A prescription is required for hydrocodone, including hydrocodone with acetaminophen or APAP, because it is an opioid, or narcotic, pain medication, states Everyday Health. This medication is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain and can cause slow or shallow breathing. Misuse of this medication can result in death.
Unless directed by a doctor, all cold, allergy and sleep medication, as well as alcohol, should be avoided while taking hydrocodone, as it can slow breathing further, explains Everyday Health. Some medications and medical conditions can cause interactions or make hydrocodone unsafe to take. Patients should always mention any serious health conditions to the prescribing physician to make sure hydrocodone is safe to take. Examples include kidney disease, low blood pressure, bowel obstruction, head injury or asthma.