Saturday April 19th 2014

How is hydrocodone prescribed?

Hydrocodone is prescribed by medical doctors as an effective pain relieving narcotic medication. In fact, you cannot buy hydrocodone over-the-counter in the U.S. but must see a doctor for medical reasons related to pain or injury in order to obtain hydrocodone.

More here on how hydrocodone works in the body, how hydrocodone is prescribed, dosing guidelines and hydrocodone costs. Plus, we invite your questions about Vicodin prescriptions at the end.

What do doctors prescribe hydrocodone for?

Hydrocodone is a prescription drug used to manage mild to moderate pain. Hydrocodone works by altering the way that pain is perceived in the brain by interacting with the opioid receptors of the central nervous system. But hydrocodone can also cause feelings of euphoria, which often causes it to be abused. How much hydrocodone is addictive varies by individual, but this is why you MUST see a doctor in order to be prescribed hydrocodone. Doctors screen patients and monitor hydrocodone medical use in order to try to prevent misuse, hydrocodone drug addiction and drug related injuries.

Hydrocodone prescription dosage

The amount of hydrocodone you are prescribed as well as type of combination formula your doctor recommends depends heavily on a number of different factors. If you haven’t had previous exposure to hydrocodone, you’ll be started on a fairly low dose. There’s also a number of different medications which use hydrocodone, which may also mix it with other medications such as non steriodal anti inflammatory aids (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin. All of these factors can affect the dosage of the hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone prescription cost

As with any prescription drug, the end total cost of a hydrocodone prescription will depend on your insurance. However, hydrocodone is usually relatively inexpensive – in the $20 range for enough pills for a week or two, which is all you’d typically need after a minor procedure or illness. Hydrocodone might also be a component in a name brand medication, in which case the cost might be higher.

Can you get Hydrocodone over the counter?

No. Hydrocodone is available by prescription only. Hydrocodone is addictive, and only prescribed to people experiencing pain which can’t be helped by over-the-counter medication.  Plus, you can get physically dependent on hydrocodone and tolerant to the drug, making how to stop taking hydrocodone safely complex and difficult.

Signs of Hydrocodone prescription drug abuse

Hydrocodone can be abused for the euphoric high, or intense feeling of well-being that it creates in the pleasure center of the brain.A person who abuses hydrocodone regularly can easily become addicted to this narcotic. Hydrocodone addicts experience a psychological compulsion to seek out the drug, even when it has negative effects on their personal or professional life.

If you use hydrocodone to help manage pain, you might develop a tolerance and dependence on the medication, and be unable to stop taking it abruptly, which is not always a sign of addiction. These are signs of physical dependence. But as long as drug cravings are not present after the drug is out of your body, you do not need to worry about hydrocodone drug addiction.

Hydrocodone prescription questions

Do you still have questions about Hydrocodoneprescriptions? Please leave them here. We are happy to help answer your questions personally and promptly. If we do not know the answer to your particular question, we will refer you to someone who does.

Reference Sources: DEA: Hydrocodone
Medline Plus: Hydrocodone
ToxNet: Hydrocodone

Photo credit: Ben Werdmuller

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2 Responses to “How is hydrocodone prescribed?
Lindsay
6:54 am July 12th, 2013

My husband had surgery on his shoulder in 2012 and now has constant pain in that shoulder especially in humid or rainy weather. He was prescribed 7.5\325 hydrocodone and has been taking this same dose for about a year.until recently this med has worked but now instead of taking 6a day he says sometimes he uses 7 sometimes (rarely)8 to manage pain. Is it possible that his body had grown used to these? If so,what can be done? Should a dosage increase be asked for? My husband is a hard worker and always has been. He sweats a lot throughout the day drinking towards of a gallon of water a day. Would this have an affect on his meds? Any info would be appreciated. Thank you.

1:01 pm July 16th, 2013

Hello Lindsay. Yes, tolerance to opioids like hydrocodone is possible after daily dosing. You can schedule an appointment with his prescribing doctor to report these symptoms and request a review of the Rx . It’s possible that another prescription or higher doses may be required. But beware that this can lead to more difficult withdrawal upon cessation and more intense side effects during dosing.