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Pronounced: VY-koe-pro-fen
Generic ingredients: Hydrocodone bitartrate, Ibuprofen

Why is this drug prescribed: Vicoprofen is a chemical cousin of the well-known painkiller Vicodin. Both products contain the prescription pain medication hydrocodone. However, while Vicodin also includes acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol), Vicoprofen replaces it with ibuprofen (the active ingredient in Advil). Vicoprofen relieves acute pain. It is generally prescribed for less than 10 days, and cannot be used in the long-term treatment of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Most important fact about this drug: Vicoprofen can be habit-forming. If you take this drug over a long period of time, you can become both mentally and physically dependent on it, and you may find that it no longer works for you at the prescribed dose.

How should you take this medication: Take Vicoprofen exactly as prescribed. Do not increase the amount you take or the number of doses per day without your doctor's approval. Vicoprofen should be used only for pain--and only as needed. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage information... Store at room temperature in a tightly sealed, light-resistant container.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Vicoprofen. More common side effects may include: Abdominal pain, anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, gas, headache, indigestion, infection, insomnia, itching, loss of strength, nausea, nervousness, sweating, swelling, vomiting Less common side effects may include: Confusion, dark tarry stool, difficulty breathing, fever, flu symptoms, frequent urination, hiccups, inflammation of the throat and nasal passages, loss of appetite, mouth ulcers, pain, ringing in the ears, skin tingling, stomach inflammation, tension, thinking abnormalities, thirst, throbbing heartbeat Rare side effects may include: Abnormal dreams, agitation, allergic reaction, altered vision, asthma, bad taste, bronchitis, chalky stool, decreased sex drive, depression, difficulty swallowing, dry eyes, elevated mood, hives, hoarseness, impotence, increased cough, inflamed sinuses, inflammation of the tongue or intestines, joint pain, low blood pressure, lung congestion, mood changes, muscle ache, pneumonia, rapid or irregular heartbeat, rash, shallow breathing, skin swelling, slurred speech, teeth clenching, tremor, urinary problems, vertigo, weight loss

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If ibuprofen, aspirin, or brands such as Advil, Aleve, and Naprosyn have ever given you asthma, hives, or any other type of allergic attack, do not take this medication. You should also avoid Vicoprofen if you've ever had an allergic reaction to hydrocodone or other narcotic painkillers.

Special warnings about this medication: Vicoprofen can make you drowsy and slow. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or perform any other potentially dangerous activities until you know how this drug affects you. Alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, and other narcotic painkillers can increase drowsiness. Do not combine them with Vicoprofen. High doses of hydrocodone may produce troubled, irregular, or slowed breathing; if you are sensitive to this drug, or have a head injury, such problems are more likely. Narcotics tend to increase the pressure of the fluid inside the skull, and this effect can be exaggerated by a head injury. Avoid Vicoprofen if possible. Use Vicoprofen with caution if you have a severe liver or kidney disorder, heart failure, lupus, underactive thyroid or adrenal glands, an enlarged prostate, or any narrowing of the duct that drains the bladder. Caution is also called for in those who are weak, elderly, or dehydrated. Hydrocodone suppresses the cough reflex; use it cautiously if you have a lung condition or have just had surgery. The ibuprofen in Vicoprofen has been known to cause ulcers, and stomach bleeding can start without warning. If you've had such problems in the past, make sure the doctor is aware of it. Smoking, drinking, old age, and poor health make stomach problems more likely. Vicoprofen can prolong bleeding time and cause a decrease in blood cell count. If you are taking a blood-thinning medication, use Vicoprofen with caution. This drug can also cause water retention. Be cautious if you have high blood pressure or poor heart function. Contact your doctor if you notice any signs of stomach or intestinal bleeding, suffer blurred vision or other eye problems, get a skin rash, or notice any weight gain or swelling. If you have a severe allergic reaction, stop taking the drug and seek medical help immediately.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Vicoprofen is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either can be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Vicoprofen with the following: ACE-inhibitor-type blood pressure and heart drugs such as Capoten and Vasotec Alcohol Antidepressants such as Elavil, Norpramin, and Pamelor Antihistamines such as Benadryl, chlorpheniramine, and Tavist Aspirin Blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin Drugs that control muscle spasms such as Artane and Cogentin Lithium (Lithobid, Lithonate) Major tranquilizers such as Haldol and Thorazine Methotrexate (Rheumatrex) Other narcotic painkillers such as Demerol, morphine, and Percocet Sleeping pills such as Halcion and Restoril Tranquilizers such as Ativan, Valium, and Xanax Water pills (diuretics) such as Lasix and HydroDIURIL

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: Do not take this drug during pregnancy unless directed by your doctor. Drug dependence occurs in newborns when mothers take narcotics regularly prior to delivery. Vicoprofen may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Your doctor will adjust the dosage according to the severity of the pain and the way the medication affects you. The usual dose is 1 tablet every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Do not take more than 5 tablets a day. CHILDREN: The safety and effectiveness of Vicoprofen have not been established in children below 16 years of age. OLDER ADULTS: A reduced dosage is recommended.

Overdosage: A massive overdose of Vicoprofen can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of Vicoprofen overdose may include: Slowed breathing, extreme drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, low blood pressure, slowed heart rate, stomach and intestinal irritation, headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears, confusion, blurred vision, eye problems, inflammation of the skin in the mouth, skin rash, swelling, difficulty breathing, heart attack, coma

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