"Adverse Reaction to Vicodin" Scarey!

Hi All. I want to tell you all what has happened to me. Yesterday morning I woke up in a pretty bad flare. I had errands to run and had volunteered to help out some friends at my church later in the day. I knew I hurt too bad and was too fatigued to do it all, but all needed to be done. This is how I use vicodin. If I need to do something, that I need help for, I take 1/2 of one. I always make sure to eat first or I know I'll get an upset stomach if I don't. It's just enough to take the edge off and it's a stimulant for me and makes me go go go.

Well, I took 1/2 of one after lunch yesterday. In two hours I was home and in terrible intense muscle pain. It felt like my heart was in my throat and my heart was pounding SO hard. I was scared to death. It lasted for hours. In fact, I can still feel the effects today 29 hours later. I should have gone to the ER. I should have called my PCP this morning. I had an appointment with my acupuncturist this afternoon. She wants me to see my PCP as soon as I can for arrhythmia. What? From half a vicodin? She said yes, I had an adverse reaction to the vicodin. I have been taking it since 2002. I have been through the mill trying not to become addicted to it again and changing my lifestyle to get away from it. Yesterday?... my answer in my denial... I went to bed. Yip, took my clonazepam so I wouldn't be to tense and painful. I couldn't even read or hold my book I felt so bad. Couldn't spell to text my friend. Couldn't hold my phone. My husband was concerned, but he knows how weird fibro is, so he didn't panic.

Oh, I feel like such a dummy.. I will not be taking vicodin again. Calling my doc in the morning. I just want to alert some others who may be afraid they are developing symptoms to the drug.

Anyone else had similar reaction?


Hi L- Kitty, I have the exact same reaction… Only with Percocet You described it to a T !! I can only take 1/2 Lortab , and when I do it gives me energy and takes the edge off the pain, but then 3-4 hrs later I have a bad headache & I feel worse, so like you I only take it if I really need to do something were I need to be able to function a little better for a few hrs.
I am shocked that after taking it for so long you would have this reaction ???
Also my pain dr. Gave me a low dose fentanyl patch 12 mcg when I did well with this he increased it to 25 mg …, nope, it made me soo sick it makes no sense, but for some reason we are ultra sensitive to pain meds… But I know that awful feeling, my heart felt like it was going to stop… Horrible !!!
I’m glad you are ok now… I’m always so afraid to try anything, but you won’t think that reaction would happen since you have taken it ok before…


Dee, your response means a lot to me. I've heard that most of us are sensitive to pain meds, but didn't realize our reactions could be this similar. It scares me to use anything for pain again. I may have my doc refer me to a pain specialist to see if I can give the fentanyl a try. I try to stay away from needing anything, but life happens.

You're a sweetie.


Oh no! this is not good! Time for your Doc to look at the meds again! Arrhythomia? Oh geez! You seemed to be doing okay, but you just never know when things will totally change like this, it happens so fast it spins you, I know!

If it's generic, my Doctor has told me it could be up to 30% more or less than name brand, so that may be something to consider also. Please take it easy, and make sure to add this to your allergy list of meds!

Feel better soon!

Big hugs,


Thanks SK. Yes, I need to go see my doc, even though it's slowly going away. I want this to be recorded and I need an alternative. I'm going to start using ibuprofen regularly, but I need super drugs on some days.

I'll talk to him about generics too. I sure don't see vicodin in my future.

Big Hugs Back,


Years ago, I was prescribed a cough syrup for my bronchitis, and it had vicodin in it. I took one spoonful and headed out to work. (couldn't afford time off.) By 8 minutes later on the bus, I had to get off, as I was sweating, shaking, stomach cramping and extremely nauseated, heart racing, and dizzy. I called 911 and ended up in the ER. Found out I'm apparently allergic to Vicodin. Definitely check with your doc, you may have developed an allergy. It was pretty scary.

Hi, Kitty

I haven't had that type of reaction with Vicodin, but I do have problems with it, and well with all pain meds really.I end up either getting a really bad headache, or throwing up. I will definately throw up if I have to take more than one dose. Even with nausea meds. I also get really bad muscle pain from some of the pain meds. I do know though, from all my years in the medical field, that a person can develop allergies to something at any time.

Hope you are feeling better!

