Hydrocodone, Dexchlorpheniramine, Phenylephrine

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

Uses

Physicians prescribe hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine to relieve symptoms associated with the common cold, allergies and upper respiratory infections caused by bacteria or viruses. This combination drug, known as a polydrug, does not cure your ailment or shorten its duration; it merely reduces symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, stuffy or runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Use this polydrug so you can sleep or participate in your daily activities without being disturbed by annoying symptoms.

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Administration/Dosage

Use a measuring device marked for medical dosing. Do not use a household tablespoon to administer medications, as dosing errors may occur. This is especially important when dispensing medication to children. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for an approved dosing spoon or cup.

Children may be more sensitive to the effects of hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine polydrugs. Children may become overly excited while taking this medication.

Patients over the age of 65 may be more sensitive to the effects of hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine preparations. Physicians should order lower initial doses to older patients and observe them closely early in the treatment.

Take hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine on a regular schedule to provide complete coverage for your symptoms. If you miss a dose, take the skipped dose as soon as possible. If it is nearly time to take another dose and you can tolerate the symptoms, skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Never take more than one dose in an effort to catch up. Talk with your doctor if you seem to miss doses frequently or have other trouble maintaining a dosing schedule.

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Action

Hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine work together to relieve a complex of symptoms. Hydrocodone is a cough suppressant that acts directly on the part of the brain responsible for the cough reflex; it makes your brain unaware of the need to cough. Dexchlorpheniramine is an antihistamine. It works by reducing histamines that cause blood vessels to leak fluids into surrounding tissue, resulting in watery eyes and runny nose. Phenylephrine is a decongestant that clears your nose by reducing swollen blood vessels deep inside the lining of nasal passages. More About How Hydrocodone, Dexchlorpheniramine, Phenylephrine Works

Precautions

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about any allergies, especially allergies to any component of hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine or phenylephrine or to any other opioid, such as codeine or morphine. An allergic reaction is a serious medical condition that can deteriorate rapidly into anaphylaxis, a severe form of an allergic reaction. If you suffer any symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop taking this drug and immediately contact a doctor.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Rash.
  • Hives.
  • Itching.
  • Difficulty Breathing or Tightness in the Chest.
  • Swelling of the Mouth, Face, Lips or Tongue.
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Anaphylaxis can occur within 15 minutes of exposure to an allergen. Discontinue use and seek professional medical help immediately if you notice symptoms of anaphylaxis, including:

  • Abdominal Pain.
  • Abnormal Breathing Sounds or Wheezing.
  • Anxiety.
  • Confusion.
  • Difficulty Breathing.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fainting.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Nausea or Vomiting.
  • Slurred Speech.

You may not be able to take hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine polydrugs if you have a history of certain medical conditions, as this medication may worsen those conditions or interfere with treatment. Your ailment or the treatment for that disease may change the way your body responds to hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine.

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

  • Adrenal Gland Problems.
  • Adrenal Gland Tumor.
  • Asthma.
  • Blockage of the Bladder, Stomach or Intestines.
  • Blood Vessel Problems.
  • Bowel Problems.
  • Brain Tumor.
  • Chronic Bronchitis.
  • Chronic Cough.
  • COPD.
  • Diabetes.
  • Emphysema.
  • Enlarged Prostate.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Fast, Slow or Irregular Heartbeat.
  • Gallbladder Problems.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Head or Brain Injury.
  • Heart Problems.
  • High Blood Pressure.
  • History Of Alcohol or Substance Abuse.
  • Increased Pressure in the Brain.
  • Infection of the Brain or Nervous System.
  • Overactive Thyroid.
  • Prostate Problems.
  • Recent Abdominal Surgery.
  • Seizures.
  • Stroke.
  • Suicidal Thoughts or Behavior.
  • Trouble Urinating.
  • Ulcers.
  • Ulcers.

Hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine may make you dizzy or drowsy, or impair decision-making. Do not drive a motorized vehicle, operate heavy machinery or participate in risky behavior until you know how this medicine affects you. Alcohol and some medications may enhance this effect.

The hydrocodone in this polydrug is habit forming. Do not take higher than prescribed doses hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine or use this medication longer than recommended to avoid developing a drug habit. You may become physically dependent on opioids if you take hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine polydrugs for more than a few weeks.

Tell your dentist, surgeon or emergency department physician that you are taking hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine before you have any dental work, medical procedures or operations. This medication may alter the results of some medical laboratory tests; tell the ordering physician, laboratory receptionist and phlebotomist you are taking hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine before you have any test performed. You may need to stop taking this medicine for a short time or reschedule your test or procedure.

Hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine polydrugs may make you more prone to sunburns. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, tanning booths or sunlamps. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing if you expect to be outside for an extended length of time.

Do not take diet pills or appetite control medications while you are using hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine. Appetite suppressants may contain phenylephrine, increasing your risk for overdose. Consult with the prescriber if you are already taking diet pills as part of a long-term weight loss program.

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Warnings

Do not take hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking this medication. Contact your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while on this drug. Researchers have not yet established the harm this drug may pose to an unborn child. Hydrocodone can pass into breast milk and onto a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while you are using this drug.

