Vicodin While Pregnant: What You Need to Know

During pregnancy, the fetus is very sensitive to everything the mother puts into her body. For this reason, it is recommended that pregnant women refrain from using over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications, and illegal drugs as much as possible. However, this may prove difficult for some women who need prescription medications to function in their daily lives.

Vicodin is a prescription medication used to relieve pain. It is classified as a combination medication because it contains both the opioid narcotic hydrocodone and acetaminophen.

If you are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant and wonder if you can take Vicodin while pregnant, schedule a meeting with your doctor to discuss this issue. In general, Vicodin is not recommended for use by pregnant women unless the benefits of the medication outweigh the potential risks to the fetus. Your provider will be able to determine whether you should use Vicodin while pregnant or not. At times, doctors may advise that pregnant Vicodin patients slowly wean off the medication as their due date approaches to avoid withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby.

If you are currently using Vicodin and become pregnant, do not adjust your treatment schedule before meeting with your doctor. If you no longer wish to use Vicodin while pregnant, your doctor will likely suggest you taper off the medication. This strategy of gradually lowering the Vicodin dose over time is the safest for the mother and the fetus, as Vicodin withdrawal symptoms may negatively impact both their health. In some cases, cold turkey withdrawal can even lead to early birth or stillbirth.

Vicodin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Drug cravings
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Shivering
  • Rapid breathing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle aches
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Nasal congestion
Vicodin While Pregnant: What You Need to Know
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies Vicodin under the pregnancy risk category C. This category means that there is not enough human research available to deem Vicodin as completely safe for use during pregnancy. The FDA has a black box warning on opioids that says that prolonged use of opioids during pregnancy can cause neonatal abstinence syndrome, which may be fatal if untreated.

Women who use acetaminophen in both over-the-counter drugs and prescription medications should keep in mind that this medication may be associated with an increased risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.