Wednesday November 26th 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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4 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.

Joyce
10:40 am November 12th, 2014

I am a 74 yr old woman with severe arthritis in all large joints and many smaller ones. I started suffering from it in my late twenties. I take 1 5 mg.at night along with 5 mgs. of ambian to help get a few hours sleep. when I went to pick up a prescription week before last I was given a urine test. When I went to my doctor for a checkup last week he informed me that there had been a problem with my urine sample and it had been called “tampered with”. He had been given a letter to sign and send to me informing me that he could no longer be my doctor because of this!
He had stated that he would not sign it or send it until he had had a chance to talk to me and that it was completely out of character for me. The report says the sample was clear like water, no creatinine and showed no from the Hydrocodone (of which I was speaking up above when I only metioned the dosage of 5 mgs.) or the ambian. After being tested in the office he said the normal protocol was to send to lab if it was suspect and he didn’t kno why mine wasn’t. I am devastated and seem to have no recourse. I told him that someone had made a very bad mistake or had purposely adulterated it. I would never even think of doing that and why should I.I had no reason to try to hide the low doses that I was taking. I was given another urine test but haven’t heard back.. I find myself briefly hoping that it will come back showing kidney failure, since that would clear me of tampering. I know that is rash thinking though. If he can’t be my doctor I may not get another one to treat my hypertension and arthritis and depression/anxiety as I have seen this one for years and he is familiar with all my problems. After this long discourse, could you advise me of any recourse to face my accusers and show test was invalid. I feel this must be happening to a lot of other people and it seems un-American to be accused and convicted convicted and sentenced without being even unable to deny my guilt! The only answer I can come up with is that the sample was purposely watered down by some sick or spiteful person. Wouldn’t that be a criminal action?I am feeling quite paranoid now. Someone must have gotten the idea when they heard me come out of the bathroom and laugh and say that I had dog urine in my purse to take to the vet afterwards for my sick dog. A nurse said “you didn’t use that did you?” and I said of course not!! I wouldn’t have announced it if I had used that. The doctor said she had told I had stated that I had used dog urine!! I would have to be incredibly stupid to have said that! I’m sorry to write so much because no one will probably read all this but I had to try. I feel so helpless. This all happened on my 74th birthday! Thank you for any support.

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
12:24 pm November 24th, 2014

Ho Joyce. You might want to make an appeal and ask for a hair sample test, which can detected oxycodone in your system for 90 days or more…but it may be at your own expense. These tests show drug use over time and can give your doctor a look at a longer period of Hydrocodone use.

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