Vicoprofen is an opioid medication that contains ibuprofen and hydrocodone. It is considered as a narcotic drug, which is prescribed to relieve severe and short-term pains. However, it is not an ideal treatment for arthritis pain because of its addictive components.
Several researchers have undertaken a ten-year study period on the abuse and addiction to opiates such as vicoprofen. According to studies, opiate admissions were a common occurrence because of the addictive features of painkillers such as vicoprofen. The findings in the 2009 study revealed that 33 percent of the 2 million admissions to rehabilitation and treatment facilities were related to opiate abuse.
Furthermore, the SAMHSA or Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the United States identified the typical reasons why these individuals are admitted to rehab facilities. The SAMHSA reported that prescription drugs including vicoprofen were to blame to the 33 percent opiate rehabilitation admissions, in 2009. The results were about 8 percent higher than the studies taken a decade earlier. In addition, patients prescribed with high dosages of opioid painkiller medications are at risk of death due to an overdose, as compared to those who were advised to take lower dosages.
Based on the study published in the American Medical Association Journal, there was no risk for individuals who take opioids in regular doses. However, the rate of death due to opioid overdose in the U.S increased by 124 percent between 1999 and 2007. There were also 750 accidental deaths caused by vicoprofen overdose from 2004 to 2008. In these studies, most individuals who died of an overdose to vicoprofen and other opiates were middle-aged and Caucasians. They were advised to take the drug because of acute or chronic pain, although a few were cancer patients.
Moreover, patients who took a high maximum regular dose of about 100 mg a day were likely to suffer from an overdose, as compared to individuals who received a low daily dose of 1 to 20 mg per day. With these studies, medical specialists are looking to find ways in implementing strict guidelines for reducing occurrences of opioid overdose among individuals who are treated for severe and acute pain.
Vicoprofen is usually linked with circulatory disorders or life-threatening heart problems such as stroke or cardiac attack, particularly among patients who take the drug for a long period. Individuals who have undergone heart bypass surgery or coronary artery bypass graft are not advised to take vicoprofen because of the potential risks that the drug may cause. Patients who experience chest pains, shortness of breath, weakness, slurred speech or vision problems after taking the drug should obtain prompt medical attention.
The medication may also produce serious effects on the intestines or stomach such as perforations and bleeding. These medical conditions can be fatal and may occur without prior symptoms while patients take vicoprofen, which is common among older patients. Those who experience signs of stomach bleeding such as tarry or bloody stools and vomit that resemble coffee grounds should consult their doctor immediately.
Patients should also consult their doctor before they take medications for colds, pain, and allergies. Some medicines that may be easily purchased at pharmacies may be similar to vicoprofen such as naproxen, ketoprofen and ibuprofen. Taking several drugs together can cause serious health problems and overdose to the medication.
This drug is recommended to individuals who suffer from moderate to intense pains linked with surgical procedures or health issues. Patients who choose to take vicoprofen should seek their doctor's prescription and advice, so they can avoid health concerns caused by the drug. They should also ask their doctor important details about the drug such as when to start or stop, and whether there is a need to increase or maintain the dosage.
As with most types of opioids, long-term use of vicoprofen can lead to tolerance and dependence. Doctors do not advise their patents to take the drug for more than 10 days unless it is necessary for their condition. Since tolerance is likely to develop with the long-term use of the drug, it is important that patients discuss with their health care provider the possible dangers associated with the medication. By being aware of these essential details, further health issues may be avoided.