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Drug Info > H > Hycodan
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How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Hydrocodone belongs to the family of medications known as antitussives (cough suppressants). This medication is used to control coughing that is exhausting and nonproductive (nothing is coughed up). It works on the brain to decrease the urge to cough. Hydrocodone is a narcotic medication and therefore can be habit-forming if taken for long periods of time.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

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How should I use this medication?

Note: A cough is a symptom. Before taking a cough suppressant, it is important to assess the underlying cause of the cough.

Adults: The recommended dose of hydrocodone for adults and children over 12 years is 5 mg (1 teaspoonful [5 mL] or 1 tablet) not less than 4 hours apart, after meals and at bedtime with food or a glass of milk. Do not exceed 30 mg (6 doses) in a 24-hour period. The maximum single dose for adults is 15 mg (3 tablets or 15 mL).

The maximum single dose for children over 12 years is 10 mg (2 tablets or 10 mL).

Children (2 to 12 years): The recommended dose is 2.5 mg (one-half teaspoonful [2.5 mL] or one-half tablet) not less than 4 hours apart, after meals and at bedtime with food or a glass of milk. Do not exceed 15 mg (6 doses) in a 24-hour period. The maximum single dose is 5 mg (1 tablet or 5 mL).

Children (less than 2 years): The recommended dose is 1.25 mg (one-quarter teaspoonful [1.25 mL] or one-quarter tablet) not less than 4 hours apart, after meals and at bedtime with food or a glass of milk. Do not exceed 7.5 mg (6 doses) in a 24-hour period. The maximum single dose is 1.25 mg (one-quarter tablet or 1.25 mL).

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. 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 not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each 5 mL of red, wild-cherry-flavoured syrup contains hydrocodone bitartrate 5 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: artificial cherry flavor, caramel syrup, FD&C Red No. 2, hydrochloric acid, methylparaben, propylparaben, purified water, sorbitol solution 70%, and sucrose. The syrup does not contain alcohol, lactose, sodium, sulfite, or tartrazine.

Each white, scored tablet embossed with "HYCODAN" on one side and blank on the other side contains hydrocodone bitartrate 5 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, lactose, pregelatinized tapioca starch, stearic acid, talc, and zinc stearate. The tablets do not contain sodium or tartrazine.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take hydrocodone if you:

  • are allergic to hydrocodone or any ingredients of the medication
  • are allergic to any of the other "opioid"-type medications (e.g., morphine, codeine
  • are having difficulty breathing
  • have an intracranial (inside the head) lesion associated with increased pressure inside the head



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