Hydrocodone has a significant potential for both psychological and physical dependence and abuse. In fact, it is classified as a controlled substance, meaning that there are special rules and regulations for prescribing and obtaining the medication. Because it can be a desirable drug of abuse, people often try to buy hydrocodone through illegal means, such as from foreign countries or online sources that do not require a prescription. It is readily available and relatively inexpensive (at least in generic form), making it a popular drug of abuse.
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General considerations include the following:
- This medication comes in tablet, capsule, or liquid form. It is taken by mouth, often every four hours as needed for pain (although the specific instructions may vary depending on the particular product).
- It is probably best to take hydrocodone with food, as it can be upsetting to the stomach.
- Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication (see Hydrocodone and Alcohol).
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not increase your dose without your healthcare provider's approval. Do not suddenly stop taking it, especially if you have taken it regularly for more than several weeks (see Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms).