Switching An 87 Yr Old Nursing Home Patient To Tylenol 3 After 6 Years Of Hydracodone Use Should I Be Concerned About Withdrawal Symptoms

Gina Says:

Because Hydracodone has just changed to a Schedule II med, by father's doc is switching all patients to Tyl 3. My concern is that the switch is happening without weening down from hydracodone. Is it medically necessary to slowly go down on the hydracodone as he slowly goes up on Tyl 3? or can the switch happen in one dose?

4 Replies

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Verwon Says:

Hello, Gina! How are you?

The Codeine in the Tylenol 3 is weaker than the Hydrocodone, so a rapid switch like that may result in some withdrawal and rebound effects, such as nausea, dizziness, diarrhea and rebound pain.

To be equal to 10mgs of Hydrocodone, he'd need 66.67mgs of the Codeine.

This is a narcotic analgesic, so it has the potential to be habit forming and may cause side effects, such as nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth and constipation.

Have you spoken to his doctor about your concerns? You should never be afraid to talk to talk to them about such issues.

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Gina Says:

Yes I discussed it with his doctor, who assured me that the meds were very similar and there should not be much change as in causing withdrawal symptoms. The Hydracodone being the synthetic codene, vs the natural codene in Tyl 3. The switch happened last week and my father is doing okay. He has dementia and he seems to be thinking a little clearer on the Tyl 3--but that is an issue that varies so widely by the day/week that I am unable to say it is the med change causing the improvement. My greatest concern was withdrawal symptoms, and thankfully, he did not experience them. Thank you for your reply.

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Verwon Says:

You're very welcome, I'm glad that he is doing well!

Does anyone else have any questions I can help with?

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Chet Says:

I would say, it all depends on what the dose of hydrocodone your father had been taking and how often did he take it, every four to six hrs around the clock, or PRN? codeine is the best choice for a switch over, though the dose should be one grain, which is Tylenol #4. At 87 yrs old inadequate dosing is a major hazard, and extremely dangerous, so I would come to the conclusion that your dad was not taking hydrocodone in large doses and too frequently. That's just the way I see it.

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