Lortab

Uses

Lortab is a pain reliever containing hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Acetaminophen, also called APAP, is a mild pain reliever, available in over-the-counter preparations like Tylenol. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic narcotic pain reliever. Lortab is prescribed to control moderate to severe pain.

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Administration/Dosage

Lortab is available in tablet form. A tablet dose of Lortab contains 7.5 mg of Hydrocodone Bitartrate and 500 mg of acetaminophen.

Lortab is typically prescribed to be taken as needed for pain rather than on a regularly scheduled dose. If your doctor has prescribed Lortab to be taken regularly to control chronic pain and you have missed a dose, simply take another tablet as soon as you remember. If it is nearly time to take a regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Do not take a double dose in an effort to catch up.

Do not take Lortab more frequently or in larger doses than prescribed. Doing so may lead to dependency or even addiction. Tell your physician if your current Lortab prescription no longer controls your pain – you may have developed an increased tolerance to Lortab.

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Action

Lortab provides complete coverage of moderate to severe pain because it contains two types of pain relievers, each working in a different way to reduce discomfort. Acetaminophen relieves minor pain and reduces fever. Scientists think acetaminophen decreases pain by elevating your body's overall pain threshold and reduces fever by eliminating excess heat. Hydrocodone acts in a way similar to codeine, acting mainly on the central nervous system and smooth muscles. Hydrocodone binds to opiate pain receptors in your brain and nervous system, changing the way you perceive pain. In addition to pain relief, hydrocodone may make you drowsy, experience changes in mood and mental clouding. Acetaminophen increases the effects of hydrocodone.

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Precautions

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Lortab, the components of Lortab including hydrocodone and acetaminophen, or any other medication. Signs of an allergic reaction include swelling of face, mouth, and throat, respiratory distress, hives, rash, itchy skin and vomiting. If you suffer an allergic reaction after taking Lortab, seek medical assistance immediately.

Talk with your physician if you have a history of liver disease, especially if you have suffered cirrhosis. Your doctor may choose to prescribe another medication that does not contain acetaminophen.

Lortab may make you drowsy and impair thinking. Do not operate heavy machinery, drive a car or engage in potentially dangerous activities until you know how you react to Lortab.

Do not consume alcohol while taking Lortab. Drinking alcohol may worsen side effects. Talk with your doctor if you normally consume three or more alcoholic beverages a day; she will prescribe a different drug to control your pain.

This drug can be habit-forming, especially if you take it for long periods of time or if you take large doses to control your pain. You may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Lortab suddenly. Consult with your doctor or qualified rehabilitation specialist if you cannot wean yourself from Lortab gradually.

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Warnings

You may not be able to take Lortab if you have a previous history of liver or kidney disease. The acetaminophen in this drug may worsen serious conditions associated with liver disease. Do not take this medication if you have ever suffered cirrhosis, sometimes called alcoholic liver disease. Do not take Lortab if you drink three or more alcoholic beverages each day.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had other medical conditions, such as:

  • Breathing Disorders, like Asthma, COPD or Sleep Apnea.
  • History of Head Injury or Brain Tumor.
  • Low Blood Pressure.
  • Stomach or Intestinal Disorders.
  • Underactive Thyroid.
  • Adrenal Gland Disorder, like Addison's Disease.
  • Curvature of the Spine.
  • Mental Illness.
  • History of Drug or Alcohol Addiction.

Scientists do not yet know known if Lortab will harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Your baby may be born with a physical dependence to hydrocodone and experience withdrawal symptoms after delivery. Hydrocodone and acetaminophen may pass into breast milk. Talk with your doctor about breastfeeding while taking Lortab to reduce risk to your baby.

