My first experience with Vicodin® (a generic form, actually; "Vicodin" is a brand name) was the first time I had had a serious sinus infection since becoming an adult. I had learned the hard way that Tylenol with codiene did not work to ease pain for me and so the doctor prescribed Vicodin.

Always listen to the warnings the pharmacist gives you when you get new medication.

I was given 5/500mg pills (5mg hydrocodone/500mg acetaminophen). The prescription was to take two as necessary not to exceed four times daily. The bottle had warnings that it could cause drowsiness and that if it upsets your stomach to take it with food. The pharmacist knew that it would almost assuredly upset a person's stomach if they hadn't eaten, but the label did not reflect that. I took one. I had not eaten. This was a mistake.

I was a receptionist, which is not a particularly active job. When my equilibrium slid sideways and the world started spinning around me, I knew that it was time to lie down. It didn't stop the world from spinning, but it did keep me from feeling as if I were going to fall off. I think I now have an inkling of what it must be like to suffer agoraphobia. After a short while, the nausea set in. This, on it's own, is bad enough, but trying to empty an already empty stomach is extremely unpleasant.

If you must take Vicodin and you have not eaten within the last hour, then I would suggest having a couple pieces of buttered bread, a handful of crackers or something similar that would hinder the absorbtion of the drug. This is the same way that those wishing to have extended drinking sessions before becoming totally bombed do it. Pasta, bread and high starch foods work best.

A potentially addictive, narcotic painkiller. Although no studies have conclusively proven it, long term and excessive abuse of Vicodin may lead to sudden and complete hearing loss, as has been reported in the Los Angeles Times.

A friend of mine used Vicodin for years after becoming addicted to it when it was presecribed to her for back surgery aftercare. Within the space of a month, her hearing went from near perfect to zero. Did the Vicodin cause this? I honestly don't know.

Fortunately, doctors were able to restore most of her hearing by giving her cochlear implants. In the inner ear, there are a series of hairs; each hair is stimulated by a specific frequency of vibration, and when stimulated, the hair triggers an impulse in a corresponding nerve. It is these impulses that allow the brain to perceive sound. Apparently, in those cases of hearing loss where Vicodin abuse is the suspected cause, these hairs have been deformed or deteriorated and no longer trigger the correct nerve impulses. Cochlear implants are devices that replace the functions of these hairs and do trigger the correct nerve impulses by digitizing incoming sound.

People ask me all the time how in the world I could become addicted to Vicodin, since for many people it puts them to sleep or at the very least makes them drowsy. For me at least, it was initially addictive because it stopped the pain that I was suffering. After that, I made a strange connection. One evening after I'd taken a double dose after a long car ride, I sat down at my computer and wrote 40 pages of my novel without pausing, definitely a rarity for me. I realized when I was done that it was because my mind was clear... and I was mysteriously relaxed and at peace.

Vicodin is, of course, a narcotic opiate, and it creates a rush of euphoria (which varies from nil to strong depending on the user), which also gave me a rush of creative energy and focus, and later I discovered that relieving my backpain was just a wonderful bonus. Luckily (?) it didn't upset my stomach, so I could take quite a bit before I'd get dizzy or loopy. I would take two pills to give me the focus and clarity to clean my house. I would take them to get through a long night of waiting tables without getting crabby at people. I took them for hangovers or distressing family events. It was a way for me to be more talkative, more creative, more ambitious and I thought, more fun.

It didn't take long for things to get ugly. My prescriptions ran out way too fast, and my doctor began to ask what was wrong, since my back MUST be getting worse or I wouldn't need all these pills. I told her that it wasn't, but I was still needing medication to get through the day. She switched me to Darvocet, a much weaker (though still narcotic) time-release painkiller. It gives you a small euphoric rush, but nowhere near the Vicodin impact. It wasn't good enough. I stopped writing. I began calling to find out when my doctor was on vacation so the interim doctor could fill my prescription without the interrogation. When I found out friends of mine had been hurt or in surgery, I asked if they had any Vicodin. My friends gave me all of their leftover pills and I hoarded them like they were gold.

Like the above noder suggested, Vicodin can cause hearing loss, sometimes severe. It also causes chronic constipation and in my case, weight gain. When my husband and I started going through fertility treatment I decided it was time to stop. Cold turkey. The withdrawl is similar (I hear) to withdrawl from heroin. Constant, pounding headaches that feel like your head will break in half, waves of nausea, dizziness, and mind numbing exhaustion. An addiction to pain killers is particularly hard to break because the pain that the withdrawl causes is, well, averted by taking pain killers.

It's still very hard for me to deal with because I still WANT to take Vicodin. Even knowing all the destruction it causes my body, I liked what it did to my mind. The pure peace and tranquility I felt. There is no natural way for me to feel that euphoria, no matter what I try. I still HAVE to take Darvocet because my back is still damaged. But now I have to get up every day and look in the mirror, take a deep breath and say "I'm taking ONE pill and that is it." Sometimes I stand there with the bottle in my hand and stare at it.

One time... one time... get that feeling back... write a little bit.

