Combination of Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen for Severe Pain Relief
When other painkillers prove ineffective or intolerable, a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen is utilized to alleviate severe pain that requires opioid therapy. Acetaminophen is commonly used to treat pain and reduce body temperature in patients.
Hydrocodone Tablets: An Effective Pain Reliever
Hydrocodone tablets, also known as dihydrocodeinone, are classified as narcotic analgesics and are primarily used to suppress coughing and relieve pain by affecting the central nervous system. These tablets are taken orally and are often combined with acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or homatropine methylbromide to address severe pain that necessitates opioid treatment. In certain cases, hydrocodone tablets are prescribed alone in a long-acting form to manage persistently severe pain under trade names like Zohydro ER. It is important to note that hydrocodone tablets are listed as a Schedule II prohibited drug in the US.
Comparing Hydrocodone and Oxycodone
In a study comparing the potency of oxycodone and hydrocodone, researchers found that approximately 50% more hydrocodone was required to produce the same level of miosis (pupillary contraction) as oxycodone. However, when studying fracture patients treated in emergency departments, it was discovered that both medications provided similar pain relief. This suggests that there is not a significant practical difference between the two when used for pain management.
Effectiveness and Duration of Action
Some sources suggest that the analgesic effects of hydrocodone tablets begin within 20 to 30 minutes and last for 4 to 8 hours. The manufacturer’s information indicates that it takes between 10 and 30 minutes for the medication to take effect and recommends taking the prescribed dosage every four to six hours.
Proper Usage of Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone
To minimize nausea, it may be beneficial to take this medication with meals. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for additional suggestions on managing nausea. If you are taking the liquid form of this drug, use a pharmaceutical measuring device to ensure accurate dosage. Avoid using a regular spoon, as it may not provide the correct measurement. It is advisable to take painkillers as soon as discomfort arises rather than waiting for the pain to become severe, as the medication may be less effective in such cases.
Considerations for Different Populations
Pediatric: The effects of hydrocodone and acetaminophen combination capsules and tablets in the pediatric population have not been extensively studied.
Geriatric: Elderly individuals are more susceptible to disorientation, sleepiness, and age-related health issues affecting the lungs, liver, kidneys, or heart. Therefore, elderly patients taking pain relief tablets containing acetaminophen and hydrocodone may require careful monitoring and dosage adjustments.
Please note that this article does not cite specific sources for the information provided.