Hydrocodone, Chlorpheniramine

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

Uses

Doctors recommend you use hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine combination drugs, known as polydrugs, to relieve symptoms associated with a cold, allergies or flu. While hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine polydrugs will not cure or shorten the duration of your illness, they will suppress your cough and soothe your runny or stuffy nose and sneezing. Use this medication so you can sleep, work or go to school undisturbed by symptoms.

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Administration/Dosage

Hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine come as a long-lasting tablet or capsule and as a liquid. Brand name preparations include HyTan, Novasus, S-T Forte 2, TussiCaps and Tussionex PennKinetic.

Hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine polydrugs are available in varying strengths ranging from 5 mg to 10 mg of hydrocodone and 4 mg to 8 mg of chlorpheniramine in every tablet or 5 ml dose of liquid. Adult dosing typically calls for one or two tablets or 5 ml to 10 ml of liquid every 12 hours. Take care not to exceed maximum recommended dosage for each preparation type and strength.

Medical professionals and pediatricians do not recommend hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine for children under the age of 6 years. A pediatrician may prescribe adult doses for children over the age of 12 years. Follow your pediatrician's instructions and dosing recommendations when administering Hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine to a child between the ages of 6 years and 12 years. Always use a medical dosing device to measure medicine, especially when administering opioids to a child. You can get an approved measuring spoon, syringe or cup from your pharmacist or drug store.

Take hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine with or without food. Take this medication with food if it causes stomach upset.

Your doctor may have suggested you take hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine on a regular schedule to provide uninterrupted relief from your symptoms. If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time to take another dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Do not take extra doses in an effort to make up for missed doses. Contact the prescribing physician if you have trouble maintaining your dosing schedule.

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Action

Hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine work together to provide complete coverage for your symptoms. Hydrocodone is a narcotic cough suppressant that works directly on the cough center in your brain to suppress your urge to cough. Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that acts to reduce the level of histamines in your system. Histamines, a natural substance made in your body in reaction to exposure to allergens, causes fluid to leak from blood vessels resulting in your watery eyes and runny nose.

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Precautions

Do not take hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine polydrugs if you are allergic to any active or inactive ingredient in the product, or if you are allergic to any other opioids such as codeine or morphine. An allergic reaction is a serious event that could deteriorate rapidly into a medical emergency. Discontinue hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine and seek qualified medical assistance as soon as you notice symptoms of an allergic reaction, including rash, hives or itching. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, cough and swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat.

Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening form of allergic reaction. You can die within 15 minutes after exposure to a drug allergen. Approximately 82,000 people suffer anaphylaxis every year.

Symptoms of a moderate or severe reaction include:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Chest Discomfort or Tightness.
  • Difficulty Breathing or Wheezing.
  • Difficulty Swallowing.
  • Dizziness or Light-Headedness.
  • Fear or Feeling of Apprehension or Anxiety.
  • Flushing or Redness of the Face.
  • Nausea, Vomiting or Diarrhea.
  • Palpitations.
  • Stomach Cramps.
  • Swelling of the Face, Eyes or Tongue.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Weakness.

It is important that the prescribing physician be aware of your medical history. Hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine polydrugs may worsen your condition or hamper treatment. Additionally, your illness may change the way hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine work in your body.

Tell your physician about any significant, acute or chronic illnesses or conditions, including:

  • Addison's Disease.
  • Asthma or Other Breathing Disorder.
  • Enlarged Prostate.
  • Glaucoma.
  • History of Head Injury or Brain Tumor.
  • Kidney Disease.
  • Liver Disease.
  • Stomach or Intestinal Problems.
  • Underactive Thyroid.
  • Urination Problems.

Hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine can make you feel dizzy or drowsy. This polydrug may also impair your ability to make decisions. Do not operate a motor vehicle or other heavy machinery, or engage in dangerous activities until you know how your system reacts to hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine. Alcohol may increase drowsiness or dizziness.

Hydrocodone is habit forming. Developing a drug habit increases your risk for physical and mental dependence on drugs. Taking hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine exactly as prescribed will lower, but not eliminate, your risk for developing a habit.

Tell the prescribing doctor if your hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine prescription stops working for you. This could be a sign of developing tolerance to this drug. Your doctor may increase the strength of your medication or switch you to a different drug. Do not take more medicine in an effort to relieve your symptoms as this could result in dangerous overdose.

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Warnings

Medical research has not yet established whether taking hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine during pregnancy will harm an unborn child. A child born to a mother taking hydrocodone during pregnancy may experience withdrawal symptoms after delivery. Tell the prescribing doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor to discuss the benefits and risks of taking this medication.

Do not stop taking hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine abruptly unless directed to do so by a physician. Sudden cessation may cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. To avoid these flu-like symptoms when it is time to stop using hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine, gradually decrease the amount of medicine you take each time and slowly increase the length of time between doses. Contact the prescribing physician or consult with a qualified rehabilitation specialist if your withdrawal symptoms prevent you from discontinuing your prescription.

