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Hydrocodone and Tylenol ---just a weird question

I have been on hydrocodone for a year and two months. I am taking 40 mg. per day. Some days, it is adequate, other days, NOT. I do worry about taking so much Tylenol---which would be about 1500 mg per day. Recently, when driving, I grabbed one of my pills and put it in my mouth. I had forgotten to take something to drink on my way to the pool. I noticed that the outside layer sort of melted in my mouth and the inside layer was much harder and I had to chew it up. It made me wonder if I might be able to discern (through time---or someone here) which layer is the drug and which is the Tylenol?! I would prefer to dump the Tylenol and save my liver! Does anyone know the answer? I know it is weird to ask, but who needs all the Tylenol!? I wish they would make hydrocodone without that stuff!! I am not sure what I might ask for when I see the pain management people again. Or if I ask, will I be "flagged". I have some very nice PM people now. They seem to understand and are compassionate.


  • Hi. My PM is VERY anti Tylenol. He switched me from Hydrocodone too Oxycodone (no Tylenol) as my breakthrough med. I'm a strange one I need a higher dose of Oxycodone (by conversion) than Hydrocodone to achieve the same effects. I've been told my body just processes hydro better. There are now extended release Hydrocodone meds without Tylenol. There are infact many 'straight' narcotics for your doc to choose between. I'd mention your concerns. That's not a huge dose of Tylenol per day. Your doc should discuss it with you. I've got a great doc, we talk about everything & anything. I've never been made to feel conscious or concerned about being 'flagged' but I know many are. You're not supposed to ask for meds by name. I don't know. I've even discussed illegal (in Texas) options like marijuana with mine. He's a knowledgable good guy.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • WolfpackSVBWWolfpackSVB Posts: 216
    edited 07/19/2015 - 11:48 AM
    The correct answer is to explain to your pain management specialist in a mature way that 4 Hydrocodone per day is not providing adequate pain relief. That's it. Tylenol doesn't even need to be brought into the discussion. Take a spreadsheet with you documenting your pain each day.
  • I was treated very badly for a year and a half. I was in agony and since two doctors were wrong about my MRI, they deemed me as a wannabe druggie!! I am 56 and have never taken pain meds before, nor been a fan of the ER. So now, after being vindicated by a third neurosurgeon and have had surgery, at least they believe me. I have some very nice pain med doctors. I will see them in August. Thanks for the advice. Some days it is not adequate, and other days, almost okay. I still struggle and have to take ibuprofen every day, too. Thanks again. I had the genetic test which said Oxycodone doesn't work as well for me, too. But as you said, they could increase the dose to make allowances for that. Thanks again!
  • To extended release versions, do NOT chew them,suck on them or split them. They must be taken whole, otherwise you risk overdose and dumping.
    As Wolf said there is an extended release version of hydrocodone available with no tylenol, so your doctor may consider switching you over to that, providing steadier delivery of the pain medication for a longer time frame and requiring less dosing per day.

  • It's not a magic pill. Don't expect it to take away all of the pain. But it will do two things, it will lessen the pain that you do have and it will make those four hydrocodone do a better job when you take them and hopefully you'll find that you have to take them less

    If they start you on a low dose and you are concerned that it will not help then politiely say "if this dose doesn't help could we try the next one higher". Don't experiment on your own. I've done that and a 12 hour stupor is not pleasant. Let your PM guide your treatment based on the input you provide. Keep that input professional and factual.

    Rememeber, an ER is to be taken twice a day at regular intervals whether you have pain or not, it's job is not to attack a pain flare or to declare yourself painfree.

    The IR will still be your primary tool for hitting pain.

  • aruzinskyaaruzinsky Posts: 40
    edited 07/20/2015 - 5:08 AM
    Brauchtworst said:

    I wish they would make hydrocodone without that stuff!!
    I have Medicare part D insurance, but I assume that young people who are not eligible have a similar plan under Obamacare. If you have drug insurance, your insurance has a list of drugs that it covers, called a "formulary." Search your formulary for straight hydrocodone. Your formulary may list it. My Cigna formulary doesn't but it has hydrocodone with ibuprofen (without acetaminophen).
  • Anyone that is in pain I feel for. I am glad that you have found relief and I saw on one of your posts that you are walking roughly 30 miles a week, is that correct? I know you are trying to make it through just like the rest of us.
  • and constipation with first tab was out of sight. I know dissolve them in distilled water, 4 at a time, and add them to my topicals I make up.
    Bodywide OA, Fibro and complications from Hip Replacement.
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