10 Most Deadly Hydrocodone Abuse Side Effects

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Hydrocodone is an opioid commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain. The drug is available under brand names including Lortab, Vicodin, and Norco. Hydrocodone poses a high risk for addiction when used excessively, or for an extended period of time. When abused, hydrocodone can cause serious side effects that increase your risk for major health problems, including overdose, coma, and death.

If you are struggling with addiction to hydrocodone, understand that drug rehab centers can help you quit and improve your overall livelihood. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at (800) 407-7195 to speak with an addiction counselor about drug rehab centers near you that treat opioid addiction.

Here are the 10 most deadly side effects of hydrocodone abuse.

1. Dehydration

Hydrocodone abuse can lead to diarrhea and vomiting — both of which increase the risk for severe dehydration if you’re not careful. The risk for dehydration is highest when you quit using hydrocodone abruptly, since diarrhea and vomiting are two common withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction.

2. Malnutrition

Hydrocodone Abuse Side Effects

Hydrocodone abuse can be detrimental to your health.

Addiction of any kind can cause you to neglect important life responsibilities, including your health. For instance, you may forget to eat, or prioritize hydrocodone use over eating. Hydrocodone abuse also influences you to make unhealthy food decisions out of convenience.

3. Bowel Obstruction

Hydrocodone abuse increases the risk for bowel obstruction, which is when your small or large intestine becomes partially or completely blocked. This blockage can prevent food and waste from passing through your intestines normally, and increases the risk for vomiting, sudden weight loss, and infection or cancer.

4. Respiratory Problems

When used as prescribed, hydrocodone offers feelings of pain relief and extreme relaxation. But when used in high doses, hydrocodone can lead to breathing problems and respiratory failure, and increases the risk for coma and death.

5. Slowed or Irregular Heartbeat

Abusing hydrocodone can cause an abnormally slow or irregular heartbeat, since the opioid already slows most bodily functions to produce feelings of relaxation when used as prescribed. Heart palpitations, cardiac arrhythmia, and cardiac arrest are common side effects of hydrocodone abuse.

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6. Problems Urinating

Hydrocodone abuse can lead to problems with urination due to your kidneys being unable to process high levels of toxins into waste. Failing to urinate increases your risk for kidney and bladder infections, as well as kidney stones, and kidney or bladder cancer.

7. Poor Immunity

Addiction and drug abuse can weaken your immune system, and make you more susceptible to dangerous illnesses and diseases such as cancer and HIV. Having a weakened immune system also increases your risk for hydrocodone overdose.

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8. Allergic Reaction

High doses of hydrocodone can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals that lead to one or more deadly, life-threatening conditions. For instance, anaphylaxis can occur within minutes of taking a high dose of hydrocodone. Strong allergic reactions to hydrocodone can also result in respiratory problems, low blood pressure, and swelling of the tongue and throat.

9. Drowsiness

Hydrocodone abuse can lead to extreme drowsiness, which increases the risk for coma and accidents. Those who abuse hydrocodone and attempt to perform normal daily activities such as driving a vehicle may be putting their lives and the lives of others at risk.

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*Statistic from 2015

10. Suicidal Thoughts

Hydrocodone abuse can lead to suicidal thoughts, or suicide. If you or someone you love is abusing hydrocodone or suffering from addiction, understand that getting help now can potentially save your life, or that of your loved one.

Nobody should ever try overcoming addiction on their own without help, including you. If you’re struggling with opioid addiction, call our 24/7 confidential helpline at (800) 407-7195 immediately to speak with a drug abuse counselor about nearby drug rehab centers devoted to helping you quit opioids for good.

the Take-Away

Being one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs on the market, many don’t realize the risks involved with using hydrocodone. The following side effects could cause permanent damage and even death.