Generic Name: acetaminophen-hydrocodone, Oral tablet

Anexsia,Co-Gesic,Comfortpak,DuoCet,Lorcet,Lorcet HD,Lorcet Plus,Lortab,Maxidone,Norco,Vanacet,Verdrocet,Vicodin,Vicodin ES,Vicodin HP,Xodol,Zydone

All Brands

  • Anexsia
  • Co-Gesic
  • Comfortpak
  • DuoCet
  • Lorcet
  • Lorcet HD
  • Lorcet Plus
  • Lortab
  • Maxidone
  • Norco
  • Vanacet
  • Verdrocet
  • Vicodin
  • Vicodin ES
  • Vicodin HP
  • Xodol
  • Zydone
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for acetaminophen-hydrocodone

Oral tablet
1

Hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen is an oral medication usually taken as needed for pain.

2

This medication may be addicting or habit forming, even at regular doses. Never share it, especially with someone with a history of drug misuse.

3

Don’t take more medication than prescribed. In general, the maximum safe dosage of acetaminophen is 4,000 mg per day. Taking more may cause severe liver problems.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

May cause liver failure. Taking too much acetaminophen can cause liver failure. Sometimes, this results in the need for liver transplant or death. Most of the cases of liver injury happened when a person took more than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen per day, usually with more than one acetaminophen-containing product.

The risk of liver failure is higher in people who already have liver disease and people who drink alcohol while taking acetaminophen. Symptoms of liver problems may include:

  • yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes
  • pain in your upper right stomach
  • swelling of your stomach
  • itchiness
  • confusion
  • tiredness
  • lack of appetite

May slow or stop breathing

Hydrocodone in high doses may affect the parts of your brain that control your breathing. Call your doctor or get emergency medical help right away if you have trouble breathing.

Severe allergic reaction

This medication may cause a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. The reaction can occur very quickly. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your face, throat and mouth
  • rash
  • itching
  • vomiting

If this occurs, stop taking this medication and call your doctor right away or get emergency medical help.

Drug Features

Hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen is a prescription medication and a controlled substance. It’s available in these forms: oral tablet, oral solution.

This drug is available in its generic form. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

This is a combination of two or more drugs in a single form. It’s important to know about all the drugs in the combination because they each may have unique traits.

Why It's Used

This medication is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

How It Works

This medication is a combination of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen.

More Details

How It Works

This medication is a combination of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is an opioid (narcotic), and acetaminophen is an analgesic (pain reliever). Both drugs are used to reduce pain.

These drugs work in your brain to block pain signals. They cause a decrease in your ability to feel pain

SECTION 2 of 4

acetaminophen-hydrocodone Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen include:

  • sleepiness or drowsiness

  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • constipation

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • skin rash

  • swelling of your face, throat, and mouth

  • liver problems, including liver failure. Symptoms may include:

    • yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes
    • pain in your upper right stomach
    • swelling of your stomach
    • itchiness
    • confusion
    • feeling tired
    • lack of appetite
  • trouble breathing

  • drug dependence

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

This medication may make you feel sleepy, dizzy, or lightheaded. Avoid driving a car or operating machinery until you know how your body reacts to this medication.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

acetaminophen-hydrocodone May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Alcohol Interaction

You shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen.

Drinking alcohol while taking this medication may cause:

  • slowed or stopped breathing
  • drowsiness
  • tiredness
  • mental cloudiness
  • physical and mental slowing

Combining the two also increases your risk for liver problems and liver damage.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Drugs that cause drowsiness

Taking these drugs with hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen increases your risk of drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, and reduced physical and mental function. If you need to use both drugs together, the dose of one or both drugs should be reduced.

These drugs include:

  • other opioids (narcotics)
  • antihistamines, used for allergies
  • antipsychotics, used for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or depression
  • benzodiazepines, used for anxiety

Antidepressants

Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants with hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen may increase your levels of either drug in your body. This could result in more side effects.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with head injury

If you have a head injury, hydrocodone may cause increased pressure in your brain and cause breathing problems.

People with stomach problems

Use caution taking this drug if you have intestinal obstruction, ulcerative colitis, or constipation. This medication may ease your symptoms of these problems and make it difficult for doctors to diagnose or find the cause of the problems.

People with severe kidney disease

If you have severe kidney problems, you might have trouble breathing if you take this medication.

People with lung disease

If you have lung disease, you might have trouble breathing if you take this medication.

People with severe liver disease

If you have severe liver disease, your risk of liver failure is increased. You may also have an increased chance to develop breathing problems.

