Vicodin Headache...

Updated on July 14, 2011
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
17 answers

I took Vicodin for my back last night, and within 30 minutes I had a head ache (which I think I remember happening whenever I had to take it last, I RARELY take meds)... anyway, the head ache is kind of lingering. Are all pain meds like that? I'm wondering if I should call the doctor back and see if they will prescribe something else... but would that even make a difference? Would they even feel comfortable doing that after I filled the Vicodin? I know most doctors and pharmacies are really weird about painkillers... I'm only taking these at night after the kids go to bed because they make me cross eyed and drooling... just suffering through the rest of the day with Advil... Should I tough out the headache so my back feels better at night? Laying down is the WORST. Or should I call and see if they can give me something else? Again, would that even make a difference? Are all pain meds going to hurt my head?

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So What Happened?

@HealthyMom... I wouldn't take it if it wasn't absolutely necessary, like I said, I hate taking meds!! Heat aggravates the injury, ice just turns me into a Rachcicle, LOL... but I've been struggling through it anyway.

@Julie, LOL I was teasing about the cross eyed and drooling... pain meds just make me loopy, which is why I hate taking them! But my back, I mean, this is different... Ugh :(

@Dawn, I think the muscle relaxers sitting okay with me, thanks for asking! I only take that one first thing in the morning (when you're most tense), then I stretch, so I think that one's working. It's just the Vicodin. I'm waiting for the doc to call me back; I did call to see if they could give me something else. Worse they can say is 'no', which leaves me with Advil (Doc said 'no' to Aleve).

Featured Answers


answers from Seattle on

I get this every time I take it for more then three days.

Then it lasts until I dont take it any more.

I get it with all the mega strong pain meds. Vicodin, morphine...anything higher then morphine gives me a migraine.

Drink lots of water while you are taking them. I think that is what causes some of the headache...the meds dry you out like a sponge on a counter.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on



You know this, but different pain meds work differently in everyone. More like an art than a science. I used to take Vicodin with no problem when I had a herniated disk in my neck. Had to take it recently for my shoulders, and it made me deathly ill. Same dosage.

Tramadol makes me even worse than Vicodin.

You could try something else if the headache is unbearable, but it's always hit or miss, whether the side effects will be worth the benefit.

Feel better, hon!

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answers from Tallahassee on

I can't take vicodin, or any other med with codeine, because it gives me such terrible headaches and makes me vomit. Ask your doctor if they can prescribe something else without codeine.

I also have problems with Percoset and Morphine. I absolutely HATE having to take prescription pain meds but if I do Demerol is one that works well for me. Luckily, the last time I had to take anything was after my c-section almost 5 years ago.

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Pittsburgh on

I guess you can see what they say. As for the Vicodin, I guess it really depends on how bad the pain is in your back, right? Is the back pain way worse than a headache? Are the anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxers enough?
Be careful, Vicodin is wickedly addictive--and it can make you mean!

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Most pain meds beyond the OTCs are narcotics or synthetic narcotics (opiate based, or lab-created and similar in composition to the opiates). Some people are super sensitive to them. My husband will not take any narcotic pain reliever or muscle relaxer because he gets tremendous headaches from them. You may be one of those people.

However, it could just be the Vicodin; there might be something else out there that won't give you as much problems. I would highly recommend calling the doctor, though. The drooling and cross-eyed side effects don't seem normal and could indicate some sort of reaction. Tell him ALL your side effects/symptoms and see what he says.

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answers from New York on

Call the doctor b/c not all pain meds are like that. Vicodin is a harsh medicine, but the more common variety. The doctor and pharmacist will likely ask you to bring in the Vicodin bottle and "turn it over" to fill a different script. They will need to count the pills and make sure that the number missing adds to the number of days since filling!

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answers from Honolulu on

Don't take it.
Vicodin has never given me or anyone I know a headache.

Try taking 2 Advil.
This will help with inflammation and pain.

Call your Doc and ask for something else.
You can tell them you did get the Vicodin but have a bad reaction to it, and just take the bottle to the Doc, for them to dispose of it or something.
Or maybe yes, they will think you are abusing the drugs. Many people would want that Vicodin. Prescription pain-killers.

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answers from Washington DC on

I can't take vicodin, Isn't it a codeine type of drug? I get woozy and headachy for hours after. I am sensitive to a lot of heavy medications, Oxycontin, Darvoset, Percoset.
Try icy hot, or a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.
I would call your doctor and be reevaluated. Maybe there is something else, but I have to suffer with Advil or Tylenol.

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answers from Sheboygan on

I wouldn't take the vicodin, but that's just sounds like your body is really rejecting it! Did the doctor suggest tying heat or ice therapy? I hope your back pain goes away soon!!!

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answers from Phoenix on

I've had the same experience with Vicodin. I have horrible back issues ( herniated discs) & prescribed Vicodin due to that. If you decide to call doc, you may want to ask for Tramadol. I have had luck with it, takes care of pain without headache & loopy feeling. It does make me a little tired at times but not horribly. Hope you get to feeling better.

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answers from Dallas on

When I broke my arm I had to take vicodin. I did notice a dull headache. It was mildly annoying in comparison to the pain in my arm. I couldn't get out of bed without the vicodin, so, the headache was a small price to pay. My dr said he could prescribe something else, but vicodin was the most effective. He suggested I take advil along with the vicodin. Advil is an antiinflammatory, so, it helped with the swelling as well. Why don't you try Alieve and maybe half a vicodin during the day. There's no reason to be in pain if you don't have to. Alieve lasts so much longer.

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answers from St. Louis on

I hate vicodin. Doesnt even make the pain go away. See if they will give you some percosets and some valium. :) They will probably be willing to do it for you. And watch out, they will ALL make you constipated. Hope you feel better!

And Im not a junkie either, just lots of back problems.

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answers from Rapid City on

Everyone responds to drugs like that differently. I can take Vicodin without any problems, but Perkiset (sp?) doesn't agree with me at all. And my mother is the exact opposite. I would call the Dr. and they should be able to either adjust the dosage or offer a change in perscription. If you are worried about having the Vicodin in your house, simply return it to the pharmacy when you fill a new perscription and they will gladly dispose of it for you.

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answers from Dallas on

Vicodin made me wanta puke! I was dizzy and it made me worse! Give your doc a call and get something else. There lots of different things he can give you. There's nothing wrong with taking a pill to keep you sane! Good luck

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answers from Boston on

I got that head ache when I took percocet. I never got it with the vicodin. All meds will probably work with different people. I would ask for something else.

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answers from Lake Charles on

It's called a rebound headache and it can just happen if you aren't used to opiates or don't deal with them as well as other people. Take some advil and that should clear it up pretty quick. I usually do tylenol but vicodin has acetominiphin in it so you're really not supposed to but advil works too. Any opitate pain med (any pain med that's effective) will do this to you, it normally happens after a pretty high dose like if you're taking the 7.5/750 tabs.. try breaking in half if it keeps up.

Someone suggested tramadol, it's basically the same exact thing, a little less effective and it's a synthetic opiate so the (possible) side effects are a little more in numbers... if vicodin is giving you a headache it's likely tramadol will too.

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