What are the Side Effects of Vicodin?

What are the Side Effects of Vicodin?

Vicodin is a powerful drug which can impact a person’s mind and body. The drug is made up of two separate compounds (hydrocodone and acetaminophen). Both compounds have effects on the body in different ways. Learn about the effects of Vicodin and when to seek medical attention for any side effects or issues with the drug.


Effects of Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone is a narcotic pain reliever but is also a drug which helps relieve coughing symptoms. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) warns about possible side effects of hydrocodone which may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Mood changes
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dysphoria
  • Fear
  • Lightheadedness
  • Impaired mental abilities or performanced
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Physical dependence
  • Mental dependence
  • Skin rash
  • Suppressed cough reflex
  • Tolerance
  • Vomiting


Effects of Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever. The main issue to be careful about when taking acetaminophen is dosage. Toxic doses of acetaminophen may cause circulatory failure and rapid, shallow breathing. More common side effects may include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Rash
  • Decreased blood platelets


Long Term Effects

In the long-term, Vicodin has the ability to make people overlook negative side effects while only focusing on the observed positive effects. This is done through the body’s reward system which creates a desire to obtain the substance to replicate the wanted feeling while ignoring risks. Tolerance and addiction may develop over time when Vicodin is used. This is a process common to many prescription, legal and illegal drugs. People who use the substance, even as prescribed, may over time gain less benefit and become addicted. Higher doses will then be required to feel the same effects. Overdose may be possible as more drug enters the system than can reasonably be handled.


Seeking Help

Vicodin can have serious complications when not taken properly or when it does not react well with other drugs in the system. The following serious side effects may occur:

  • Chest tightness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Irregular breathing


Toxic doses of Vicodin may occur when more than 40 mg of hydrocodone or 10 g of acetaminophen are taken. If more than four Vicodin pills are taken, seek immediate medical attention. Another medication may be more suitable for an individual’s needs if the drugs are not working properly. Vicodin can be both physically and mentally addictive. Seek help if it is difficult to stop taking Vicodin or if Vicodin is taken for non-medical reasons for longer than prescribed. Help can include seeking counseling, support from a treating physician or entering into a treatment program for addiction to Vicodin if more help is needed to quit the drug.


If you or a loved one take Vicodin and have trouble stopping or have noticed signs of withdrawal when stopping the drug, The Villa can help. We will talk to you about our programs and services to help you decide next steps for a healthy future without drugs.