Gentle Hugs,


Vicky, I'm glad you mentioned the muscle pain. I'm allergic to opiates, and can somewhat only tolerate demerol. The reaction I get (they debate whether adverse or allergic) is violent vomiting, and a significant increase in pain. The doctors don't have an answer for the increased pain, and I would say i'll pay attention next time to try and distinguish if it's muscle pain, but I plan to avoid the situation at all costs!

Just interesting to hear that someone else develops any type of pain from pain meds!


Renie, Yep, its weird, but pain meds give me pain! Sometimes I have no choice but to try and take something, when the pain is unbearable. I have a lot of pain due to my Behcets disease too. A lot of nights I lay in bed and cry, because the pain is so bad, but I don't want the throwing up or muscle pain added to it, so I just tolerate the other pain the best I can. It's awful to have meds for pain, only for them to cause more issues. Makes me sad.

Gentle Hugs,


I wish I could take you all to my pcp with me next week. You all wouldn't mind flying out to Oregon to go with me, would you? Well, I have to believe he'll understand me. Maybe not as well as all of you, but I hope he gets it somewhat. At least he will chart it. I don't know what I'll do for big pain though.

I had another acupuncture appt today (I love her). I have now used up all of my alternative care coverage with the insurance co,so Wanda will be all out of pocket now. But, she completely understands and treats me for the "problem of the week". This morning I was still in tears and terribly panicy and having infrequent palpatations. This afternoon I feel better than I have in weeks. She does the needles, cupping, massage and adjusting. She found a rib that was out of place that directly connects to the heart (it's a chi thing that I do not understand) and was able to get it back where it belongs. Different providers have been working on that rib for a very long time. The last thing she did for me today was to put a large patch on my lower neck. A Moxa patch. It's wonderful. It's warm and full of cinnamon and other herbs. It's like a heating pad in a large, fat bandaid. Well, I could go on and on about my acup treatments. Ahhhh...

Thank you for your support. I love that you all understand what I was saying. You all mean so much to me.


The cupping is kind of new here, and really works for me. Since your flesh is actually pulled up into the cup and it is glided over the skin, it pulls the skin and the fascia (layer under skin) up away from the body and stimulates it. Massage is so different, almost opposite because the skin and fascia are pushed down into the muscle. Very different results. She left 2 cups stationary on my shoulder/neck area and I think I have a couple of big hickies to prove it. LOL!

Herb patches are new today. It's still very warm, and she put it on this morning!

I just lucked upon this woman. She practices Chinese Medicine in the clinic where I have my Manual Therapy. I have been to 4 other acupuncturists and never found one that was the total package like Wanda is. I told her today that she is much more than an acupuncturist. She said "I am a Chinese Medicine Practitioner". She is so smart. I love her. I don't know how to find another one of her. She goes to China in September and I am afraid I won't find anything like her again. She will be back though.

L Kitty,
Sorry to hear about your scare. Sounds awful. When you see your PCP they may send you to a cardiologist to check on your palpitations. If you haven’t had your thyroid checked, please make sure you do. That can cause palpitations too. I use Ultram (Tramadol) for pain because I am allergic to Vicodin and Percocet (itching). It works for me along with Lyrica. Good luck and hope you feel better.


It's been over a week since I had that 1/2 of a vicodin. I am still in the flare. I barely made it to my manual therapy appt today. I was going to quit because it's so stressful just thinking about going. The physical therapist (she runs the clinic, I don't get physical therapy) there talked to me about fibro for quite a long time. She had just taught a class on it this morning. She convinced me to give it 4 more tries and finish with 12 visits. I've got to say that it was very refreshing (and I told her so) to talk to a medical person who actually believes in fibro. Her goal is to get me out of the flare, help my hip bursitis and my cervical pain.

The one thing that she and I discussed that really hit home is the fact that fibro does progress. She agreed and she said that she wants me to get better for now and then we'll deal with next time, next time. It was so good to be heard, but it was really hard to hear from her.

I'm afraid that all of the wonderful heat, gentle massage and the ultrasound is actually the initial cause of this big flare and why I needed the vicodin in the first place, and is now prolonging it. I really don't know what to do. It actually feels wonderful while they do the treatments, but maybe it's exaserbating it? Oh, I don't know. I'm just so darn tired.