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Benzhydrocodone and Acetaminophen

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Benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen are typically prescribed together as a combination medication for pain relief. However, like any medication, they come with potential risks. Here are some brief points:

  • Addiction and Dependence: Benzhydrocodone is an opioid, which means it carries a risk of addiction and dependence. Misuse or prolonged use can lead to physical and psychological dependence.
  • Respiratory Depression: Opioids like benzhydrocodone can slow down breathing, especially in higher doses or when combined with other substances that depress the central nervous system, like alcohol or certain other medications. This can be life-threatening in severe cases.
  • Liver Damage: Acetaminophen, when taken in high doses or over a long period, can cause liver damage. It’s important to adhere to recommended dosages and not exceed the daily limit.
  • Combination Risks: Combining benzhydrocodone with other substances, especially alcohol or certain medications like sedatives or tranquilizers, can increase the risk of dangerous side effects such as extreme drowsiness, dizziness, or even overdose.
  • Constipation and Other Side Effects: Opioids commonly cause constipation, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. These side effects can be bothersome and may require additional medications to manage.
  • Tolerance and Withdrawal: With prolonged use, tolerance to opioids can develop, requiring higher doses to achieve the same pain relief. Abrupt cessation can lead to withdrawal symptoms, which can be uncomfortable and sometimes severe.
  • Overdose: Taking too much benzhydrocodone or acetaminophen can lead to overdose, which can be fatal. Symptoms of overdose include difficulty breathing, extreme drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, and loss of consciousness.

It’s essential to use benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen exactly as prescribed by a healthcare professional, to be aware of the potential risks, and to promptly seek medical attention if any concerning symptoms arise.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen are typically prescribed together for the management of moderate to severe pain when other pain medications, such as non-opioid analgesics, are not adequate. Here’s why they are prescribed:

  • Pain Relief: Benzhydrocodone is an opioid analgesic, while acetaminophen is a non-opioid analgesic. When used together, they can provide effective pain relief for conditions such as dental pain, injury-related pain, or post-surgical pain.
  • Combination Therapy: The combination of benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen can enhance pain relief by acting through different mechanisms. Benzhydrocodone works centrally in the brain to alter the perception of pain, while acetaminophen works peripherally to reduce pain and fever.

How should this medicine be used?

As for how benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen should be used:

  • Dosage: The dosage of benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen will be determined by a healthcare provider based on factors such as the severity of pain, the patient’s medical history, and individual response to the medication.
  • Administration: These medications are usually taken orally, in the form of tablets or capsules. They should be taken with a full glass of water and can be taken with or without food, although taking them with food may help reduce stomach upset.
  • Frequency: The dosing frequency will depend on the specific formulation prescribed, but it is typically taken every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain relief. It’s important not to exceed the recommended dosage or frequency.
  • Duration: Benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen are usually prescribed for short-term use to manage acute pain. Long-term use should be avoided unless specifically directed by a healthcare provider.
  • Monitoring: Patients using benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen should be monitored closely for effectiveness, side effects, and signs of misuse or dependence. It’s essential to follow up with a healthcare provider regularly while taking these medications.

It’s crucial to use benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen exactly as prescribed and to not share them with others. Additionally, never suddenly stop taking these medications without consulting a healthcare provider, as this can lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Other uses for this medicine

Besides pain relief, benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen may have off-label uses, but it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider before using them for any other purpose. Off-label uses may include cough suppression and treating diarrhea, but these uses would depend on the specific formulation and the judgment of the prescribing physician.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions should be followed when using benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen to ensure safe and effective use. Here are some key precautions:

  • Medical History: Before starting treatment with benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen, inform your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, including any past or current medical conditions, allergies, and medications you are taking.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. Benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen should be used with caution during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as they can pass into breast milk and may cause harm to the baby.
  • Liver Function: Since acetaminophen is metabolized by the liver, it should be used cautiously in individuals with liver disease or impaired liver function. Higher doses or prolonged use of acetaminophen can increase the risk of liver damage.
  • Respiratory Conditions: Benzhydrocodone can depress respiratory function, so it should be used with caution in individuals with respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or sleep apnea.
  • Drug Interactions: Benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen can interact with other medications, including certain antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and other central nervous system depressants. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking to avoid potentially dangerous interactions.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Drinking alcohol while taking benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen can increase the risk of side effects, including extreme drowsiness, dizziness, and respiratory depression.
  • Dosage and Duration: Use benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or duration of use, as this can increase the risk of adverse effects, including overdose.

