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i have been taking hydrocodone for over a year now for pain - i have been reading that it can cause liver damage because there is aspirin / ibuprofen in it
is this true i am concerned
thank you

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I noticed nobody has answered your question, so I thought I might. Hydrocodone itself does not cause possible liver damage, but the actual acetaminophen in the pill is what can cause liver damage in high doses. Typically one must consume more then 8,000 mg in a 24 hour period consistently over a period of time to cause damage. However, those with liver damage or conditions that make them higher risk for liver damage may not require such high doses to cause more damage. There are many different doses of hydrocodone pills, but the most commonly used is Vicodin 5/500. This is 5mg of hydrocodone mixed with 500 mg of acetaminophen per pill. Typically you take 1-2 pills every 4-6 hours. Depending on a person's size and age will determine the maximum dose of acetaminophen. Most adults over 12 years old can safely consume 1000 mg of acetaminophen every 4-6 hours. If required you can take up to 1500 mg every 5-8 hrs, but this should be limited. There is also Lortab, which is typically given 500/650 or 750/650 and Norco typically scripted in 10/350 or 10/500. The 1st number is always the controlled pain reliever and the latter is the acetaminophen. Pain meds are mixed with acetaminophen to increase the effectiveness and some believe reduce the amount of abuse, but it can be extracted with a complex cold water method for those that truly want to abuse the hydrocodone component. Acetaminophen is processed by the liver and it takes about 4 hours for the liver to break it down. Taking more then the recommended dosage can cause the liver hardship. Granted going over a few times won't necessarily cause permanent damage, but consistent use may. Adding alcohol to the mix can cause an even higher chance of liver damage, because the liver must now process the alcohol and the acetaminophen, which is hard on it. Be careful and note it is the same rules as an OTC bottle of 'Tylenol'. You mentioned Ibuprofen and that is mixed with the script called Vicoprofen and usually comes in 7.5/200. Ibuprofen is not metabolized by the liver, but actually the kidney's. However, it is safer than acetaminophen at high doses. Some scripts have as much as 1000mg of Ibuprofen per pill, but it is hard on the stomach and shouldn't be used in people with ulcers. One should not mix acetaminophen & ibuprofen, even with fever. It is a fallacy that alternating between the two is safe to break fever. Researchers have found, however, that acetaminophen metabolites can build up in the renal medulla as a result of renal ischemia caused by non- steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen. It can cause a toxic effect. Hope that answers your concern.
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Hi, I have been taking 2-4 5/500 hydrocodone daily, sometimes much more, for 10+ years. Had my LFT's done the other day, and they were fine. I don't know if I'm just lucky, or if this is the norm. Hope it helps!
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I have been taking 2 10/325 every 4 hours for 10 years for chronic pain. I had my liver and kidney checked every year and I am fine too. I just get scared of all the warnings that I see all the time.

So far so good. I am so grateful to have a quality of life, without it, I would not be able to work or take care of my family.

One day I will have to have back surgery, but ot until the research and methods of evolved into more effective surgical methods. Seems like most people that have to have the surger, or choose to, are worse off and still have to take pain meds.

Thank God for my Pain doctor, he also gives me steroid injections in my back that prevent the infamation.s
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Someone said you need to take 8000mg of acetaminophen in 24 hours for a long time to cause liver damage. This is incorrect. The limit for acetaminophen is 4000mg a day. It does vary with the person but someone can cause liver damage even at that level if the consumption is chronic. Do not think there is a 'fudge factor' in drug limits. In every drug trial, someone dies. If the number of deaths per 100,000 is low enough then the FDA may allow the drug to be used. Don't think you can double a drugs daily limit with impunity. You will pay.

I noticed one person say his mother is an RN and she tells him if he is asleep he is not in pain, WRONG!. I am an RN and I have had to educate RNs that one CAN be in pain and sleep. Sleep is a way to escape the AWARENESS of pain. The pain continues. If a patient misses a scheduled pain med because they were asleep they will be in more pain when they wake because the pain has continued to increase while they are asleep. It is especially important to stay on schedule with chronic pain patients.

