From Pain…To Recovery!
PAIN…Everyone feels it differently and everyone’s body responds differently to it. There are umpteen pain killers that doctors recommend to ease a patient’s pain, i.e Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Tramadol, Vicodin, etc.
We might feel our body is aching or hurting, but technically, pain is just the way our body responds to any sort of danger by starting its protective behaviors. These responses include paying more than required attention to the sources and avoidance of the pain.
However, such behaviors to protect one’s own body may stay even beyond the healing time, this is how we know whether the pain is chronic or acute. And in some cases, might even lead to pain-related disability.
Pain induces fear! Fear of movement, the loss of being functional, and the inability to do regular activities that human beings do. Furthermore, in some cases, feeling pain does not mean a person has serious damages or injuries.
Best Ways To Cope-Up From Pain
Coping up or giving up are the two choices that a person suffering from pain has. Coping up has various advantages over any other method. One must choose to cope up any time over giving up!
Many people might feel like it doesn’t work that way but believe it or not, coping up provides you many chances to fight instead of just giving up!
Changing one’s pain perception can be the difference between coping and avoidance behavior. Fighting attention bias, which occurs when we focus our attention on how difficult a given activity is and end up feeling it more strongly, as a result, is one example. In other words, we wind up catastrophizing suffering.
As previously said, exercising is a technique of combating this bias and reframing discomfort as non-harmful. Another example is putting a valuable life goal ahead of hardship.
By focusing our attention on what is actually essential to us, we can overcome our pain-related anxiety. We find it easier to control our fear-related defensive actions when we set goals and are excited about them.
In a literal sense, pain is caused by a specific injury, a previous medical history, or a condition such as
The following are some of the most common causes of pain:
- throat pain
- a stomachache
- muscle cramps or strains
- cuts, burns, or bruises
- bone fractures
Many underlying illnesses or disorders, such as the flu, arthritis, endometriosis, and fibromyalgia, can cause pain.
Depending on the underlying cause, you may develop other symptoms as well. For example, these may include fatigue, swelling, nausea, vomiting, or mood changes.
Types Of Pain
- Acute Pain
- Chronic Pain
- Nociceptive Pain
- Neuropathic Pain
- Functional Pain
Now if we go deep in getting to know the types of pain one by one, then we’ll know
- Acute Pain
This type of pain develops over a short span of time, and in most cases suddenly. The majority of the time, it occurs due to a result of an injury or a specific medical procedure, or maybe an illness.
Such as the pain we get from cuts, burns, fractures, or aches, dental work, surgeries (huge or small),
Acute pain develops over a short period of time. It tends to occur suddenly, often as a result of a known injury, illness, or medical procedure.
It tends to be a little sharp initially but it usually goes away with time. Once you treat it, it can provide you with complete relief.
- Chronic Pain
A study from the national health interview in 2019 announced that almost one in five adults suffer from chronic pain in the united states.
Furthermore, more than six percent had chronic pain that limited theri day to day activities.
Chronic pain is a pain that comes or goes. In some cases, it could last upto months or in some cases years.
Resulting from a variety of health conditions such as chronic migraine, cancer, arthiritis. In some rare cases, chronic pain occurs when a person has healed from an injury.
- Nociceptive Pain
This type of pain is said to have appeared in everyone’s life at some point in their lives.
It is said to be caused by tissue damage in one’s body. It might result from past injuries like burns, fractures, bruises, etc.
It might also result from specific health conditions, that cause tissue damage or inflammation such as IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Diseases), arthritis, and many more.
- Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain could result from any nerve damage, which is further caused by many illnesses and injuries.
Such as if a disc in your spine slips, then you might be experiencing neuropathic pain.
It may leave you with the feeling of burning, prickling sensation, shooting, or stabbing.
Neuropathic pain is caused by nerve injury, which can occur as a result of a range of traumas and illnesses. For example, if one of your spine’s discs moves out of place and presses on a nerve, you may have neuropathic pain.
You may also develop neuropathic pain as a result of certain illnesses, such as shingles, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or cancer.
One study in the United States found that 10 percent of adults experience pain that’s likely neuropathic. It tends to be chronic, but acute neuropathic pain may also occur.
- Functional Pain
There is no such obvious or apparent reason of having functional pain. It majorly tends to be acute but tends to be chronic at times as well.
Functional pain tends to be anonymous, it further could worsen your condition.
Some examples of functional pain would be abdominal pain by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), jaw pain by temporomandibular dysfunction, and lastly, chest pain by chest pain chronic cardiac.
How To Diagnose Pain?
