Facts about Vicodin side effects


Vicodin side effects :
a look at Purpose, Use and Impact

Vicodin is a narcotic analgesic used to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain. It is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Vicodin side effects and interactions

If you will be taking this medicine for a long time (for example, for several months at a time), or in high doses, your doctor should check your progress at regular visits.

Check the labels of all nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) and prescription medicines you now take. If any contain acetaminophen or a narcotic be especially careful, since taking them while taking this medicine may lead to overdose. If you have any questions about this, check with your medical doctor, dentist, or pharmacist.

Vicodin side effects will add to those of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that slow down the nervous system, possibly causing drowsiness). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; other prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates; medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Also, there may be a greater risk of liver damage if you drink three or more alcoholic beverages while you are taking acetaminophen. Do not drink alcoholic beverages, and check with your medical doctor or dentist before taking any of the medicines listed above, while you are using this medicine.

Too much use of the acetaminophen in this combination medicine together with certain other medicines may increase the chance of unwanted Vicodin side effects. The risk will depend on how much of each medicine you take every day, and on how long you take the medicines together. If your doctor directs you to take these medicines together on a regular basis, follow his or her directions carefully. However, do not take this medicine together with any of the following medicines for more than a few days, unless your doctor has directed you to do so and is following your progress:

  • Aspirin or other salicylates
  • Diclofenac (e.g., Voltaren)
  • Diflunisal (e.g., Dolobid)
  • Etodolac (e.g., Lodine)
  • Fenoprofen (e.g., Nalfon)
  • Floctafenine (e.g., Idarac)
  • Flurbiprofen, oral (e.g., Ansaid)
  • Ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin)
  • Indomethacin (e.g., Indocin)
  • Ketoprofen (e.g., Orudis)
  • Ketorolac (e.g., Toradol)
  • Meclofenamate (e.g., Meclomen)
  • Mefenamic acid (e.g., Ponstel)
  • Nabumetone (e.g., Relafen)
  • Naproxen (e.g., Naprosyn)
  • Oxaprozin (e.g., Daypro)
  • Phenylbutazone (e.g., Butazolidin)
  • Piroxicam (e.g., Feldene)
  • Sulindac (e.g., Clinoril)
  • Tenoxicam (e.g., Mobiflex)
  • Tiaprofenic acid (e.g., Surgam)
  • Tolmetin (e.g., Tolectin)

Vicodin side effects may cause some people to become drowsy, dizzy, or lightheaded, or to feel a false sense of well-being.

Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert and clearheaded.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position.

Getting up slowly may help lessen this problem.

Nausea or vomiting may occur, especially after the first couple of doses. These Vicodin side effects may go away if you lie down for a while. However, if nausea or vomiting continues, check with your medical doctor or dentist. Lying down for a while may also help relieve some other side effects, such as dizziness or lightheadedness, that may occur.

Before having any kind of surgery (including dental surgery) or emergency treatment, tell the medical doctor or dentist in charge that you are taking this medicine.

Vicodin side effects may cause dryness of the mouth. For temporary relief, use sugarless candy or gum, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or use a saliva substitute. However, if dry mouth continues for more than 2 weeks, check with your dentist.

Continuing dryness of the mouth may increase the chance of dental disease, including tooth decay, gum disease, and fungus infections.

If you have been taking this medicine regularly for several weeks or more, do not suddenly stop taking it without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to reduce gradually the amount you are taking before stopping completely, to lessen the chance of withdrawal Vicodin side effects. This will depend on which of these medicines you have been taking, and the amount you have been taking every day.

If you think you or someone else may have taken an overdose of this medicine, get emergency help at once. Taking an overdose of this medicine or taking alcohol or CNS depressants with this medicine may lead to unconsciousness or death. Signs of overdose of narcotics include convulsions (seizures), confusion, severe nervousness or restlessness, severe dizziness, severe drowsiness, shortness of breath or troubled breathing, and severe weakness. Signs of severe acetaminophen overdose may not occur until several days after the overdose is taken.

Observed Vicodin side effects

Along with its needed effects, there may be unwanted Vicodin side effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Cold, clammy skin; confusion (severe) ; convulsions (seizures); diarrhea; dizziness (severe); drowsiness (severe); increased sweating; low blood pressure; nausea or vomiting (continuing); nervousness or restlessness (severe) ; pinpoint pupils of eyes; shortness of breath or unusually slow or troubled breathing; slow heartbeat; stomach cramps or pain ; weakness (severe).

Also, check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following Vicodin side effects occur:

Less Commonly Observed

Black, tarry stools; bloody or cloudy urine; confusion; dark urine ; difficult or painful urination; fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat; frequent urge to urinate; hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there); increased sweating; irregular breathing or wheezing; mental depression; pain in lower back and/or side (severe and/or sharp); pale stools; pinpoint red spots on skin; redness or flushing of face; ringing or buzzing in ears; skin rash, hives, or itching; sore throat and fever ; sudden decrease in amount of urine; swelling of face; trembling or uncontrolled muscle movements; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual excitement (especially in children); yellow eyes or skin.

Other Vicodin side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your medical doctor or dentist if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More Commonly Observed

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or feeling faint; drowsiness; nausea or vomiting; unusual tiredness or weakness.

Less Commonly Observed

Blurred or double vision or other changes in vision; constipation (more common with long-term use and with codeine or meperidine); dry mouth; false sense of well-being; general feeling of discomfort or illness; headache; loss of appetite; nervousness or restlessness; nightmares or unusual dreams; trouble in sleeping.

After you stop using this medicine, your body may need time to adjust. The length of time this takes depends on which of these medicines you were taking, the amount of medicine you were using, and how long you used it. During this time check with your doctor if you notice any of the following Vicodin side effects:

Body aches; diarrhea; fast heartbeat; fever, runny nose, or sneezing; gooseflesh; increased sweating; increased yawning; loss of appetite ; nausea or vomiting; nervousness, restlessness, or irritability; shivering or trembling ; stomach cramps; trouble in sleeping; weakness.

Other Vicodin side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Sources : The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP)


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More information here.


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