Vicodin Side Effects
What are the most common Vicodin side effects?
Common Vicodin side effects include: dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, nausea/vomiting, itching, constipation, and respiratory depression. What is Vicodin? Vicodin is commonly prescribed because of its effectiveness as an analgesic, or pain-relieving properties. Vicodin is one of the most widely prescribed medications. Vicodin is closely related to Lorcet, Loritab, Percodan, and OxyContin which are all opioid-based pain medications.
Vicodin is a prescription medication used to treat pain that is moderate to moderately severe. It is a narcotic, opioid pain medication that also contains acetaminophen. This medication is mainly used to treat short-term pain, but it is occasionally prescribed to treat long-term chronic pain. Vicodin is a popular prescription drug because it successfully diminishes pain. However, the catch 22 is that it is highly addictive and the Vicodin side effects and withdrawal symptoms are very similar to the pain it was relieving. Vicodin and other prescription narcotics constitute the most-abused group of prescription drugs, according to the National Household Survey, released in 2001. Of the four million Americans who reported misusing prescription drugs the previous year, nearly 65 percent misused prescription pain relievers.
How does Vicodin work?
Vicodin acts by attaching itself to specific proteins called opioid receptors which are found in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract. When Vicodin attaches itself to certain opioid receptors, it can block the transmission of pain messages to the brain. In addition, Vicodin side effects often produce drowsiness, constipation, and depending upon the amount of Vicodin taken, depress respiration.
Vicodin is chemically similar to heroin and travels the same neurological pathways to block the perception of pain. Vicodin also increases the activity of another neurotransmitter, dopamine, triggering such an intense euphoria that users keep coming back for more-and still more, after that.
Vicodin side effects can cause dizziness and induce sleep while also impairing motor skills. Other common Vicodin side effects include dry mouth, nausea, constipation, and increased perspiration. Overdoses involving Vicodin can be life-threatening, especially if used with alcohol or other depressant drugs. Overdose symptoms include constricted pupils, confusion, slowed breathing, and unconsciousness. Long-term use of acetaminophen is also linked to an increased risk of liver damage or failure.
Addicted to Vicodin?
Because Vicodin has a high degree of physical and emotional dependence, anyone taking the drug should be aware of the warning signs of Vicodin addiction. Do you:
Commit illegal acts such as juggling doctors or buy Vicodin on the street to maintain your supply?
Feel guilty or ashamed of your Vicodin use?
Feel or have you been told your Vicodin use has become an issue with your family or loved ones?
Feel physically ill (muscle and bone pain, night sweats, insomnia, etc.) when you run out of Vicodin or stop taking Vicodin?
Need more pills to get the same or desired effect?
Take Vicodin more often or in larger quantities than prescribed?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, your Vicodin use has reached a dangerous level. If so, talk to your doctor or a counselor about getting help. The longer you wait the more difficult it can be to kick your habit.