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Taking hydrocodone during pregnancy
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Taking hydrocodone during pregnancy

I would really appreciate your help with this.  I am about 6 weeks pregnant, and I take between 4 - 8 10mg hydrocodones a day.  Depending if I run out, I usually take 4 - 9 7.5's... whatever I can find.  I have really bad back pain, and I work for neurosurgeons and pain specialists.  One of the doctor's has been px the Hydrocodone 10mg for about 2 months now.  I have tried to quit taking them, but I begin withdrawals and cannot stand it.  They are extreme flu like sx's (you know the signs).  My doctor said I can continue with the hydrocodone 10mg 4x's a day until my 7th month at which he will taper me.  I do NOT want to take it much longer than 3 months!!!

I am going to ask the doctor to start tapering me down.  I have been going to physical therapy (myofascial tx for a disc in my neck that is pushing upwards and causing the muscle pulling and pain) and am hopeful that after the treatments are done I will no longer have pain.  

My main question though- at this point have I harmed the fetus?  I have been taking px Folic Acid 1mg 2x's a day and eating healthy.  I have had really bad morning sickness (unsure if it is from W/D or actual morning sickness) which I take herbal "Morning Sickness Magic" for and helps.  Anyways, I have not found any actual evidence or studies saying how much is too much- I am sure any amount is too much, yet I am planning on doing this right while I still have time (I have not been addicted for long- just a few months).  

If you could please shed some light on this that would be very helpful.  Thank you!

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21 Comments Post a Comment
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271792_tn?1334983257
Hi and Welcome,

I honestly do not know much about this from personal experience, only what I have read, I just wanted to answer you so you don't feel like you are being ignored. Hopefully one of the nurses here can come later and give you so more advise.

The only thing I will say is please do not go cold turkey and do a taper plan under a doctor's care only. Don't hold me to this but I do not think the Hydrocodone will hurt the baby at this point (again I am not certain), but I do believe the withdrawal could cause problems.

Please stick around and someone will help you. It is a quiet day and it is early so be patient.

Best of luck to you and your little one.
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Avatar_f_tn
The doctor you are working for is prescribing you pain meds?....When U say.."or anything you can find"  what does that mean.......are you finding other ways to get them?........

I would start the weaning process as soon as possible.  You have time to do it slowly and safely.  I have heard of people taking hydro thru-out an entire pregnancy...in moderation, of course, and everything was fine, but I personally wouldn't do it.  Nobody is here to judge you on whatever course you decide to take.

If you want some advice on how to taper.......I am the "queen of wean"  maybe I can help.  Just shoot me a PM.  I would be glad to talk to you.

Luv,
Nauty..........
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199177_tn?1332183097
I would talk to your ob tell the dr your would like to start the taper now and get off them much sooner. they will help you its the safest way to go as others have said do not CT off the meds
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Avatar_f_tn
I had morning sickness 24/7 for 3 months with my 13 yr old. I wasn't taking anything at that point. I would think that since your already sick you can stick it out a while longer CT. If you take it during pregnancy the whole time than the baby will go through WD. I'm sure you don't want that. Stop it now especially since it hasn't been long. I was taking alot of norco for 3 yrs and my WDs were really not as bad as the morning sickness which was pure hell but I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. A beautiful baby. Hang tough. You can do it. Read here like crazy. Lots and lots of info that has really gotten me through. I'm on day 6. YOU CAN DO IT!!!! I know your in pain. I am too. It sure doesn't help but the physical therapy would be a good start.
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks everyone for the advice.  i tried CT and got really sick (on top of already morning sickness and back pain!) so i have been taking a total of 5mg's 3x's a day.  i see the OB soon, and i will talk with the other doc about my meds the same day.  i'm just hoping i have the strength to say "can you start tapering me" as oppose to "prescription please".  

oh, and "NaughtyOne"- YES i do get pills on my own sometimes unfortunately.

