Hydrocodone, Chlorpheniramine, Guaifenesin, Pseudoephedrine

Drug Class: Hydrocodone, Chlorpheniramine, Guaifenesin, Pseudoephedrine > Hydrocodone > Semi Synthetic Opioid > Opioids > Opioid Agonist > Analgesic.

Uses

Use hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine to treat symptoms associated with allergies, the common cold and upper respiratory infections caused by viruses or bacteria. Hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine is not recommended for treating a cough caused by smoking, asthma or emphysema. Learn More About Hydrocodone, Chlorpheniramine, Guaifenesin, Pseudoephedrine Uses

Administration/Dosage

This combination of drugs is sold in one easy-to-take medication, known as a polydrug. Hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine polydrugs are sold in liquid form under the brand name Z-Tuss 2. This medicine is to be taken by mouth. Hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine normally comes in an oral liquid with 2.5 mg of hydrocodone, 2 mg of chlorpheniramine, 100 of guaifenesin and 30 mg pseudoephedrine in every 5 ml dose. The usual adult dose is 10 ml, or two teaspoons, every 4 to 6 hours, not to exceed 4 doses in a 24-hour period. Children twelve years and older may take an adult dose. Children age 6 to 11 can take 5 ml, or one teaspoon, every four to six hours, and not more than four doses in a day.

Drink plenty of water and other fluids to loosen congestion to make it easier to cough mucus up and out of your lungs.

Do not administer hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine to a child younger than six years. Death from misuse of cold and cough remedies can occur in very young children. Always use a dose-measuring spoon to administer medicine rather than a household spoon to avoid dosing errors.

Older adults are more likely to suffer side effects associated with hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine. Physicians should prescribe small initial doses and observe elderly patients closely.

Doctors usually prescribe hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine to be taken only when you need relief from symptoms rather than on a schedule. If the prescribing physician recommended you take this medication on a regular basis and you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you can. If it is nearly time to take another dose and you can tolerate your symptoms, skip the missed dose and resume your regular schedule. Contact the prescribing physician if your prescription does not work or if it stops working, or if you have trouble taking this drug as prescribed.

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Action

When something irritates your respiratory tract, such as mucus, an allergen or virus, your body fights back with a variety of defensive actions. Mucus or foreign bodies irritate your throat and lungs; your nervous system sends information about the irritant to your brain, which responds with a cough powerful enough to blast irritants from your airway. Hydrocodone works directly on the part of your brain responsible for the cough reflex - hydrocodone makes your brain unaware of the need to cough. Guaifenesin is an expectorant that thins mucus to make it easier to clear congestion from the lungs. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that works by shrinking blood vessels in the lining of nasal passages. You may be experiencing symptoms because you came into contact with something you are allergic to, or an allergen. Some peoples' immune system overreacts when they come into contact with harmless organisms, such as dander or pollen; they have an allergy attack, characterized by itching, sneezing, runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. These symptoms are caused by a high level of histamines, produced by the body when the immune system thinks the respiratory system is under attack. Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine. It eases symptoms by reducing the amount of histamines in your system. More About How Hydrocodone, Chlorpheniramine, Guaifenesin, Pseudoephedrine Works

Precautions

Do not take hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine preparations if you are allergic to any component of the medication or if you are allergic to other narcotics such as morphine. An allergic reaction is a serious medical emergency and can even be life-threatening. During an allergic reaction, a person's condition can deteriorate rapidly and without warning. Common symptoms of a mild allergic reaction include hives, especially over the face and neck, nasal congestion, itching, rashes and watery, red eyes.

Anaphylaxis is a very serious form of an allergic reaction that usually occurs within minutes of exposure. Without professional medical intervention, death from anaphylaxis can occur within 15 minutes of contact.

Depending on your medical history, the prescribing physician may choose a different medication, alter your dosage or order laboratory tests while you are taking hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine polydrugs. This medication may worsen your other medical conditions or interfere with treatment for those disorders. Additionally, those ailments may change the way hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine works in your body, increasing your risk for side effects or overdose.

Tell your healthcare provider if you are currently experiencing, or if you have ever experienced, a significant illness or condition, including:

  • Heart Disease or High Blood Pressure.
  • Asthma, COPD or Sleep Apnea.
  • Other Breathing Disorders.
  • Diabetes.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Thyroid Disorder.
  • Seizure Disorder.
  • Kidney Disease.
  • Liver Disease.
  • Enlarged Prostate.
  • Trouble Urinating.
  • Stomach Disorder.
  • Intestinal Disorder.
  • Head Injury.
  • Brain Tumor.
  • Adrenal Gland Disorders.
  • Substance Abuse.

Hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine may make you dizzy or drowsy. This medication may impair your ability to make decisions. Use caution when operating heavy machinery or driving a car. Avoid engaging in activities that require you to make quick decisions.

Do not drink alcohol while taking hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine. Read the labels on all food, beverages and medicines to learn if they contain alcohol. If you are uncertain, ask a pharmacist for assistance.

Hydrocodone is habit-forming. Do not take doses larger than recommended and stop using this medication when advised to by a physician. A drug habit may lead to physical or mental dependence on hydrocodone.

