Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
July 28, 2016
Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of prescription hydrocodone . To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Abdominal (stomach) conditions: Hydrocodone, like other narcotic medications may make the diagnosis of abdominal conditions more difficult or it may worsen these conditions. If you have abdominal problems discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Breathing: Hydrocodone can suppress breathing. Children are more likely to experience serious breathing problems, including death. For this reason, this medication should not be given to children less than 6 years old. If you are at risk for breathing difficulties – for example, if you have asthma – discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Constipation: Hydrocodone can be very constipating. Eating a high-fibre diet and following good bowel habits will help to minimize this effect. If you develop constipation easily or have chronic constipation, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Dependence and withdrawal: This medication contains hydrocodone. Physical dependence, psychological dependence, and abuse have occurred with the use of hydrocodone. People with a history of past or current substance use problems may be at greater risk of developing abuse or addiction while taking this medication. Abuse is not a problem with people who require this medication for pain relief. If you suddenly stop taking this medication, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, trouble sleeping, shaking, pain, nausea, tremors, diarrhea, and hallucinations. If you have been taking this medication for a while, it should be stopped gradually as directed by your doctor.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Hydrocodone may cause drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or perform any potentially hazardous tasks until you know how this medication affects you.
Head injury: People with head injuries or increased pressure in the head may have a higher risk of experiencing side effects (breathing problems) or worsening of their condition while taking this medication. Discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Other medical conditions: People about to undergo surgery of the biliary tract should use caution while taking hydrocodone as it may worsen their condition. Hydrocodone will worsen the effects of acute alcohol intoxication and delirium tremens.
Sedation with other medications: Since the sedating effects of this medication are additive to those of other sedating medications, avoid drinking alcohol or taking sleeping pills, sedatives, psychotherapeutic agents, or other medications with sedating effects while you're taking this medication. Tell your doctor about all of the medications you take.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Hydrocodone crosses into the placenta, where it can affect the developing baby. Babies born to mothers who have been taking this medication regularly prior to delivery are likely to be physically dependent on the medication. Withdrawal signs include irritability and excessive crying, tremors, hyperactive reflexes, increased respiratory rate, increased stools, sneezing, yawning, vomiting, and fever.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if hydrocodone passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children are at increased risk of experiencing serious side effects such as breathing problems. This medication should only be given to older children if the benefits outweigh the risks. This medication is not recommended for children less than 6 years of age.