Hydrocodone Extended Release
What It's For & How To Take
Hydrocodone extended-release is used to treat severe ongoing pain. This medication is an opiate, and it works in the brain to block how the body recognizes pain.
Hydrocodone extended-release is taken on a scheduled basis and is not for occasional or as needed use. It is usually prescribed to be taken every 12 hours or as directed by your doctor. This medication may be taken with or without food. Swallow the capsule whole, do not crush or chew the capsule.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.
Your doctor may prescribe a short-acting pain medication to be taken with your hydrocodone extended-release. This medication is used for sudden or sharp pain that flares up during certain times of the day.
Tell your doctor if your pain is not getting better. Your dose is based on your current condition and may need to be changed as your condition changes. Do not stop taking this medication suddenly because you may feel uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as muscle aches, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Your doctor may decrease your dose over a time to decrease the withdrawal symptoms.
Most Important Warnings
- Hydrocodone extended-release is only for moderate to severe pain when around the clock pain control is needed and other narcotic medications are not working.
- If this medication is used on a patient not used to taking narcotics, they may stop breathing. Serious or fatal cases have happened even with the regular dose.
- This medication has an increased risk of abuse, addiction, and theft. Let your doctor know if you or anyone in your family has a history of substance abuse. Store this medication in a safe place to prevent theft.
- Hydrocodone extended-release may interact with other specific medications and cause serious side effects including death. Tell your doctor and pharmacist all your other medications before starting hydrocodone extended- release.
- If a child accidentally takes even one capsule, they may stop breathing and die.
- When pregnant mothers use this medication, the unborn child is at risk. The newborn may need prolonged withdrawal treatment.
- Avoid all forms of alcohol while taking this medication.
- Combining this medication with anxiety medications, such as diazepam or alprazolam, may cause extreme sleepiness, significant breathing difficulties, and death.
Warnings & Cautions
- Rarely, this medication may cause a drug seeking or addictive behavior. This risk is increased if you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse. If you follow the directions on the label and stay in good communication with your doctor and pharmacist, then the chances for addiction are lower.
- The elderly may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially the drowsiness, dizziness, constipation and urinary problems.
- Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages while using hydrocodone extended-release.
- Infants born to mothers who are using this medication are at risk. This medication should only be used during pregnancy when the benefit to the mother is greater than the risk to the unborn baby.
- Hydrocodone extended-release passes into breast milk. Breastfeeding is not recommended while using this medication.
Interactions & Side Effects
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if hydrocodone extended release is safe for you to use.
- Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don't take them very often.
- Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have a slow bowel, chronic constipation, seizures, slow heartbeat, trouble urinating, low blood pressure, a family history of substance abuse or any other disease you have a history of.
- While using hydrocodone extended-release you may feel some nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness or constipation. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
- Constipation may be a problem when this medication is used. Talk with your pharmacist about what would work best for you to keep your bowels moving.
- Call your doctor right away if you have any heartbeat changes, hallucinations, seizure, loss of coordination or any other significant side effects.
- Call emergency 911 if you have any difficulty breathing.