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What are possible side effects of Vicodin?

The prescription pain medication Vicodin (hydrocodone and acetaminophen) has side effects that are similar to those of other medications containing narcotic pain relievers and acetaminophen. Among the most serious is difficulty breathing. Call your doctor or seek emergency help if it is difficult to breathe or your breathing slows down, your chest doesn’t move much when you breathe, your chest feels tight or if your heartbeat seems too fast or slow.

Because Vicodin contains acetaminophen, using too much of it, or taking it with another medication that includes acetaminophen, can cause serious side effects, including liver failure and coma. You shouldn't take more than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen a day. Check drug labels (they sometimes refer to acetaminophen as "APAP") or, if necessary, ask your doctor or pharmacist to help you calculate how much acetaminophen you're receiving if you use Vicodin along with another acetaminophen-containing drug. If you do take too much acetaminophen, seek medical help immediately, even if you feel fine.

The following side effects are not considered serious unless they are extreme, in which case you should also call your doctor:
  • rash or itching
  • nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • light-headedness or dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • itching
  • weakness
  • mood changes such as feeling unusually happy or sad
  • fuzzy thinking
  • anxiety
  • dry throat
  • difficulty urinating
  • narrowed pupils (black circles in the center of the eyes)

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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.