Do not stop taking hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine abruptly unless directed to do so by a physician. Sudden cessation may bring about unpleasant, flu-like withdrawal symptoms, especially for patients who have used very high doses of this drug or have used it for an extended time. Avoid withdrawal symptoms by gradually reducing the amount of medicine you take, and by taking doses further apart. Consult with your doctor or seek out the help of a qualified rehabilitation professional if you cannot stop taking hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine when directed.

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Drug Interactions

Beta-blockers, COMT inhibitors, furazolidone, indomethacin and some types of antidepressants may increase the risk for side effects associated with hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine polydrugs. Cimetidine, digoxin, droxidopa and sodium oxybate, otherwise known as GHB, increase the risk for severe drowsiness, breathing problems, seizures, irregular heartbeat or heart attack. Naltrexone may reduce the effectiveness of hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine polydrugs. This medication may increase your risk for side effects associated with bromocriptine or hydantoins, especially phenytoin. This drug may reduce the effectiveness of guanadrel, guanethidine, mecamylamine, methyldopa and reserpine.

Hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine may interact with other drugs in unfavorable or dangerous ways. Give the prescribing physician and pharmacist filling your prescription a complete list of all your medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements. Do not start, stop or change the way you take any medication while you are using hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine without first consulting a doctor or pharmacist.

Check the labels of all medications, especially over-the-counter drugs, to be sure you are not taking too much dexchlorpheniramine or phenylephrine. These two chemicals are common in many non-prescription drugs.

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Side effects

Patients have reported common side effect after taking hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine polydrugs. Most of these side effects are not serious and go away on their own. Contact the prescriber if your side effects become severe or do not disappear by themselves.

Common side effects include:

  • Constipation or Diarrhea.
  • Dizziness or Drowsiness.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of Appetite.
  • Nervousness, Excitability or Anxiety.
  • Trouble Sleeping.
  • Upset Stomach, Nausea or Vomiting.
  • Weakness.

Some side effects can be serious. Stop taking hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine immediately and contact your doctor if you experience serious side effects.

Serious side effects:

  • Changes in Vision.
  • Difficulty Urinating or Inability to Urinate.
  • Fast or Irregular Heartbeat.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Seizure.
  • Severe Dizziness, Lightheadedness or Headache.
  • Severe Drowsiness.
  • Tremor.

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Overdose

There were three times as many deaths from drug overdoses in 2008 than there were in 1990. In the late 20th century, most drug overdoses were the result of taking too much cocaine, heroin or other illegal drug. In 2008, there were more overdose deaths from prescription painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined. If you or someone you know has taken too much hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine, immediately contact poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Blurred Vision.
  • Confusion.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Seizure.
  • Severe Dizziness, Lightheadedness or Headache.
  • Severe Drowsiness.
  • Unusually Fast, Slow or Irregular Heartbeat.
  • Vomiting.

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Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise. The CDC reports that 12 million people used prescription drugs for non-medical uses in 2010; this means people used prescription medicine without a prescription to treat symptoms or to get high. More people now abuse prescription drugs than illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. These prescription drugs become available through diversion, where prescription drugs are diverted to non-prescription uses. About 55 percent of people who abuse drugs get those medicines free from friends or family. About 4 percent of opioid drug abusers purchase drugs through a drug dealer.

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Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms are a natural and predictable response to stopping a drug once you have grown physically dependant. Many people become dependent, and therefore suffer withdrawal symptoms, after using a legally prescribed drug as directed. Withdrawal symptoms are not necessarily an indication someone has used drugs illegally. Each person may experience withdrawal differently. One person may overcome unpleasant, flu-like symptoms on their own while another person may rely on the help of rehabilitation professionals to quit drugs. Consult with your doctor or seek the help of a qualified rehabilitation specialist if withdrawal symptoms prevent you from quitting hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine use. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety.
  • Fever, Runny Nose or Sneezing.
  • Goose Bumps and Abnormal Skin Sensations.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Insomnia.
  • Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea.
  • Pain.
  • Rapid Heartbeat.
  • Rigid Muscles.
  • Shivering or Tremors.
  • Sweating.

Detox

Drug rehabilitation includes easing withdrawal symptoms, detoxifying the body and sometimes counseling and other social services. During the withdrawal stage, physicians administer drugs to reduce withdrawal symptoms to tolerable levels while simultaneously giving medicine to detoxify and cleanse the body from hydrocodone. This stage can be very uncomfortable, with withdrawal symptoms severe enough to prohibit some people from quitting opioids on their first attempt.

Rapid detox is a new, humane way to help people make it through the unpleasant withdrawal phase. During rapid detox, doctors administer sedatives and anesthesia along with the standard detoxification drugs so that you sleep through withdrawal, unaware of the discomfort associate with drug cessation.

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Storage

Keep hydrocodone, dexchlorpheniramine and phenylephrine at room temperature, away from excessive heat, light and moisture. Put this and all drugs out of the reach of children and pets. Do not allow adults to take this medication, even if they complain of symptoms similar to your own.

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