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Can Vicodin interact with other medications?

The pain medication Vicodin (hydrocodone and acetaminophen) interacts with a number of drugs. Before taking Vicodin, let your doctor know if you use any of the following:
  • other medications containing acetaminophen. This ingredient can cause liver damage and death, especially if you take too much of it. You shouldn't take more than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen a day. People sometimes unwittingly take more than one acetaminophen-containing medication, so check the labels of all medications you use (prescription and over-the-counter) to see if they include this ingredient and how much. (Some labels list acetaminophen as "APAP.") If you have taken too much acetaminophen, get help immediately, even if you feel fine.
  • central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Vicodin depresses the CNS, which controls vital bodily functions like breathing. You could experience serious side effects, such as excess drowsiness or slowed breathing, if you take it along with another medication that does the same thing. These medications include: other narcotic painkillers, antihistamines, antipsychotics and antianxiety agents. If you're using any of these types of drugs along with Vicodin, your doctor may alter your doses or tell you to stop taking one of them. Alcohol also suppresses the CNS, so you should avoid drinking while taking Vicodin.
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Taking Vicodin along with an MAOI (a group of drugs used mostly to treat depression and anxiety) may increase the potency of either medication. MAOIs include: tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl) and isocarboxazid (Marplan). Let your doctor know if you take an MAOI before you begin using Vicodin.
  • tricyclic antidepressants. Taking a tricyclic antidepressant along with Vicodin can increase the potency of either medication. Tricyclics include: amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil) and trimipramine (Surmontil). Let your doctor know if you take a tricyclic before you begin taking Vicodin.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.