Side Effects of Hydrocodone
Are The Side Effects of Hydrocodone Dangerous?
Doctors prescribe over 200 different drugs that contain hydrocodone. Addiction to hydrocodone increases every year. When someone needs a painkiller due to a painful injury or surgical procedure, they have no intent to become dependent or addicted to the drug. Most people are unaware of the side effects of hydrocodone.
The Side Effects of Hydrocodone
More than 120 million prescriptions are dispensed every year for products containing hydrocodone. It's not hard to understand how hydrocodone accounts for more than sixty-percent of all drug addictions. Many people become addicted without realizing it. Teenagers account for sixty-five percent of all hydrocodone addictions. Playing high school sports can result in injuries that are very painful, and doctors will prescribe a hydrocodone product for relief. Prescription cough medicines are another product that is often prescribed for teenagers and adults. The side effects of hydrocodone can range from mild to serious. Some of the common mild side effects include constipation and nausea. Less common side effects of hydrocodone include back pain, heartburn, frequent urination, painful urination, bladder discomfort, dry mouth, muscle spasms, itchy skin, and vomiting. The user may experience more serious side effects, which need to be reported to the prescribing doctor immediately. Serious side effects of hydrocodone include:
- Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- Body aches or pain
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Difficulty breathing
- Ear congestion
- Rapid weight gain
- Chest tightness
- Tingling in hands and feet
If you or a family member experience the following side effects of hydrocodone, get emergency help immediately. Overdose symptoms include blue lips and fingernails, blurred vision, chest pain, clammy skin, constricted pupils, confusion, coughing up pink sputum, decreased responsiveness, dizziness, irregular shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, and unusual drowsiness. These side effects of hydrocodone indicate an overdose emergency. Call 911.
How Addictive Is Hydrocodone
Hydrocodone may be the most abused of all prescription drugs. Just how addictive is hydrocodone? As the use of hydrocodone in painkillers increases, so does the number of addicted users. Hydrocodone is an opioid. It binds to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Because hydrocodone interrupts pain signals to the brain, your perception of pain changes. There is also an emotional euphoric feeling generated that some users get hooked on. People frequently take hydrocodone longer that the recommended time and build a tolerance to it. When this happens, the body demands a greater amount of the drug to experience the same feelings. This is how people become addicted to hydrocodone.
How addictive is hydrocodone? It's highly addictive when you consider it accounts for more than sixty-percent of all drug addictions and is increasing at the rate of twenty-percent per year. An alarming number of emergency room visits ever year are attributed to hydrocodone abuse.
Hydrocodone withdrawal is similar to that of other opioids. The withdrawal symptoms experienced will relate to the time length of the addiction and how long the drug was used. In one to two days after a person stops using hydrocodone, withdrawal symptoms will begin. Some of the physical symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal include:
- Flu-like symptoms can include muscle aches and pains, fever, sweating, chills, watery eyes, runny nose, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and loss of appetite. Most of the physical symptoms are gone after the first week of withdrawal.
- Psychological symptoms can include depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, cravings, lack of focus, and difficulty concentrating. The psychological symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal can last months or years. There are often "triggers" that bring back the craving. Ongoing therapy provides the individual with the skills to deal with psychological symptoms and to avoid a relapse.