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Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen (Vicodin): 8 Answers Including Dosages, Side Effects, and Interactions

Answers to the most common questions about Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen (Vicodin)

Hydrocodone-acetaminophen, sold under the brand name Vicodin, is an oral combination medication. It contains a combination of the opioid pain reliever, hydrocodone, and the non-opioid pain reliever acetaminophen. Its primary function is pain relief, although due to the acetaminophen, the drug can also reduce fevers.

The content on this page is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, you should talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare professional. This is particularly important if you are taking multiple medications or have any existing medical conditions.

  1. How much does hydrocodone-acetaminophen (Vicodin) cost?
  2. What is hydrocodone-acetaminophen (Vicodin) used for?
  3. How long does hydrocodone-acetaminophen take to work?
  4. How long does hydrocodone-acetaminophen stay in your system?
  5. Which hydrocodone-acetaminophen dosage is right for me?
  6. What are the side effects of hydrocodone-acetaminophen?
  7. Which drugs should I avoid whilst taking hydrocodone-acetaminophen?
  8. Is it okay to drink alcohol while taking hydrocodone-acetaminophen?

1. How much does hydrocodone-acetaminophen (Vicodin) cost?

This is always a complicated question as the answer will vary greatly depending on the patient’s location and/or insurance provider. That said, if we look purely at the US cash price for Vicodin, the average cost of 100 pills is $142.39. The monthly cost will vary depending on the dosage prescribed by your doctor. If a patient were to take the maximum recommended dose, a 100-pill supply would last 16 days. However, most patients will take less than the maximum dosage.

2. What is hydrocodone-acetaminophen (Vicodin) used for?

Hydrocodone-acetaminophen, or Vicodin, is used to treat moderate to severe pain. The opioid hydrocodone is a powerful pain reliever. Its effects are strengthened through its combination with acetaminophen, a less potent pain reliever also capable of reducing fevers.

3. How long does hydrocodone-acetaminophen take to work?

If you or a loved one have recently started taking hydrocodone-acetaminophen, you will certainly want to know when you can expect to see results. Typically, the effects of the drug can be felt in under an hour. However, hydrocodone-acetaminophen reaches its highest concentration in a patient’s bloodstream 1.3 hours after ingestion. The time it takes to feel the effects of the drug may also vary based on any tolerance that has been built up through repeated use.

4. How long does hydrocodone-acetaminophen stay in your system?

One of the best ways to understand how long a drug will stay in someone’s body is to measure its half-life. A half-life is the time it will take for half of the drug to leave the body. The half-life of hydrocodone-acetaminophen is 3.8 hours. So, on average, a typical healthy adult body will eliminate half of the dose in 3.8 hours. However, it takes a few half-lives before a drug is completely eliminated from the body and a variety of factors such as weight, age, metabolism, and liver function may play a role.

5. Which hydrocodone-acetaminophen dosage is right for me?

The proper dosage of hydrocodone-acetaminophen will vary between patients and is based on several factors. You should always follow your doctor’s instructions or the directions on the label. The information below refers to typical doses of hydrocodone-acetaminophen. If these doses are not consistent with your prescription, follow your prescription. The standard adult dosage of the drug is one or two tablets taken every four to six hours.

You will need to be mindful of how much acetaminophen you are taking each day, since taking too much can cause liver damage. To be safe, do not take more than 6-8 hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills in 24 hours. If you are taking other medications with acetaminophen, you will want to take even fewer hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills.

6. What are the side effects of hydrocodone-acetaminophen?

Hydrocodone-acetaminophen may cause side effects ranging from mild to severe. The following lists include some of the most reported side effects but are not complete. Mild side effects typically subside within a few days or weeks of consistent medication-taking. However, if they persist or worsen you should speak to your doctor.

Common side effects:

Serious side effects:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Mood changes
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing

If you experience any of these serious side effects, you should speak with your doctor as they may be a sign of a serious reaction. Seek immediate medical attention if it is an emergency.

In some rare cases, patients can experience allergic reactions. Seek emergency medical care if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking Enbrel.

  • Skin rash
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the throat or chest
  • Difficulty talking or breathing

Because it is an opioid, hydrocodone-acetaminophen also comes with a serious warning regarding the risk of addiction or medication abuse which could potentially lead to overdose or death. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions closely and never take more than they recommend.

7. Which drugs should I avoid whilst taking hydrocodone-acetaminophen?

You should avoid taking other pain medications or drugs that are processed by the liver, such as cold medicine. Some of the main prescribed drugs to avoid include pentazocine, butorphanol, and naltrexone. Due to the number of potential interactions with hydrocodone-acetaminophen, you should let your doctor know about any other drugs you are taking before you begin treatment.

8. Is it okay to drink alcohol while taking hydrocodone-acetaminophen?

You should avoid drinking alcohol when taking hydrocodone-acetaminophen. Both the drug and alcohol depress the central nervous system. Concurrent use could result in extreme drowsiness, difficulty breathing, coma, or even death.


The content on this page is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, you should talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare professional. This is particularly important if you are taking multiple medications or have any existing medical conditions.

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