an antihistamine or a decongestant, it can be used to suppress cough and cold symptoms. The medication decreases the amount of activity in the brain that triggers coughing.

Hydrocodone Side Effects

Hydrocodone may cause side effects. If the following symptoms are severe and do not go away, contact your doctor:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Anxiety
  • Abnormally happy or abnormally sad mood
  • Dry throat
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Narrowing of the pupils

Some of the effects are more serious. If these side effects occur, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Chest tightness
  • Slow or irregular breathing

How to Manage Hydrocodone

When a person experiencing severe pain is prescribed hydrocodone, it is recommended that the treatment time not exceed 10 days, most likely to prevent the cycle of use and brain adaptation followed by increased use. Depending on your personal body chemistry, hydrocodone stays in your system between four to eight hours. Taking the prescribed medication more than this amount of time is not suggested.

During that 10 day period, a person should consider taking only the recommended dosage for just a few days to deal with the most significant pain and then start slowly weaning the usage of hydrocodone for the balance of that period of time. In addition to lessening the dosage to wean off the medication, increase your water intake to assist in flushing the medication through your system. With this carefully managed method of use, people can receive the benefits of hydrocodone while minimizing the risk of hydrocodone abuse.

Unfortunately, even after discontinuing the use of hydrocodone, the brain may continue to seek that level of pleasure by making a person feel so uncomfortable that they choose to continue to use hydrocodone to relieve the cravings.

Hydrocodone Help

If you or a loved one is addicted to hydrocodone, it is important to seek help. Hydrocodone is a highly dependent drug. Once addicted, the effects are devastating. Many lose their jobs, dreams and ambitions. But, there is hope. If you are interested in receiving information on hydrocodone detox or rehab, please call our toll free number at 855-396-2977.