Diagnosis and treatment would depend on the underlying issues that are causing the injury.
Although acute pain could go away once the cause has been identified. However, chronic pain could be a little more difficult to tackle.
By chance, if it occurs from an unknown cause of unknown pain, then it would be a little more difficult to manage such as functional pain.
Make sure your doctor or your healthcare professional knows about your condition before recommending any sort of medication.
Some easiest ways that healthcare professionals might recommend to cure pain are:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Prescription Medication
- Maintaining some lifestyle changes
Best Medication For Pain
In all honesty, there are many pain relievers that are present in the market. But the one that is the most trustworthy among the healthcare experts is Vicodin.
What Is Vicodin?
Vicodin is a combination medicine that helps in relieving pain, be it moderate or severe. It is a cocktail of one opioid pain reliever i.e hydrocodone and one non-opioid pain reliever i.e. acetaminophen.
While hydrocodone works in the brain to transform how your body feels, responds to any sort of pain. Acetaminophen helps in lowering the fever of a patient.
Vicodin is a brand-name drug that consists of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. In fact, there is a various generic brand of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. But Vicodin tops it all.
Although in 2014, due to the potential for misuse and overdose, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has moved all the products of hydrocodone to a new category. In which patients now would need an officially written prescription to buy Vicodin online or from a pharmacy.
Tablets of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen are available for oral administration.
Hydrocodone bitartrate is an opioid analgesic that comes in the form of fine, white crystals or a crystalline powder, with light having an effect on it.
4,5-epoxy-3-methoxy-17-methylmorphinan-6-one tartrate (1:1) hydrate is the chemical name (2:5).
The same composition of Vicodin comes with different names, but with a little difference in the composition such as Lortab, Vicoprofen, Lorcet-HD, Hycodan, and of course, Vicodin.
Vicodin is a prescription tablet containing acetaminophen and hydrocodone. In which Tylenol plays an active ingredient in acetaminophen.
Whereas hydrocodone is a synthetic opioid in Vicodin, which activates the same neurotransmitters present in opiate drugs like heroin.
Each of the Vicodin tablets contains a straight 300 mg of acetaminophen. Furthermore, it comes in three different dosages consisting of several levels of hydrocodone inside it.
It has a variety of 5 mg, 7.5 mg, and 10 mg of hydrocodone. Each of the Vicodin tablets has 300-325 mg of acetaminophen. It is generally prescribed to consume every four to six hours a day, not more than that.
Talking about the composition of Vicodin tablets, let’s see according to their strengths:
First of all,
Vicodin with USP(Unique Selling Proposition) of 5 mg/300mg consists of hydrocodone bitartrate of 5 mg and acetaminophen of 300 mg.
With Vicodin of strength 7.5 mg/300 mg, it consists of hydrocodone bitartrate of 7.5 mg per 300 gm of acetaminophen.
Lastly, going by the Vicodin 10 mg dose has 10 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate with around 300 mg of acetaminophen.
Additionally, each tablet contains colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, pregelatinized starch, and stearic acid as inactive ingredients.
History Of Vicodin
Vicodin is a prescription narcotic with a brand name. The pain reliever’s principal active ingredient is hydrocodone, a semi-synthetic opioid.
Vicodin is a pain reliever that is prescribed for severe or persistent pain.
Vicodin is one of the most addictive medicines, therefore the danger of developing an addiction is significant.
Knoll Pharmaceuticals introduced Vicodin as a brand-name narcotic in 1978. However, the major ingredient in Vicodin, hydrocodone, was identified in the 1920s.
Since hydrocodone has been around for almost a century, people have discovered that combining it with other medications, such as acetaminophen, can improve the drug’s strength and effects.
While it may be branded Vicodin or supplied in a generic form when prescribed by qualified medical experts, the narcotic is known by many other names when it is distributed illegally.
Some drug dealers and abusers use slang terms for Vicodin to stay protected from getting into the light. Some popular street names for Vicodin include:
- Idiot Pills
Vicodin And Hollywood
Hollywood has always been significant in unintentionally promoting professional medications. It has popularized some not-so-popular medicines in and outside the industry, such as Xanax(alprazolam), and many more.
Vicodin also became quite popular in Hollywood, providing people more of an incentive to try the medication because they knew celebrities used it.
Fortunately, many members of Hollywood’s elite opted to come forward with their troubles in order to provide an accurate warning about the risks of Vicodin addiction.
Kelly Osbourne is one of the most well-known celebrities who have shared her tale, owing in large part to the fact that she penned a book about her fight with Vicodin.
