ZocdocAnswersIs it safe to smoke cigarettes while I'm taking pain medication?

Question

Is it safe to smoke cigarettes while I'm taking pain medication?

Had some surgery done on my ankle to repair a ligament and now I'm taking pain medication prescribed by the doctor. I'm a smoker. Is it okay to smoke while I take the pain medication or is this dangerous? Medication is hydrocodone.

Answer

There is no specific interaction between hydrocodone and smoking. Therefore, from the standpoint of medication side effects, you should be able to continue smoking while taking the medication. However, there are several effects of hydrocodone that should be pointed out (these don't have anything to do with smoking). First hydrocodone may cause drowsiness, impaired judgement, or trouble with coordination. Therefore, you shouldn't drive while taking it. Second, there is an interaction between hydrocodone and alcohol, and you shouldn't drink while taking it. Finally, you should discuss any other medications you might be taking with your doctor to make sure it is safe to take the hydrocodone with your other medications. There are also reasons not to smoke while your ankle is healing that have nothing to do with medication interactions. In particular, smoking has a major effect on the body's ability to heal itself. People who smoke after a surgery have slower healing rates and a higher risk of infections and other complications than people who do not smoke. Therefore, although smoking will not interact with your pain medicine, it could have other effects on your ankle's healing. Please talk to your primary care doctor or the surgeon who performed the operation for more specific information about your case!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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