>> Sunday, May 31, 2009
JD asked: How many days in a row can you take Vicodin before something bad happens?
Short answer: I don't know. If you're worried, talk to your doctor.
Long answer: I still don't know, I'm not a doctor or pharmacist and still recommend you go to an expert if you're worried for any reason. But this is what I know about Vicodin. (Yes, I know that's a Wikipedia reference, but it's a good place to start for a lot of topics. There are references included).
It's a combination of semi-synthetic opiates (hydrocodone) and acetominophen (tylenol) that has a potential for both physical and emotional dependency. It's classified as a Schedule III drug by the FDA. Additionally, both main ingredients, acetominophen and hydrocodone, can be fatal if overdosed. Acetominophen can also lead to liver damage if somewhat overdosed (~4g [aka 4000mg]/day) so it's very important not to take this drug with any other drugs containing acetominophen. There are also a number of side effects list, not (fortunately) including anal leakage, though there are plenty of unpleasant ones.
As a layman, trying to tell someone I've only met in the cyberworld they've taken their medicine too long would be foolish of me. Even for professionals, it's not clear how long it can be taken safely given that people's tolerance and period of time before dependency occurs varies.
Here's my gut feel, though, as a friend. If you're worried about it, if you find the Vicodin less effective or if you're afraid to cut back, contact your doctor. If you can cut back, try it and definitely call your doctor if you find you can't.