Vicodin is a combination of Hydrocodone + Paracetamol, used as a painkiller or analgesic. Hydrocodone is a moderately strong pain relieving opiate with addictive potential. Paracetamol, commonly known as Tylenol, is used to enhance the effects of hydrocodone. It is available in generic form in the United States for oral use. The drug is pregnancy category C, which means the benefits may outweigh the risks in pregnancy.
Vicodin has many uses. It can be used in chronic pain, for illnesses as vast as toothache to post-operative pain. It can also be used as an antitussive, or cough suppressant. In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration recommended Vicodin (and Norco, another brand name of the same drug) to be withdrawn from the market due to the paracetamol component. This entity may increase the risk of liver damage during long-term use or an overdose.
As of 2010, it is still in clinical use and widely prescribed.