Vicodin During Pregnancy
Vicodin is a commonly used pain reliever in the class of drugs known as narcotic analgesics. It is made up of two main components: Hydrocodone, which is related to codeine, and acetaminophen, which is a less potent pain reliever but increases the effects of hydrocodone. Combined, Vicodin is suggested for the treatment of moderate to severe pain.
Medicines are categorized in various ways and one of the considerations is their use in pregnancy. The FDA has classified Vicodin as a pregnancy category C drug, meaning that it is unknown whether it would be harmful to an unborn baby. If you are pregnant, you must not take Vicodin without discussing it with your doctor first.
Sadly, for some women, headaches are a fact of daily life. Pregnancy doesn’t always alter that fact and some Moms-to-be suffer miserably with regular headaches that they wish they could wave a magic wand over. To consider Vicodin as that magic wand is ill-advised. As a narcotic, it is habit forming and the last thing you want when you’re pregnant, is to be under the spell of a drug that you could do without. Withdrawal effects can occur if Vicodin is ceased suddenly after several weeks of continuous use.
Vicodin may cause constipation so if you are advised to take it, be sure to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water per day. Other mild side effects include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, dizziness, tiredness, lightheadedness, muscle twitches, sweating, itching, decreased urination and decreased libido. In addition, there are also more serious side effects.
As for interactions with other drugs, there is a long list of medications which should not be taken in conjunction with Vicodin.
Despite there having been no major studies on the use of Vicodin in pregnant women, medical advice states that this drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. It has been found that babies who are born to mothers who have been taking opioids regularly prior to delivery will be physically dependent, and will suffer withdrawal symptoms after birth. In mothers who are taking narcotics shortly before delivery, there may be a degree of respiratory depression in the newborn baby, especially if higher doses are taken.
All in all, it is for your doctor to decide whether or not you should be taking Vicodin during your pregnancy. With guidance and supervision, your doctor’s advice can be followed, but ultimately, it is up to you to decide if taking it is in your best interests, based on the information you will be given.