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What is Lortab?
Lortab, also available as hydrocodone/acetaminophen or hydrocodone/paracetamol, is a combination of pain medications acetaminophen (paracetamol) and hydrocodone. It helps treat moderate to severe pain.
Lortab is a fixed-dose combination of opioid hydrocodone and non-opioid analgesic paracetamol. It indicates relief of moderate to severe pain, chronic, acute, or postoperative types. It is beneficial in treating mild to severe pain. It is useful when other pain-relieving measures are not sufficient. It also works as a cough suppressant in adults that comes in tablet forms and oral solutions; however, there is variation in each strength.
You should avoid using Lortab if you are allergic to hydrocodone or acetaminophen (Tylenol) or recently using alcohol, tranquilizers, sedatives, or other narcotics medications.
Do not use Lortab (Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone) if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past two weeks. It may lead to a dangerous drug interaction. MAO inhibitors include linezolid, isocarboxazid, rasagiline, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and selegiline.
What to know before taking Lortab?
The interaction of some medicines with hydrocodone causes a severe condition called serotonin syndrome. Make your doctor know if you are taking medication for:
- Mental illness;
- Migraine headaches;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Serious infections; or
- Prevention of nausea and vomiting
To ensure Lortab is safe for you, tell the doctor if you have:
- A history of drug addiction or alcoholism;
- Cirrhosis, liver disease, or if you consume more than three beverages per day;
- Kidney disease;
- Inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, severe constipation, bowel obstruction;
- A history of stroke, brain tumor, or head injury;
- if you are dehydrated or your blood pressure is low;
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders; or
- If you use a sedative like Valium (alprazolam, diazepam, Ativan, lorazepam, Restoril, Klonopin, Versed, Xanax, Tranxene, and others)
Do not use a narcotic medicine during pregnancy; your baby could become drug-dependent.
You should not breastfeed while taking Lortab because Hydrocodone and acetaminophen harm a nursing baby by passing into the breast milk.
How to take Lortab?
Take Lortab precisely as per the doctor’s prescription. Read carefully and follow all the directions on the prescription label, medication guides, or instruction sheets. Never take this medicine in smaller or larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Overdose of Lortab can lead to liver damage or cause death.
If you require medical tests or surgery, tell each of your medical healthcare providers ahead of time that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop taking Lortab for a short time.
Do not go for a sudden stop on Lortab after a longer-term use; otherwise, you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Take your doctor’s advice on how to stop using this medicine.
Store Lortab away from heat and moisture at room temperature. Keep track of your drug. Be aware if anyone is misusing your medication or without taking a prescription because hydrocodone is a drug of abuse.
Always check your bottle to ensure you have received the correct pills (same type and brand) of the medicine your doctor prescribed.
Measure Lortab (liquid form) with the dosing syringe, a special dose-measuring spoon, or a medicine cup.
Even at regular doses, hydrocodone may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with someone else, especially someone with a past of drug abuse or addiction. Misuse of narcotic medicine like Lortab can cause addiction, overdose, and death, particularly in a child or a person using this medicine without a prescription. It is against the lawful act to sell or give away Lortab.
Usual adult dosage for pain:
- 5 mg/325 mg- a tablet or two within every four to six hours. Maximum amount- 12 tablets per day.
- 7.5 mg/325 mg- one tablet within every four to six hours. Maximum amount- 6 tablets per day.
- 10 mg/325 mg- one tablet within every four to six hours. Maximum amount- 6 tablets per day.
Overdose of Lortab can be fatal. Take urgent medical help or call the Poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222.
Initial symptoms of an acetaminophen overdose include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sweating, stomach pain, and weakness or confusion. Later signs may include dark urine, pain in the upper stomach, and symptoms of jaundice.
Overdose symptoms to Lortab may include cold and clammy skin, extreme drowsiness, muscle weakness, pinpoint pupils, weak pulse, coma, fainting, slow heart rate, shallow breathing, blue lips, or no breathing.
What to avoid while using Lortab?
Avoid alcohol consumption because it may increase your liver damage risk while taking acetaminophen.
There might be impairment of your thinking or reactions due to the use of Lortab. Avoid operating machinery or driving a vehicle until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness (severe) can cause falls or other accidental injuries.
Lortab side effects
Take urgent medical help if you have allergic reactions due to the use of Lortab. Signs of an allergic reaction include issues with breathing, hives, swelling of your face, throat, lips, or tongue.
Take immediate medical attention if you have serotonin syndrome symptoms such as agitation, fever, hallucinations, shivering, sweating, muscle stiffness, fast heart rate, loss of coordination, twitching, vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea.
Immediately check with the doctor if you have:
- Slow heartbeat, shallow breathing;
- Unusual thoughts or behavior, confusion;
- Easy bleeding or bruising;
- Seizure (convulsion);
- Sexual problems, loss of interest in sex, impotence;
- Infertility missed menstrual periods:
- Low cortisol levels- vomiting, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, worsening weakness or tiredness; or
- Liver problems- upper stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, itching, clay-colored stools, dark urine, jaundice
Common side effects of Lortab include:
- Constipation, upset stomach;
- Headache, drowsiness;
- Dry mouth; or
- Blurred vision
It is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Take your doctor’s medical advice regarding side effects. Report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What drugs can interact with Lortab?
Opioids can interact with various other drugs and cause fatal side effects. Ensure that your doctor knows if you also use other narcotic drugs, medicines that slow down your breathing or makes you sleepy, or medication that affects serotonin levels in your body.