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Drug Interactions

Some medications may interact with hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine in unsafe or unfavorable ways. Give the prescribing physician and pharmacist filling the order a list of all your medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies and vitamin supplements. While taking hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine do not start, stop or change the way you take any medication, even those herbal remedies and vitamin supplements, as this may alter the way hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine works in your body.

It is especially important that the prescribing doctor know if you are taking:

  • Donnatal.
  • Cogentin.
  • Dramamine.
  • Pamine.
  • Transderm-Scop.
  • Bronchodilators such as Atrovent or Spiriva
  • Robinul
  • Bladder or Urinary Medications such as Enablex, Urispas, Ditropan, Oxytrol, Detrol or Vesicare.
  • Irritable Bowel Medications such as Bentyl, Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin or Pro-Banthine.
  • An MAO Inhibitor such as Marplan, Nardil, Azilect, Eldepryl, Emsam or Parnate.

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Side effects

Patients have reported side effects associated with hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine polydrugs. Most of these side effects are not serious. Continue taking hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine if you experience any of these less serious side effects but contact the prescribing physician if these side effects worsen or do not go away on their own.

Less serious effects include:

  • Blurred Vision.
  • Constipation.
  • Difficulty Concentrating.
  • Dizziness or Drowsiness.
  • Dry Mouth or Throat.
  • Loss of Appetite.
  • Mild Itching or Skin Rash.
  • Mood Changes or Anxiety.
  • Nausea, Vomiting.
  • Sweating.

Some side effects can be serious. Discontinue hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine use immediately and contact a physician if you experience any serious side effects.

Serious side effects:

  • Chest Tightness.
  • Confusion, Hallucinations or Unusual Behavior.
  • Painful Urination, Urinating Less than Usual or Not at All.
  • Weak or Shallow Breathing.

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Overdose

Overdose is a potentially fatal medical emergency that requires the immediate attention of qualified health professionals. More Americans are dying from drug overdose than ever before. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, more than 36,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, more than triple the number of drug overdose deaths in 1990. An increasing number of these deaths are from prescription drugs, rather than illegal substances. In 2008, more people died in the United States from prescription drug overdose than from overdosing on cocaine and heroin combined.

If you suspect that you or someone you know has taken too much hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine or any other drug, contact poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room. If it is faster, call for an ambulance.

Know the symptoms of drug overdose before taking this medication or administering it to a child. A person who has taken an overdose may complain of a dry mouth, nausea or vomiting and severe dizziness. He might say he feels light-headed or faint. He may seem excessively drowsy; his skin may feel cold and clammy to the touch, or appear red in a symptom known as flushing. His eyes may have large pupils. Call for help immediately if he has a seizure, shallow breathing, slow heart rate or blue colored skin.

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Abuse

According to Pain Physician Journal, Americans constitute less than 5 percent of the world's population but they consume more than 80 percent of the world's supply of opioids. As compassionate caregivers, American physicians prescribe these opiates to prevent patients from experiencing significant pain. Unfortunately, this widespread use of medically necessary prescription painkillers has created a significant opioid abuse problem in the United States. The CDC states that, in 2010, more than 12 million people reported using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons, which means the people used the drugs without a prescription to relieve symptoms or simply to get high. Most drug abusers get their drugs free from family members or friends. The DEA calls this diversion - when abusers divert drugs from a medical purpose to a recreational one.

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Withdrawal

Withdrawal is a normal, predictable physiological result of discontinuing opioid use after developing a physical dependence to that drug. You may experience unpleasant, flu-like withdrawal symptoms after you stop using hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine, even if you used this medication exactly as prescribed by your physician. Withdrawal symptoms are not necessarily an indication of illicit drug use and does not mean you have a drug addiction. Withdrawal symptoms include:

Detox

Dependence on drugs such as hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine is a complex condition requiring a multi-faceted approach on the part of qualified rehabilitation specialists. The first phase in a successful rehabilitation program always includes easing overwhelming withdrawal symptoms and detoxifying the body from the negative effects of opioid dependence. During initial treatment, physicians and healthcare staff administer medications that reduce withdrawal symptoms and restore your body's chemical balance. This phase may last several days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of withdrawal symptoms and extend of physical dependence to a drug. Many people would agree, withdrawal and detoxification is the most physically challenging portion of rehabilitation. Potent withdrawal symptoms often thwart the efforts of strong and determined people. Once you are past withdrawal and detoxification, you may choose to participate in counseling or other social services offered by the rehabilitation institution to improve your chances of success.

Rapid detox is a new, humane approach to detoxifying the body and overcoming withdrawal symptoms. Along with the standard anti-withdrawal medication and detoxification chemicals, specially trained physicians administer anesthesia and sedatives so that you sleep through the worst parts of withdrawal and detox. When you wake up, you will have no recollection of the uncomfortable withdrawal and detox phase.

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Storage

Keep this medication at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, away from excessive heat. Put hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine in a secure location, where children, pets and adults cannot access it. Never share your medication with anyone, even if he complains of symptoms similar to your own. Monitor your medication and account for all missing doses. Hydrocodone is a favorite among recreational drug users because of the way the chemical gets them high.

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