"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
Vicodin ES Consumer
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
HYDROCODONE/ACETAMINOPHEN - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Lortab, Norco, Vicodin
WARNING: One ingredient in this product is acetaminophen. Taking too much acetaminophen may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Adults should not take more than 4000 milligrams (4 grams) of acetaminophen a day. If you have liver problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist for a safe dosage of this medication. Daily use of alcohol, especially when combined with acetaminophen, may increase your risk for liver damage. Avoid alcohol. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness, or yellowing eyes/skin.
Acetaminophen is an ingredient found in many nonprescription products and in some combination prescription medications (such as pain/fever drugs or cough-and-cold products). Carefully check the labels on all your medicines because they may also contain acetaminophen. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely. Get medical help right away if you have taken more than 4000 milligrams of acetaminophen a day, even if you feel well.
USES: This combination medication is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It contains a narcotic pain reliever (hydrocodone) and a non-narcotic pain reliever (acetaminophen). Hydrocodone works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. Acetaminophen can also reduce a fever.
HOW TO USE: See also Warning section.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
If you are using a liquid form of this medication, use a medication measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on weight. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
If you have ongoing pain (such as due to cancer), your doctor may direct you to also take long-acting narcotic medications. In that case, this medication might be used for sudden (breakthrough) pain only as needed. Other non-narcotic pain relievers (such as naproxen, ibuprofen) may also be prescribed with this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about using this product safely with other drugs.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, muscle aches) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Along with its benefits, this medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction.
Tell your doctor if your pain persists or worsens.
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