Vicodin is a brand-name prescription pain reliever that works by changing your perception of pain and emotional response to it. It combines the drugs acetaminophen and hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone can minimize your reaction to pain and produce feelings of lightheadedness and euphoria in some people. These feelings create Vicodin’s potential for misuse and addiction.

People who misuse Vicodin may become anxious and confused. Seizures and convulsions can occur, and a slowed heartbeat can also develop. Serious Vicodin misuse can result in coma or death.

Still, Vicodin addiction can be tough to break because of withdrawal. Sometimes, you may experience symptoms of Vicodin withdrawal even when you use it correctly.

Symptoms of Vicodin withdrawal usually aren’t life-threatening. However, they can be unpleasant. Initial symptoms include:

  • anxiety and agitation
  • yawning
  • runny nose
  • insomnia
  • sweating
  • chills
  • muscle aches

More serious symptoms include:

  • cramps
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • muscle pain or bone pain

The time it takes for withdrawal symptoms to start differs from person to person. Both long- and short-term use of Vicodin can cause symptoms.

For example, if you’re given Vicodin in the hospital following surgery, you may only use it for a short time but still experience symptoms. You may think you have the flu, not realizing it’s your body responding to your short-term Vicodin use.

If you don’t think your Vicodin prescription is working, talk to your doctor. Never take more than you’re prescribed. Let your doctor adjust the dosage or prescribe a different pain reliever.

Also talk with your doctor if you think you’re becoming dependent on the drug. They can work with you to prevent an addiction from developing.

If you suddenly stop taking Vicodin, you might experience withdrawal symptoms that prompt you to start taking the drug again. Your doctor may advise you to taper Vicodin, or lower your dosage gradually. This can help reduce withdrawal symptoms.

There are many programs that can help you recover from Vicodin addiction. They can reduce some of the unpleasantness of withdrawal. Your doctor can provide recommendations for you.

Safe and effective treatment of Vicodin withdrawal may include the use of drugs such as buprenorphine (Subutex). Methadone may also be used at first and then gradually tapered off over a period of weeks or months.

Doctors use these drugs to lessen the shock to the body caused by stopping Vicodin.

Vicodin can be used safely for short-term pain relief. If you’re concerned about addiction risks or other side effects, share your thoughts or questions with your doctor. This is especially important if you have a personal or family history of addiction. Your doctor may prescribe a different medication instead.

If you’re already taking Vicodin, pay attention to any side effects, and be aware of any signs that you may growing dependent. Feel free to talk with your doctor at any point if you have questions or concerns about your medication. Remember, they’re there to help you.

Withdrawal from any drug can sometimes be difficult, but keep in mind your symptoms are temporary and shall pass.