Hydrocodone is a prescription opioid pain medication. It is a semi-synthetic opioid, meaning it is derived from naturally occurring substances but is also chemically modified. Hydrocodone is administered to treat moderate to severe pain and is often combined with other medications, such as acetaminophen, to provide additional pain relief.
Hydrocodone works by binding to specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord, which reduces pain and produces a sense of euphoria. However, hydrocodone is also highly addictive, and regular use can lead to physical dependence and even withdrawal symptoms, which include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, and diarrhea when use is discontinued. Hydrocodone is a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and dependence and a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.