Vicodin™ and other hydrocodone products: Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid similar in effects to morphine. Vicodin™ is hydrocodone mixed with acetaminophen. Hydrocodone products, when abused, can lead to dependence, tolerance, and addiction. Vicodin™ is one of the most frequently prescribed medications for pain. Other products include Vicoprophen™, Tussionex™, and Lortab™ .
OxyContin™ and other oxycodone products: Oxycodone is used as an analgesic and is formulated into numerous pharmaceuticals including OxyContin™ (a controlled-release product) and with aspirin (Percodan™) or with acetaminophen (Percoset™). These drugs are prescribed for pain relief. They all require a doctor's prescription and are prescribed for moderate to severe pain.
FENTANYL™ is extensively used for anesthesia and analgesia. Duragesic™ is a fentanyl transdermal patch used in chronic pain management, and Actiq is a solid formulation of fentanyl citrate on a stick that dissolves slowly in the mouth for transmucosal absorption. Illicit use of pharmaceutical fentanyl first appeared in the mid-1970's in the medical community. To date, over 12 different analogues of fentanyl have been produced clandestinely and identified in the U.S. drug traffic. The biological effects are indistinguishable from those of heroin, with the exception that the fentanyls may be hundreds of times more potent. Fentanyls are most commonly used by intravenous administration, but like heroin, they may also be smoked or snorted.
ULTRAM™(tramadol hydrochloride) and ULTRACET™ (tramadol with acetaminophen) are prescription medications indicated for the management of moderate to moderately severe pain. Side effects include: dizziness, drowsiness, or headache; nervousness, tremor, or anxiety; nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea; or itching, dry mouth, or sweating.
Tramadol is habit forming. Physical and/or psychological dependence can occur, and withdrawal effects are possible if the medication is stopped suddenly after prolonged or high-dose treatment.
Using pain killers and other drugs can lead to abuse, addiction, serious health problems, and even death. Drugs that are legal - prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications - can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs.