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Updated on October 12, 2021

Vicoprofen Uses, Side Effects & Addiction Risks

What is Vicoprofen?

Vicoprofen is the brand name for hydrocodone and ibuprofen. It is a prescription drug and analgesic pain reliever that contains both hydrocodone bitartrate and ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is administered to injured patients when the subsequent pain is severe enough to require opioid treatment for short-term relief (10 days or less).

The hydrocodone in Vicoprofen simulates the pleasure sensors in the brain, forcing it to create large amounts of dopamine to mask the pain. The ibuprofen in Vicoprofen reduces swelling, fever, inflammation, and pain in the patient.

Before beginning use, let your doctor know if you have any of the following:

  • Head injuries
  • Seizures
  • Liver disease or other liver problems
  • Thyroid issues
  • Kidney problems
  • Trouble urinating
  • Pancreas or gallbladder problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Aspirin-sensitive asthma
  • History of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, or mental health disorders
  • Other serious medical conditions

Do not use Vicoprofen after a coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG.

Vicoprofen vs Vicodin

Vicodin is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, whereas Vicoprofen is a combination of hydrocodone and ibuprofen. The combination of hydrocodone and ibuprofen helps avoid liver failure from acetaminophen use.

Vicoprofen can be a highly effective drug for pain relief after a significant injury or surgery. However, it can be highly addictive if misuse of dosage occurs for extended periods of time.

Vicoprofen Dosage

Every prescription is based on pain levels, the surgical procedure being performed, and the type of injury (e.g., resetting broken bones, broken ribs that cannot be mended via surgery, back pain from an injury, such as falling or heavy lifting).

After assessing these factors, a doctor will evaluate a patient’s prior history of opioid treatment and other possible risk factors for addiction before prescribing Vicoprofen.

Vicoprofen pill

However, a typical dosage of Vicoprofen is taking one ingestible tablet every four to six hours. Patients should not ingest more than five tablets in 24 hours for no more than 10 days. If taken incorrectly, a tolerance to the drug can develop quickly.

Doctors ask patients a series of questions about previous injuries and medications to determine if Vicoprofen is a practical choice for the patient or if it puts them at risk for future addiction.

Side Effects of Vicoprofen

In normal doses, Vicoprofen will likely only produce minor to moderate symptoms. However, in high doses, the drug can produce serious side effects.

Adverse effects and risks of Vicoprofen include:

  • Dopamine overload
  • Respiratory depression
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Hypertension
  • Skin reactions or a skin rash
  • Unusual/sudden weight gain
  • Dry mouth
  • Withdrawal symptoms (after stopping use abruptly)

NSAID medications put patients at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or in severe cases, heart failure. Allergic reactions can also occur, so it is important to seek medical advice before beginning use.

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, call emergency services immediately because an opioid overdose may be occurring:

  • Difficulty breathing (shallow breathing)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased heart rate and/or chest pain
  • Swelling of your face, tongue, or throat
  • Weakness in one part or side of your body
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Severe lightheadedness when moving
  • Slurred speech
  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe pain in the body
  • Fainting spells
  • Very high body temperature
  • Trouble walking
  • Stiff muscles
  • Mental changes, such as confusion

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Addiction Potential & Symptoms

Vicoprofen was originally a Schedule III substance. In 2014 it became a Schedule II substance, which categorizes Vicoprofen as a drug with a higher risk of physical or psychological dependence, but that still has medical value. Like Vicodin, Vicoprofen can lead to addiction, abuse, and misuse after long-term use (e.g., taking it without a prescription or in higher doses than prescribed). It can also cause an overdose or death.

Over time, opioid use can induce physical dependence, meaning that more substantial amounts of the drug will be required to achieve the same pain-relieving effects. While a dependence timeline differs from patient to patient, the symptoms remain the same.

The most apparent addiction symptoms to recognize are:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Resignation from friend groups
  • Changes in eating habits (increase or decrease)
  • Talking fast or erratically
  • Quickly shifting moods
  • Being overly energetic or very tired and fatigued
  • Sleeping at odd hours

Vicoprofen Withdrawal Symptoms

Not all patients are subject to Vicoprofen addiction. When appropriately applied for pain reduction, psychological dependence is not likely to occur with narcotics, and the patient may be able to make a full recovery without the desire for extended use of the drug.

