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Is Hydrocodone the Drug For You?

Have you heard of something known as the invisible illness? Pain is often characterized as an invisible illness as others cannot see it, but one who experiences pain knows how difficult it is to live with it. People in pain may look ‘fine’ but may not be fine. Pain is a signal to tell you that something is wrong. Pain can be an unpleasant feeling. It is experienced in form of a tingle, a burn, or an ache.


Pain can be sharp, sudden or dull, and constant. Broadly it can be classified into acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is sudden as it is mostly due to an injury, inflammation, or a disease. It tends to get better with time and can be treated. Sometimes if left undiagnosed acute pain can turn into chronic pain. Chronic pain is long-lasting and can lead to severe problems. There are several ways to treat pain. Treatment is subject to the type and the basic cause of pain. There are drug treatments, including pain relievers like NSAIDs and opiate (narcotic) analgesics. Some non-drug treatments include acupuncture, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery. Hydrocodone is one such drug that is beneficial in the treatment of severe pain.

Let us understand Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone is used to relieve severe pain. Hydrocodone is specifically used to treat people who require medication to relieve severe pain around-the-clock, and for those patients who are not responding to other treatments or medicines. It is not recommended for patients with mild pain or who can manage their pain with other medicines and drugs. Hydrocodone is an opiate and belongs to the opiate (narcotic) analgesics class of medicines. It works on the Central Nervous system. It works by altering the mode by which the brain and nervous system respond to pain.

Precautions and warnings before using Hydrocodone

Precautions with Hydrocodone are crucial. Hydrocodone can be habit-forming even with regular use. Misuse of this can lead to severe health problems. An overdose could lead to death.

· Never share your medicine with anyone. Keep it in a safe place that is out of reach.

· If you take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (other than aspirin) you may be at a higher risk of having a heart attack, or a stroke

· Inform your doctor if you are allergic to aspirin or sulpha medications, or have known allergies.

· Discuss your health history in detail with your doctor.

· Let your doctor know if you have

· Breathing problems or asthma.

· Liver problems

· Kidney problems or urination problems

· Heart rhythm disorder

· Any head injury or have seizures

· Never take Hydrocodone if pregnant or breastfeeding.

· It is prohibited to consume alcohol if you are on Hydrocodone

How is Hydrocodone available?

Hydrocodone is available as an extended-release (long-acting) capsule and an extended-release tablet.

It is a controlled drug and is available on a prescription only. It is available at the chemists by the following brand names.

· Hysingla

· Zohydro ER

· Vantrela ER


The extended-release Hydrocodone capsule is taken twice, once every 12 hours. The extended-release Hydrocodone tablet is to be taken once daily.

Below is the usual dosage for severe pain.

The oral dosage form (extended-release capsules), for patients not taking narcotic medicines:

· In adults, the initial dose is 10 milligrams (mg) every 12 hours.

· In children, depending on the medical condition and other factors the doctor decides the dose and the use.

The oral dosage form (extended-release capsules), for patients switching from other narcotic medicines:

· In adults, at first, the capsule is given every 12 hours, it may be altered later if the doctor feels the need.

· In children, the dose is determined by the doctor as per the need.

For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets), for patients who are not taking narcotic medicines:

· In adults with Hysingla® ER, the initial dose is 20 milligrams (mg) every 24 hours. With Vantrela™ the initial dose is 15 mg every 12 hours. Your dose is modified as needed.

· In children, the dose and usage are determined by your doctor.

For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets), for patients switching from other narcotic medicines:

· In adults with Hysingla® ER, the dose is given every 24 hours. With Vantrela™, the tablet is given every 12 hours.

· In children, the dose and usage must be determined by your doctor.

Adverse effects of Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone may not suit everyone. You must be aware that each individual reacts differently to the same drug. Some people may show severe side effects to a drug while some may have only mild side effects. Hydrocodone also has some adverse reactions. The common side effects are often mild and do not require immediate medical attention, however, it is best to discuss all the effects, you experience when you visit your doctor.

Common side effects

· Stomach pain

· Dry mouth

· Tiredness

· Headache

· Back pain

· Muscle tightening

· Difficult or painful urination

· Ringing noise in the ears

· Problem with sleep

· Swelling of the feet, leg, or ankle.

· Shaking of a body part without control

Some severe side effects include the following

· Chest pain

· Agitation

· Hallucinations or a state of confusion

· Sweating

· Fast heartbeats

· shivering

· Severe muscle stiffness or twitching

· nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

· Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, or dizziness

· Problems associated with an erection

· Irregular menstruation

· A reduced sexual desire

· Swelling of body parts like lips or face

· Hives

· Itching

· Difficulty swallowing or breathing

Symptoms of overdose could be as follows

· Slow or shallow breathing

· Breathing problem

· Sleepiness

· Muscle weakness

· Cold, clammy skin

· Narrowed or widened pupils

· Slowed heartbeat

· Unable to respond or wake up

How to know if Hydrocodone suits you?

The MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic test eliminates the need for a trial-and-error approach and tells you and your doctor about the drugs that suit you. MEDNAwise is a test that studies your genes and can predict your body’s response to more than 70+ drugs across medical specialties. It is the perfect tool to tell you if Hydrocodone is the drug for you. Genes are unique to each individual; these genes determine the response of the body too. The genetic makeup of an individual is the centre of efficacy for drugs. With the results of the MEDNAwise test it is easy to reduce therapeutic failure, a situation of no response, and also the risk of adverse drug reaction.

There are many advantages of MEDNAwise testing. The doctor can design a unique treatment plan for you, which would be the most effective and also cause the least adverse reactions. It is beneficial for any existing medicines you may be taking. Your doctor could alter the doses and plan treatment according to your efficacy and tolerance levels. The test helps patient outcomes by reducing adverse reactions

As MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic testing is a one-time-only test, you can use the results again and again for any future medical needs. MEDNAWise is a simple saliva swab test, easy to do, and can be taken from anywhere. Once the results are out, the genetic counsellors at Indus Health Plus help you understand the results and help with a future course of action. MEDNAwise test grants peace of mind as you already know the medicines suited you can get the best treatment fast. For pain management MEDNAwise test is an essential tool. It helps the doctor to know the adequate pain management treatment for many patients. It helps to reduce the risk of developing chronic pain. To understand your body better, sign up for MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic testing today!

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