Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen (Vicodin, Lortab) Nursing Considerations

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Hey guys, let's talk about hydrocodone acetaminophen also known as quite a few brand or tray names, including Vicodin LTAB and Norco. This is an oral medication. As you can see here, the therapeutic cloud of hydrocodone acetaminophen is an opioid analgesic also in allergy cold and cough ReMed in an antitusive. And remember that therapeutic class is how the drug works in the body. The pharmacologic class is the chemical effect. And for this medication, it is an opioid, a agonist and a non, an opioid antigenic combination. So hydrocodone acetaminophen works by altering the perception and reaction to pain by binding to opiate receptors in the central nervous system. And it also actually suppresses the cough reflex. We use this drug for the management of moderate to severe pain. So hydrocodone acetaminophen can come with some side effects. These can include things like hypotension, drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness. 

So with the administration of hydrocodone acetaminophen, be sure to Mo the hemo dynamics and respirations in your patient, because these things can become depressed caution with use in patients with head trauma, because intracranial pressure may be increased. In the case of an overdose we use Narcan or Naloxone avoid use with MOIs. In fact, they should not be taken within 14 days of each other, be sure to teach the patient that they should not exceed four grams of acetaminophen per day because of liver toxicity, which they must know, and is within this medication. And guys, most patients are more familiar with the brand names of the medication rather than the generic name. So really stress this to them. So guys, I'm sure you are all aware of the opioid epidemic that is going on right now. So with that set at my job in the surgical setting, I have the definitely notice some changes that are being made to help with this epidemic. For instance, preoperative blocks are being utilized more frequent frequently to decrease the need of opioids following surgery. And this definitely does seem to be helping our patients and a lot of patients with chronic pain issue, they are being managed by pain management providers instead of opioids, just being prescribed to them freely. 

That's it for hydrocodone, acetaminophen or Vicodin LTAB now go out and be your best self today. And as always happy nursing.
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