Structural Biochemistry/Vicodin


Vicodin, also known as acetaminophen and hydrocodone is part of the opioid pain relievers. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. The chemical formula is C18H21NO3. With the combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone, the acetaminophen increases the effects of hydrocodone due to its small potency. For medical uses, vicodin is used to treat severe pain. The tablet is produced and marketed under the trade names Vicodin, Vicodin ES, Vicodin HP, Anexsia, Anolor DH5, Bancap HC, Zydone, Dolacet, Lorcet, Lortab, as well as generic brands. Researchers have said that hydrocodone is stronger than codeine but only one-tenth as potent as morphine at binding to receptors. It is roughly half as potent as morphine in analgesic properties. But, some studies have shown hydrocodone to be anywhere from half as potent to oxycodone (1.5× the potency of morphine) to only 66.6~% the potency of oxycodone.


Vicodin addiction is a very dominant disease that affects the lives of many Americans every year, but with proper treatment vicodin addiction can be overcome. In recent years prescription drug abuse and addiction has been on the rise but denial around the issue of addiction also continues to persist. Vicodin addiction is the obsessive misuse of a mood-changing drug. In this sense, misuse means using the drug without the authorization of a medical profession, or using the drug when it is no longer needed as prescribed. Vicodin addiction can have overwhelming effects on a person's mind and body.

Prescription Drug Addiction, and vicodin addiction in particular causes problems because it was prescribed by a doctor at the first time. In most cases, people who are addicted to vicodin rationalize and say "I'm taking it for the pain", or "the doctor said I could take a few extra". Vicodin produces an overjoyed feeling, relaxing both the physical body and the mind, as well as relieving pain. Vicodin addiction is extremely common among prescription drug users, most likely because it is readily prescribed for many different types of pain problems.

Some prescription drug users do not intend to get addicted on the medicine, but when their prescription runs out they begin to obsess about how they are going to obtain more and more of the drug. Vicodin addicts find that they cannot longer function normally without the drug and that even though the pain is gone, vicodin produces an effect in them that they feel they cannot live without. People suffering from vicodin addiction start looking to outside sources for more prescriptions and are willing to go to great lengths to get more drugs.

Vicodin addiction is often seen a less thoughtful condition than addiction to illegal drugs or alcohol. This is because vicodin is prescribed by a physician and also because vicodin is not seen as producing the same negative problems as other drugs. This misunderstanding often leads vicodin addicts and their loved ones to believe that they do not need to find treatment. All mind altering substances affect the way that the brain functions, and in the case of vicodin, the brain stops producing chemicals like endorphins. Because the brain has not made these essential chemicals, the body feels that it is unable to function without the use of the drug. A person who suffers from vicodin addiction has become dependent upon the drug and will go into removal and cravings if he/she cannot acquire any more.

Freedom from vicodin addiction is possible. Seeking drug abuse treatment is the best course of action for anyone who has a problem with drugs or alcohol. During the initial phase of vicodin addiction treatment, the addict will experience the detoxification process, to cleanse the physical body of the drug and make the person ready for further treatment. Our addiction treatment facilities will give the addict tools and resources to live without the use of vicodin.

Vicodin is a drug that is composed of a mixture of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodones are drugs that work as narcotic pain relievers, and acetaminophen, more mild pain reliever, can help to increase the effects of the hydrocodone.

Vicodin can be used to relieve pain that ranges from moderate to very severe. Taking Vicodin can impair judgment and thinking, as well as decrease alertness. Vicodin should not be taken with alcohol since it can increase the risk of liver damage.

Vicodin should only be taken as prescribed because it has addictive properties. A single tablet of Vicodin contains up to 750 mg of acetaminophen in it. Overdosing on acetaminophen can severely damage the liver or even cause death.

Signs of an overdose on the drug can include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, confusion, dark colored urine, yellowing of the skin/eyes, slow heart rate, shallow breathing, or muscle weakness.

Some serious side effects that can occur from taking Vicodin include shallow breathing, fainting, seizures, problems with urination, jaundice, mood changes, blurred vision, and more.

It can be very dangerous to take Vicodin concurrently with other narcotic pain medications, sedatives, sleeping pills, or other medications that can cause drowsiness or slow breathing.[1]

ReferencesEdit "Vicodin". WEBMD. November 20, 2012.