m357 Vicodin is a unique combination of two analgesics: acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartarate. A single pill of m357 Vicodin contains 500 mg of acetaminophen and 5 mg of hydrocodone bitartarate. Pain killing effect of this medicine is dual due to different mechanism of action of its two components. Acetaminophen relieves pain by inhibition of nitric oxide pathway which is mediated by neurotransmitters like substance P and N-methyl-D-aspartate. Hydrocodone show its pain killing or analgesic effect by binding and activating opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Benefit of combining two analgesic compounds into a single pill is to get better pain relief on lesser doses of the two drugs that it contains so; m357 is more potent painkiller than either of the medicines it contains.
m357 Vicodin is commonly available in the market as with brand names Vicodin, lortab and Norco. It is m357 is an oblong shaped white pill indexed with “M357” on one side while other side of the pill is scored; manufactured by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Watson 349 contains acetaminophen and hydrocodone in exactly the same composition as present in m357 Vicodin. Combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone are also available in strengths that are different from m357 Vicodin.
m357 Vicodin is an effective analgesic that can be used in a variety of medical conditions that need pain relief. The beauty of this drug is hidden behind the facts that on one hand it is moderately strong oral preparation of analgesics while on the other hand it is devoid of harmful effects on the stomach (a common problem with the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Despite of the long-term use it causes gastric inflammation or ulceration less commonly than non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It relieves pain effectively but it should be ensured that patient don’t overdose m357 Vicodin, that may lead to serious consequences.
What is this medicine for?
m357 Vicodin is a potent pain killer due to presence of two different medications in a single pill. It is used to control moderate to moderately severe pain in a number of conditions. One main advantage of using m357 Vicodin is that as against non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, it does not cause symptoms of gastric erosion and dyspepsia. So m357 Vicodin can be used for long time and on as needed basis without many of the side effects of NSAIDs. Some of the common conditions in which m357 Vicodin is useful are,
- Osteoarthritis of back, knees, shoulder, wrist, ankle and other joints. Osteoarthritis is a disease of joints usually in old age or due to repeated injuries of the joints. It usually persist life-long and patient needs pains relief on daily basis. In such a situation, m357 Vicodin is more suited due to its minimal effect on stomach as compared to non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This makes m357 Vicodin a better choice for pain relief.
- m357 Vicodin is also commonly used in rheumatoid arthritis to relieve pain in mild to moderate disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease which usually affects young to middle aged women and most commonly involves hand and wrist joint on both sides. Disease activity increases and decreases for the rest of the life and m357 Vicodin appears a handy choice in relieving pain when disease is not severe.
- Joint pains in SLE (systemic lupus arthritis), sero-negative arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders
- m357 Vicodin is also useful in acute back pain/ chronic back pain and neuropathic pains
- Migraine headache or tension headaches may get better by taking m357 Vicodin
- A unique indication of m357 Vicodin is its use in cancer palliative therapy to control pains of malignancies or cancer. Cancer patients usually need narcotic analgesic to get pain relief. m357 stands as a good choice for pain relief due to fewer side effects.
Above mentioned are some of the conditions where m357 Vicodin can provide effective pain relief; it is also prescribed in a number of other conditions.
Side effects on m357 Vicodin
m357 Vicodin contains acetaminophen and hydrocodone; side effects can result from any of the two components of the pill. Patient should get full information about these side effects and he or she should immediately contact doctor if any of the side effects appears. In most instances, side effect result from over dosage and prolonged use. Some of the common side effects of m357 Vicodin are,
- Blurring of vision
- Constipation (mainly due to hydrocodone component of m357 Vicodin)
- Difficulty in breathing and respiratory depression (these are the side effects of hydrocodone component that particularly appear on over dosage of m357 Vicodin)
- Dizziness: patient feels dizziness initially on starting m357 Vicodin but this side effect disappears with the continuous use of the medicine
- Drowsiness and increased sleepiness is again a side effect of opioid component of m357 Vicodin that gradually disappear when this medicine is used for extended period of time
- Flushing of face is a common experience among patients using m357 Vicodin
- Lightheadedness is also a symptoms that particularly appears in first few days of using m357 Vicodin
- Mental/mood changes are also associated with m357 Vicodin. patient may feel depressed
- Orthostatic hypotension
- Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of opioid analgesics which reduce with use of this medicine. If nausea and vomiting are severe then anti-emetics may need to be taken along with m357 Vicodin pill. This symptom again improves over time.
