If you experience extreme or chronic pain, you may need something stronger than an aspirin. When a person has a serious injury, chronic health condition, or surgery, a doctor may prescribe a prescription painkiller like Vicodin. This potent opioid serves a valuable purpose, but it can also put you at risk of various side effects. If you are asking yourself, “What are the side effects of Vicodin?” The Right Step Hill Country can help.
Protect yourself from the dangers of is important by enrolling in substance abuse treatment at The Right Step Hill Country. Call us at 1.844.675.1628 to begin healing with one of our treatment options.
What Is Vicodin?
Vicodin is an opioid pain reliever prescribed for moderate to severe pain not alleviated by over-the-counter medications. To access Vicodin, you would need a valid prescription from your doctor. And since Vicodin is a Schedule II drug with a high potential for abuse, your provider will limit the amount of pills you can receive within a certain time frame.
What Are the Side Effects of Vicodin?
Vicodin can be instrumental in alleviating acute and chronic pain for many people. However, like any prescription medication, it comes with potential side effects. And as a highly addictive opioid drug, the side effects of Vicodin can be quite serious. Consider the following Vicodin side effects to help you make an informed decision about accessing the drug.
Nausea and Vomiting
Opioid medications like Vicodin can lead to digestive upset like nausea and vomiting. The experience can be quite unpleasant, ranging from mild to severe. If you notice digestive discomfort when taking Vicodin, be sure to use your medication alongside food.
When misusing Vicodin, nausea and vomiting are common. If you use Vicodin recreationally or take your medication more often than advised by your doctor, you are much more likely to experience digestive issues.
Vicodin and other opioid drugs frequently cause constipation due to their effect on digestive function. By slowing down the movement of the intestines, opioids can make it more difficult to pass stool. You may experience pain and bloating, and when you are able to go to the bathroom, your stool may come out as small, hard pellets.
Excessive or long-term Vicodin use can increase the severity of constipation, possibly requiring medical care. You can help prevent opioid-related constipation by taking your medication only as prescribed, staying hydrated, and consuming adequate fiber.
Vicodin, like other opioids, is a central nervous system depressant, similar to benzodiazepines or alcohol. This means the drug will slow down your breathing. In high doses or when combined with other depressants, your breathing can slow down to dangerously low levels. If not monitored, this can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening due to oxygen deprivation. You can reduce your risk of respiratory depression with Vicodin by avoiding all other depressant substances when using your medication.
Long-Term Vicodin Use Side Effects
Most people who use Vicodin in the short term to address pain from a surgery or injury do not experience more than mild side effects. This may include sweating, headaches, dry mouth, and itching, along with the aforementioned nausea, vomiting, constipation, and respiratory depression. But with continued use, Vicodin can present more severe side effects, including:
- Liver damage from the acetaminophen contained in Vicodin
- Chronic constipation and intestinal tract damage
- Urinary tract infections
- Cardiovascular problems
- Respiratory infections
- Dependence and addiction
To protect yourself from long-term Vicodin use side effects, you should speak to your provider about your medication and when it is safe to discontinue or switch to a less potent drug. If you find yourself unable to quit Vicodin without severe withdrawal symptoms, seek help from a reputable Vicodin addiction treatment program.
Reach Out to The Right Step Hill Country to Enroll in Vicodin Addiction Treatment
If you are wondering, “What are the side effects of Vicodin?” Reach out to The Right Step Hill Country for support today. We serve people seeking treatment for Vicodin addiction and can help you find the right path to recovery. For more information on our evidence-based treatments or to enroll in a program, please call us at 1.844.675.1628 or contact us online. Take control of your health and well-being with The Right Step Hill Country.