Long term effects of hydrocodone on the brain (INFOGRAPHIC)

Hydrocodone is an opiate agonist which binds to opiate receptors in the brain. But are there any long term or negative side effects of hydrocodone on the brain? Explore here.

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Specific long term effects of hydrocodone on the brain

Hydrocodone’s effects on the nervous system

  • can cause respiratory depression
  • can cause unconsciousness
  • delirium
  • difficulty thinking
  • impaired mental abilities
  • slows brain activity

Hydrocodone’s effects on the neurotransmitters

Long term effects of hydrocodone on the brain (INFOGRAPHIC)

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  • acts on mu-receptors
  • acts on sigma-receptors
  • acts on kappa-receptors
  • acts on the delta-receptors

Hydrocodone’s effects on the personality

  • changes in personality
  • low self-confidence
  • social isolation

Hydrocodone’s effects on behavior

  • abnormally cheerful mood
  • abnormally despondent mood
  • anger
  • anxiety
  • emotional liability
  • paranoid behavior
  • unusual thoughts

Psychological effects

  • addiction
  • cravings and compulsion
  • decrease in awareness or responsiveness
  • mental depression
  • sudden mood swings
  • vivid dreams


What are typical doses?

Abuse typical doses

  • per day first time users …… 5-10 mg
  • per day tolerant users ……… 10-15 mg
  • per day addicts …… 20-30 mg

Lethal typical doses

  • reported fatal dose ………… 90 mg
  • 9 times the maximum dose prescribed


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How long is “long term”?

Generally, long term use of hydrocodone is daily dosing which continues for more than 6 months. But long term opioid use is measured differently in various combinations with other chemical substances.

Chronic = repetitive and pattern-followed hydrocodone abuse that reflects negative consequences on:

  • financial balance
  • health condition
  • social connections
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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