Hydrocodone (Vicodin)

NJ Prescription Drug Charges, Possession of Hydrocone Criminal Defense Attorneys

Prescription Drug Information About Hydrocodone

Brand names:  Vicodin, Vicoprofen

Street names:  Vikes, Hydros, Norcos, Watson

Drug Classification: Hydrocodone is listed as both a Schedule II and a Schedule III substance depending on dosage. Pure Hydrocodone and products containing 15mg per dose of Hydrocodone are Schedule II substances, while anything with less than 15mg per dose like most tablets or cough syrup is a Schedule III substance.

General Information

Hydrocodone is a partially synthetic opiate used as a painkiller and as a cough medicine. It is only available in combination with other ingredients, generally acetaminophen/paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin for treating pain, or with nasal decongestants and expectorants like phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, or guaifenesin for treating cough. Like all opiates, it should not be combined with alcohol or other depressants, as this can lead to respiratory failure and death.

Hydrocodone or Vicodin tablets have very high levels of ingredients like acetaminophen relative to their dosage of Hydrocodone both to achieve a synergistic pain-relieving effect from the combination of drugs and to deter recreational use. The logic behind the latter reason is that for someone to ingest enough Hydrocodone to feel effects, they would also ingest a toxic amount of acetaminophen. This alone can result in serious liver damage and related health problems from overdosing on acetaminophen.

The general effects of Hydrocodone are very similar to those of codeine but are about six times stronger.  Common effects include euphoria, light-headedness, and drowsiness.

Hydrocodone Side Effects

Side effects often include itching, nausea, constipation, and mood swings. Symptoms of overdose are difficulty breathing, narrow or widened pupils, slow heartbeat, or cold, clammy, or blue skin. Hydrocodone is highly habit forming and addictive – addiction to Vicodin is a common problem throughout the US and treated at drug rehab centers. Common symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety, paranoia, muscle or bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and chills and fevers.


Hydrocodone is generally taken orally, though tablets are sometimes crushed and snorted (insufflated). As with snorting anything, heavy use can damage mucous membranes and the nasal cavity. Tablets are sometimes crushed and taken orally to break the extended release coating on the pill, causing the entire dose of Hydrocodone to be released all at once into the body. This is not the recommended medical method of administration, because it increases the risk of overdose and can cause unexpectedly intense or overwhelming effects.