The Chemical Structure Of Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone DEA


Hydrocodone is a powerful pain reliever that is commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is a synthetic opioid that is derived from codeine. Hydrocodone is often combined with acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin to increase its effectiveness.

Chemical Composition

The chemical formula for hydrocodone is C18H21NO3. It is a white, crystalline powder that is soluble in water and ethanol. Hydrocodone is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States due to its potential for abuse and addiction.

Mechanism of Action

Hydrocodone works by binding to specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord. These receptors are called mu-opioid receptors. When hydrocodone binds to these receptors, it blocks the transmission of pain signals and produces a feeling of euphoria.


Hydrocodone is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream when it is taken orally. It reaches its peak concentration in the blood within 1 to 2 hours. The half-life of hydrocodone is approximately 3.8 hours, which means that it takes about 3.8 hours for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body.

Side Effects

Common side effects of hydrocodone include nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, and drowsiness. More serious side effects can include respiratory depression, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

Drug Interactions

Hydrocodone can interact with other drugs, including alcohol, benzodiazepines, and other opioids. When taken in combination with other drugs, hydrocodone can increase the risk of respiratory depression and overdose.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, and nausea. These symptoms can be severe and can last for several days or weeks.

Abuse and Addiction

Hydrocodone is a highly addictive drug that can lead to physical and psychological dependence. It is important to use hydrocodone only as directed by a healthcare professional and to never share the drug with others.


Hydrocodone is a powerful pain reliever that is widely used in the United States. It is important to understand the chemical structure, mechanism of action, and potential side effects of hydrocodone in order to use it safely and effectively. If you or someone you know is struggling with hydrocodone addiction, seek help from a healthcare professional or addiction specialist.