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hydrocodone causing headaches?

autumnjoyaautumnjoy Posts: 55
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:41 AM in Pain Medications
i've been taking 2-5/500 hydrocodone 2x/day for about 2 months now. it by no means keeps me comfortable all day, but i was happy for the little relief i was getting, at first.

lately, i don't know if it's my neck getting worse or the med, but after about an hour of taking the meds, my neck and head start to kill me! all i can do is lie down, trying to support my neck as much as possible, and not move. my head starts aching so bad in the back of my head, and seems to move all the way to the front of my forehead, the more i move. it's completely miserable!

all i've been doing for the last 3 days is lying around, trying not to move, and sleeping. how depressing!

it just seems to me, that i'm getting these headaches after taking the meds, or i'm realizing them more, i'm not sure?

anyone else have trouble witht his med? and what to do?


  • Headache can be a side effect of taking hydrocodone.

    Hydrocodone and acetaminophen side effects:

    Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
    shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;
    feeling light-headed, fainting;
    confusion, fear, unusual thoughts or behavior;
    seizure (convulsions);
    problems with urination; or
    nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

    Less serious hydrocodone and acetaminophen side effects may include:

    feeling anxious, dizzy, or drowsy;
    mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, constipation;
    headache, mood changes;
    blurred vision;
    ringing in your ears; or
    dry mouth.

    This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

  • I do get headaches-and the hydrocodone probably contributes to it.I also realized I hold my body very tight when I am moving around-my shoulders,neck,and head ache alot.I also am one of those people who eat a little bit off and on all day,and I can tell when I need to eat or drink something.I put the heating pad on my neck,and a cold washcloth on my forehead,and that seems to help me also.Let us know how you are doing!Jeannie
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  • Yaa but your also taking a light dose of hydrocodone, Ive gotten headaches from it, is your neck pain different or do you get any relief at all from the hydrocodone?

    I would talk to your doctor, if your not getting any relief. ;)
  • i really don't get much relief from the hydrocodone. honestly, i feel ok for about an hour, then the headaches come on. it seems the more i try to move the worse my headache gets. the pain meds are supposed to help me move around more!

    it actually does feel different the headaches i get from my neck. the ones i get from neck, start in the back of head (they were pretty bad for a few days here recently).

    the ones from the hydrocodone are across the front of my head.

    i guess the 2 of them together was making it hard for me to figure out.

    i'm definately wanting to bring it up to my doctor, but get so afraid that i will be left with nothing! that would be absolutely horrible!
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  • I get terrible frontal headaches from Tylenol. If I ever take Percocet I get headaches. It could be this pain med isn't working for you. I'm glad you're going to see your Dr. and see if he can give you something else. Hope you're feeling better. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I have consistently gotten everyday tension headache with every single opiate I've been on. The only thing I have found that has been helpful in counteracting this effect is fioricet. It's an old school barbituate combined with tylenol and caffeine. You might want to ask your doctor about it. I know if go without it I cannot tolerate my pain meds. It's almost like a heavy feeling and vice-like pain around my head that comes up from the back of my neck. Hope this helps.

  • Headaches are unfortunately, a common side effect of many pain meds. Like someone else said, it's different for all of us. I personally don't get headaches from hydrocodone, but the area around my nose & mouth itches like crazy! Soma makes me itch too (chest up, even my scalp will itch). Morphine gives me frontal headaches, especially in IR form-not so much ER form (I absolutely can't handle it in IV-found that out after the last surgery I had in 2004). I don't have any side effects from the roxicodone at all but when I took percocet I would occasionally get headaches, which I find bizarre considering you'd think the "Tylenol" (APAP) in the Perc's would get rid of any headaches, but if I can take oxycodone in pure form w/o headaches, then it had to be the APAP combo (I was switched from the percs to the roxicodone b/c my liver enzymes are high & some other blood tests are kinda all over the place-we're kinda "watching" my liver right now after some more extensive testing). Sheesh-good thing I don't drink! My poor liver can't even handle the pain meds as prescribed, I wouldn't make it very long as a drunk or addict I don't think!