Unless the patient is prone to addiction, the mind will more than likely go back to regulating its own dopamine production once the patient has stopped using the drug.

However, the body will still go through withdrawal symptoms once drug use decreases. Symptoms can last up to seven days, and tapered dosage along with therapy may be the only way to relieve physical withdrawal symptoms and prevent future addiction.

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms of Vicoprofen involve:

  • Sweating, chills, and/or goosebumps
  • A drastic change in body temperature
  • Upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Undeniable cravings for the drug
  • Headaches and light sensitivity
  • Drastic mood swings
  • Deep chemical depression
  • Joint and muscle fatigue
  • Runny nose

Drug Interactions

Vicoprofen should not be used in conjunction with:

The use of these drugs with Vicoprofen can increase the euphoric effects of the drug. It also creates a higher risk of addiction for the patient.

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Overdose Treatment

Overdose is more likely to occur if the patient exhibits other substance abuse behaviors like alcohol abuse, is recreationally using benzodiazepines, or other opioids.

Overdose of Vicoprofen can lead to life-threatening respiratory depression. Some signs of respiratory depression include:

  • Shallow, slow breaths
  • Gurgling or snoring like sounds
  • Speaking in nonsense, gibberish, or inability to speak at all
  • Drowsy or sleepy like behavior (nodding out)
  • A darkening of the lips or bluish skin

If a person exhibits any of the signs above, call 911 immediately, as they will not be able to recover from respiratory depression on their own. Respiratory depression is fatal and causes the patient to suffocate from within as the lungs slow or stop functioning.

Treatment Options for Opioid Abuse & Addiction

Opioid use disorder is difficult to overcome. Fortunately, there are several options for help. These include:

  • Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT) When it comes to medication-assisted therapy for opioid use disorder, there are three types approved: buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. Buprenorphine and methadone help manage withdrawal symptoms as you detox. Naltrexone blocks the receptors that opioids bind to, making it impossible to get high from them. Medication-assisted therapy is most effective when combined with other therapies.
  • Inpatient Programs — Inpatient programs are the most intensive addiction treatment options. These programs guide you through medical supervised detoxification, behavioral therapy and other services such as medication-assisted therapy. They typically last 30, 60 or 90 days, but may be longer if necessary.
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) Intensive outpatient programs are the next level of addiction treatment, providing similar services to inpatient programs such as detoxification and behavioral therapy. The difference is that the patient will return home to sleep, and some programs will include transportation and meals. PHPs are ideal for both new patients as well as those who have completed inpatient treatment but still need intensive care.
  • Outpatient Programs Outpatient programs provide a well-rounded treatment program for people with a high motivation to recover. These programs are flexible and can be made around for your schedule, and can be customized to work best for you. These programs work for new patients as well as those that complete an inpatient or partial hospitalization program.

Vicoprofen FAQs

What strengths does Vicoprofen come in?

One generic tablet of Vicoprofen contains 7.5mg of hydrocodone and 200mg of ibuprofen. Other strengths of the drug can include up to 10mg of hydrocodone, but the amount of ibuprofen per tablet never exceeds 200mg. You should also not take more than 5 tablets in 24 hours.

How long does Vicoprofen last?

Vicoprofen is short-acting and will wear off in four to six hours.

Can I take Tylenol with Vicoprofen?

There are no known interactions between Vicoprofen and Tylenol. However, it is not necessary to take both medications at the same time.

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Resources

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World Health Organization. Methadone maintenance treatment, 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310658/

American Society of Anesthesiology. Opioid Abuse. https://www.asahq.org/whensecondscount/pain-management/opioid-treatment/opioid-abuse/

Scot Thomas, MD. American Addiction Centers. Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline, Detox Centers, and Treatment. 27 September 2019. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments/hydrocodone

IMB Watson Health. Hydrocodone And Ibuprofen (Oral Route). 1 February. 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/hydrocodone-and-ibuprofen-oral-route/description/drg-20062862

FDA.gov. Vicoprofen. December 2016. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/020716s012s013s014s015s016lbl.pdf

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