I am a chronic pain patient. It started with abdominal adhesions. The adhesions progressed to the point that I had adhesiolysis and the takedown of a proximal bowel obstruction. The surgeon said in another 2 weeks the obstruction would have killed me. At the end of March 2007 I suffered a compression fracture of T12 vertebra. I had a Kyphoplasty to repair the fracture. The procedure was a complete success and I was walking 2 hours after the procedure. Unfortunately I contracted an MRSA infection in the surgical wound and 10 days later had emergency spinal surgery to drain an MRSA spinal abcess. It was repeated 5 days later. By then I had 4 vertebrae fused. T12 was GONE, destroyed by the MRSA. They put in a titianium cage, partially from the front. This required opening my left side for 16 inches so a Cardiac Surgeon could reach in and push my left lung, aorta and vena cava aside so the Orthopedic Surgeon could put the titanium cage in place from the front. They removed a floating rib to use as donor material to fill the titanium cage.

I spent the next 3 months in a so called 'care facility'. My disability got worse by the day. My foot drop was so bad I looked like a ballerina in point shoes. I was losing 5 pounds a week. I got the resident doc in to see me and demanded that they draw blood. He refused. I kept telling them something was wrong. Three months after the last surgery the Charge Nurse called 911. I was screaming in pain. I could not sit up and I was transported by EMS to the ED and had another spinal surgery. I now have 6 vertebrae fused/fixed. T10, T11, T12, L1, L2, L3. I cannot bend at the waist.

So here I am, 2 years after the last surgery. I am taking 30mg of Methadone 3 times a day, plus I take 1+2 Norco every 6 hours for breakthrough pain. I spend at least half the day in bed and sleep whenever I can to hide from the pain. I am moving better though. I can walk with a walker. In the house I use furniture and walls to keep my balance. This is better than being bed bound as I was in that 'total lack of care' facility!

YES YOU CAN BE IN PAIN AND BE ASLEEP!!!

I have been on Methadone for 7+ years. For some of it I was taking 120mg a day, the maximum, and still had pain. Now I am down to 90mg daily with 60-80mg of oxycodone (Norco 10/325) for breakthrough pain. I also take 800mg of Neurontin 4X a day for neurological pain and Requip 2X a day for restless leg syndrome.

With all of that I still have burning pain in my left side, left leg, soles of both feet with sharp pain in my abdomen and mid back at the surgical site. I say pain and I are old friends. Well more acquaintances than friends. Pain is my constant companion. No amount of medication makes it go away. The meds reduce it to a mostly tolerable level but it NEVER goes away.

My $4.37 worth. ( 2 cents adjusted for inflation)
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I have been through similar operations as you and on methadone. I found that Avinza 120 mg which is time released morphine sulfate was much better at controlling pain. In order to get off both of these meds my doc put me on SUBOXONE it will block the withdraws and give some pain relief. Have you tired liquid hydrocod? I take the liquid and then Norco for break through. I also have been on the fentanal/ phentanal patch. If you chew a very small portion of the patch you will get more pain relief and not the withdraws. Just don’t ingest too much. Spelling is poor I am sorry.
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I overdosed on vicodin h.p. about 4 weeks ago..I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, I don't even remember how many I took. While they were taking x-rays I vomited into my lungs..I was in I.C.U. for 8 days,they kept me sedated for 5 days,when I started to wake up I had no idea what I did or where I was..... when I was relased from the hospital I was told by this one Dr. to see a liver specialist,my family Dr. is getting all the reports from the hospital to see what was said about my liver,I am really scared!!!!! Will I have to have my liver removed as if I do....what happens when you have no liver.....I WILL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN,I WAS TOLD I ALMOST DIED.....I WILL NEVER PUT MY FAMILY THROUGH THIS AGAIN...ESPECIALLY MY GRANDCHILDREN,THEY ALL SAW ME IN I.C.U. AND I COULD SEE ALL OF THEM CRYING.....I REALLY UPSET EVERYONE.....I TOLD ALL OF MY FAMILY HOW SORRY I WAS AND THAT I WOULD NEVER EVER DO THIS TO THEM AGAIN.... I WANT TO LIVE.I HAVE SO MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am hoping someone can give me the info. I am looking for...can someone PLEASE tell me?????? Thank you.....Cindy
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Last I checked, you cant live without a liver. No Liver! No Life!
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LIV- ER.
It contributes to your life.