thanks everyone again.  
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Avatar_n_tn
PLEASE don't go cold turkey! It can cause a miscarriage or hurt the development of the fetus. As far as the hydrocodone, it won't hurt the development of the baby in theraputic doses (I was rxed Lortab throughout my 2 pregnancies and all is well with both my boys). Be cautious with the acedometophine(sp?) dose though, for your own health.
As far as the medication goes, it is actually quite a safe med to be on while pregnant (much safer than other meds, such as some NSAIDS and others used to treat chronic pain). There is a risk of addiction and breathing problems with late term use, but again, subject to usage (my boys didn't have a problem with either even though I took throughout pregnancy, but again, it was a theraputic dose and medically neccessary).
However, all that being said, if you are out seeking medication, or taking more than rxed, you NEED to speak with your Dr about that. You can taper, but make sure your Dr knows about it, and follow the taper plan. If you go into withdrawls it can harm the baby or lead to miscarriage.
At this point it may be more helpful to worry about your health than the baby. Rest assured that no damage has probably been done to the baby, but momma needs to be physically, mentally, and emotionally strong, so take care of you and you will take care of your baby! :)
And congratulations! Being a mom is the most fun, exciting, exhausting, and sometimes mind-boggling experiance in the world! Lol!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your comments.  (:  Well, my last day of taking the medication was on Monday.  I did ok yesterday, and doing ok today.  I slowly tapered myself.  I talked to my doctor that is px the meds yesterday.  He wants me off of them- and he is going to monitor while i am getting clean.  Thanks everyone and this is going to be great for me.  (:
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh good! I'm so happy for you! I'm glad you're feeling ok through the withdrawls. Hopefully that part will be easy on you. If the stress starts to get to you though, let your Dr know. I think that's why withdrawal through pregnancy is so dangerous, the stress it places on your body and the baby. So don't be afraid to talk to your Dr about it. But if you've made it this far, I'm willing to bet it's gonna be just fine for you, as far as the withdrawals go.
The next part is aftercare, aftercare, aftercare. I'm not much of an expert at that, but you're definatley at the right place. So many people on this website are simply awesome and have been through it and are so good at recommending things.
You are simply awesome for being as strong as you are! It takes a lot of guts to do what you are doing! You should be proud of yourself! Any child would be blessed to have you for a momma!
Please keep in contact with all of us and let us know how it's going. We really do care about you!
Well, I have to go help my husband study for his police exams (mother, wife, housekeeper, teacher! Lol). Take care of yourself and talk to people around here about the aftercare. And be PROUD of yourself! You have done something amazing and you are worth this! :)
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Avatar_f_tn
well i took hydros the hole time i was pg cut down alot but the hole time even till the nite before i went into labor neaver told my ob was to scard to but i was like only takeing 1-3 a day my baby is six months now and thankgod perfectly fine but i realy think it was so not worth all the anxiety i had of her not being ok but i just couldnt go threw with with withdraws while i was pg to painful along with everything else with the pregnacey well good luck and only u know wats best for u and ur baby!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again sweetie.  I have been off of everything- just taking up to 4mg of the Folic Acid, Vitamins and eating healthy.  So far i am good.  Honestly, i think the pregancy has helped with the withdrawals that i was afraid of.  When you are pregnant your body works at making you better for the baby, that's how i see it anyways.

I am doing just fine.  I hadn't been taking the hydrocodone for a long time... like i said initially my back was killing me and the doc started me on hydrocodone.  That was in March- i started abusing them in May until recent.  So luckily i don't think there was much in my system to cause a weeks long detox.

Thank you again!  I also have a 6 year old from previous- she is wonderful and i was totally healthy all the way.  This time around has been rough... my mother recently passed and after that a lot of other issues have been coming up non stop.  That is when i started abusing.  Now i can stop and start to move on with my life.  

