Among opioid pain relievers, Vicodin is a standard response for being suffering from serious pain. It contains acetaminophen, a low-level pain reliever you can find over the counter just about anywhere. Tylenol is a famous brand of acetaminophen and you can get the stuff almost anywhere. Hydrocodone, the second ingredient in Vicodin, is the potentially addictive substance which makes this painkiller work. The acetaminophen might not give pain relief like the hydrocodone, but it assists the second substance by making the body more reactive to it. This allows the hydrocodone to be absorbed more efficiently by the body.
Like other narcotic pain relievers, Vicodin could seriously hamper your ability to function like normal. Don’t operate heavy machinery, vehicles or anything else that could hurt you or another person while you’re using Vicodin. Remember, even if you can’t feel the pain, injury to your body could still be happening. Avoid any alcohol consumption while taking Vicodin as the acetaminophen will cause liver damage when you combine it with alcohol. It’s just a bad idea to mix any prescription medication with alcohol so you might want to make that a general rule for your life if you haven’t already.
Also, keep in mind that Vicodin is a habit-forming kind of drug. Taking it over an extended period of time for especially bad pain or injuries is pretty much guaranteed to cause complications for a patient. If you’ve been taking Vicodin for a time and it isn’t working as well as it used to, that’s a sure sign you’re building up a tolerance to the drug. Once you need more to get the same level of relief, it’s only going to get worse from there. Keep your doctor informed of any changes in your Vicodin use and remember that there are other ways to get pain relief too.
Because Vicodin has so much potential to be abused, most doctors are reluctant to prescribe it to their patients, even when the pain and suffering are very clearly real. Alternatives to Vicodin include Cyclobenzaprine, Valium, Xanax, and many other medications. The problem with this is many of those alternatives are just as addictive and potentially dangerous as Vicodin. If you’re hurting bad and you want it to stop fast, you will still need to prove the need for such drugs to your physician. Getting a second opinion also might not be a bad idea if the first doctor you choose won’t help you.
Before you begin taking Vicodin, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you’ve been prescribed and any health issues which might make Vicodin a bad choice for your pain relief. Interactions with other medications can be just as bad as taking your Vicodin and then having some liquor on the side. To be sure you’re safe while taking this or any other prescription pain reliever, you must tell your doctor if you’re suffering from any of the following:
- Asthma, Sleep Apnea, COPD or any breathing disorder, really;
- Cirrhosis or other diseases of the liver or kidneys;
- Head injury or a brain tumor;
- Especially high or low blood pressure;
- An ulcer or other stomach problem;
- Any adrenal gland disorder, including Addison’s Disease;
- An unusual curvature of the spine;
- A history of mental illness;
- A history of addiction to narcotic pain relievers or alcohol.
Currently, it’s not clear if Vicodin causes a bad reaction in unborn babies. However, it’s crystal clear that hydrocodone and acetaminophen can both pass into a mother’s breast milk and make it into an infant through normal feeding. If you’re pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, it’s probably a good idea to stay far away from this and any other narcotic substances. If you find yourself with a prescription for Vicodin, take it exactly as it was prescribed. Don’t take more, hoping to boost the effects, or take it more often than prescribed.
Like with other narcotic pain relievers, it is very important that you don’t suddenly stop taking Vicodin if you’ve been using it for a while. There exists the amazing potential for some horrific withdrawal symptoms and you could end up hurting yourself or someone else while not in your right mind. Be mindful of any possible allergic reactions you could have to Vicodin. This could be minor and negligible issues but some reactions to Vicodin are significantly more severe than “just not feeling right.” Be sure to phone your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms while using Vicodin:
- Problems with waste expulsion;
- Nausea, pain in the stomach or blood in your stool;
- Slow heart rate or shallow breathing;
- Fainting or dizzy spells;
- Confusion or baseless fear
All of these could be signs your body is having a significant allergic reaction to Vicodin. It’s up to you to decide if they are caused by your prescription or some unrelated issue. However, since the average person doesn’t have much medical knowledge, your best option is still to call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. The Vicodin price could end up being a lot higher than you think if you get hurt, or hurt someone else while using this medication. That’s not to say you should just suffer through whatever bad pain you’re experiencing, but being responsible with medications is something everyone should do.