Watson 853 – Generic Combination Opioid Pain Pill

Dr. Kesi Aga MD

This article was reviewed and approved by Dr. Kesi Aga MD
Written by Livia Owen

Watson 853 are oval-shaped tablets in two colors. They have the letters and numbers imprinted on one side and a dividing line on the other. They are composed of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. They are a narcotic analgesic drug prescribed to relieve severe pain.

  • These generic pills contain 325 mg of acetaminophen and 10 mg of hydrocodone.
  • Hydrocodone is a powerful opioid used to treat severe pain over a long time.
  • Acetaminophen is an analgesic (pain reliever) and antipyretics (fever reducer)
  • Tylenol is a brand name for acetaminophen.

Acetaminophen can be purchased over the counter for reducing headaches, body aches, and fever but will not ease inflammation since it is not an NSAID like ibuprofen.

Brand name equivalents for this type of combination pain drug include:

  • Lorcet
  • Vicodin
  • Norco

Hydrocodone is a powerful narcotic opioid that binds to opioid receptors in the brain to provide analgesic effects. The U.S. DEA has designated it as a highly addictive, Schedule II controlled substance.

It is more potent than other narcotics like codeine. Hydrocodone has about 1/10 the strength of morphine, although \ potentially just as addictive.

The hydrocodone included in each pill causes side effects similar to those of other narcotic analgesics. Physiological effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Inability to focus/concentrate

More severe side effects may arise due to:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Overdosing
  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Experiencing visual or audible hallucinations
  • Inability to stand or remain awake

Adults prescribed (300 mg acetaminophen with 10 mg hydrocodone bitartrate) should not take more than one pill every four to six hours. WATSON 853 is also available in oral solutions for people who have trouble swallowing pills.

The oral version tends to work quickly to relieve pain due to its rapid absorption into the bloodstream.

These pills are sometimes crushed and then snorted by those who choose to abuse them. However, long-term snorting of hydrocodone may:

  • Damage nasal passages
  • Dissolve nasal cavities
  • Cause random nose bleeds
  • Elevate addiction risk

In addition, when someone snorts this drug, they are also snorting acetaminophen. Ingesting or snorting more than a prescribed amount of acetaminophen could:

  • Damage the liver
  • Can induce cirrhosis
  • Even contribute to liver failure and death

Differences between prescription pills and counterfeits may be hard to spot at first glance. Buying these pills online or from a drug dealer is dangerous because they contain non-toxic fillers or cheap ingredients harmful to one’s health. Pictures of counterfeit pills compared to WATSON 853 pills are available on the Internet in numerous drug abuse forums.

Percocets are also opioid analgesics that alleviate pain by acting on opioid receptors in the brain. Percocets contain acetaminophen and Oxycodone, not hydrocodone.

Below is an example of one of their labels.

NDC Code: 00591-0853Hydrocodone Bitartrate and AcetaminophenWatson Laboratories, Inc.10 mg HYDROCODONE BITARTRATE