Love to you!  I know how it is to be a full time mom, wife, teacher, housekeeper, etc!  I do it all and work full time at my office.  Thanks for the compliments and the same to you as well... good night!
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so glad you didn't get too far in with the drugs. Good for you for nipping it in the bud. I've been on Lortab for about 6 years now, but luckily I haven't had to deal with addiction. Dependance yes. But addiction no. Of course I do keep my eye on it, and come to places like this just to keep myself aware of how bad it can get, you know what I mean? I went through about 3 years of all kinds of other painful treatments before I was prescribed the Lortab (some that have done some pretty gnarley damage to my system) so for me the Lortab is a saving grace and I don't wanna screw it up, if that makes sense. Plus I lost my brother-in-law Christmas of '07 to his addiction, and live with the 5 children he left behind, the youngest being only 3 weeks older than my own youngest son, so I know the darkest side of addiction. The worst part of his story was that he'd been clean for 2 years and just trying it one more time killed him.
I also wanted to say I'm so sorry for you losing your mom. I lost my mom 2 days after I found out I was pregnant with my first son, in November of '04. Not a fun thing to go through while pregnant, I totally understand that. If you ever need or want to talk, I'm here. I was devistated, knowing that she would never see her grandchild, but at the same time, I couldn't imagine how horrible it would have been for her to not be able to hold him, or even know that he was her grandson, not to mention how much pain she was in at the end. I still miss her everyday, but she will live on through me, and if I can be even half the mother she was, my children will be very lucky. :)
Well I have to go now, my poor little 2 year old has a cold and is only sleeping in hour intervals (I hate how easily little noses clog up. Lol. Poor baby). Please keep in touch though! And know that my thoughts and prayers are with you, as well as my shoulder, so to speak! Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Here's the REAL deal: Say things go easy breezy at delivery time. Great! It's only the beginning. At every point in your childs little life when he/she doesn't quite measure up to the other babies, toddlers, kids and teens secretly you KNOW it's your fault. Any delayed development whether physical, mental or emotional you'll blame yourself. GOD forbid any real life-long disease come up! Guilty parents are lousy parents. This is real fuel for the fire of continued life-long addiction mommy!
Take it from a gal who burried her first born baby girl in 05. I had a meth habit and didn't even know I was pregnant the first couple of months! I cleaned up instantly but later had to deliver a still-born, full-term baby. It is NEVER going to be worth it. You have to look your baby in the eyes very soon. Why not have a clear conscience??
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971293_tn?1382856582
Glad you managed to get off.
It just goes to show that we can do things when we really set our minds to it,

Congratulations
&
Good Luck
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Avatar_f_tn
I totally hear what you are saying. Like i said, i hadn't been taking it that long. I was addicted mentally- i have worked in addictions for years (i am a case manager) and i got caught up in the hydrocodone after injuring my back months ago. I work with physicians who were prescribing it who did not see a problem, they were trying to help. It doesn't happen to that many people, but it happened to me and thank god i pulled through for myself, my family, and now this child that is growing inside me.

Methamphetamine is a very different drug compared to hydrocodone. It is highly addictive, and makes people behave very oddly. Not to mention the withdrawal and 4 day nonstop sleeping. Fortunately (and i'm not saying hydrocodone is a better drug to take than meth) i am only 5 weeks pregnant and have talked to my doctor about everything. i was tapered down, and i am on day 3 of having NO hydrocodone. that's pretty damn good, and i am positive that my baby will be just fine.

I am very sorry that you have so much guilt about your baby girl. I hope you will someday be able to deal with it better. If you didn't know you were pregnant, then there is nothing you could've done. You should just try and forgive yourself.

Next time you are on here you should read through the comments first please.  Thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello again! Well that's great you are able to take your meds as prescribed. I was for a few months, and then after our loss that's when i started taking more. I used to be a smoker as well, but as soon as i found out i was pregnant i quit smoking. I held onto the pills but i am stronger than that i know it now.

I am sorry to hear about all your losses. It is very hard to go through this without my mom here. But hearing other people's stories do help. Thanks again! Now i'm off to beddie!
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Avatar_n_tn
Very proud of you. Stay clean and remember at this stage you and your baby share the same blood so what you take the baby will get.
Peace
Randy
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Avatar_f_tn
UPDATE:  I miscarried.  All is well though, we are going to wait awhile to try again once I am healthy.  I have too many health problems right now anyways... plus the pills.  I am still sober.  Pray for me!

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PLEASE tell your OB/GYN doctor immediately!  EVERYTHING crosses the placental barrier right into your baby's system!  I cannot say whether or not harm has been done, but I do know that this medication and others like it can do irreversible damage to the developing neurological system of a fetus!  If you do not get off and your baby makes it to term alive, it WILL (not can or might, but WILL) be born addicted and that precious baby will have to go through withdrawals at birth!!!  I am not saying this to scare you...I am being honest.  You cannot do this on your own, especially since you have another life inside you depending on you.  You need help from a doctor who is sensitive to your situation and to your developing baby's, as well.  I cannot emphasize it enough that you get help, no matter how uncomfortable or embarrassing that might be for you.  Your life and the life of your unborn child depends on it.  I will be praying for you and your baby and pray that you go immediately and get the help you need to get off the narcotics and give you and your child a clean body and happy life!   Blessings!
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I posted before I read your last entry.  I am SO VERY SORRY for the loss of your baby.  Please accept my deepest sympathy.  My heart is just breaking for you.  I lost a grown son and the pain of losing a child is like no other.  PLEASE, for YOURSELF get clean and stay clean.  You mentioned that you will wait to have another baby because you have too many health problems right now...plus the pills. Then, you mentioned you are sober.  I'm not calling you out...I'm just confused about whether you are still on narcotics/opiates or not.  I just want to say (and no judgment here, okay?)  that you need to get clean and stay clean...for YOURSELF!  Then, your family will reap the benefits of a clean, healthy, wife and mother.  Please do not even consider conceiving another child if you are on any medications that are not specifically approved by your OB/GYN.  You need to be very honest with him/her about your addiction/dependency.  Yes, I know it's not easy to admit to or talk about without wanting to sugarcoat it a little, but you have to be honest if someone is going to help you.  Any doctor can only help you if he/she knows every single detail, including the real dosages you are taking (not just what is prescribed) including anything you are "supplementing" yourself with by getting it elsewhere.  Then, he/she can give you medications that can help you through withdrawals and get you clean.  You should wait about six months, at the very least, after you have been TOTALLY clean before you try to conceive again.  Every single medication crosses the placental barrier.  What you are taking, your child will be taking.  It's so worth it to get clean for yourself and your future.

