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Difference Between Hycodan and Tussionex

Hycodan vs Tussionex

Hydrocodone, also dihydrocodeinone, is a drug used in treating pain and suppressing coughs. This semi-synthetic opioid drug is often combined with painkillers such as acetaminophen or paracetamol. This drug can be addictive; therefore, it is considered a prescription drug in most countries. It goes by various trade names in other countries depending on the manufacturer. This semi-synthetic drug contains natural derivatives of the opium poppy. Endorphins are chemical substances that block the opioid receptor, preventing pain signals from reaching the brain to be interpreted. Hydrocodone works just like those endorphins, blocking off opioid receptors, and the sensation of pain. On the other hand, the cough suppressant property found in hydrocodone is so strong. Because of this, it is perfect to be used in cough-suppressing agents that usually come in oral preparations. A number of cough preparations come with hydrocodone mixed with different substances to relieve coughs, and different brand names are available as well. Tussionex and Hycodan are among the brand names with the hydrocodone component, and both act as cough suppressants. What are their differences?

Hycodan contains hydrocodone bitartrate and homatropine methylbromide. The latter component is mixed with hydrocodone in minimal amounts to discourage the potential of overdosing. Hycodan is indicated to relieve the symptoms of coughing in both adult and children six years old and above. Hycodan is available in both solid and liquid forms,  and the recommended dose is usually one tablet or 5ml of the oral solution to be taken every 4-6 hours as needed; the dose should not exceed 6 tablets or 30 ml in just 24 hours. Hycodan tablets come as a white-colored, biconvex tablet with one side embossed with the brand name “Hycodan” and other side plain. Hycodan oral solution is colored clear red and comes in a wild cherry flavor.

Tussionex is another brand that contains hydrocodone. It comes in a combination of hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine. Tussionex comes in an extended-release suspension and is also used in providing relief for coughs and upper respiratory tract symptoms that may be associated with colds or allergies. This preparation can be used by both adults and children six years old and above. Tussionex is only available in a liquid oral form unlike Hycodan. Tussionex is available in a gold-colored suspension,  and the usual adult dose is 5ml (or 1 teaspoon) to be taken every 12 hours. The dose should not go beyond 10 ml in 24 hours. Children should only take 2.5ml every 12 hours and should not go beyond 5ml dose in 24 hours.

In general, Tussionex and Hycodan belong to the codone opioid family, and prolonged usage has been found to cause long-term loss of hearing. However, these findings are rare.

Hydrocodone formulations like Tussionex and Hycodan are potentially abused by drug users. When an overdose of hydrocodone occurs, symptoms may include: respiratory depression; blue, cold skin; slowed heart rate; constricted pupils; seizures; coma; cardiac arrest; and then death. Tussionex and Hycodan present, more or less, the same side effects as other opioid-containing medications. These side effects include sedation, somnolence, and euphoria. Patients should be careful when using this kind of drug since it is one of the most abused prescription drugs.

When taking both solutions, the dose should be measured carefully and accurately using a measuring device. A teaspoon you can find in your kitchen will not give an accurate dose of the drug and may lead to overdosing.


  1. Tussionex and Hycodan both contain hydrocodone as the active ingredient but differ in the other components added.
  2. Tussionex contains chlorpheniramine while Hycodan contains homatropine methylbromide.
  3. Hycodan comes in both tablet and suspension forms while Tussionex only comes in a liquid suspension.
  4. The main difference is the mode of release. Tussionex is a delayed-release drug that should be given every 12 hours while Hycodan acts immediately and needs to be given every 4 hours.

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