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How does hydrocodone opioid work and its risk factors?

Hydrocodone is an opioid or a chemical synthesized from codeine which is very famous as a potent painkiller. Or infamous for the number of overdose incidents that you read about. It’s prescribed to patients who are dealing with pretty unbearable levels of pain. Moderate to severe chronic pain is when opioid medications are prescribed. There are some great risks in taking hydrocodone 7.5 medications for pain management. But its use can’t be avoided sometimes because the alternative would be to continue living in severe pain. If used as per the specified dosage restrictions, opioids can be very powerful painkillers without having any great risks. It’s when you start abusing opioid medications that it becomes very dangerous.

How do opioid medications work?

Hydrocodone is an opioid that’s well known for providing pain protection from symptoms of moderate to severe chronic pain. This opioid is used by itself or in combination with another mild painkiller acetaminophen. The combination of the opioid with acetaminophen is also known as hydrocodone bitartrate. Opioids work by binding to the pain receptors in the brain as well as central nervous system. Acetaminophen itself is not that effective when dealing with moderate to severe symptoms of chronic pain. But what is does do is increase the absorption rate of the opioid within the body. So a greater amount of opioids attach to the receptors leading to enhanced pain protection. Other effects produced by opioids include

  • Cough suppression

  • Bradycardia

  • Hyperglycemia

  • Shallow breathing

  • frequent urination

  • drowsiness, dizziness

  • slow heart rate

Side effects of opioid medications include

  • constipation

  • stomach pain

  • dry mouth

  • muscle pain

  • headache

  • dizziness

What are the risks of opioid medications?

  1. Habit forming

It’s important to remember that the role of opioid medications is pain management. It does not have any effect on the core symptoms of pain. So the use of hydrocodone 10mg medications should be strictly as per the prescription. Opioids can be strongly habit forming due to the fact that it produces a sense of euphoria or high when taken. So consumption for longer periods can lead to addiction or worse overdose.

  1. Dangerously interacts with alcohol

When you are dealing with pain for such long periods it’s not just the physical symptoms of pain but also emotional symptoms like anxiety, anger and depression that can be equally damaging. Alcohol can seem like a way to calm down your anxiety but once the effects wear off actually heighten the anxiety you are feeling. Alcohol also interacts very dangerously with opioids. They tend to accentuate each others effects which mean that when combined, patients will have to deal with very real dangers of alcohol poisoning and opioid overdose.

  1. Possibility of severe withdrawal

Do not stop your opioid dosage all at once. Even in minor doses your body will become used to it so by sudden discontinuation withdrawal symptoms are a real possibility. So avoid going through withdrawal by gradually reducing your dosage before stopping completely.



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