On another subject, please do not beat yourself up over the loss of this baby.  You did not knowingly or purposely do anything to harm your child.  If you find your thoughts going down that road, please go to a support group for those who have lost a child (either through miscarriage, stillbirth, or death later in life).  These people have walked in your shoes and know what you are going through. If you have a chapter of the organization Caleb Cares/Caleb Ministries in your area, these people are an incredible, supportive, nonjudgmental group of people in every walk of life who have suffered the loss of a child.

Again, my heart goes out to you, along with my deepest sympathy.  You will be prayed for, in ALL your circumstances, please know that!

Blessings!

LissyH
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And, one more thing...LeahR is right (go back and read her post.)  Even if a delivery goes smoothly and you are told you have a healthy child, developmental issues to not show themselves that early in life.  Depending on how much damage was done, the developmental issues can present themselves as early as during the first year, when you notice that your child doesn't walk, talk, learn, etc. as he/she should or it could happen later at preschool- or school-age when he/she has learning disabilities, social problems and health issues.  Once you are clean, you can conceive a healthy child with a happy, full life ahead of it.  Focus on YOU!  Your life must be the best it can be first, and that means being clean and sober, so that you can be your best in all that you do!  You are important and deserve a happy life free from addictions/dependencies!  That postitive life will set the stage for your life as a mother...and you will be one again one day!  Blessings!

LissyH
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Avatar_f_tn
I just read your post from years ago, but this is something I am going through myself. I'm about 9 weeks prego, and talking up to 8 hydro a day for pain. Is there any way we could communicate in a PM? I feel alone and dont know where to turn. thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
I am currently 19 weeks pregnant and have been taking Norcos my entire pregnancy. I started taking pills a while back (before i was pregnant) but over time developed a problem. i have never posted anything about my concerns of how the pills could possibly affect my baby. but have googled side affects (which were addiction and breathing problems to my lil guy) I tried to quit C/T (when i was towards the end of my first trimester) and i got body/belly aches n felt horrible. at that point i knew i needed to talk to my ob about my problem. he recommened i dont go c/t because it could cause a miscarriage. He also said they would help me find the help i need. i dont want my baby to have to go threw w/d. its not his fault i have a problem. So i go in on monday to a detox facility. but in the meantime i got scared this morning when I didn't feel to much movement from my little guy. (Normally he wakes me up with tightness of my belly and i have to urinate really bad) So again I started with google. That is how I came to this site. I'm so scared of miscarrying. I already love him so much n feel that mommy baby bond even though I haven't got to hold him. I know I have a problem and I am goin to correct it ASAP but am I at a higher risk of losing him? And is it normal for him not to be so active? This is a scarey situation for me. I have two older sons (14&9) that I didn't have any addiction or pregnancy problems with them. i know baby's are a blessing and I know this Lil guy was sent to me for a reason. I don't want to lose him !!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I just realized you posted your story a couple years back and I am deeply sorry for your loss!!! Even though I am goin to go into a detox facility equipped for pregnant women on Monday, YOUR STORY gave me the courage to post on this site! and not feel as if im in this alone!! (my sons father has no clue i have a problem) but i want to thank you for letting me and other addicted mothers to be know there are people willing to help and give great advice to guide us along the way of getting clean. Again I'm sincerely sorry for your loss, but thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!  I wish you the best!!!! And many more babies when your ready!! :) <3
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