What Is Hydrocodone with Ibuprofen?

Jacquelyn Gilchrist

Hydrocodone with ibuprofen is a medication prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. It is intended for short-term use only. This drug is a combination of two medicines: hydrocodone and ibuprofen. The former drug is a narcotic pain reliever, while the latter is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Together, they work to alleviate pain and inflammation by acting on certain areas of the brain.

Ibuprofen.
Ibuprofen.

Adults are typically prescribed a dose every four to six hours; however, they may not exceed five tablets in any 24-hour time period. Patients should take this medication with a full glass of water, and should continue to drink plenty of water throughout the day. If stomach upset occurs, the doctor may approve the consumption of a snack with each dose. The patient should avoid lying down for 30 minutes following each dose. Hydrocodone with ibuprofen is not usually prescribed for longer than 10 days.

Patients should be aware that hydrocodone with ibuprofen is potentially habit-forming. Some people may experience withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing the drug, such as irritability, restlessness, and anxiety. Sweating, runny nose, and watery eyes can also occur. The doctor will likely recommend decreasing the drug for awhile before completely discontinuing it.

Some side effects may occur with the use of hydrocodone with ibuprofen, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they become severe. Patients may experience dizziness, drowsiness, and constipation. Nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset have also been reported, as well as a dry mouth. Those who suffer from constipation should consult a doctor before taking a laxative.

More serious side effects require immediate medical attention. Rarely, patients have experienced liver disease, which may become fatal. This may be indicated by jaundice, dark urine, and persistent nausea or vomiting. It can also cause severe stomach pain and unusual fatigue.

Other serious side effects from hydrocodone with ibuprofen may include vision changes, mood changes, and ringing in the ears or other hearing changes. Fainting, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and shallow breathing have also been reported. An unexplained stiff neck, seizures, and swelling of the hands or feet may occur.

Before using hydrocodone with ibuprofen to alleviate pain, patients must disclose their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements. It is strongly recommended that women who are breastfeeding or pregnant avoid this drug whenever possible. Hydrocodone with ibuprofen may be contraindicated for use by those who have poorly controlled diabetes, severe breathing problems, or a history of drug or alcohol abuse. This medication may interact with other drugs, such as certain antidepressants, corticosteroids, and other pain relievers.

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