Hydrocodone is a semisynthetic hydrogenated codeine derivative and opioid agonist with analgesic and antitussive effects. Hydrocodone primarily binds to and activates the mu-opioid receptor in the central nervous system (CNS). This leads to analgesia, euphoria, respiratory depression, miosis, decreased gastrointestinal motility, cough suppression and physical dependence. Hydrocodone is converted to hydromorphone by the cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP2D6.
Hydrocodone is a DEA Schedule II controlled substance. Substances in the DEA Schedule II have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
Hydrocodone is a semisynthetic, moderately potent, orally available opioid that, in combination with acetaminophen, is widely used for treatment of acute or chronic pain, and in combination with antihistamines or anticholinergics used to treat cough. Hydrocodone by itself has not been linked to serum enzyme elevations during therapy or to clinically apparent liver injury, but the combination with acetaminophen has been linked to many cases of acute liver failure due to unintentional overdose with acetaminophen.