Stopping Lortab use suddenly may cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Whenever possible, wean yourself from Lortab by taking smaller doses further apart. If you cannot comfortably stop using Lortab, consult with your doctor or qualified in-patient or out-patient rehabilitation center. More Warnings About Using Lortab

Drug Interactions

Lortab may interact unfavorably with other medications. Tell your doctor if you take an antidepressant, an MAO inhibitor, bladder or urinary medications, a bronchodilator or irritable bowel medications. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist for a complete list of medications to avoid while taking Lortab. Talk with your pharmacist before taking over the counter medications, especially cold, allergy, sleep or pain medicines in combination with Lortab. Find out if any of the over the counter products contain acetaminophen, sometimes called APAP. Taking these medications in conjunction with Lortab may results in accidental and potentially deadly acetaminophen overdose.

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Side effects

You may experience side effects while taking Lortab. Some of these side effects may be serious. Seek medical attention right away if you experience serious side effects, such as:

  • Allergic Reaction.
  • Clammy skin.
  • Seizures.
  • Extreme Weakness.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Jaundice.
  • Bleeding.
  • Bruising.
  • Decreased Appetite.
  • Hot Flashes.
  • Rash.
  • Itching.
  • Swelling.
  • Hearing Loss.
  • Muscle Twitches.

There are less serious, more commonly reported side effects associated with Lortab. Speak with your doctor if you experience less serious side effects that become acute or do not go away on their own.

These side effects include:

  • Constipation.
  • Upset Stomach.
  • Nausea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Dry Mouth.

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Overdose

If you suspect that you or someone you know has taken an overdose of Lortab, seek emergency assistance immediately. Contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room. While at the hospital, you can expect emergency, life-saving treatments including activated charcoal, artificial respiration, fluids, laxatives, medicine to lower Lortab levels in the blood, medicine to reverse the effect of the Lortab or a tube through inserted the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Bluish Skin, Fingernails and Lips.
  • Cold and Clammy Skin.
  • Confusion.
  • Dizziness.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Eyes with Small, Pinpoint Pupils.
  • Liver Failure Due to Acetaminophen Overdose.
  • Loss of Consciousness.
  • Low Blood Pressure.
  • Respiratory Arrest.
  • Seizures.
  • Shallow Breathing.
  • Slow and Labored Breathing.
  • Spasms of the Stomach or Intestinal Tract.
  • Sweating.
  • Tiredness.
  • Vomiting.
  • Weakness.

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Abuse

Lortab is a Schedule III drug, which means it carries an increased risk for abuse and physical as well as psychological dependence and addiction, as are all opioids. Pharmaceutical companies legally manufacture Lortab for licit use as a pain reliever. Some patients begin to abuse prescription Lortab after using large doses to control real pain or taking Lortab for a long period of time to manage chronic pain. Illicit abusers obtain Lortab through forged prescriptions, bogus prescription call-ins to pharmacies, "doctor shopping" as well as theft from pharmacies and friends. Read More About Lortab Abuse

Withdrawal

You may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Lortab, especially if you have been using high doses or taking the opioid for a long period of time. Symptoms vary in intensity from person to person, depending on the duration and severity of dependence. Withdrawal is a normal, predictable, physical sign of dependency, not necessarily a sign of willful abuse. Withdrawal symptoms may prevent you from quitting Lortab without the help of rehabilitation. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Muscle and Bone Pain.
  • Insomnia.
  • Restlessness.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Flu-like Symptoms.
  • Involuntary Leg Movements.

Detox

Dependency and addiction to Lortab is often difficult to overcome on your own, especially if you have been taking large doses or using these opioids for a long time. Fortunately, there are in-patient and out-patient treatment facilities where trained professionals can minimize withdrawal symptoms, detoxify your body and give you the tools you need to live drug-free. Detoxification, rehabilitation and counseling are effective therapies to treat addiction to Lortab and other opiates.

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Storage

Keep Lortab away from excessive heat and moisture. Do not keep this drug in your bathroom or car. Store Lortab away from children, pets and adults who might accidently or purposeful consume the drug. Do not share Lortab with others, especially with individuals with a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Keep track of your medication, taking note of any missing doses.

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Miscellaneous information

Hydrocodone and acetaminophen combinations, like the ones in Lortab, are the most frequently dispensed prescription drug in the United States, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Miscellaneous Information About Lortab