Hydrocodone is used to help relieve severe ongoing pain. Hydrocodone belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid (narcotic) analgesics. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.
Do not use the extended-release form of hydrocodone to relieve pain that is mild or that will go away in a few days. This medication is not for occasional (“as needed”) use.
How to use Zohydro ER
See also Warning section.
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking hydrocodone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication on a regular schedule as directed by your doctor, not as needed for sudden (breakthrough) pain. Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 12 hours. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, or dissolve the capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
Before you start using this medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should stop or change how you use your other opioid medication(s). Other pain relievers (such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen) may also be prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using hydrocodone safely with other drugs.
Suddenly stopping this medication may cause withdrawal, especially if you have used it for a long time or in high doses. To prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, mental/mood changes (including anxiety, trouble sleeping, thoughts of suicide), watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, muscle aches, or sudden changes in behavior.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if your pain does not get better or if it gets worse.