Drug Classification & Information

Hydrocodone is an opiate used for anti-tussive (cough) effects by suppressing the cough receptors in the central nervous system.  It is generally prescribed in combination with homatropine (an anti-cholinergic) which is used to prevent abuse & overdosage in humans.  There are products that contain acetaminophen which should never be administered to a cat.  Hydrocodone is not recommended in cats.  Chronic therapy in dogs may lead to tolerance necessitating an increase in dosage to achieve effect.

Indications for Use

Anti-tussive for adjunctive treatment of kennel cough, chronic bronchitis, left mainstem bronchus compression secondary to left atrial enlargement.  Should not be used in a patient with active congestive heart failure or pneumonia – these are conditions where suppressing the cough reflex will have deleterious effects.

Potential Drug Interactions

When combined with other opioids such as tramadol may expect additive sedative effects. 

Drug Side Effects

Hydrocodone may cause sedation and lethargy most commonly.  May occasionally cause vomiting or constipation.

Therapeutic Monitoring

When used for coughing assess clinical response.

Dosage Forms

Human: 5 mg hydrocodone & homatropine MBr 1.5 mg tablets;  5 mg hydrocodone & homatropine MBr 1.5 mg/5 mL oral syrup.