Hydrocodone, Homatropine

Information about the synthetic opiate symptom reliever hydrocodone and homatropine including uses, abuse, side effects, warnings

Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Hydrocodone.

Uses

Doctors prescribe preparations containing hydrocodone and homatropine to patients complaining of a dry cough due to the common cold. Physicians typically prescribe hydrocodone and homatropine for short-term use rather than to treat a chronic cough caused by COPD or other breathing problems. A physician may prescribe this medication to treat other conditions. Learn More About Hydrocodone, Homatropine Uses

Administration/Dosage

Hydrocodone and homatropine preparations, known as polydrugs, are available in liquid or tablet form, under the brand names Hycodan, Hydromet, Tussigon, Hydrotropine, Hydromide and Hydropane.

The typical hydrocodone and homatropine prescription for an adult calls for one 5 ml dose of syrup or one tablet containing 5 mg of hydrocodone and 1.5 mg of homatropine every four to six hours as needed. Do not exceed six doses, for a total of six tablets or 30 ml, in a 24-hour period. Children over the age of 12 years may take an adult dose. Children aged 6 to 12 may take 2.5 ml of syrup or one-half tablet orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed, not to exceed 3 tablets or 15 ml in one day. Always consult with a pediatrician before administering any medicine to a child.

Use extreme caution when administering hydrocodone and homatropine preparations to children under the age of 6 years. Medical researchers have not yet established the safety and efficacy of giving cough and cold preparations to young children. Inappropriate administration to very young children may result in their death.

Elderly people may be more sensitive to the effects of hydrocodone and homatropine. Doctors should monitor older patients closely, especially during initial doses until tolerance is well established.

Take hydrocodone and homatropine with or without food. Take this medication with food if this drug upsets your stomach. Use an approved medical dosing cup or spoon to measure liquid medicine to avoid medication errors, such as inadequate doses or overdose. Never use a household spoon, especially when administering medication to a child. You can get a medical dosing spoon or cup from your local pharmacy or drug store.

If your doctor has recommended you take hydrocodone and homatropine on a regular schedule and you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time to take a scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Never take more than a single dose at once in an effort to "catch up."

Contact the prescribing physician if your medication stops working for you. This could be a sign of increasing tolerance to hydrocodone and homatropine. Your healthcare provider will either adjust your dosage or suggest a different medication to relieve your dry cough.

Notify the prescribing doctor if your symptoms do not get better within seven days or if they get worse. Contact the ordering physician if you develop a high fever or persistent headache while taking hydrocodone and homatropine polydrugs.

Hydrocodone and homatropine preparations may interfere with the results of some medical laboratory tests. Tell the ordering physician, receptionist making the laboratory appointment and laboratory technician taking the specimens that you have been taking hydrocodone and homatropine. They may instruct you to stop taking hydrocodone and homatropine for a few days before the test or ask you to reschedule your laboratory test.

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Action

Hydrocodone and homatropine work together to relieve a dry cough. Hydrocodone acts directly on your medulla, the part of your brain responsible for the cough reflex. In animal studies, the cough-suppressing action of codeine takes effect about 15 minutes after oral administration, reaching peak effectiveness 45 minutes to an hour after ingestion. Cough-suppression wears off after about three hours. Homatropine is an anticholinergic, which means it dries up secretions. More About How Hydrocodone, Homatropine Works

Precautions

Do not take hydrocodone and homatropine polydrugs if you are allergic to any active or inactive ingredient in the preparation. An allergic reaction is a serious event that could quickly deteriorate into a medical emergency. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash, hives and itching. Other symptoms include difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest and swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue.

Your physician may change the dosage of hydrocodone and homatropine polydrugs or suggest a different medication if you have a history of certain illnesses. Tell your doctor if you have arteriosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries, or other heart problems such as congestive heart failure. Before taking hydrocodone and homatropine, tell the prescribing physician if you have high blood pressure, thyroid problems, liver disease or stomach problems such as abdominal surgery, severe inflammatory bowel disease, chronic constipation or an obstruction. Let your healthcare provider know if you have asthma or a history of severe breathing problems. Notify your doctor of any history of seizures, serious head injury or brain disease, psychiatric problems such as suicidal thoughts, glaucoma or sleep apnea.

Hydrocodone and homatropine may cause dizziness, drowsiness or blurred vision. Avoid operating large machinery or motor vehicles until you know how this drug affects you. Using alcohol or other medicines may enhance this effect.

Hydrocodone is habit forming. Mental and physical dependence may develop, especially if you take large doses for acute pain or use this medication for a long time. Reduce your risk for developing a drug habit or physical dependence on drugs by using this drug exactly as prescribed for short-term relief from pain.

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Warnings

Do not use hydrocodone and homatropine preparations if you have diarrhea due to food poisoning or pseudomembranous colitis.

Do not use this medication if you are taking sodium oxybate, commonly known as GHB.

Medical researchers have not yet determined if hydrocodone and homatropine polydrugs can harm an unborn child. Tell the prescribing physician if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking hydrocodone and homatropine. If you become pregnant while using this drug, contact your doctor to discuss the benefits and risks of taking hydrocodone and homatropine while you are pregnant.