- Liver damage that may be mild or severe and is due to acetaminophen component of m357 Vicodin.
Side effects of prolonged use of m357 Vicodin
Prolonged use of m357 Vicodin creates some troubles which are as follows,
- Dependence: patients who use m357 Vicodin for longer period of time start intense urge to take medications this is called dependence.
- Kidney disease can occur on prolonged use of m357 Vicodin if taken in large doses. Most commonly analgesic abuse nephropathy appears in 2-3 years time that may lead to kidney failure.
- Withdrawal symptoms occur if patient is taking m357 Vicodin over long time and suddenly stops the medicine. On withdrawing drug suddenly patient may develop diarrhea, anxiety, runny nose, fever, abnormal skin sensations, muscle rigidity, goose bumps, nausea or vomiting, rapid heart rate, hallucinations(seeing objects, feeling object, feeling smells or hearing voices in the absence of anything), difficulty in sleep, shivering, sweating and tremors.
Precautions 0n m357 Vicodin
Some medical conditions and medicines may interact with m357 Vicodin resulting in unfavorable side effects. Extreme caution should be exercised in starting m357 Vicodin to patients having following medical conditions.
- Brain tumor
- Head injury, hydrocephalus or other central nervous system disorders
- Kidney disease
- Drug abuse or drug addiction
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- Drinking alcohol more than three drinks in a day
- Heart disease or other cardiovascular problems
- Liver disease including acute and chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis of liver
- Lung disease, bronchial asthma, obstructive sleep apnea or other breathing disorders
- Know allergy to acetaminophen or hydrocodone bitartarate or narcotic analgesics or other medication or foods
- If you are a lactating mother (breast-feeding the baby)
- If you are planning to conceive or you are pregnant
- If you already are taking some drugs both prescribed and unperceived, dietary supplement as well as herbal remedies.
- If you have previously made suicidal attempt or have suicidal thinking
- If you have intestinal or gastric problems, intestinal obstruction, recent abdominal surgery, chronic inflammation or ulceration of the gut, problems of adrenal gland; prostate gland enlargement
Also inform your doctor before starting m357 Vicodin, if you are taking any of the following medications,
- Barbiturate anesthetics (e.g., thiopental),
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors for example phenelzine
- Tricyclic antidepressants or TCAs e.g., amitriptyline
- Alcohol or medicines that contain alcohol
- Medicines for depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or other mental disorders
- Medicines for pain management like buprenorphine, butorphanol, pentazocine, tramadol, propoxyphene and nalbuphine.
- Sleeping pills
- Muscle relaxants
Conditions that are not suitable for m357 Vicodin use
- Patients who have allergy to acetaminophen or opioid should not use m357 Vicodin
- Patients who use alcohol or certain other medicines that increases dizziness and drowsiness should not use m357 Vicodin otherwise these symptoms may get worsened. For the same reason patients who are drivers or perform high risk tasks at some factory, should also avoid m357 Vicodin
- Concomitant use of sleeping pills or muscle relaxants with m357 Vicodin should be avoided. Before starting m357 Vicodin, if patient is taking such medication he or she should tell the pharmacist or doctor.
- Use of m357 Vicodin in elderly patients is not suitable because of the potential side effects like drowsiness, light-headedness and dizziness. This may lead to increased chances of falling and fractures in elderly
- Patients with liver disease should avoid use of m357 Vicodin because it may aggravate liver damage and push the patient to hepatic encephalopathy.
- Use of m357 Vicodin in small children is not safe and may result in harmful side effects so, it should not be used in children
- People with lung disease and breathing problems should not use m357 Vicodin especially patient who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchial asthma, obstructive sleep apnea and respiratory failure
- Patient with kidney disease, renal failure and analgesic abuse nephropathy should avoid m357 Vicodin otherwise serious outcomes may result. Such patient with organ failure becomes drowsy and even unconscious which may remain for days.
