How much Vicodin is too much?

It is easy to overdose on Vicodin. But how much Vicodin is too much depends on your tolerance to opioids. This is why Vicodin needs to be taken only as directed by a doctor. More on Vicodin overdose, acetaminophen poisoning, and safe doses here.

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Vicodin is a serious narcotic medication that requires careful use.

Further, Vicodin addictive substance  and people have died from Vicodin.  Why? Vicodin is a medication which combines two separate drugs – hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Although it takes a significant amount of hydrocodone to be fatal (about 90 times the normal dose) acetaminophen must be taken exactly as directed to avoid serious health problems. In this article, we’ll look at the safe amounts of Vicodin doctors usually prescribe, and invite your questions about how much Vicodin is safe at the end.

Vicodin strengths

Vicodin is available as Vicodin, Vicodin HP, or Vicodin ES. Although there are other generic formulations of this drug combination which may have as much as 10 mg of hydrocodone per dose, Vicodin is the brand name version contains less than 10 mg of hydrocodone per tablet. But Vicodin also contains acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage. Strengths and doses of the most common Vicodin combinations follow.

Vicodin – This formulation contains 5 mg of hydrocodone and 500 mg of acetaminophen.

Vicodin HP – Each Vicodin HP tablet contains 10 mg of hydrocodone and 660 mg acetaminophen.

Vicodin ES – Vicodin ES (extra strength) contains 7.5 mg of hydrocodone and 750 mg acetaminophen per tablet.

How much Vicodin is safe?

Acetaminophen can cause liver problems at fairly low doses. You’ll almost certainly overdose on acetaminophen before you experience problems from the hydrocodone contained in Vicodin. In fact, the FDA is currently advising drug manufacturers to limit acetaminophen in these products to no more than 325 mg per dose to avoid overdose (by comparison, Extra Strength Tylenol contains 500 mg acetaminophen). Taking more than 4 grams of acetaminophen in one day can poison you and cause permanent liver damage, even liver failure.

Since Vicodin contains 500 mg acetaminophen, it’s safe to take 2 tablets every six hours, or 1 tablet every four hours. More than that, and you risk an overdose from the acetaminophen contained in the medication. It would take about eighteen tablets for the hydrocodone to kill you – at which point the acetaminophen overdose would have already landed you in the hospital.

How much Vicodin can you take at once?

Only 2 Vicodin tablets should be taken at one time. Higher amounts than 10 mg of hydrocodone can raise the likelihood of adverse side effects or can potentially cause an overdose in an opioid naive person. Never take more than 1000 mg (1 gram) of acetaminophen at one time – higher amounts can cause liver damage which may not be immediately obvious.

How much Vicodin to overdose?

Again, it takes between 1-4 grams of acetaminophen to overdose. This is more than two Vicodin tablets more frequently than every six hours. This is why it’s very important only to take Vicodin medications as directed.

Toxic levels of Vicodin in the system

You can overdose on Vicodin by taking it orally, but taking it in ways other than prescribed can also raise that risk of Vicodin overdose. Snorting Vicodin effects include euphoria, but crushing the Vicodin and either snorting it, or dissolving it in water and injecting it, increases your risk of overdose. Furthermore, using pain medications, such as Vicodin, to get high can result in acetaminophen overdose, especially if more than two pills are taken at a time.

How much Vicodin is fatal?

Lower doses of Vicodin may cause permanent liver damage, but won’t kill you. Accidentally taking a dose at a 3 hour interval instead of 4 hours will probably be fine if it’s a one-time event. Habitually taking higher doses than recommended will gradually cause liver damage, and should be avoided.More than 4 g of acetaminophen in combined Vicodin medications can be fatal as well.

How much Vicodin should I take?

You should take the amount of Vicodin prescribed to you by your doctor. Never take more than recommended by a medical professional, and only take this oral medication as directed.

How much Vicodin questions

Do you still have questions about safe levels of Vicodin? Please leave your questions here. We will be happy to try to answer your Vicodin questions ASAP, and if we are not able to, we will direct you to someone who can.

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.
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