You may experience flu-like withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking hydrocodone and homatropine suddenly, especially if you have taken large doses or used this medication for a long time. To avoid these unpleasant symptoms, gradually wean yourself from the drug by taking successively smaller doses further apart. Tell your doctor or qualified rehabilitation specialist if your withdrawal symptoms prevent you from quitting hydrocodone and homatropine.

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Drug Interactions

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

Naltrexone may reduce the efficacy of hydrocodone. Barbiturate anesthetics, especially thiopental, cimetidine, MAO inhibitors, narcotic pain medicine and GHB may increase the risk for side effects associated with hydrocodone and homatropine.

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Side effects

Consumers have reported side effects while taking hydrocodone and homatropine polydrugs. Most of these side effects are not serious and disappear in a day or so. Continue taking your medication but contact the prescribing physician if your common side effects become intolerable or do not go away on their own.

Common side effects include:

  • Blurred Vision.
  • Constipation.
  • Dizziness or Drowsiness.
  • Dry Mouth, Throat or Nose.
  • Excitement.
  • Nausea or Stomach Upset.
  • Thickening of Mucus in Nose or Throat.

Some side effects associated with hydrocodone and homatropine are serious. Discontinue use and contact a doctor immediately if you experience serious side effects, including:

  • Difficulty Urinating.
  • Flushing, Redness of Face.
  • Rapid or Pounding Heartbeat.
  • Severe Drowsiness or Dizziness.

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Overdose

Drug overdose deaths are a growing epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, more than tripling between the years of 1990 and 2008. In 2008, more than 14,800 people died from prescription drug overdose, more than from cocaine and heroin overdose combined. The meteoric rise in opioid overdose deaths parallels the 300 percent increase since 1999 in the sale of prescription narcotic painkillers.

If you fear that you or someone you know has taken too much medication, contact poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Agitation.
  • Coma.
  • Confusion.
  • Deep Sleep or Loss of Consciousness.
  • Difficulty Breathing.
  • Diminished Mental Alertness.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Hot or Cold Skin.
  • Large and Unchanging Pupils.
  • Sedation.
  • Seizure.
  • Shaking.
  • Sleeplessness.
  • Slow Heartbeat.
  • Slowed Breathing.

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Abuse

The number of people treated in emergency rooms for the abuse and misuse of prescription pain killers leaped to more than 475,000 in 2009, nearly double the number of cases seen in ERs just five years before. Hydrocodone is the most frequently prescribed opioid in the United States and is one of the most widely abused narcotics today, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA. Drug abusers get hydrocodone through diversion, which means to divert a drug from its prescribed use as a pain reliever to use as a recreational drug. Three out of four people who misuse drugs abuse a medication prescribed to someone else. About 55 percent of drug abusers get their drugs free from friends or family. Sustained drug abuse, or using very high doses of drugs, increases your risk for becoming physically and mentally dependent on that drug.

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Withdrawal

Stopping opioid use abruptly may cause unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal is a normal, predictable physiological consequence of opioid cessation, especially if you have used very high doses for acute pain or used hydrocodone and homatropine for a long time. A person who has used prescription drugs exactly as prescribed by a physician to treat an actual acute or chronic medical condition can suffer physical dependence and subsequent withdrawal symptoms; withdrawal is not necessarily an indication of illegal drug use. A patient who has taken high doses of opioids in a hospital may suffer symptoms of withdrawal after she goes home and never associate her flu-like symptoms with the painkillers. Thinking she caught a bug in the hospital, she may suffer through withdrawal symptoms alone, without the help of qualified rehabilitation professionals.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation.
  • Anxiety or Irritability.
  • Confusion.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Mood Swings.
  • Nausea.
  • Sweating.
  • Trouble Sleeping.
  • Unhappiness.
  • Unusual Skin Sensations.

Detox

Professional drug rehabilitation increases your chances for successfully breaking your dependence on hydrocodone. Withdrawal symptoms may be overpowering, preventing some from quitting drugs on their own. During standard rehabilitation, medical personnel administer chemicals to reduce withdrawal symptoms and detoxify your body from the effects of opioid use. With this standard procedure, withdrawal and detoxification can take from five days to several weeks to complete.

Rapid detox is a new standard of humane care in which physicians administer anesthesia and sedatives along with the normal drugs to reduce withdrawal symptoms and detoxify the body. You sleep through withdrawal and detox, unaware of the unpleasant symptoms. This procedure reduces withdrawal and detox time down to a few hours. When you awaken, you will have no recollection of the withdrawal and detoxification process. Learn More About Hydrocodone, Homatropine Detoxification Programs

Storage

Keep hydrocodone and homatropine polydrugs at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, away from excessive heat, light and humidity. Store out of the reach of children and pets. Do not allow adults to use this product mistakenly or on purpose, even if they complain of symptoms similar to your own. Monitor the quantity of hydrocodone and homatropine left in the container and account for all missing doses. Hydrocodone is a favorite among recreational drug users and this medication is frequently diverted from its intended use.

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