Can You Chew Hydrocodone?

In our latest question and answer, we discuss whether or not you can chew hydrocodone products.

Nov 11, 2017

Hil asked

Can you chew a 5mg Hydrocodone/acetaminophen? I have issues swallowing pills and was wondering if it could be chewed if it's immediate release.


Yes, you can chew hydrocodone/acetaminophen tablets, only if it is the immediate release form of the drug. If the hydrocodone formulation is an extended release product, you cannot chew it. Doing so would be extremely dangerous.

While chewing immediate release hydrocodone tablets is possible and can be done, it usually would not be the recommended method of administration. They are not designed to be chewed and swallowed. They most likely will not have a palatable taste and may have a very chalky texture, making it difficult to swallow.

If you are having trouble swallowing hydrocodone tablets whole, it typically is recommended to crush the medication and integrate into an easily swallowed food such as applesauce. You could alternately try some of the following methods to help swallowing the pills:

  • Try different head positions. Having your head tipped down opens up the esophagus and may ease administration.
  • Try swallowing water through a straw while the medication is on the back of your tongue. This can allow it do slide down the back of your throat with minimal effort.

Lastly, hydrocodone/acetaminophen products are also available in liquid form, which may be a better option than chewing and swallowing the tablets.

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