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What is Lortab?
Lortab is a combination medication that helps relieve moderate to severe pain. It contains hydrocodone as an opioid pain reliever and acetaminophen as a non-opioid pain reliever. Hydrocodone functions in the brain and changes how your body feels the pain and responds to pain. Acetaminophen can help in the reduction of fever.
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.
The interaction of some medicines with hydrocodone 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.
What to know before taking Lortab?
Before taking Lortab, tell your medical healthcare provider if you are allergic to it or any other opioid medications such as hydromorphone, benzhydrocodone, codeine, morphine. Lortab may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause issues like allergic reactions.
Before taking this medication, tell your medical healthcare professional about your medical history, especially of:
- Breathing problems such as sleep apnea, asthma, COPD- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
- Brain disorders such as a tumor, seizures, head injury;
- Liver disease;
- Kidney disease;
- Mood swings or medical conditions such as depression, confusion, thoughts of suicide;
- Stomach or intestinal such problems as paralytic ileus, constipation, blockage, diarrhea due to infection;
- Difficulty in urination (maybe due to enlarged prostate);
- Gallbladder disease;
- Pancreatitis (condition of the pancreas)
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 this medication, or you could face unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, especially when you were taking it for a longer duration or in high doses. Tell your medical healthcare provider if you have any of the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Watery eyes;
- Runny nose;
- Muscle aches;
- Sudden changes in behavior; or
- Mental disorders or mood changes including trouble sleeping, anxiety, thoughts of suicide
Measure Lortab (liquid form) with the dosing syringe, a special dose-measuring spoon, or a medicine cup.
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.
- 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
The use of Lortab may cause nausea, constipation, vomiting, lightheadedness, drowsiness, or dizziness. Some of these common side effects may disappear after taking this medicine for a short while. If it stays and becomes worse with time, contact your medical healthcare provider.
Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you any severe side effects, including:
- Interrupted breathing during sleep;
- Stomach or abdominal pain;
- Mental disorders or mood changes such as confusion, agitation, hallucinations;
- Difficulty in urination; or
- Signs of inefficient functioning of adrenal glands such as unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, weight loss.
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.