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Vicodin contains a combination of two analgesic products acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is group narcotic pain relievers. Acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever that catalyses the effects of hydrocodone. Hydrocodone/paracetamol, like other semisynthetic opioid analgesics, is most often utilized by the physicians for relief of intense, acute, chronic, or surgical and post-operative type of pains.
Hydrocodone performs multiple functions similar to the functions of codeine. It involves the actions of central nervous system and smooth muscle. The proper working mechanism of hydrocodone along with other opiates is still unclear, but it is known relate to the existence of opiate sensory receptors in the central nervous system. Along with performing the functions of analgesia, narcotics also produces drowsiness, changes in mood, mental clouding and hallucination. The analgesic functions of acetaminophen are the ones involving peripheral influences, but the particular working principle still remains cloudy. Antipyretic action is carried out through the hypothalamic heat regulating centers. Acetaminophen restricts prostaglandin synthetase. Therapeutic doses of acetaminophen minimally or does not affect the cardiovascular or respiratory systems.
However, regular usage of Vicodin may have some adverse effects like impairing of thinking or reacting abilities. Toxic doses may also result in circulatory failure and rapid, shallow breathing. Thus, one has to be very careful while using Vicodin. Consuming alcohol and other drug usages should also be checked otherwise it may lead to damaging of liver and ultimately lead to death of a person. Patients having stomach ulcers or liver cirrhosis or a past record of addiction of alcohol or drugs must also avoid Vicodin usage, or discuss with the physician properly, and self-medication is strictly prohibited. One must not even share it with others unless prescribed by doctor and contact doctor immediately if it stops working or relieving pain, or other physical uneasiness.