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Hydrocodone (By mouth)

Hydrocodone Bitartrate (hye-droe-KOE-done bye-TAR-trate)

Treats severe pain. This is a narcotic pain reliever.

Brand Name(s):

Zohydro ER

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use if you had an allergic reaction to hydrocodone, or if you have severe breathing problems, such as asthma.

How to Use This Medicine:

Long Acting Capsule

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you. Take this medicine at the same time each day.
  • Swallow the extended-release capsule whole with water. Do not crush, break, chew, or dissolve it.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor within the past 14 days.
  • Some foods and medicines can affect how hydrocodone works. Tell your doctor if you are using other pain medicine, medicine for depression, or a phenothiazine medicine (such as chlorpromazine, perphenazine, promethazine, prochlorperazine).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine. Do not take any medicine that contains alcohol.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, breathing or lung problems, low blood pressure, digestion problems, or a history of depression, head injury, or drug or alcohol addiction.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Severe breathing problems
    • Risk of addiction or misuse
    • Risk of overdose, which may lead to death
  • This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or lightheaded. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Get emergency help at once if you think you have taken an overdose of this medicine.
  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • This medicine may cause constipation, especially with long-term use. Ask your doctor if you should use a laxative to prevent and treat constipation.
  • Flush any unused capsules down the toilet.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone. An overdose in a child could cause death.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Extreme dizziness, drowsiness, or weakness, trouble breathing, slow heartbeat, seizures, and cold, clammy skin
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Constipation, nausea

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 11/4/2014
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