People with prostate enlargement

If you have an enlarged prostate, taking hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen may cause increased difficulty in urination.

Pregnant women

Hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Babies born to mothers who regularly take opioids like hydrocodone may be born physically dependent on this medicine. These babies may show withdrawal signs, such as:

  • excessive crying
  • sneezing
  • shaking
  • rapid breathing
  • increased bowel movements
  • yawning
  • vomiting
  • fever

There’s also an increased chance that the baby may have trouble breathing if this medication is given to the mother shortly before giving birth.

Women who are nursing

Acetaminophen is passed in small amounts in the breast milk, but its effects on breastfeeding children aren’t known. It isn’t known whether hydrocodone passes into breast milk.

Breastfeeding while taking this medication may come with risks. You and your doctor should decide whether you’ll take this medication or breastfeed.

For Seniors

Older adults may have decreased kidney, liver, and heart function. If you’re a senior, your doctor may start you at a low dose of this medication.

For Children

Always store this medication in containers with childproof lids that are securely closed.

Keep your medication in a secure place, like a locked medicine cabinet, even if you don't think your child can reach it.

Allergies

Hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives
  • rash
  • itching

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take acetaminophen-hydrocodone (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Moderate to severe pain
Form: Oral Tablet
Strengths:
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 5 mg/acetaminophen 300 mg
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 7.5 mg/acetaminophen 300 mg
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 10 mg/acetaminophen 300 mg
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 2.5 mg/acetaminophen 325 mg
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 5 mg/acetaminophen 325 mg
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 7.5 mg/acetaminophen 325 mg
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 10 mg/acetaminophen 325 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older and weighing at least 101 pounds [46 kg])
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 2.5 mg/acetaminophen 325 mg: 1–2 tablets taken every 4–6 hours as needed. The maximum dose is 12 tablets per day.
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 5 mg/acetaminophen 300 mg or 325 mg: 1–2 tablets taken every 4–6 hours as needed. The maximum dose is 8 tablets per day.
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 7.5 mg or 10 mg/acetaminophen 300 mg or 325 mg: 1–2 tablets taken 4–6 hours as needed. The maximum dose is 6 tablets per day.
Child Dosage (ages 14–18 years and weighing at least 101 pounds [46 kg])
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 2.5 mg/acetaminophen 325 mg: 1–2 tablets taken every 4–6 hours as needed. The maximum dose is 12 tablets per day.
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 5 mg/acetaminophen 300 mg or 325 mg: 1–2 tablets taken every 4–6 hours as needed. The maximum dose is 8 tablets per day.
  • hydrocodone bitartrate 7.5 mg or 10 mg/acetaminophen 300 mg or 325 mg: 1–2 tablets taken every 4–6 hours as needed. The maximum dose is 6 tablets per day.
Child Dosage (ages 0-13 years)

Dosage for children younger than 14 years hasn’t been established.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

This medication comes with serious health risks if you don’t take it exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

If You Take Too Much

If you take too much, you can overdose on this medication. You may experience:

  • slowed or stopped breathing
  • slowed heart rate
  • very low blood pressure
  • possible coma

You can also end up with liver damage or failure. If you experience nausea, vomiting, sweating, or an overall feeling of fatigue, contact your doctor right away or get emergency medical help.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you’re taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose.

Don’t use extra medicine to make up the missed dose. This could result in toxic side effects.

How to Tell If the Drug is Working

You may be able to tell the drug is working if your pain decreases.

Is It a Short-Term or Long-Term Treatment?

Hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen may be used either short term or long term, depending on the type of pain you have.

Important Considerations for Taking Hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen
take with food Take with food to lower your risk of upset stomach
can crush oral tablet You can cut or crush the oral tablet
storage Store in temperatures from 59–86°F (15–30°C) See Details
not refillable Prescription is not refillable
luggage Travel See Details
clinical monitoring Clinical Monitoring See Details
prior authorization not needed Insurance See Details

Store in temperatures from 59–86°F (15–30°C)

Keep it in a container with a child-resistant closure and away from light.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Airport X-ray machines can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the original prescription-labeled bottle with you when traveling.

Clinical Monitoring

Your doctor may require liver and kidney function tests if you have severe liver or kidney disease.

  • kidney function. Your doctor may do kidney tests if you have kidney problems to make sure that this medication is safe for you and won’t cause breathing problems.
  • liver function. Your doctor may do liver tests if you have liver problems to make sure that this medication is safe for you and won’t cause breathing problems.

Insurance

Most insurance companies don’t require a prior authorization.

What does the pill look like?

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Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 1, 2015

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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