WATSON 349 pill: drug class, uses, shape, size and warnings

What is WATSON 349 pill?

Watson 349 is an imprint on a white colored, elliptical shaped pill which is a combination of two active ingredients acetaminophen 500mg and hydrocodone bitartrate 5 mg. It is one of the pills of the group ‘narcotic analgesic combination pills’.  It is supplied by Watson Laboratories, Inc..

  • Imprint: Watson 349
  • Strength: 500mg/5mg
  • Color: White
  • Shape: Eliptical/Oval
  • Availability: Prescription only
  • Drug Class: Narcotic Analgesic Combination
  • Pregnancy Category: C (Risk cannot be ruled out)
  • CSA Schedule: 2 (There is high potential for abuse)
  • Labeler / Supplier: Watson Laboratories, Inc.
  • Inactive Ingredients: lactose anhydrous, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, croscarmellose sodium, microcrystalline cellulose, stearic acid, povidone, corn starch.
WATSON 349 Pill Images (White / Elliptical / Oval)
What pill has a 349 on it?

Active ingredients of WATSON 349 pill and their identification

The two active ingredients of watson 349 pill are acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate in 500mg and 5mg strengths respectively.

Acetaminophen is a non-opiate, non-salicylate analgesic. It occurs in crystalline powder form which is white, odorless. It possesses a slightly bitter taste.

The second ingredient of the pill is hydrocodone bitartrate, which is an opioid analgesic and occurs as very fine white crystals or as a crystalline powder.

WATSON 349 pill chemistry

WATSON 349 pill is a combination of two active ingredients: acetaminophen and hydrocodone


IUPAC name: N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethanamid

Molecular formula: C8H9NO2

Molecular weight: 151.163 g/mol

Molecular structure:
WATSON 349 pill chemistry

Drug class: Acetaminophen is an organic compound. It belongs to the class of molecules known as 1-hydroxy-2-unsubstituted benzenoids

Hydrocodone bitartrate:

IUPAC name: (4R,4aR,7aR,12bS)-9-methoxy-3-methyl-1,2,4,4a,5,6,7a,13-octahydro-4,12-methanobenzofuro[3,2-e]isoquinoline-7-one;2,3-dihydroxybutanedioic acid

Molecular formula: C22H27NO9

Molecular weight: 449.456 g/mol

Molecular structure:
Hydrocodone bitartrate

Drug class: Hydrocodone is an organic compound belonging to the class of compounds known as morphinans

WATSON 349 pill uses?

The combination of Hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen is indicated for the management of moderate to severe pain not responding to other forms of therapy.

Such pain maybe experienced in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, disc prolapse, renal stones etc. It is also indicated in cases of chronic cough.

Contraindications of the drug include

  • Allergy to hydrocodone bitartrate, acetaminophen or to any other inactive ingredient of the pill
  • Patients experiencing severe respiratory depression or undergoing a sever acute attack of asthma
  • Intestinal obstruction

WATSON 349 pill legal status

The pill contains an opioid (hydrocodone) and hence its sale is regulated by FDA and DEA under the controlled schedule act of 1970 under which it is categorized as a schedule 2 drug which means that it has a high potential for abuse.

The drugs of this category have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the US or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. However, abuse of the drug may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

What are different brand names for Watson 349 pill?

Acetaminophen/hydrocodone 500 mg/5 mg is produced by several different companies in the US. The brand names for this pill are: Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet, Hycet, Xodol, and Norco.

WATSON 349 pills price and prescription

It is an inexpensive drug and is covered by most insurance companies as well as Medicare. The average retail price of this pill is $52.71 however certain pharmacies offer discounts.

An example of such is the online pharmacy, GoodRx, where the most common version of hydrocodone / acetaminophen is around $14.70, 72% off the average retail price.

WATSON 349 pill mechanism of action


Hydrocodone acts as a weak agonist at all three opiate receptors within the central nervous system (CNS), although it’s primary site of action is the OP3 receptor. These receptors are G-protein linked receptors which function as modulators of nerve transmission signals at synapses.

Binding of the drug with its receptor decreases the activity of adenylate cyclase enzyme, which will reduce cAMP levels within the cell. As a result release of pain-causing neurotransmitters such as substance P is blocked.

Hydrocodone, like other opioids, also inhibit the release of insulin, glucagon vasopressin, and somatostatin. They also decrease neuronal excitability.


Cyclooxygenase is an enzyme which is involved in prostaglandin synthesis (one of the pain causing molecules). Acetaminophen exerts this action by blocking this enzyme non-competitively. By doing so, the threshold for pain is increased.

Acetaminophen is also an antipyretic. It brings about this action by affecting the thermoregulation centres of the hypothalamus resulting in peripheral vasodilation, sweating and hence heat dissipation.

WATSON 349 pill side effects

Watson 349 may cause following side effects:

Common side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Constipation

Serious side effects:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Decreased breathing
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion, unusual thoughts
  • Convulsions
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Obstructive jaundice
  • Blistering and peeling of skin

Can WATSON 349 pill cause dependence?

Long term use of hydrocodone may causes mental and physical dependence. However, the risk of developing dependence is far less than the need to control pain, therefore this fear alone is not considered a contraindication in its use.

Another observation with the use of hydrocodone is that the risk of mental dependence when using for pain control is very low.

Physical dependence is much more serious than mental dependence as it may lead to withdrawal effects. A way to avoid such serious withdrawal effects is to gradually reduce the dose over a period of time before treatment is stopped completely.

WATSON 349 pill pharmacokinetics


Absorption and distribution: Hydrocodone is only available as an oral. The amount of drug that binds with plasma proteins is variable and ranges from 20 to 50%.

Onset of action: The onset of analgesia is about 10 to 20 minutes.

Metabolism and excretion: Hydrocodone is metabolized in the liver. The main metabolites are norhydrocodone and hydromorphone. The parent drug and its metabolites are excreted in urine.


Absorption and distribution: The bioavailability of the drug is very high (almost complete drug is absorbed). The volume of distribution of acetaminophen is 50L. 20% to 50% of the drug binds with plasma proteins.

Metabolism and excretion: The drug undergoes anyone of the following reactions in the liver: either glucoronidation or sulfation or N-hydroxylation and dehydration, then glutathione conjugation. Acetaminophen is excreted in urine.

How long WATSON 349 pill stays in the system?

Half-life of hydrocodone is variable and ranges from 3.3 hours to 4.1 hours. This means that the amount of time needed to completely remove this drug from the body ranges from 18.15 hours to 22.55 hours.

On the other hand, half-life of acetaminophen is relatively constant in all individuals and is reported as 3.1 hours, therefore to fully clear oxycodone from an individual’s body, 17 hours is needed.

Therefore after cessation of the entire drug, it is expected to be removed from the body within 24 hours.

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