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Hydrocodone vs Vicodin
This article looks at Hydrocodone vs Vicodin. There are two active ingredients in Vicodin. Hydrocodone is a synthetic opiate and acetaminophen, the same pain reliever found in Tylenol. The combination of the two doesn’t make much sense at first – after all, why give a very mild pain reliever with a strong narcotic? The rationale is that having the acetaminophen in the mix makes it harder to abuse Vicodin. If the drug product had only hydrocodone in it, users could increase the dose of what they want without risk of overdosing on the part they don’t want.
Hydrocodone vs Vicodin in the US, hydrocodone is only available in combination with acetaminophen in tablet form. Besides the brand name Vicodin, the combinations are sold as Lorcet, Lortab and under the generic name. These come in various strengths by altering the amount of hydrocodone and acetaminophen in the tablets. The strengths are usually written as 5/500 or 7.5/500, with the hydrocodone amount first.
With Hydrocodone vs Vicodin, the FDA has decided that hydrocodone will be regulated based on how much is sold per dosage unit and whether or not there is another drug added. Hydrocodone sold as a single ingredient (or in combinations where the hydrocodone is more than 15mg) will be schedule II – the same class as morphine or Oxycontin. Vicodin gets past this restriction with the added acetaminophen and less than 15mg hydrocodone. This is why Vicodin is only schedule III. The consequences are less tracking and greater sales.
Currently, the FDA is reviewing their policy on Hydrocodone vs Vicodin. Since the only function of the Tylenol in the tablets is to make the drugs harder to abuse, there is concern that addicts (or those in serious pain) will ignore the risk of acetaminophen overdose and take a dangerous amount of the drug.
When patients take more than 4000mg of acetaminophen a day, they are at risk for liver damage. This may sound like a lot, but it is only eight of the 5/500 Vicodin tablets. The risk rises rapidly above that figure. Addicts who have become tolerant to the side effects of the narcotic may take extreme amounts of Vicodin (20 or more tablets a day) to get the effect they want. Unfortunately, the liver does not get better at metabolizing acetaminophen and it may cause permanent liver damage.