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What is Lortab?
Lortab is an opioid pain medication that consists of a combination form of acetaminophen (paracetamol) and hydrocodone. Acetaminophen ( or Tylenol) is a less potent pain reliever that increases hydrocodone (an opioid pain drug) effects. Lortab is beneficial in treating moderate to severe pain, especially when other pain-relieving measures are not sufficient. Lortab also works as a cough suppressant in adults. It is a fixed-dose combination drug consisting of opioid hydrocodone and non-opioid analgesic paracetamol. It indicates relief of moderate to severe acute pain, chronic pain, or postoperative types.
Even at regular doses, hydrocodone available in Lortab 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. 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.
What to know before taking Lortab?
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. 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 taking Lortab is safe for your health, 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)
How to take Lortab?
Read the available medication guides and patient leaflets carefully before you start taking Lortab and each time you go for a refill. Take this medication orally as per your doctor's recommendation. You may take Lortab with or without food. If you have nausea, you should take medicine with food. Ask any medical healthcare providers about other formulas to decrease nausea (such as lying down for an hour or two with minimum head movement). If you or anyone else is using the liquid form of Lortab, use a proper medicine dose-measuring device rather than a kitchen spoon. It will help to take the exact amount of the medicine. Your dosage will depend upon your medical condition and initial response to the treatment. In children, the pediatrician prescribes the dosage based on body weight. Do not increase or reduce your dose or take medicine more frequently. Stop the use of Lortab properly. Pain medications work best if you start taking them when the first symptom of pain begins. If you have ongoing pain, your doctor may recommend you to take any long-acting opioid medication. Do not suddenly stop taking Lortab, or you could face unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, especially when you were taking it for a longer duration or in high doses.
Your Lortab dosage will depend upon your age, your medical condition, your initial response to the treatment with Lortab, other medical conditions you have, and other medications you take. Usual adult dosage for pain:
- 5 mg/325 mg – one or two tablets 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. 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?
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. Consult a doctor/pharmacist before taking any other cold, pain, allergy, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes called APAP) is a part of many combination medicines. Avoid alcohol consumption because it may increase your liver damage risk while taking acetaminophen.
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. Tell your medical healthcare provider if you have any of the following withdrawal symptoms before it gets serious:
- Watery eyes;
- Runny nose;
- Muscle aches;
- Sudden changes in behavior; or
- Mental disorders or mood changes including trouble sleeping, anxiety, thoughts of suicide
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. Common side effects of Lortab include constipation, upset stomach, headache, drowsiness, dry mouth, or blurred vision. Call 911 or take immediate help from your medical healthcare provider if you have any of the following severe side effects due to Lortab:
- Unusual thoughts or behavior, confusion;
- Slow heartbeat, shallow breathing;
- Easy bleeding or bruising;
- Sexual problems, loss of interest in sex, impotence;
- Seizure (convulsion);
- Low cortisol levels- vomiting, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, worsening weakness or tiredness;
- Infertility missed menstrual periods; or
- Liver problems- upper stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, itching, clay-colored stools, dark urine, jaundice.
What drugs can interact with Lortab?
The interaction of some medicines with hydrocodone available in Lortab causes a severe condition called serotonin syndrome. Do not use a narcotic drug 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.