Hydrocodone or dihydrocodeinone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from either of two naturally occurring opiates: codeine and thebaine. It is an orally active narcotic analgesic and antitussive. It is available in tablet, capsule, and syrup form. Hydrocodone is often compounded with other generally less effective non-opioid compounds such as paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) or ibuprofen, both often added to discourage recreational use (as paracetamol can cause potentially fatal liver toxicity at high doses), and to provide a possible synergy of analgesic effects between hydrocodone and the non-opioid compounds present. The particular niche in which hydrocodone is most commonly used is as an intermediate centrally acting analgesic. Abrupt discontinuation of hydrocodone may result in withdrawal symptoms.
Contributions by Kalmia, Jfdwolff, and Realbrick.