FDA Drug Profile: Vicodin vs. Cannabis Old Hippie August 26, 2011 420 Times Exclusives, Best Of The Best, Exclusive Web Content, FDA Drug Profiles, Patient Resources Vicodin is a very popular prescription pain relieving drug that’s actually a combination of two other medications: hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that’s approximately as powerful as morphine (when taken orally). Symptoms of hydrocodone overdose include respiratory depression; extreme somnolence; blue, clammy, or cold skin; narrowed or widened pupils; bradycardia; coma; seizures; cardiac arrest; and death. Many end up needing to detoxify from vicodin. Acetaminophen works in several different ways to relieve pain, and one of them involves the body’s cannabinoid receptors, so it works in much the same way as cannabis in that regard. But even though acetaminophen is an FDA-approved drug, it has a number of side effects, some of them potentially serious. The New York Times reported that acetaminophen causes three times as many cases of liver failure as all other drugs combined. Vicodin is listed as a Schedule III drug at the Federal level, which means it has the “potential to cause moderate or low physical dependence, or a high psychological dependence if misused”. That’s also roundabout legalese for “it’s addictive, but we’ll let you buy it with a prescription”. So many people are addicted to Vicodin (including Gregory House) that the FDA has requested that manufacturers lower the dosage of acetaminophen to reduce the number of deaths from overdose. It’s claimed that you can get addicted to Vicodin in just a week. How Does Vicodin Compare To Medical Marijuana? In general, if you’re at risk because of allergy, liver or kidney problems, alcohol intake, use of antidepressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, ipratropium (Atrovent); medications for irritable bowel disease, motion sickness, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, ulcers, or urinary problems; monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, sedatives, sleeping pills, or tranquilizers, you might consider trying a safer pain relief drug…like cannabis. We’ve taken the following information from Wikipedia and PubMed, and highlighted in bold green any side effects or uses that match those known for cannabis. Trade Names: Zydone, Dolacet, Lorcet, Lortab, and Norco Street Names: Vikes, Hydros, Watson387 Generic Name: Hydocodone/Acetaminophen Some Typical Uses: Pain relief Reduce cough Possible Side Effects: nausea vomiting constipation drowsiness dizziness lightheadedness fuzzy thinking anxiety abnormally happy or abnormally sad mood dry throat difficulty urinating rash itching narrowing of the pupils (black circles in the center of the eyes) slowed or irregular breathing chest tightness Note: this article is dedicated to C.C. from Old Hippie. Nugs and hugs!