Oxycodone, the active constituent in vicodin, was first developed by Freund and Speyer of the University of Frankfurt in Germany in 1916, a few years after the German pharmaceutical company Bayer had stopped the mass production of Heroin due to addiction and dependence among its users. It was hoped that a thebaine-derived drug would retain the analgesic effects of Morphine and Heroin with less dependence. To some extent this was achieved, as oxycodone does not have the same immediate effect as Heroin or Morphine nor does it last as long. The first clinical use of the drug was documented in 1917, and was first introduced to the US market in May 1939.
Vicodin is a narcotic pain reliever and is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance in the U.S. According to the U.S. government, the classification means Vicodin has the potential to cause physical or psychological dependence if misused or abused.
Vicodin is a tablet that is used mainly to treat minor to moderate physical pain in individuals who have injured themselves or are recovering from minor to moderate surgery.
The physical effects of Vicodin include shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, feeling light-headed; fainting, confusion, fear; unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure (convulsions), problems with urination; nausea, upper stomach pain, itching; loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Less serious Vicodin side effects may include feeling anxious, dizzy, or drowsy; mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach; constipation, headache, mood changes; blurred vision, ringing in the ears or dry mouth.
Vicodin Causes Physical Effects Similar to Opiate Based Drugs Including:
Prolonged use of Vicodin can cause users to develop a tolerance which requires them to take more to stop the pain. Vicodin addiction is caused by long term intake of Vicodin or compulsive use, which can also lead to dependence and addiction. Addiction to Vicodin can be marked by withdrawal symptoms, which will begin to occur upon discontinuation of use after a prolonged period. Hydrocodone binds to the pain receptors in the brain so that the sensation of pain is reduced. Acetaminophen stops the production of prostaglandins which otherwise cause pain. Dependence and addiction can be both physical and psychological in nature. Signs that addiction has developed include muscle and bone pain, insomnia, restlessness, diarrhea, vomiting and other flu-like symptoms and involuntary leg movements. Another sign of vicodin addiction is the escalation of use and the compulsion to seek out and consume the drug. Also, a warning sign of vicodin addiction is the strong craving for the drug that can only be soothed by taking it.
A physical vicodin addiction is marked by withdrawal symptoms, which can develop within hours of last use. Vicodin can cause a withdrawal phase that is physically and mentally taxing, especially in long-term users. Without the right medical detox program, those addicted to Vicodin risk their health by trying to detox alone. Vicodin withdrawal is marked by several symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Not every person experiences withdrawal in the same way. Commonly reported symptoms of vicodin withdrawal include strong drug cravings, sleep disturbances, nausea, vomiting, sweating, chills, diarrhea, agitation and other mood changes, muscle and bone pain, fever, runny nose, sneezing, yawning, goose bumps, rigid muscles, tremors, shivering, palpitations and abnormal skin sensations such as itching or “crawling.” More serious cases of withdrawal can lead to seizures, which can be fatal.
An overdose of Vicodin can be fatal. The first signs of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Later symptoms may include pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes. Overdose symptoms may also include extreme drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, cold and clammy skin, muscle weakness, fainting, weak pulse, slow heart rate, coma, blue lips, shallow breathing, or no breathing.