    Truthfully, the 2 best pain meds I've ever taken are Methadone-it gave me wonderful relief from my pain in combination with the Lyrica (except it made me VERY drowsy)-I fell asleep twice while smoking-at my desk-which burned my mouse & mouse pad-I woke up when it burned my finger; & then again in bed-thinking if I sat upright I would be OK to smoke w/o falling asleep-WRONG! I woke up to a smoldering hole all the way through my comforter & to my pj's-which started burning my thigh! It scared me so bad that I asked to be put back on the MSContin due to "severe drowsiness" (and immediately changed my rules about smoking in bed!)

    The other pain med that is THE absolute best relief I get & also lasts the longest for me is Dilaudid; however Dr's don't seem to like to prescribe that much I don't think, which I guess I can see why being how strong it is, but it never made me feel euphoric or anything, only when I got it in IV form in the hospital (I've had a lot of abdominal surgeries for "female issues"). The only time I can remember recently being prescribed it in pill form was last May I think it was, when I got a "spinal headache" after 'ESI's gone bad' & that was just a 3 day supply until the headache went away. (From what I've been told since I've moved-you can't GET a "spinal headache" from an ESI-that my old Dr that did it HAD to have put the needle "someplace it didn't belong for just an ESI", & I've never had a problem w/any of my other ESI's, but I remember it started w/i 1/2hr of the injection & the pain clinic had given me a shot of toradol to "kill it" before discharging me-which didn't work. That night I ended up having my son take me to the ER b/c it hurt so bad I could barely move my head/neck). Naturally they figured I was "seeking" so gave me a bunch of IM injections of things that didn't help, but the next morning when I still had it I called the pain clinic & they immediately had me come in for a blood patch, put me flat on my back for 3 days, prescribed me dilaudid plus told me to take the phenergan that I already have for the nausea (that's the side effects of meds that I DO get is nausea & the itching, especially in the last year or so-right now it's just the Soma that makes me itch but it's by far the best muscle relaxer for the spasms, so it's worth it to me! Some meds actually cause vomiting too but usually it's just nausea & the itching).

    FYI, for those that don't know-phenergan (promethazine is the generic name) is an anti-histamine so it's also helpful if you take hydrocodone or other meds that make you itch-if these meds work for your pain but the only downside is that they make you itch, try Benedryl (diphenhydramine) &/or ask your PM about phenergan. It's been a Godsend for me!

    Sorry I can't really help with much for the headaches other than to suggest take some ibuprofen w/it until you ask your Dr to be switched to something else (they do make hydromorphone which is the same thing only mixed with ibuprofen instead of tylenol-perhaps that would do the trick?). If you're honest & just tell the Dr that you get these headaches w/i 30mins of taking the hydrocodone (or however long you said it was, I think you said half hour) then I'm certain there's something the Dr can/will do to help you. I know that Tylenol has never been a good pain reliever for me even long before I had chronic pain-ibuprofen has always done the trick, and rarely aspirin. That's why I said maybe see about taking some ibuprofen to see if that will knock out the headaches until you see your Dr. Be sure & let him/her know if that does the trick or not though, ok?

    I hope at least something I said here helped someone who read it! That's my mission in life is to help..I'm sorry if it didn't :-(

    I gotta go lay back down for awhile-possibly even fall asleep (if I'm lucky). If I can't sleep I'll probably be back on later. If not I'll be back soon! :-)

    Good luck & keep us posted!
  • Hydrocodone gave me terrible headaches and nausea. Finally the pharmacist suggested taking an antihistamine along with the dose of hyrdo. Dramamine is what I used and it worked like a charm the first time. After about two weeks of taking the Dramamine my body became use to the hydrocodone and it no longer bothered me and I could take it by itself.
  • I have been taking Norco 10's for few yrs. now. This last refill was filled at diff. Pharmacy, and instead of the white ones I got the yellow. Ever since I have been having bad migraines and nauseated daily. Found out it's the dye. So no more yellows for me!
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