America loves its pain pills, but none quite as much as Vicodin. Vicodin is responsible for more prescriptions, overdoses, and deaths than any other prescription painkiller.

Here are some interesting facts about Vicodin:

  • Vicodin is the brand name for the combination of hydrocodone (an opioid painkiller) and over-the-counter analgesic acetaminophen. The most frequently prescribed pills containing hydrocodone are Vicodin and Lortab.
  • Until 1990, certain combinations of hydrocodone and OTC analgesics were designated with a Schedule V classification, making them available without a prescription in many states.
  • Vicodin accounted for over 140 million prescriptions that were written in 2010, making it the most prescribed painkiller in the United States. In fact, the U.S. is responsible for 99% of the world’s hydrocodone consumption.
  • In reaction to the growing prescription opioid problem, in August of 2014, all products containing hydrocodone were moved from Schedule III to Schedule II, placing tighter regulations on their dispensing.
  • Vicodin got its brand name from the Roman numeral for six. Hydrocodone is approximately six times stronger than codeine, leading many researchers to nickname it “VI”.
  • It was estimated in 2009 by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health that over 23 million Americans have taken Vicodin or other products containing hydrocodone for nonmedical purposes.
  • In 2006, hydrocodone sent more than 57,000 people to the ER. In 2010, that number was over 115,000 from Vicodin alone.