... dumb people.
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Im soooo sorry for what you have been thru...i dnt know your name, but i will pray for you
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Over the last 2 years I took norcos along with a few other drugs to control back pain prior to my laminectomy/discectomy. Now I have major liver damage. I didnt abuse or drink while taking Norco. I think the combination of drugs given, lyrica, flexeril, mexatoxilons, delaudids, high blood pressure meds, etc. I would have to say the Norco is to blame at this point for trashing my liver. I am only 40 and have major liver issues now. I am pretty upset by this as NO healthcare providers warned me about this c**p. It took less than 2 years to get there too. Be warned this stuff is bad for people. For those of you who think you can just take it without any concequences be warned. If you are taking it you certainly will not enjoy the associated flu like symtoms you get coming off the drug. I detoxed off all my drugs post surgery in October. The norco flu lasts about 10 days, you get pretty sick, taper off them in weekly intervals like I did. Its no picnick but can be done. Then I was sick from late October until now, had multiple liver panels and found out my liver had bad ATL/AST/Total Protein/Albuimin/Alkaline Phosphatase are all high.

At first the docs though i had hep, but a hep panel came back negative. Putting two and two together I assume my liver issues are all Norco related as I said above I am young, not a heavy drinker, dont have hep. In less than two years, I went from a nice clean liver panel to liver desease. Be warned. This stuff is probably ok for a few weeks of use, after that you need to switch drugs or get your healthcare providers to move up treatment vs what i have to deal with now.

The insurance company was slow to authorize back surgery which did resolve my pain issues. So i do hold not only the doctors but the insurance people accountable. They collectively created a situation where I was dumping trash into my body that I would put into my CAR!

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This message is in regards to what "pod" posted:

Not that I'm advocating taking large amounts of opioids is good for the health, but each Norco pill contains 10 mg of hydrocodone and 325 mg of tylenol. This means that theoretically a person could take 3 at a time, and they'd be taking 975 mg of tylenol per dose, less tylenol than taking two extra strength over the counters (a typical dose).  As long as the dose of tylenol were to be kept under 4000 mg daily (4g daily), theoretically, there should be no risk of liver damage. If you are blaming "norco" for your health problems ,therefore, either you have been taking the Norco in massive amounts, or it is likely to be one of your other drugs. If you are taking so many Norcos, however, why not consider Cold water extraction, a method utilized by opioid addicts to extract acetaminophen from the hydrocodone.

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Oxy, codeine and vicodin have formularies that have NO Tylenol in them. They are called HCL. You can ask your doctor to prescribe those instead of giving you all that tylenol(acetominephen). I cant figure out why so many pain killers have such high does of Tylenol in them since its been shown to cause increased risk of liver damage, especially if you combine with any alcohil drinking. I can only surmise it might be due to "sweetheart" agreements between Pharmacological companies and the manufacturers of acetominephen. If its pain relief you need the Oxy or codeine can be used without Tylenol!
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I disagree. personally i take 2 yes 2 at a time 10/325 (m367) 4 times daily along with other meds. Im a disabled vet and have moved up to this level over the last 8 years. I did try diladid but my body did not do well with it. I do what i can to not make things worse and have the procedures to try and get off the meds but no luck so far. my liver is fine but I am strict about my diet. I personally think soda will do this to someone as well as beer and working on a farm. basically it could have been any number of things I just would not be so quick to blame your norcos when MANY people do well. but each dna is unique. I wish you luck and God bless.
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Started taking them in 1990 and now have serious liver damage
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