According to Osbourne’s book Fierce, the Vicodin addiction began with a simple prescription.
As her tolerance level increased, she was taking up to 50 Vicodin pills every day. Her friends and parents quickly recognized her symptoms, most notably tiredness and drifting off.
She eventually sought Vicodin addiction rehab and received the treatment she required to begin a life of sobriety.
Benefits Of Vicodin
As mentioned above, Vicodin is a combination drug containing acetaminophen and hydrocodone.
It is a pain relief medication, also known as an over-the-counter drug, whereas hydrocodone is a professionally prescribed pain relief medication.
Some studies suggest that in the United States, doctors prescribe Vicodin more than any other opioid medicine, due to its higher potential.
Furthermore, it offers relief from pain to many patients who experience either moderate or severe pain.
Anyhow, it may also become an option for patients who cannot consume drugs like oxycodone or morphine.
As far as the availability is concerned, it is available in liquid form as well as a tablet. The dosage depends upon the level of pain the patient feels.
Moreover, Vicodin has a tendency to treat pain, be it moderate or severe without much effort.
Side Effects Of Vicodin
Vicodin may cause side effects such as:
- Too much sighing
- Noisy breathing
- Lightheadedness, like you, might pass out
- Upper abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Dark-colored urine
- De-coloring of skin/ Yellow skin
- Clay-colored stools
- Exhaustion and extreme tiredness
- Stomach pain
- Stomach ache
Make sure to get medical help if you see or notice any signs of an allergic reaction after consuming Vicodin such as difficulty while breathing, hives, swelling on your lips, face, throat, or tongue.
Opioid medicines are said to slow or in some cases stop your breathing. Furthermore, it could end a person’s life.
Your caregiver must attend to you seriously if you start having breathing issues, such as slow breathing with long pauses, bluish lips, or if you are finding it hard to stay awake.
Now that we know, Vicodin consists of hydrocodone as well as acetaminophen. Acetaminophen could cause a severe skin reaction that can be deadly in some cases.
Taking this fact into consideration, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away if you develop any sort of skin rash. In some cases, the allergic reaction could cause blistering and peeling as well. You must know that if taking Vicodin affects your skin in any way, then acetaminophen is what you should be avoiding.
Some severe side-effects of Vicodin include:
- Extreme confusion state
- Unusual behavior or thoughts
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Missing Periods in females
- Sexual problems
- Liver problems
- Low Cortisol levels
- High levels of serotonin in the body
- Rapid heart rate
- Constant fever
- Blurred Vision
- Dry Mouth
Drug Distribution Of Vicodin
The National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) is a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) database that collects scientifically validated data on drug products and cases submitted to and examined by federal, state, and local forensic laboratories.
The System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evidence (STRIDE)/STARLiMS system collects and analyzes data on drug seizures reported to and examined by DEA laboratories.
The NFLIS found 16,440 and 21,953 Vicodin reports in 2018 and 2017, respectively, a reduction from 25,095 reports in 2016.
In the illegal market, hydrocodone has been found in tablet, pill, and liquid forms. The most common type, however, is hydrocodone pills with the co-ingredient acetaminophen.
Vicodin is not commonly found to be generated illicitly; instead, diverted medications are the primary source of the substance for abuse purposes.
Online consultation with the doctor, forged or altered prescriptions, phony call-in prescriptions, diversion by some physicians and pharmacists, and medication theft are all major sources of diverted drugs.
Prescription Of Vicodin
Doctors prescribe Vicodin because it is one of the most common brand names for the generic opioid medication hydrocodone, which is available in pharmacies.
Vicodin is widely prescribed by doctors to relieve heavy coughs or to manage severe pain after surgery, significant injury, or numerous conditions like as cancer.
It is not uncommon for dental or medical practitioners to continue to give practice-tested therapies that they were taught in professional school and speciality training.
We were told to commonly administer APAP-opioid combos like Vicodin (or, for older dentists, Tylenol with codeine) because they were regarded to be the most effective oral analgesics for controlling initial postoperative pain.
It is challenging to modify standard thinking and begin alternative pharmacological therapies, which may necessitate learning new pharmacology and therapeutics.
As health-care experts and practitioners, we frequently prefer to stick with what we know and trust. Although this approach is not unusual, it is not necessarily in the best interests of the patient.
Patients expect and deserve our best efforts to control any pain they encounter during their days of recuperation at home after undergoing any surgical operation.
Because a patient expects the most effective pain relievers, dental and medical professionals frequently feel forced to give opioid combos like Vicodin or Percocet.
