What Are the Uses of Hydrocodone Acetaminophen?

Hydrocodone acetaminophen is a combination medicine that alleviates moderate to severe pain, notes Mayo Clinic. Acetaminophen may also relieve a fever. Hydrocodone is a narcotic medicine that cannot only reduce pain, but also prevent or treat a cough.

Hydrocodone acetaminophen occurs in many forms, including solution, syrup, elixir, tablet and capsule, according to Mayo Clinic. Different brands of the medicine include Maxidone, Lortab, Lorcet, Hycet and Zydone. A person without a prescription should not use this medicine.

Like other narcotic medicines, the abuse of hydrocodone may result in addiction or death, explains Everyday Health. The medicine is habit-forming and may slow or stop breathing. On the other hand, acetaminophen may not only cause death, but also liver disease, and in rare occasions, it may lead to serious skin conditions. The medicine may impair thinking, vision and reactions. Other side effects of hydrocodone acetaminophen include drowsiness, headache, dry mouth and stomach problems.

The medicine may possibly cause problems to a malnourished or seriously ill person, a nursing baby, because the drug passes into breast milk, advises Everyday Health. A patient should inform her doctor if she has taken monoamine oxidase inhibitors 14 days prior to the treatment day; are pregnant; are allergic to either acetaminophen or hydrocodone; have kidney or liver disease; or are a drug addict. Any other medications being taken must also be revealed and discussed.

To prevent the risk of overdose, a person should consult a health care professional before taking other medicines, particularly pain medications and over-the-counter drugs for cough or cold, as these may also contain some amounts of acetaminophen. Drinking six to eight full glasses of water daily or consuming more fiber while taking acetaminophen and hydrocodone can help prevent constipation.