Vicoprofen is a brand-name, prescription pain medication. This medication is a combination of the opioid drug hydrocodone, along with the over-the-counter NSAID ibuprofen. The two drugs both combat pain, but they work in different ways, which increases the effectiveness of Vicoprofen. Vicoprofen is only intended to be prescribed for pain that’s moderate to severe, and it’s a short-term treatment. In most cases, it shouldn’t be used for more than ten days because there is a misuse and addiction risk stemming from the use of Vicoprofen. For the management of acute pain, the typical dosage prescribed is one tablet used every four to six hours, as needed. The maximum dosage is five tablets in a 24-hour period.
Vicoprofen is a Schedule II controlled substance, according to the DEA. Vicoprofen is a controlled substance because of the opioid component, hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is believed to have a high potential for not only misuse but also psychological and physical dependence, according to the DEA in the U.S. To use or possess Vicoprofen or any hydrocodone product without a valid prescription is illegal in the U.S. Before 2014, many hydrocodone products were Schedule III, which means they were believed to have a lower misuse potential than schedule II drugs. That changed to Schedule II in 2014, likely in large part because of the devastation of the opioid epidemic. When a substance is controlled, there are guidelines not only for how it’s to be used but also how it’s prescribed and dispensed.
Hydrocodone-based drugs are among the most commonly prescribed prescription drugs in the U.S. Hydrocodone is similar to drugs like morphine and oxycodone, and there is a high misuse and dependency potential. Hydrocodone is often prescribed for severe post-surgery pain, or pain related to injuries. Hydrocodone is in prescription brand name drugs including Vicodin, Lortab and Norco. Most hydrocodone pain medications also include acetaminophen, although Vicoprofen contains ibuprofen.
Vicoprofen binds to opioid receptors, located throughout the central nervous system and the entire body. When hydrocodone binds to these receptor sites, it changes how pain signals are sent and felt. The ibuprofen component of Vicoprofen reduces inflammation and fights pain in different ways. When hydrocodone takes effect, it not only changes pain signals, but it also slows the functions of the central nervous system and, in some cases, can cause euphoria. Someone on Vicoprofen might seem drowsy like they’re moving slowly, or as if they are lethargic because of the depressant effects. Vicoprofen can lead to a slowdown in heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. Over time someone who regularly uses Vicoprofen is likely going to develop a tolerance, meaning they need higher doses to achieve the same effects. They may become dependent as well, and if a dependent person stops using Vicoprofen suddenly, they may have symptoms of withdrawal. The ibuprofen in Vicoprofen can have its own adverse side effects, including an increased risk of blood clots, strokes and cardiac events. It can also damage the lining of the stomach.
The half-life of Vicoprofen is a measure of how long it takes half a dose of the drug to leave the system of a patient. The half-life of hydrocodone is around 3.8 hours on average in healthy, adult males. That means if a healthy, adult male were to take hydrocodone, it would take just under four hours for half the dose to be eliminated. It usually takes five half-lives for a drug to be fully eliminated from the patient’s system. The half-life of ibuprofen, which is also in Vicoprofen, is shorter. The average half-life for this active ingredient is anywhere from 1.8 to two hours. After 24 hours, most patients will have fully eliminated ibuprofen from their system.
The half-lives of hydrocodone and ibuprofen listed above are estimates based on averages. Everyone is going to vary, at least slightly, in how long it takes their system to eliminate a drug like Vicoprofen. Factors that influence how long Vicoprofen stays in your system can include:
- Body fat
- Liver and kidney function
- How long someone has been taking hydrocodone or whether they’ve previously used other opioids
- Dosage used
- Medical conditions/overall health
- Other medications or substances used
- Alcohol use
Vicoprofen might show up in a drug screening since it is an opioid and is derived from codeine. So how long would Vicoprofen stay in your urine, hair and blood? It’s believed hydrocodone may show up in a urine screening for up to four days after it’s used. The detection window may be shorter depending on the individual. In a blood test, Vicoprofen would probably only show up for a maximum of around 15 hours, but possibly less. Blood tests tend to have the shortest detection windows. In a hair follicle test, the use of Vicoprofen could show up for up to 90 days after usage.
Reach out to The Recovery Village. There’s no better time than now to make a life-changing first step.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with 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 providers.