Some patients may be dissatisfied if doctors prescribe or recommend a nonopioid and may view the practitioner as indifferent or unsympathetic. After all, effective pain management is the Holy Grail of achieving patient satisfaction.
Hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets are used to treat pain that is severe enough to require an opioid analgesic but not severe enough that other treatments are ineffective.
Many doctors will prescribe Vicodin, a narcotic painkiller, after a major operation or injury. Vicodin has a high potential for abuse. Misusers can soon grow dependent on it, laying the groundwork for an addiction to form.
If a person believes that using Vicodin is necessary for them to function in everyday life, an addiction may have developed.
Although Vicodin serves a valid medical function, the prescription narcotic poses a risk to individuals who use it for the euphoric high it can bring.
Because of the dangers of addiction, abuse, and misuse associated with opioids, reserve hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets for usage in individuals for whom alternative treatment choices (e.g., non-opioid analgesics):
- have not been tolerated or are unlikely to be permitted,
- have not supplied sufficient analgesia, or are not likely to offer sufficient analgesia
Dosage And Administration
Make sure to use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest time possible, in accordance with individual patient treatment goals.
Begin the dose regimen for each patient separately, taking into account the patient’s pain severity, responsiveness, previous analgesic treatment history, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse.
Monitor patients for respiratory depression, particularly within the first 24-72 hours of starting medication and after dosage increases with hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, and modify the dosage accordingly.
The potency of opioid medications and opioid formulations varies from patient to patient.
As a result, when establishing the total daily dosage of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen pills, a conservative approach is advocated.
It is safer to underestimate a patient’s 24-hour hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets intake than to overestimate the dosage and treat an adverse reaction due to overdose.
Because the availability of hydrocodone coming from hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets is unknown.
And when compared to extended-release hydrocodone products, conversion to extended-release products must be accompanied by close monitoring for signs of excessive sedation and respiratory depression.
The use of opioids in coexistence with other benzo drugs that affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter system, such as selective serotonin inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), triptans, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, drugs that affect the serotonin neurotransmitter system (e.g., mirtazapine) resulting in serotonin syndrome.
Due to the safety and effectiveness of NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) analgesics, they should continue to be our primary agents for managing postoperative pain unless contraindicated.
Certain patients and procedures may necessitate a prescription for opioid combination analgesia following outpatient surgery.
As a result, opioid pain medications continue to be an important element of a dentist’s therapeutic alternatives.
However, there are also successful postoperative pain treatment options that do not require Vicodin or other APAP-hydrocodone formulations.
The combination of APAP (Automatic Positive Airway Pressure) and ibuprofen is an effective alternative.
Simultaneous use of opioids with benzodiazepines and other CNS depressants; such as benzodiazepines and other sedative-hypnotics, anxiolytics, and tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics.
And other opioids, including alcohol, can increase the risk of hypotension, respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma, and death due to additive pharmacologic effects.
Constant prescribing of these drugs should be reserved for patients who have exhausted all other treatment options.
Vicodin conbsists of hydrocodone bitartrate with acetaminophen. The hydrocodone that it has, is a schedule II controlled substance. Thus, the risks of getting addicted to Vicodin is a little high to the users.
Even though the risk of addiction in each individual is unknown, it can arise in individuals who are given hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets as prescribed.
Addiction can arise at recommended doses as well as when the substance is misused or abused.
Prior to providing hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, assess each patient’s risk for opioid addiction, abuse, or misuse, and monitor all patients receiving these medications for the development of these behaviours and symptoms.
Patients who have a personal or family history of substance abuse (including drug or alcohol abuse or addiction) or mental illness are at a higher risk (e.g., major depression). The possibility of these risks, however, should not prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient.
Furthermore, patients at high risk may be prescribed opioids such as hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, but their use requires intensive counselling about the risks and proper use of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, as well as close monitoring for signs of addiction, abuse, and misuse.
Drug addicts and those with addiction disorders want opioids, which are prone to criminal diversion. When prescribing or administering hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, keep these risks in mind.
The doctors must prescribe the prescription in the smallest appropriate quantity and advise the patient on how to properly dispose of unused drugs are two strategies for reducing these dangers.
Precautions While Taking Vicodin
Taking you through all the precautions to be taken while taking Vicodin:
Inform patients that accidental intake, particularly by youngsters or toddlers, since it can cause respiratory depression or death. Instruct patients to safeguard their hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets and to flush any unused hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets down the toilet.
Even when taken as directed, the usage of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen pills can lead to addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death.
