Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday, January 01, 2009 Kim, Community Member, asks

Q: Hydrocodone apap 5-500-How often can I take?

Six months ago I broke my ankle and had surgery, yesterday I slipped on ice and broke my wrist the Dr. @ ER gave me a perscription for hydrocodone apap 5-500 at bedtime only. Is it safe to take it during the day every 4 hrs as long as I am not driving? When I broke my ankle I was put on vicodin every 4 hrs as needed. Taking the hydrocodone only at night is not relieving the pain and extra stength tylenol during the day is not working either. Thanks for the help

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Answers (5)
Karen Lee Richards, Health Guide
1/ 2/09 2:55pm

I'm not sure why your doctor would only prescribe it at bedtime, but I wouldn't take it more often without asking him.  There are two main reasons:  1.) It contains a fairly large amount of acetaminophen and there may be something in your medical history that concerns him about that.  2.)  If you take it more often than he prescribed, you're going to run out of the prescription sooner than you should.  If you try to refill a prescription for an opioid or ask for another prescription too soon, there's a good chance you will be labeled a drug seeker and have trouble ever getting a prescription for opioids again, no matter how badly you may need them. 

 

Try calling his office and tell him you're having a great deal of pain during the day and ask if you can take the hydrocodone more often or if he has another suggestion.

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josiemara, Community Member
1/ 1/09 9:13pm

You can call your pharmacist and ask this question, they are a great resource.  You can take it during the day but I suspect your doctor doesn't want you to drive while  taking as it can make you very drowsy.  I remember my bottle said every 4 to 6 hours I think, so every 4 hours might to too much.  Please be care with this stuff it is serious medicine.  Good luck to you.  Josie

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Dean, Community Member
1/30/09 9:13am

If your pain is that bad ask your doctor for a different drug. As stated above, Vicodin is loaded with Tylenol. I have had seven shoulder surgeries in the last two years as well as back herniations and was on Vicodin ES. I was taking it as prescribed and avoiding alcohol. I went for blood work before my last surgery and my ALT liver enzymes were elevated. This was because of the Tylenol in the Vicodin. My doctor swtiched me to Oxycontin 20mg. once a day and it is working out fine. My liver enzymes returned to normal.

 

Also be aware that doctors are hesitant to prescribe Oxycodone or Oxycontin because there are idiots out there crushing it up and sniffing it up their nose. They are also popping Vicodin (5) at a time but Oxy is SII narcotic and Vicodin is SIII. In other words the doctor gets less static prescribing the Vicodin first. However, they ususally give you Percocet following surgery.

 

Hope this helps.

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Dean, Community Member
1/30/09 9:13am

If your pain is that bad ask your doctor for a different drug. As stated above, Vicodin is loaded with Tylenol. I have had seven shoulder surgeries in the last two years as well as back herniations and was on Vicodin ES. I was taking it as prescribed and avoiding alcohol. I went for blood work before my last surgery and my ALT liver enzymes were elevated. This was because of the Tylenol in the Vicodin. My doctor swtiched me to Oxycontin 20mg. once a day and it is working out fine. My liver enzymes returned to normal.

 

Also be aware that doctors are hesitant to prescribe Oxycodone or Oxycontin because there are idiots out there crushing it up and sniffing it up their nose. They are also popping Vicodin (5) at a time but Oxy is SII narcotic and Vicodin is SIII. In other words the doctor gets less static prescribing the Vicodin first. However, they ususally give you Percocet following surgery.

 

Hope this helps.

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Eugene, Community Member
2/ 6/11 5:16am

I just had my first treatment of Chemo and my legs are in pain.  The Doctor prescribed HYDROCO/APAP5 for pain as needed.  What is the maximum pills I can take in a day, since it says take  one table every one pill 4 to 6 as needed for pain.  The pain is still there and the pills are not working.

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SteveC, Community Member
1/12/13 9:10am

Maximun, to be safe, is 8 tabs (5/500) or 4000 mg of Acetaminophen .  More than that only increases your tolerance to them and the end result is addiction and very little pain relief, not to mention you will run out before refills.  That is a red flag to all Primary care Dr's.  If you can take it as needed, it works.  But every day or every other day..you develop tolerance and then it becomes a habit without much benefit.. in my opinion.  I quit about 2 mos ago, and i feel much more alert and not as tired. But i still have the craving when i do get ANY pain,  esp in my lower back where i was prescribed for it initially.  Good luck with your Trfeatment.

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By Kim, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/31/14, First Published: 01/01/09