Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. This is especially important for elderly patients, who may be more sensitive to the effects of pain medicines. If too much of this medicine is taken for a long time, it may become habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence) or cause an overdose.

This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Swallow the extended-release capsule or tablet whole with water. Do not crush, break, chew, or dissolve it. Do not pre-soak, lick, or wet the tablet before placing it in the mouth, or take one tablet at a time with enough water to ensure complete swallowing immediately after placing in the mouth.

Take this medicine at the same time each day.

Hydrocodone should only be used by patients who have already been taking narcotic pain medicines, also called opioids. These patients are called opioid-tolerant. If you are uncertain whether or not you are opioid-tolerant, check with your doctor before using this medicine.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For severe pain:
    • For oral dosage form (extended-release capsules):
      • Patients who are not taking narcotic medicines:
        • Adults—At first, 10 milligrams (mg) every 12 hours. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
        • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
      • Patients switching from other narcotic medicines:
        • Adults—The capsule is given every 12 hours. Your doctor will determine your dose and may increase the dose as needed. For patients switching from fentanyl transdermal patches, this medicine should be started at least 18 hours after the removal of the fentanyl patch.
        • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets):
      • Patients who are not taking narcotic medicines:
        • Adults—At first, 20 milligrams (mg) every 24 hours. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
        • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
      • Patients switching from other narcotic medicines:
        • Adults—The tablet is given every 24 hours. Your doctor will determine your dose and may increase the dose as needed. For patients switching from fentanyl transdermal patches, this medicine should be started at least 18 hours after the removal of the fentanyl patch.
        • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Flush any unused capsules or tablets down the toilet.