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Vicodin: The Benefits and Risks for Arthritis and Joint Pain

By    |   Wednesday, 12 August 2015 07:25 PM

Vicodin is sometimes prescribed for moderate to severe pain related to arthritis and joint pain. Hydrocodone combination drugs such as Vicodin were changed in 2014 from a Schedule III classification to Schedule II, the strongest level of control for a prescription drug, by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The highly addictive nature of the drug makes it limited in supply to patients. A new prescription is needed when the supply runs out; there are no refills.

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Vicodin combines hydrocodone with acetaminophen, which is found in over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol and Excedrin. Vicodin is an opioid that acts similarly to morphine, Healthline noted. The short-acting drug is generally prescribed to be used over a short period of time.

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever that can cause liver damage when taken in large doses. The ingredient is used in other medications as well, so people taking Vicodin should check the ingredients of all their medicines to avoid overdosing on acetaminophen.

Hydrocodone is an opioid, which can be addictive, but fears about addiction can be allayed if the drug is taken as directed. According to research cited by HealthDay, patients may develop a tolerance to opioids, but that is not the same as addiction. Patients may need increasing doses of opioids to deal with increasing pain for the condition, but other side effects occur with higher doses.

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According to WebMD, side effects of Vicodin may include "nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness. … Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations), stomach/abdominal pain, difficulty urinating."

There are also some medications that interact negatively with Vicodin. Anyone prescribed Vidodin should discuss their medical history and current medications with a doctor before taking the drug.

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Vicodin is sometimes prescribed for moderate to severe pain related to arthritis and joint pain.
vicodin, benefits, risks, arthritis, joint, pain
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 07:25 PM
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