Lortab has an addictive nature due to the opioids present, and with much misuse, a person can develop a dependency on the medication. Even if taking Lortab doesn’t bring out any alarming signs during the treatment, stopping the medication can lead to withdrawal symptoms for people who grew dependent on the drug.
In that sense, the best way to manage withdrawal symptoms and to treat their addiction is through detox and rehab.
What is Lortab?
As mentioned earlier, Lortab is a medication prescribed to relieve moderate to intense pain, thanks to the two main ingredients it contains— acetaminophen and hydrocodone.
Acetaminophen, known to many by its brand name, Tylenol, is a common medication used to mitigate mild pain and fevers. On the other hand, hydrocodone, which also relieves pain, is a much powerful ingredient that can potentially cause overdose and addiction. Basically, the acetaminophen found in it, is added to enhance the functions of the hydrocodone.
Like most opioid-based medications, it functions quite the same. When you take this medication, the hydrocodone begins to bind opioid receptors in your brain and nervous system and quickly stimulates the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters. This triggers sharp sensations of pain and causes euphoria.
When you use this medication properly, it efficiently treats the pain you’re feeling. But when misused, people may develop dependency and increase the risk of abuse. For this reason, Lortab is a Schedule III controlled substance and is illegal to use or possess without a prescription in the United States.
Other Names for Lortab
Because of its effectiveness, it is in high demand in the medical industry. Because of this, there are a bunch of competitor brands that have created a similar drug to compete with it, but at more affordable prices.
These similar drugs use comparable formulas for acetaminophen and hydrocodone, which ultimately give the same effects. For this reason, it’s essential to know the common names in the market; however, these are still also prescription-only alternatives.
Here are some recognizable competitor products worth mentioning:
- Vicodin ES
- Vicodin HP
- Lorcet Plus
- Lorcet HD
Besides these other brands, it also pays to know the nicknames of Lortab, especially since using it without a prescription is illegal. Drug dealers and users have created a collection of street names so you can refer to the drug without drawing any suspicion.
Here are some of the commonly used nicknames for Lortab:
Knowing these nicknames will help you identify possible users and drug pushers.
The dosage for Lortab will differ from patient to patient, depending on their current condition. Ideally, you should follow your doctor’s orders or the directions found on the label.
The following information below is the average dose for it, and if you see that your doctor has prescribed you a different amount, it’s best to stick to their orders unless they tell you to change it.
Additionally, what makes your dose different from others could also depend on the strength of your medicine. Besides that, the number of doses you take each day, the time between doses, and the length of time you need to take play a massive role in your dose.
Moderate to Severe Pain
For oral dosages in capsule form, adults need only take one to two capsules every four to six hours as needed. However, your doctor may increase your dose as needed, but the dose won’t go over eight capsules per day.
For oral dosages in table form, adults can take one tablet every four to six hours. And like in capsule form, your doctor can increase your dosage, but it must not go over six tablets per day, and the same goes for Norco tablets. For generic tablets, the dose depends on the tablet’s strength; for this reason, you must speak to your doctor.
Anyone who takes it may experience some side effects, not only those who misuse the drug. In most cases, the side effects of taking it aren’t too severe and would often subside after a few days.
Here are some of the most common side effects of Lortab:
- Lightheadedness and dizziness;
- Digestion problems
- Stomach pains
Additionally, since Lortab includes acetaminophen in its ingredients, it can cause liver damage when misused. When a person abuses hydrocodone-based products or mixes them with other central nervous system depressants like benzodiazepines or alcohol, they can suffer from an overdose, which could lead to fatal results.
When a person overdoses from hydrocodone, they experience respiratory depression or even partial or total cessation of breathing — this form of suffocation requires immediate medical treatment and attention. Usually, medical professionals will use naloxone medication to reverse the effects of the overdose.
How Long Does Lortab Stay in Your System?
Like any drug, each has a half-life, which is how long it can stay in your system. Various factors determine how long it’ll take for Lortab to leave your system. For instance, one of the factors that determine the length is how your liver functions.
Usually, the half-life of acetaminophen in Lortab is one and quarter to three hours. This is because the three other components of hydrocodone include metabolites of hydrocodone and hydromorphone, which are also processed by the liver. And within 24 hours, 85% of the dose has already been eliminated by your system through urine.
Hydrocodone’s half-life is much different as it takes around five to six half-lives before it’s completely out of your system, giving it a half-life of about four hours. Because of this, it makes Lortab easy to detect in urine for up to three days.
Lortab vs. Norco
The biggest difference between Lortab and Norco is that Lortab is only available as a liquid syrup, while Norco is supplied in tablet form. With that being said, both medications have slightly different hydrocodone to acetaminophen ratios.
If you wish to compare Lortab and Norco, you must consider the following:
- Both medications have hydrocodone and acetaminophen, a mixture of opioid and non-opioid painkillers
- Lortab only comes in liquid form, and Norco comes in tablet form
- Other alternatives contain hydrocodone and acetaminophen as key active ingredients
- Hydrocodone use comes with the risk of developing dependence, addiction, and misuse
- Overdosing on these medications is possible
- Acetaminophen, with too much use and wrong dosage, can cause liver damage
When you continue to take Lortab when no longer needed, it could indicate that you have been developing a medication dependency. This is because with regular use, the drug’s effects begin to wear off, and the body begins to crave it more to help maintain the same feeling it produces.
The best way to determine if you have a problem is to consult with your doctor or physician and to perform an evaluation to understand the severity of your problem. Once it has been confirmed that you have an addiction problem, detox and rehabilitation treatments are needed.
The Bottom Line: Misuse of Lortab Can Lead to Long-Term Damage and Fatal Consequences
Understanding the nature of Lortab and how it can affect your body due to misuse is important to keep yourself safe and falling dependent on the drug. If you know someone struggling with Lortab misuse, it’s best to consider rehab and detox treatment and support them in their road to sobriety.