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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!

23 Responses
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.
Avatar universal
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.

199177 tn?1490502134
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.  
Avatar universal
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!
Avatar universal
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.  (:
Avatar universal
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! :)
Avatar universal
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!
Avatar universal
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!
Avatar universal
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!
Avatar universal
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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