I'll pick it up, put it down, pick it up. It's daily struggle. I consider it a victory when I can look at my Darvocet bottle and count the pills and realize that I have more left than there are days left in the month. My advice to anyone receiving a Vicodin prescription is to ask that it NOT have a refill. Because it DOES work to relieve pain, and works very well, but as soon as you start taking it, if it doesn't make you sick, you're GOING to want more. I guarantee it.

Opioid + Analgesic

Moderate to moderately severe pain

Hydrocodone bitartrate 5mg
Acataminophen 500mg

Adult Dosage: 1-2 tabs every 4 to 6 hours as needed; max 8 tabs in 24 hours

Vicodin HP Hydrocodone bitartrate 10mg
Acetaminophen 660mg

Adult Dosage: 1 tab every 4 to 6 hours as needed; max 6 tabs/24 hours Children: NOT RECOMMENDED

Vicodin ES
Hydrocodone bitartrate 7.5mg
Acataminophen 750 mg

Adult Dosage: 1 tab every 4 to 6 hours as needed; max 5 tabs in 24 hours

Precautions: Head injury. Increased intercranial pressure. Acute Abdomenal pain. Impaired renal, hepatic, thyroid, pulmonary, or adrenocortical function. Prostatic hypertrophy. Urethral stricture. Asthma. Drug abusers. Elderly or debilitated. Pregnancy (catagory C). Nursing mothers not recommended.

Interactions: Potentiation with alcohol, CNS depressants, MAOIs, tricyclic antidepressants, and anticholinergics.

Adverse Reactions: Abuse potential, CNS and respiratory depression, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, urinary retention, rash and hepatotoxicity.

How Supplied: scored tabs

I've taken vicodin on four separate occasions, for purely recreational use each time.

The first time was five or six years ago; I was 16 or 17 years old. A friend of mine was staying the night. She was the crazy type who always had the latest indie rock music, fresh gaping wounds on her forearms, was an experienced shoplifter who dressed like a bag lady and came to school high with her hair shaved off on a regular basis. My brother was friends with her, too, and my brother happened to have stolen a fistful of vicodin from our father, who had recently underwent shoulder surgery. We went to my brother's room, the three of us, and they each had two or three pills, and gave me one. I was totally straight back then, didn't smoke pot ever, had never drank, only smoked the odd clove cigarette... They saw me as sort of innocent, I guess.

I don't recall feeling any differently after taking the pill, though I was nervous about getting high and more nervous about not getting high. But I must have been high after all, because I ended up making out with my friend for over an hour in my bed. It was sort of fun but I didn't feel anything in particular about it at time. The next day I was totally exhausted and also sort of blank.

The second time was a few months ago, in the car with my brother on the way to Taco Bell. (Backstory: my brother is my best friend and for the past three years we've gotten together on weekends to get drunk, smoke pot, watch TV, and, more recently, pop pills and go to Taco Bell, which I always end up paying for, even though I'm unemployed and he is not.) He somehow has a standing prescription for vicodin (switching over from Darvocet, which he stopped taking when it started fucking up his heart). He decided to share the wealth one night. I took two 400mg pills on an empty stomach. The first thing I noticed was that my throat was very relaxed and I felt too lazy to talk. I felt lazily cheerful, though. After we got out of the car, after a relaxing, peaceful ride home, I have no idea what vicodin did to me because we smoked some British Colombian weed and that drug pretty much took over.

I slept very well that night and woke sleepy in the morning, but I kept smiling at my annoying family and was generally happy to have them around. Normally after smoking so much pot I feel slightly hungover in the morning.

The third time I took vicodin, it was under identical circumstances as the second time, only by then I was looking for a job and so had stopped smoking pot. My throat and mouth relaxed, and all my thoughts felt clear and very plain. I felt nothing in particular and began listing my faults and problems and the ways I make my life worse than it has to be in very concise, orderly terms, going on and going on most methodically for over an hour. When we returned from Taco Bell I sat on his couch and watched TV, feeling very detached. I went home at three in the morning and got on the internet. I was extremely depressed but unsurprised when my friends signed off soon after I signed on. I stayed up until five in the morning blankly surfing the internet, with very dry, wide eyes and finally put myself to bed. The next day I was very depressed and in a horrible mood.

The fourth time I took vicodin was last night. The circumstances were the same as before, minus Taco Bell. I sat on my brother's couch and talked for a while to my sister-in-law. I felt happy, like giggling and smiling and snuggling. I went home at two in the morning, got online, and talked to friends until three, at which point they went to bed. I immediately became almost suicidally depressed, because I wanted to be around people so badly. I got offline and lay in bed feeling lonely, unloved, and untouched for two hours. When I slept I had strange nightmares, and was still high when I woke up. I still felt lonely and like I wanted to snuggle with anyone, anyone at all. My eyes were very dry and I haven't been able to keep a thought in my head all day.

In conclusion, vicodin is best used only for pain, unless you are also smoking weed with it. It is a bad idea to take it for fun if you already have a problem with depression, as I do, and your experiences with taking it for fun may vary very widely. The most notable feature of recreational vicodin use is a very clear and open mind. I wish I was less of a lazy piece of shit, so I could utilize that clarity better.

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