Can you overdose (OD) on Vicodin?

Yes, you can overdose on Vicodin because of the acetaminophen it contains. More on what happens when you OD on Vicodin, acetaminophen poisoning, and safe doses of Vicodin here.

minute read

What happens when you take too much Vicodin? You can overdose.

How much Vicodin can you take at once?   No more than 2 Vicodin tablets. Because many people don’t know this,  most drug overdoses are unintentional. So what can you do to protect yourself from an accidental Vicodin overdose? In this article, we’ll explore that question in more depth, along with the risk factors for Vicodin overdose. Your questions about Vicodin OD/overdose are welcomed at the end.

Can you overdose on Vicodin?

Yes, you can overdose on Vicodin. At relatively low doses, Vicodin can cause permanent liver damage which may not be obvious at the time. At higher doses, Vicodin can be deadly. How? Vicodin contains hydrocodone, an opiate painkiller which is difficult to overdose on, and acetaminophen, another analgesic medication with a very low overdose threshold. In other words, the addition of acetaminophen in the Vicodin formula may prevent misuse of hydrocodone, but can cause acute overdose symptoms that you may not expect.

And your risk of a Vicodin OD increases if you are taking Vicodin to get high. Vicodin abuse increases your risk of death and overdose. This medication should only be taken swallowed as a whole pill, and only in the doses recommended by your doctor. You’re much more likely to overdose when you chew, crush, snort or inject Vicodin pills.

What happens when you overdose on Vicodin?

The most dangerous complication of Vicodin overdose is liver failure. Vicodin overdose can not only cause you health problems down the road, but it can potentially kill you.

How many Vicodin is too much?

So, how much Vicodin to overdose?  In general, doctors recommend no more than 1 gram of acetaminophen at one time. Taking more than 4 grams of acetaminophen in one day can poison you and cause permanent liver damage, even liver failure – and many medications contain 500-600 mg of acetaminophen per dose.

Vicodin typically contains about 500 mg of acetaminophen, making it unsafe to take more than two at a time. However, the safe dose of Vicodin will vary between different strengths and formulas you might be taking. Because some versions of the drug may have more acetaminophen than others, it’s important to carefully check dosage instructions. Because of this,you should only take as Vicodin much as your doctor recommends, and take it only as directed.

Vicodin overdose help

If you’ve taken a high dose of Vicodin and experience adverse side effects,you should seek medical attention immediately. With acetaminophen-containing medications, you have about 12 hours before you’re likely to experience lasting damage – but it may take just as long to experience overdose symptoms. If you suspect you’ve taken too much acetaminophen for any reason, seek emergency medical assistance as soon as possible.

Overdose on Vicodin questions

If you have any questions about safe amounts of Vicodin in your system, please leave them here. We are happy to try to help answer your questions about Vicodin, and will try to respond with a personal and prompt reply for all legitimate queries.

Reference Sources: DEA: Hydrocodone
Medline Plus: Hydrocodone
ToxNet: Hydrocodone
FDA Safety Communication: Prescription Acetaminophen Products to be Limited to 325 mg Per Dosage Unit
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I have read and agree to the conditions outlined in the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

  1. Hi, im 18 years old and currently suffering with UTI infection, is it okay to take one pill of Vicodin to relieve my pain before i go to a Doctor? what are the chances ill get addicted?

  2. I took 7 Vicodin over 7 hours. They are 5 mg. I am prescribed because of a foot surgery. I worried this was too much.

    1. Hi Madeline. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an assessment of overdose risk.

  3. The main take-away for me is no emphasis on acetaminophen toxicity in reported od cases. doc told me to quit tylenol because of hi liver enzymes. Did bloodwork 2 wks later, enzymes normal. Taken as instructed, as needed, ive had no prob with opioids. Only much needed relief

  4. Aloha yes I have been trying to get off of Vicodin. I have been on it since 1998 I am now trying to kick the habit I am on my fourth day in a feel like I’ve been run over by a horse and I’m wondering how long does it take to get my restless legs working in I still have a lot of coughing and fllu like Symptoms like I said this is the fourth day I still have a lot of back pain and leg pain that’s the reason why I was on it and but I’d rather deal with the back pain then have no liver. Is there any over-the-counter meds that can help me get through the cramping .I feel like I just wrestled Andre the giant. Well I’m on the beginning on my fourth day and I hope I can get through this they gave all the information I read take care wish me luck David

    1. Hi David. The safest way to quit Vicodin is by slowly reducing the daily dose. First, consult with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule. Moreover, speak with a pharmacist to recommend some over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements, teas, home remedies, etc. to ease withdrawal symptoms. Finally, download our free e-book ‘How To Quit Opioid Painkillers’ to learn more about the process of ending opioids, here:

  5. I take 2 -10 mg vikes every a.m.
    then I take a 3rd usually by snorting about 8 hrs later. Sometimes I take even more. Is there a way to separate the acetemetaphine from the good stuff so I get a better safer high? Is it normal to have an increased number of errections while on vicodin

    1. Hello, Jessi. Does your doctor prescribe that Vicodin dosage? If yes, you should be ok. But, you can still ask for a second doctor’s opinion or call a pharmacy to get more info.

    1. Hi Sally. There shouldn’t be any danger from taking a half. But, if you are not prescribed Vicodin and take some it is considered prescription medication abuse and is illegal.

  6. Hello Terri. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for immediate medical assistance from a poison expert.

  7. I took 60 Vicodin 3 days ago in a failed suicide attempt.
    My nose is now peeling.
    can I expect permanent liver damage from the acetomenaphine?

  8. Hi Tina. I’d suggest that you call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an expert opinion. While you may have a high tolerance for hydrocodone, mixing the two depressants can be dangerous. How risky? Call the experts for an assessment.

  9. ive been on vicodines for three years due to a back condition. Im now taking 8-9. 10/325 a day and i also drink beer every day. Is this a deadly amount to be taking?

I am ready to call
i Who Answers?