- This medication is contraindicated in acute liver failure
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding are the conditions in which m357 Vicodin is relatively contra-indicated and should be avoided. If someone is on m357 Vicodin treatment and gets pregnancy, she should immediately contact her doctor. Breast-feeding mothers should not use m357 Vicodin or avoid breast feeding during its use.
Allergy symptoms of m357 Vicodin
As we know that hypersensitivity reaction to any drug can happen so is with m357 Vicodin. Sometimes mild allergic symptoms appear which disappear on discontinuation of the drug. Severe allergic symptoms need immediate medical attention to avoid unpleasant happening. Below are mentioned symptoms of mild and sever allergy to m357 Vicodin,
Mild symptoms of allergy to m357 Vicodin
If a patient taking m357 Vicodin develops itching, hives and redness of the skin and no problem with breathing occurs, these are symptoms of mild hypersensitivity which will settle on withdrawing the medication and sometime use of anti-histamine drugs. Even the mild allergy symptoms indicate that this drug no more should be used. Doctor should be informed about these symptoms.
Severe allergy symptoms of m357 Vicodin
Severe allergic reactions to m357 Vicodin may appear within seconds to minutes after taking this medication in-patient who are allergic to either of the two components of m357 Vicodin. Patient with severe allergy develop following symptoms
- Skin rash
- Hives and urticaria
- Symptoms of angioedema, which include swelling of lips, throat and chest tightness, which cause difficulty in breathing. In severe cases, breathing may cease altogether
- Increased heart rate and sweating
- Changes or loss of hearing
- Severe anxiety along with mental and mood changes
- Decreased urine output
Serious allergic symptoms need immediate attention otherwise patient may die some of the helpful measures to control hypersensitivity include injection of anti-histamine drugs, steroids and adrenaline. For maintenance of the airway endotracheal intubation is done and sometimes tracheotomy is also performed in patients who have severe edema of larynx and endotracheal intubation can not be done. Patient with hypersensitivity to m357 Vicodin should be treated in intensive care unit.
Dosage of m357 Vicodin
Advice of the doctor or pharmacist regarding dosage of m357 Vicodin should be strictly followed. It should be used for the prescribed period only otherwise chances of addiction and dependence increase. Dose varies according to the severity of pain and usual dosage for m357 Vicodin is one tablet every four to six hours. Total daily dosage should not exceed five tablets. Patient can take m357 Vicodin empty stomach or with meals. Taking medicine with meals that lessens nausea and vomiting may benefit patients, who feel more nausea and vomiting.
If a dose of m357 Vicodin is missed
Missing a dose of m357 Vicodin does not create any problem however; it should be taken as early as remembered. If time for the next dose has reached, only take the next dose; two doses of m357 Vicodin should not be taken at one time.
Over dosage of m357 Vicodin
Over dosage of m357 Vicodin usually occurs in an attempt to overcome pain by the patient. Symptoms of over dosage depend upon how much quantity is ingested. Elderly population is particularly at risk of developing serious side effects from over dose. In case, a single extra tablet or two are taken usually don’t cause any symptoms. If patient has ingested more tablets either incidentally or as a suicidal attempt, local poisoning control service should be called and patient should immediately be shifted to emergency medical facility for management of over dosage.
Symptoms of over dosage include,
- Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin),
- Cold and clammy skin,
- Drowsiness that may lead to coma,
- Difficulty in breathing or slow breathing,
- Excessive perspiration(sweating)
- Disturbed functions of cardiovascular system
- Nausea or vomiting, convulsion(seizures)
- Symptoms of liver damage
- Pain abdomen and
- Bilateral constricted pupils(pin point pupils)
Management of over dosage should be done in intensive care setting in anticipation for breathing difficulty. Nalaxone is an antidote to hydrocodone and N-acetyl cystine is effective in neutralizing the effects of acetaminophen poisoning. Other helpful measures include gastric lavage, administration of activated charcoal and supportive management for respiratory and cardiovascular abnormalities.