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What are side effects of hydrocodone?

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Quick Answer

Common side effects of hydrocodone include constipation, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth and itching, notes Drugs.com. It may also cause swelling in the hands and feet, and muscle pain. Because hydrocodone sometimes causes drowsiness and dizziness, patients should avoid driving or operating machinery until they know how the medication affects them.

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Full Answer

Severe side effects of hydrocodone require an immediate call to a doctor and include shallow breathing, confusion, tremors, lightheadedness and extreme drowsiness, according to Drugs.com. Avoiding alcohol while taking hydrocodone is recommended, as combining them can cause dangerous side effects or death. Patients are advised to speak to their doctor before taking hydrocodone if they have a history of breathing problems, head injury, seizures, heart rhythm problems, or kidney or liver disease.

Hydrocodone is an opioid, or narcotic, pain medication and an antitussive, states MedlinePlus. It works by changing how the brain and nervous system respond to pain, and it decreases activity in the area of the brain that triggers coughing. Even when taken as directed, hydrocodone is sometimes habit-forming. This medication should never be taken in larger doses or more often than prescribed by a doctor. Sharing this medication with others, especially those with a history of abuse or addiction, is not recommended, states Drugs.com.

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