By following these precautions and closely monitoring your use of benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen, you can help ensure safe and effective pain management while minimizing the risk of complications.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding special dietary instructions, there are no specific dietary restrictions associated with benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen. However, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated while taking these medications, especially if you experience constipation as a side effect.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are unsure about what to do, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen, like all medications, can cause side effects. Common side effects of this medication combination include:

  • Nausea and vomiting: These are among the most common side effects of opioids like benzhydrocodone. Taking the medication with food may help reduce these symptoms.
  • Constipation: Opioids can slow down bowel movements, leading to constipation. Increasing fiber intake, staying hydrated, and regular physical activity can help prevent or alleviate constipation.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness: Benzhydrocodone can cause dizziness and drowsiness, which may impair your ability to operate machinery or drive safely. Avoid alcohol and other medications that can exacerbate these effects.
  • Lightheadedness: Some individuals may experience feelings of lightheadedness or fainting, especially when getting up from a sitting or lying position. Moving slowly and rising gradually can help minimize this risk.
  • Headache: Headaches are a common side effect of both opioids and acetaminophen. If severe or persistent, consult your healthcare provider.
  • Dry mouth: Opioids can cause dry mouth, which can increase the risk of dental problems. Maintaining good oral hygiene and staying hydrated can help alleviate this symptom.
  • Itching: Some individuals may experience itching or rash as a side effect of opioids. If severe or accompanied by difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Difficulty urinating: Opioids can cause urinary retention, leading to difficulty or discomfort when urinating. Inform your healthcare provider if you experience this symptom.
  • Respiratory depression: In high doses or when combined with other medications that depress the central nervous system, opioids like benzhydrocodone can slow down breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience difficulty breathing or shallow breathing.
  • Liver toxicity: Acetaminophen, if taken in excessive doses, can cause liver damage. It’s important to adhere to recommended dosages and avoid combining acetaminophen-containing medications.
  • Allergic reactions: Rarely, benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen can cause allergic reactions, including rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction.

These are not all the possible side effects of benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen. If you experience any other unusual or severe symptoms while taking this medication, contact your healthcare provider promptly.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Here’s what you should know about the storage and disposal of benzonatate:


  • Keep benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen in a secure location out of reach of children and pets.
  • Store the medication at room temperature away from light and moisture.
  • Avoid storing benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen in the bathroom or kitchen, where moisture levels can fluctuate.
  • Follow any specific storage instructions provided by your pharmacist or healthcare provider.


  • Dispose of unused or expired benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen properly to prevent accidental ingestion by children, pets, or others.
  • Do not flush medications down the toilet unless instructed to do so by a medication disposal program or healthcare professional.
  • Follow local regulations or guidelines for medication disposal, which may include returning unused medications to a pharmacy or participating in a drug take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of emergency or suspected overdose, call emergency services (such as 911 in the United States) immediately.
  • If someone has overdosed on benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen and is unconscious, having trouble breathing, or experiencing seizures, do not hesitate to seek medical help.
  • Be prepared to provide information about the medication ingested, including the name, dosage strength, and quantity.

What other information should I know?

  • Inform healthcare providers about all medications you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol while taking benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen, as it can increase the risk of side effects and overdose.
  • Do not share benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen with others, even if they have similar symptoms or conditions.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring and dose adjustments as needed.
  • Be aware of the potential for dependence, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms with prolonged use of benzhydrocodone. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions closely to minimize these risks.
  • Keep benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen in the original packaging with the label intact for easy identification.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen, including its use, side effects, or storage, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure safe and responsible use of benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen while minimizing the risk of accidental ingestion, overdose, or misuse.

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