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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Is it safe to switch to Vicodin 5/325 from Percocet 5/325?

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Dr. Zotaj Antoneta

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 605 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 25 May 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: Is it safe for a patient on percocet 5/325 to alternate the percocet with vicodion5/325 every 6 hours as prescribed? Ex: Percocet 5/325 @6 AM, then Vicodin 5/325 @ noon, and continue as needed for pain.
Are there any dangerous interactions that can occur if the patient has used both meds successfully in the past?
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Answered by Dr. Zotaj Antoneta 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Detailed explanation given

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Thank you for asking at healthcaremagic.

The two medications you mention both have a combination of paracetamol and an opioid (oxycodone+paracetamol the first one and Hydrocodon+paracetamol the later one). They are given for pain and are quite effective both.

Both oxycodone and hydrocodone have similar strength as opioids and should be taken every 6 hours and due to the similarity in mechanism of action it would be acceptable using them alternately. The problem with this would be confusion and risk for overdose due to having more than one medication that you are taking in one day. You should not take more than one tablet every 6 hours in total. This means each of them can be taken every 12 hours with alternation.

Example: 6am take percocet and 12 am take vicodin, 6pm take percocet and midnight take vicodin- if you take them this way, it is not the best but it might be acceptable. The best is to use one drug at a time every 6 hours and when that is over take the other one every 6 hours otherwise risk of confusion with taking the medication is present and also overdose.

In your case i would take the percocet till it is over and then start the vicodion. They have similar effect in the symptoms and there is no extra benefit if you combine them within one day.

These medications have also the risk of overdose and also dependence and should be used in elderly only if no other effective options are available.

They might also cause constipation, nausea, fatigue, low blood pressure, etc.

I hope this is helpful and answers to your question but please feel free to reply if more clarification is needed on this.

Kind regards,

Antoneta Zotaj, MD


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
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