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Why has my veterinarian prescribed this medicine?

Hycodan (hydrocodone) is an opiate agonist used to suppress coughing in dogs. It is primarily used in conditions such as collapsing trachea, bronchitis, or upper respiratory disease. It can have a drying effect on respiratory mucosa and increase viscosity of respiratory secretions. Therefore, it is generally reserved for harsh, dry, non-productive coughs.

How do I give this medication?

- Give this medication to your pet as directed by your veterinarian. Read the label carefully.

- Measure the dose with reasonable care and shake well.

- Try to give this medication at about the same time each day.

- DO NOT give the pet more medicine than directed and do not give more often than directed without first checking with your veterinarian.

- DO NOT stop giving this medication to your pet unless directed by your veterinarian. Call your veterinarian ahead of time if your pet needs a refill.

- Try not to miss giving any doses.

What if I miss giving a dose?

Give the dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose, and continue with the regular schedule. Do not give the pet two doses at once.

How do I store this medicine?

- Keep this medicine out of reach of children.

- Store this medicine in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Store away from heat and direct sunlight.

- Do not store this medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink or in damp places. The medicine may break down if exposed to heat or moisture.

Potential Side Effects

  • This medication should be used with caution in patients with hypothyroidism, severe kidney disease, Addison’s disease and in geriatric or severely debilitated patients.
  • Side effects may include sedation, constipation, vomiting or other gastrointestinal disturbances.
  • Hydrocodone may mask the symptoms of respiratory disease and should not take the place of appropriate specific treatments for the underlying cause of coughs.
  • Potential for central nervous system (CNS), cardiovascular (heart) and respiratory (lung) depression.
  • Other side effects may occur. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian.

Possible Drug Interactions

- Make sure to tell your veterinarian what other medication you are giving to your pet.

- Quite often your veterinarian may prescribe two different medications, and a drug interaction may be anticipated. In this case, your veterinarian may vary the dose and/or monitor your pet more closely.

  • Other CNS depressants (e.g. anesthetic agents, antihistamines, seizure medications and tranquilizers) may cause increased CNS or respiratory depression when used with hydrocodone.

- Contact your veterinarian if your pet experiences any unusual reactions when different medications are given together.


Note: This article is provided by Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital® for informational purposes only.