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Hydrocodone Pain Medication Side Effects, Strengths & Dosage

What is hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)?

Hydrocodone is an opioid narcotic pain-reliever similar to oxycodone, morphine, methadone, fentanyl, and other opioids.

Do I need a prescription for hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)?


Why is hydrocodone (Zohydro ER) prescribed to patients?


Why is hydrocodone (Zohydro ER) prescribed to patients?

ydrocodone is prescribed for the long-term treatment of severe pain for which other treatment options are not effective, not tolerated, or would most likely not be strong enough to adequately manage the pain.

What are the side effects of hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)?

The most frequent adverse reactions include:

Other side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Spasm of the ureter, which can lead to difficulty in urinating.

Other patient warnings include:

  • Hydrocodone can impair thinking and the physical abilities required for driving or operating machinery.
  • Hydrocodone can depress breathing, and should be used with caution in elderly, debilitated patients, and in patients with serious lung disease.
  • Hydrocodone is habit forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur when used long-term.

What is the dosage for hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)?

  • The initial dose for adults is 10 mg orally every 12 hours.
  • The dose may be increased every 3 to 7 days by 10 mg every 12 hours as needed to control pain.
  • Capsules must be swallowed whole and not chewed.

Is hydrocodone (Zohydro ER) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

  • There are no adequate studies of hydrocodone in pregnant women.
  • Hydrocodone is excreted in breast milk, and, therefore should be used cautiously by nursing mothers.

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What else should I know about hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)?

What preparations of hydrocodone (Zohydro ER) are available?
  • Capsules (Extended Release): 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, and 50 mg
How should I keep hydrocodone (Zohydro ER) stored?
  • Hydrocodone should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).
How does hydrocodone (Zohydro ER) work?
  • Hydrocodone, like other opioids, stimulates receptors on nerves in the brain to increase the threshold to pain (the amount of stimulation it takes to feel pain) and reduce the perception of pain (the perceived importance of the pain). Unlike other hydrocodone products such as Vicodin which contain acetaminophen, Zohydro ER contains only hydrocodone.
When was hydrocodone (Zohydro ER) approved by the FDA?
  • The FDA approved Zohydro in October 2013.

Hydrocodone is not available as a generic drug, and a prescription from a doctor or pharmacist is required to obtain the medication.


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