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Narcotic Cough/Cold Preparations Oral tablet

It is used to help relieve cough.

Generic Name: hydrocodone

Brand Names: Hydrocodone Bitartrate

What is this medicine?

HYDROCODONE (hye droe KOE done) is used to help relieve cough.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • brain tumor
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • head injury
  • heart disease
  • if you frequently drink alcohol-containing drinks
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung disease, asthma, or breathing problems
  • mental problems
  • an allergic reaction to hydrocodone, other opioid analgesics, other medicines, lactose, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. This medicine is not approved for use in children less than 6 years old.

Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol
  • antihistamines
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for sleep
  • muscle relaxants
  • naltrexone
  • narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain
  • tramadol
  • tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine, nortriptyline, and protriptyline

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

You may develop tolerance to this medicine if you take it for a long time. Tolerance means that you will get less cough relief with time. Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing difficulties, wheezing
  • confusion
  • light headedness or fainting spells

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • itching
  • nausea
  • vomiting


Last Updated: August 27, 2012
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