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Hydrocodone is a prescription painkiller that is known for its reliability and effectiveness. Hydrocodone was synthesized almost 100 years ago and today is one of the most commonly used opioid analgesic in the US.
Hydrocodone exerts a powerful analgesic effect and is highly effective for alleviating chronic pain. The analgesic effect of this medication is almost as potent as that of Morphine and several times more potent than that of Codeine.
The use of Hydrocodone in recommended doses allows to:
- Reduce physical suffering and discomfort.
- Improve life quality of people, who live with chronic pain.
Hydrocodone has a rapid onset of action and is relatively quickly eliminated from the body. To allow the drug work for a long time, it is produced in the form of extended release capsules and tablets.
After the oral administration of pills, Hydrocodone is slowly and stably released into the bloodstream. Due to the sustained release, Hydrocodone is effective in managing chronic pain. This medication is not used to treat acute pain.
Depending on the severity of the pain, Hydrocodone tablets or capsules are used at a dose of 10 mg to 120 mg. If the pain has arisen for the first time and Hydrocodone is used as the first painkiller, the initial dose is:
- 10-15 mg every 12 hours.
- 20 mg – with a 24-hour interval.
Patients who have previously used Oxycodone, Morphine, Hydromorphone or other powerful opioid analgesics should inform the doctor about this fact. Pain management for opioid-tolerant patients can be initiated with the use of higher drug doses.
If the use of initial recommended doses does not allow achieving analgesia, the daily dose may be increased with the account taken of the following recommendations:
- Dosage should be changed no more than once every three days.
- The size of the dose increments should not exceed 20 mg.
The main goal of increasing the daily dose of Hydrocodone is to achieve an adequate analgesic effect. Once it has been reached, the daily dose should not be increased. The daily dosage for patients, who have not previously used opioid analgesics, should not exceed 80 mg.
Destruction of the pills structure can lead to a sharp increase in Hydrocodone concentration in the blood plasma and an overdose. Therefore, pills can not be broken even if a patient needs to reduce the dosage. Several pills with a low dose can be taken at one time.
Use of recommended Hydrocodone doses will help alleviate the pain and the patient will feel better. However, like any other painkiller, Hydrocodone is characterized not only by benefits, but also by risks. The main risks of this drug are adverse reactions.
Any analgesic, no matter how effective and safe it is, can cause rare, common and frequent adverse reactions. Therefore, the benefits of using Hydrocodone should be carefully weighed with possible risks.
During the period of Hydrocodone pills use, the most frequent possible adverse reactions are:
Examples of more rare undesirable effects include lack of energy and strength, abdominal discomfort, loose stools, sleep disorders, musculoskeletal pain, feelings of severe despondency and ringing in the ears.
The probability of occurrence of such reactions varies within wide limits, depending on:
- The dose used.
- Duration of treatment.
- Individual sensitivity.
- Age and weight of the patient.
Most of the patients will not experience any problems when using Hydrocodone. The side effects are usually not serious. After their appearance, there is no need to adjust the daily dose or stop the treatment of chronic pain.
Some adverse events are serious in nature. If they appeared and do not go away on their own, a reduction in the daily dose may be recommended. If it does not help, patient can be prescribed another treatment.
Before sustained release Hydrocodone pills were approved for sale, extensive testing was conducted. Government regulatory agencies studied the results of testing, including the analgesic effects and adverse reactions of this medication. It was determined that the benefits-risks balance of Hydrocodone is positive.
In October 2013, the FDA approved sustained release Hydrocodone pills. This medicine is supplied by Pernix Ireland Pain and sold under the name Zohydro ER.
Zohydro ER is not the only Hydrocodone-containing medication, approved for the treatment of chronic pain. Today in the USA, you can buy Hydrocodone pills under the names:
- Vantrela ER
The listed opioid analgesics were approved by the FDA in 2014 and in 2017 respectively. They are supplied by Purdue Pharma and Teva.
Actavis and Alvogen Malta reported receipt of tentative approval for their long-release Hydrocodone pills. These pain relievers are called “Hydrocodone Bitartrate”. At the moment, they are not sold in the US.
The price of Hydrocodone pills may differ. It depends on the amount of the active substance that they contain, the place of purchase and the wholesale price of the manufacturer. As a rule, large pharmacy chains offer low prices for painkillers.
Hydrocodone-containing medicines provide identical analgesic effects, no matter how they are called and which company produced them. Therefore, you can buy the cheapest Hydrocodone pills and get a powerful analgesic, approved by the FDA.