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Warnings

The FDA classifies this medication as a pregnancy class C, which means scientists have not yet established the harm it may pose to an unborn child. Hydrocodone may cause withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes the drug during pregnancy. Hydrocodone passes into breast milk and onto a nursing baby; do not breastfeed while taking this medication. Tell the prescribing physician if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine. Notify your physician right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

Do not stop taking hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine unless directed to do so by a physician. Sudden cessation may result in withdrawal symptoms, especially if you have taken high doses or used this medication for a long time. Slowly decrease the size of your doses and take doses increasingly further apart to gently withdraw from this medication.

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Drug Interactions

Hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine may interact with other medications in dangerous or adverse ways. Do not start, stop or change the way you take any medication until you talk with a doctor. Supply the prescribing physician and pharmacist filling your prescription with a complete list of all your medications including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and herbal remedies. It is especially important that your healthcare providers know if you take sibutramine, memantine or methyldopa, which go by the brand names Meridia, Namenda and Aldomet. Tell your physician if you are taking reserpine or an antidepressant such as Elavil, or a beta-blocker such as Lopressor or Inderal.

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Side effects

You may experience common side effects, such as dizziness or drowsiness. Call your doctor if these or other non-serious side effects become intolerable or don't go away on their own. Other common side effects include headache, blurred vision or a dry mouth, nose or throat. Nausea, stomach pain and constipation are frequently reported by patients taking hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine preparations. A restless feeling or excitability is a common side effect, especially in children.

Discontinue use immediately and contact the prescribing physician if you experience serious side effects.

Serious side effects include:

  • Severe Dizziness or Fainting,.
  • Anxiety, Restless Feeling, Nervousness or Tremor.
  • Fast, Pounding, or Uneven Heartbeats.
  • Slow Heartbeat, Weak Pulse, Shallow Breathing.
  • Confusion or Hallucinations.
  • Unusual Thoughts or Behavior.
  • Ringing in the Ears.
  • Painful or Difficult Urination.
  • Pale Skin, Easy Bruising or Bleeding.
  • Unusual Weakness.
  • High Blood Pressure.

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Overdose

Deaths from overdose of prescription drugs are now an epidemic. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, more than 36,000 people died from overdose in 2008 and most of these deaths were caused by prescription drugs. Overdose is a very serious, potentially fatal medical emergency. If you believe you or someone you know has taken an overdose of this or any other drug, immediately contact poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the nearest emergency room. While you are there, you can expect life-saving measures such as stomach pumping, medicines to reduce the drug and its effects on the body, fluid replacement and other treatments. Learn More About Hydrocodone, Chlorpheniramine, Guaifenesin, Pseudoephedrine Overdose

Abuse

According to the FBI, hydrocodone is the most frequently prescribed opioid in the United States and is associated with more drug abuse than any other legal or illegal narcotic. More people now abuse prescription drugs than illegal ones. Most of the abused drugs, in fact, start out as prescription drugs and are diverted to illegal consumption. Diversion happens when someone steals hydrocodone from the person for whom it was prescribed, misrepresents himself to one or more doctors or pharmacies or by selling the remainder of his prescription when he no longer needs it. The FBI notes there is more diversion with hydrocodone than with any other licit or illicit drug.

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Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms are a normal, predictable physiological reaction to quitting a medication you have grown physically dependent upon. Physical dependence means your body needs to maintain a certain level of a drug to feel normal; when levels of this drug decrease in your system, you experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are not necessarily an indication a person has been using drugs recreationally or criminally. In fact, you may experience withdrawal symptoms upon discharge after receiving strong opioids in a hospital. If you do not associate your symptoms with your pain reliever, you may assume you have the flu and suffer through withdrawal alone. Withdrawal symptoms vary between individuals. Some may be able to tolerate withdrawal symptoms without assistance and quit taking hydrocodone on their own. Withdrawal symptoms may be intolerable for others, preventing them from quitting drug use without the help of rehabilitation professionals.

Detox

Dependence on drugs is a complex condition, often requiring the help of specially-trained rehabilitation professionals. The most helpful rehabilitative treatment programs address each facet of the complicated syndrome of drug dependence, including overcoming withdrawal symptoms, cleansing the drug from your body and addressing any other issues that contributed to or were the result of dependence on drugs. During the initial phase of detoxification, physicians administer drugs to detoxify and cleanse your body and ease your withdrawal symptoms. Once your body is chemically stabilized, you may choose to participate in programs designed to address issues associated with drug dependence, such as family problems or legal issues. There are more humane detoxification programs already in use. Rapid detox is state-of-the-art, humane and extremely effective way to overcome the withdrawal symptoms that prevent so many from successful rehabilitation. During rapid detox, specially trained physicians administer anesthesia and sedatives along with the usual detoxification medications. You sleep through the withdrawal process, unaware of the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. You will have no memory of the withdrawal process after awakening. Learn More About Hydrocodone, Chlorpheniramine, Guaifenesin, Pseudoephedrine Detoxification Programs

Storage

Store hydrocodone, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine at room temperature, away from excessive heat and moisture. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children and pets. Do not allow adults to consume this drug willfully or by accident. Never share prescription medicine with another person, even if she has symptoms similar to yours. Do not tell anyone other than caretakers that you have this drug in your home to reduce the risk for theft.

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