Instruct patients not to distribute hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen pills with others and to take precautions to prevent theft or misuse of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets.
- Interactions with Benzo and other CNS depressant
Make sure to inform patients and caregivers that combining hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets with benzodiazepines and other CNS depressants, including alcohol, may result in potentially fatal additive effects, and that these should not be used concurrently unless supervised by a healthcare provider.
- Serotonin Syndrome
Patients must be informed that taking hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen at the same time may result in a rare but potentially fatal syndrome caused by the simultaneous intake of serotonergic medications.
Furthermore, the symptoms of serotonin syndrome and encourage them to seek medical assistance as soon as they notice them. Instruct individuals to notify their healthcare providers if they are currently using or intend to take serotonergic medicines.
- MOA (Mono Amine Inhibitor) Interaction
Tell the patients that they should not take hydrocodone bitartrate or acetaminophen tablets if they are taking any medicines that block monoamine oxidase.
MAOIs should not be started while patients are taking hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen pills.
- Adrenal Insufficiency
Patients should be informed that hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen pills might cause adrenal insufficiency, which can be fatal. Nausea, vomiting, anorexia, exhaustion, weakness, dizziness, and low blood pressure are some of the symptoms and indicators of adrenal insufficiency. If a patient exhibits any of these symptoms, advise them to seek medical help.
Make sure to inform your female patients about reproductive potential that using hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen pills for an extended period of time during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated.
Lactating and new mothers should be advised to keep an eye on their infants for excessive sleepiness, respiratory issues, or limpness. Instruct breastfeeding mothers to seek emergency medical attention if they experience any of these symptoms.
Make sure to advise patients to know the adverse effects of constipation. So, that they know the management of their digestive system. They must know when to seek medical attention and when to manage it by oneself.
- Nursing Mothers
A surprising fact!
Human milk contains some amount of hydrocodone.
Breastfeeding’s developmental and health benefits should be considered alongside the mother’s clinical need for hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, as well as any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from the hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets or the underlying maternal condition.
- Operating Heavy machinery
Vicodin pills may impair their ability to undertake potentially dangerous activities like driving a car or operating heavy machinery. Patients should be advised not to perform such chores until they know how they will react to the drug.
- Respiratory Depression
Patients must know of the danger of life-threatening respiratory depression, including the fact that the risk is highest when starting hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets or increasing the dosage, and that it can occur even at approved dosages. Instruct individuals on how to spot respiratory depression and how to seek medical assistance if breathing difficulties arise.
How Should I Take Vicodin?
Vicodin comes with several strengths such as Vicodin 5 mg/300 mg, Vicodin ES 7.5 mg/300 mg, Vicodin HP 10 mg/300 mg .
Furthermore, make sure to use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest time possible, in accordance with individual patient treatment goals.
Begin the dose regimen for each patient separately, taking into account the patient’s pain severity, responsiveness, previous analgesic treatment history, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse.
Monitor patients for respiratory depression, particularly within the first 24-72 hours of starting medication and after dosage increases with hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets (Vicodin), and modify the dosage accordingly.
If the degree of pain increases after the dosage has been stabilised, try to discover the reason of the increased pain before increasing the dosage of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets.
Consider lowering the dosage if unacceptable opioid-related adverse effects are detected.
Adjust the dosage to achieve an optimal balance between pain treatment and opioid-related side effects.
What Does Vicodin Look Like?
Looking at the display of vicodin tablets, it comes in various strengths such as Vicodin 5 mg, 7.5 mg and 10 mg.
- VICODIN 5 mg/300 mg
White in color
bisected tablets with “5” and “300” on one side with a partition.
Whereas it has “VICODIN” on the other in bottles of 100 and 500 set of tablets:
- 7.5 mg/300 mg comes as ‘VICODIN ES’
Again, is White in color
bisected tablets in bottles of 100 and 500 sets of tablets,
debossed “7.5” score “300” on one side and “VICODIN ES” on the other:
- 10 mg/300 mg as ‘VICODIN HP’
Talking about this one, it is White in color
bisected tablets in bottles of 100 and 500 tablets,
And debossed “10” score “300” on one side and “VICODIN HP” on the other:
100-bottle and 500-bottle sets are available.
What Happens If You Miss A Vicodin Dose?
You may not be on a dosing regimen because Vicodin is taken as needed. If you take the medication on a regular basis, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medication to make up for a missing dosage.
And, because vicodin is meant to treat pain, you are unlikely to skip a dosage. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missing dose. Do not take two doses at the