Hydrocodone-acetaminophen is a drug which has a few advantages. It is used to treat pain and it is reasonably effective at that; it is fairly inexpensive and widely available within several different brands and if you are under any kind of Medicare or insurance health plan, you probably have hydrocodone-acetaminophen covered.
Hydrocodone-acetaminophen is famous under several different names, including Vicodin, Xodol, Norco, Maxidone, Anexsia, Co-Gesic, Ceta Plus, Hycet, Dolorex Forte, Stagesic, Zydone, Lorcet and Lortab.
Composition and general properties
The drug itself is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The former is a narcotic analgesic which relieves pain by affecting the central nervous system. It has also shown effective against cough.
Acetaminophen also works as a pain reliever and it also reduces fever.
Another difference between the two is that acetaminophen is not habit-forming, while hydrocodone causes both physical and mental dependence. This also means that the combination of the two substances can cause addiction.
Abuse can also be life-threatening due to overdosing and respiratory depression.
Acetaminophen, on the other hand, can be very dangerous for the liver, especially in large dosages. It can cause serious liver damage and lead to acute liver failure, which calls for liver transplant and can even cause death. This is why taking controlled dosages is essential.
The issue with liver has been found to come at dosages that exceed 4000 mg per day. Although not many people would ever use a drug this prominently, the problem comes when we learn that the issue is most common when patients take more than one drug that contains acetaminophen.
Taking hydrocodone-acetaminophen for a longer time during pregnancy has been shown to lead to neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome.
Also, if you start taking hydrocodone-acetaminophen and experience an allergic reaction, make sure you let your doctor know.
Hydrocodone-acetaminophen cannot be used if you have certain medical conditions such as issues with adrenal gland, COPD, brain tumor, asthma, apnea, CNS depression, increase in the pressure in the head, hypothyroiditism, enlarged prostate, pancreatitis, low blood pressure, kidney issues, liver issues and more.
Lastly, taking hydrocodone-acetaminophen alongside many other drugs is not recommended or it is even prohibited. This is so because their joint effects can cause a serious increase in the severity of the known side effects and even introduce some new ones.
All of these features make it clear why hydrocodone-acetaminophen can only be used with a doctor’s prescription.
How to use hydrocodone-acetaminophen?
Just like your doctor tells you to. Also, make sure you tell your doctor about any other condition you might have, or any other drugs or supplements you might be taking. Make sure you do not exceed the dosage, take it more times a day than prescribed, or continue using it after you have been told to stop. Even though these instructions seem pretty straightforward and easy to follow, this is not always so.
Hydrocodone-acetaminophen is usually taken to regulate pain sensation and when a patient in pain is told not to increase the dosage when the drug is not working, or to stop taking it altogether after a while, many choose to neglect the instructions. This can have terrible consequences. If ordered by the doctor, patients simply must comply and find another way to treat their pain.
If taken in the form of oral liquid, it is very important to carefully measure the amount of hydrocodone-acetaminophen you are taking. Not all household spoons hold the same amount of liquid, so more precise measuring is necessary.
Similarly, in case you skip a dose, make sure you either take it as soon as possible or, if your next dose is close, wait for it. Whatever you opt for, DO NOT double dosages.
Is hydrocodone-acetaminophen a solution or a problem?
Having in mind all of the side effects and benefits, potential usage of hydrocodone-acetaminophen needs to be carefully weighed and based on the ratio of advantages and disadvantages.
However, many patients do not have to make such a decision now.
Pain and inflammation can be treated using PEA, an incredibly effective and completely safe supplement/medical food consisted of pure palmitoylethanolamide (PEA). PEA is an endogenous substance which the body produces when it needs to fight pain and inflammation.
It works by affecting several different nuclear receptors which control various natural processes inside the body, such as functioning of several different cells, immune system responses, various glands and – pain-related systems. It inhibits the expression of iNOS and COX2 as well as neutrophils influx all of which makes it incredibly effective against pain.
The only problem with the natural system is the fact that it fails to create enough PEA to treat chronic conditions. This is solved by PEA supplementation.
The main advantage of PEA when compared to hydrocodone-acetaminophen is its complete safety. Being an endogenous fatty acid, it is easily broken down by enzymes when there is more of it than we can absorb; it has no overdose level; it has no negative interactions with other medicines; it causes no allergies (in fact, its anti-inflammatory properties help with allergies), no addiction and no tolerance buildup. All of these things have been tested through more than 400 medical studies performed over more than 50 years. PEA was even a part of a research conducted by a Nobel Prize winner Rita Levi-Montalcini and her team of experts.
Palmitoylethanolamide has been known for about 70 years now, but recent advancements in production methods made it very pure and far cheaper than before. It is now readily available at pharmaceutical grade in the form of PEA.
Moreover, you can also have the latest advancement – Liposomal PEA. It is the same product aided by the incredible liposomal delivery system which ensures unprecedented bioavailability.
Having in mind all of the downsides of hydrocodone-acetaminophen, what with its negative interactions, addictiveness, side effects and damaging results, PEA is an invaluable alternative. In fact, having in mind its safety, you can safely use PEA alongside hydrocodone-acetaminophen until you see the benefits of the increased amount of PEA in your body. This buildup period of PEA can last between a few days and a few weeks, after which you will be able to reduce the amount of hydrocodone-acetaminophen, or cut it out completely. Your body will be grateful.