Vicodin Drug Interactions

by on April 27, 2012

Vicodin can interact with other drugs and medication that the patient may be taking, making these medications less effective, so you should always discuss them with your doctor. You may need to change your dosages or choose a solution other than Vicodin for your pain relief.

Vicodin, which contains Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen, has numerous over-the-counter, nutritional supplement, and prescription drug interactions. Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are over-the-counter supplements that my have a minor interaction with Acetaminophen. These may decrease the available amount of Acetaminophen. This type of drug interaction is not considered dangerous. Drugs that might cause slight, or minor, drug interactions with Acetaminophen include:

  • Albuterol (ProAir)
  • Aspirin
  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Clopidogrel (Plavis)
  • Docusate (Colace)
  • Furosemide (Lasix)
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin)
  • Levothyroxine (Synthroid)
  • Lisinopril
  • Metoprolol
  • Omeprozole (Prilosec)
  • Polyethylene Glycol (MiraLax)
  • Simvastatin
  • Tramadol (Ultram)

Vicodin contains Hydrocodone as well. Drugs that may interact with Hydrocodone by reducing its  effectiveness include:

  • Anti-depressants, such as: Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, Trazodone and Doxepin
  • Older mental health medications including MAO inhibitors, such as: isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Emsam), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and benztropine (Cogentin)
  • Sleep Aids, such as: Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)
  • Gastrointestinal medications, such as: scopolamine (Transderm Scop patch), dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Levsin)
  • Urinary retention medications, such as: darifenacin (Enablex), oxybutynin (Ditropan), tolterodine (Detrol, Detrol LA), and solifenacin (Vesicare)
  • Respiratory medications, such as: ipratroium (Atrovent) and tiotropium (Spiriva)

Most importantly, Hydrocodone interacts with some medications in a dangerous way. Alcohol is the number one substance to avoid taking while on Vicodin. Alcohol, including beer, wine, wine coolers, and liquor/spirits (“cocktails”) can cause death when taken at the same time as Vicodin.

Vicodin is an “opioid” (a semi-synthetic medication) and is FDA indicated for moderate to severe pain. Mixing Vicodin with other pain killers can be very dangerous; however, when someone has chronic (long-lasting) pain, pain killers are sometimes prescribed together. Mixing opioid pain medications can have serious side effects including: death, overdose, respiratory failure, and dependence. Other opioid pain medications that should not be mixed with Vicodin include:

  • Buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone)
  • BUTRANS transdermal patch
  • Butorphanol (Stadol®)
  • Codeine
  • Duragesic Patch (Fentanyl)
  • Hydrocodone (Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Levo-Dromoran (Levorphanol)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Methadone (Methadose)
  • Morphine (MS Contin, Kadian)
  • Oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana ER)
  • Propoxyphene  (Darvocet, Darvon)
  • TALWIN®NX/pentazocine+
  • Tapentadol (NUCYNTA®)
  • Tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet, Ryzolt)

Sedatives, hypnotics, Benzodiazepines, muscle relaxers, and prescription sleep aids should be taken very carefully (and for short periods of time). These groups of medication directly interact with Vicodin in a very dangerous way. Side effects of taking Benzodiazepines and Vicodin include: death, respiratory failure (breathing stops), heart attack, and dependence. Additional drugs that my cause overdoes with Vicodin include:

  • Diazepam/Valium
  • Temazepam/Restoril
  • Librium (Chlordiazepoxide)
  • Flurazepam/Dalmane
  • Oxazepam/Serax
  • Chloral hydrate
  • Clorazepate/Tranxene
  • Clonazepam/Klonipin
  • Lorazepam/Ativan
  • Midazolam/Versed
  • Alprazolam/Xanax (Xanax ER)
  • Carisoprodol/SOMA
  • Zolpidem/Ambien
  • Zaleplon/Sonata
  • Eszopiclone/Lunesta
  • Estazolam/ProSom
  • Ramelteon/Rozerem
  • Triazolam/Halcion
  • Promethazine/Phenergan
  • Phenobarbital
  • Butalbital

If you are already taking Vicodin and one of the medications on this list, feel free to call your physician/surgeon, physician's assistant, dentist, advanced practice nurse, nurse midwife, or pharmacist. They can instruct you on the proper usage of prescription medications. Be sure to tell all of your healthcare providers, including your dentist, what prescription medications you are a currently taking. This will help prevent drug interactions and overdose.