Generic Name: Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone 500 mg / 5 mg

Drug Class: Narcotic Analgesic Combination


Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone is an oral medication usually taken as needed for pain. It contains an opioid (narcotic) pain reliever (hydrocodone) and a non-opioid pain reliever (acetaminophen).

Hydrocodone belongs to a group of medicines called narcotic analgesics (pain medicines). It acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain, and stops or prevents cough. When used for a long time, this medicine may become habit-forming and can cause mental or physical dependence. Mental dependence (addiction) may not happen if this medicine is used to treat pain. Physical dependence may lead to withdrawal symptoms if treatment is immediately stopped.

Acetaminophen is a less potent drug used to relieve pain and reduce fever in patients. It is not habit-forming when used for a long time but may cause liver injury or death. Toxic side effects occur when taken in large doses.

This medicine is available only with doctor’s prescription and is not intended for use by children 6 years old and below.

Proper Use

Take only as directed and follow doctor’s advice.

Measure the oral liquid with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, dropper, or medicine cup. Do not use a household spoon as this may not give you the correct dose.

Take oral tablets by mouth as directed by your doctor. The medicine may be taken with or without food.

Carefully check label of other medicines. Acetaminophen content in this medicine when combined with similar medicines may lead to toxic effects.

Dosage of this medicine is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and weight in children. Do not increase/decrease your dose or use frequently or for a longer period with your doctor telling you to do so.

Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone Side Effects and Precautions

Most common side effects include:

  • sleepiness or drowsiness
    • Caution with use among elderly patients for risk of falls and accidents.
    • Do not drive or operate machinery or do activities that require you to be awake and alert.
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded
    • Rise slowly from a sitting or lying position.
  • nausea and vomiting
    • This drug may be taken with or without food. Take this medicine with food to lessen nausea or lie down 1 to 2 hours with very little head movement.
  • Constipation
    • Add fiber in diet. Drink 6 to 8 full glasses of water daily and exercise. Avoid use of stool softeners and laxatives without first consulting your doctor.

Some of these side effects may disappear when the medicine has been used for a long time. Inform the doctor if symptoms persist or if you experience signs not listed above which seemed bothersome or unusual. Many people do not experience serious side effects; however seek emergency help with the following symptoms:

  • skin rash
  • swelling of face, throat and mouth
  • symptoms of liver problem/liver failure such as yellowing of skin and whites of your eyes, pain in the upper right stomach, swelling of your stomach, itchiness, confusion, feeling tired, and lack of appetite
  • breathing problems
  • drug dependence

Drug Warnings

Inform the doctor if you have had a recent head injury. Hydrocodone increases pressure in the brain and causes breathing problems.

Caution use of this drug among people with stomach problems such as constipation, intestinal obstruction, and intestinal colitis. This medication relieves symptoms of these problems which make it difficult for doctors to diagnose the cause of the problems.

Avoid use if you have kidney and lung problems. This medication can cause you to have trouble breathing.

There is an increased risk of respiratory/breathing problems and liver failure if this medicine is used when you have severe liver disease.

Acetaminophen/hydrocodone may cause difficulty in urination for people with enlarged prostate.

This medicine may result to unwanted side effects in unborn babies when used during pregnancy. Inform the doctor if you feel you may be pregnant, if you plan to get pregnant or pregnant at the time of treatment.

Breastfeeding while taking this medication may come with risks. Discuss with your doctor whether you should take the medicine or breastfeed.

Older adults have decreased kidney, liver, lung, and heart functions. Discuss with the doctor proper/safe use of this medicine.

Keep your medicine in a secure place, away from others, from children and from pets.


This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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