Vicodin Side Effects

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Vicodin Side Effects

Vicodin is a prescription painkiller which contains a combination of hydrocodone, a synthetic opioid, and acetaminophen (Tylenol.) Vicodin has traditionally been one of the most popular prescription analgesics in America, and by 2011, there were 131 million doses prescribed.

Like all opioids, Vicodin has a high potential for misuse and dependence.

Vicodin can cause a variety of common side effects ranging from minor to severe. Some of these include the short-term symptoms of use, as well as long-term effects such as dependence and withdrawal symptoms. These include:

Abnormally Low Blood Pressure
General feeling of illness
Feeling faint

Less frequent, but potentially more serious side effects include:

Addiction – physical dependence and tolerance (long-term)
Withdrawal symptoms upon cessation (long-term)
Abnormal liver function
Abnormal central nervous system function
Collapsed lung or impaired lung function
Larynx spasms or vocal cord swelling
Rapid heart rate or slow heart rate, pulse changes
Large hives
Breathing difficulties

Other less common side effects that are less severe include:

Nose, throat, or sinus infectionVicodin Side Effects | Just Believe RecoveryBack pain
Blood pressure drop when standing
Blurred or double vision
Dry mouth
Excessive sweating, especially at night
Anxiety, feelings of unhappiness, nervousness
Fluid retention in extremities
Acid reflux
Severe abdominal pain
Involuntary trembling
Joint pain, muscle pain, or muscle spasms
Kidney problems – reduction in urine
Appetite loss
Mood changes
Temporary flushing of face and neck
Urinary Tract Infection

Rare Vicodin Side Effects (Severe)

Acute liver failure
Pustular eruptions on skin
Adrenal gland problems
Decreased blood platelets
Decreased white blood cells (neutrophils)
Spots and elevations of the skin, skin inflammation due to allergy
Hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing)
Increased spinal fluid pressure
Itching and rash
Muscle stiffness
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
Toxic epidermal necrolysis

The effects of Vicodin can also be exacerbated by using other drugs in combination, especially central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines and alcohol. This behavior also greatly increases the risk of overdose.

Persons who are dependent on Vicodin should seek professional help, including supervised detoxification and treatment for substance dependency.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

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