What Is Liquid Lortab?

Liquid Lortab: A Definition

Lortab is a brand-name for a combination of hydrocodone (an opioid pain reliever) and acetaminophen (a non-opioid pain reliever.) Other brand names for hydrocodone and acetaminophen medications include Anexsia, Ceta Plus, Co-Gesic, Dolorex Forte, Hycet, Lorcet, Maxidone, Norco, Stagesic, Vicodin HP, and Zydone.

This opioid analgesic medication, which is typically in the form of a yellow-colored tropical fruit punch-flavored liquid, is otherwise known as “Lortab Elixir.” This elixir is available in one-pint containers and can be prescribed either alone or in interaction with other types of medicine. Since Lortab comes with a variety of risks, the medication is only available under a restricted distribution program called the Opioid Analgesic REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) program.

Lortab Dosage & Usage

Individuals use Lortab to relieve severe pain when other methods aren’t successful. If someone’s pain is substantial enough for them to use opioids as a treatment option, they will probably be prescribed a medication that is similar to or related to Lortab. The dosage of Lortab varies per patient, but the average dose for an adult is 11.25 milliliters (mL) every 4 to 6 hours or as needed. The average dose for children between 10 and 14 is 7.5 mL every 4 to 6 hours or as needed. Individuals should not take this medication more often than 4 times per day. If someone forgets a dose, they should take it as soon as they remember. Since changing a dose can cause serious complications, individuals should not do so unless they have permission from a doctor.

Side Effects & Risks of Lortab

Both hydrocodone and acetaminophen have their own unique side effects. For example, dependence is a consequence of using hydrocodone but is not an effect of acetaminophen. On average, hydrocodone will provide more intense side effects than acetaminophen. But when used in combination, these medications come with a whole new set of symptoms. The most common side effects of Lortab are dizziness and lightheadedness, but there is a chance for users to develop any of the following symptoms as well:

  • Hives
  • Stomach pain
  • Back pain
  • Agitation
  • Dark urine
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chills
  • Bluish lips or skin
  • Choking
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Skin darkening
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fainting
  • Fever
  • Body swelling
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Nose bleeds
  • Poor coordination
  • Red/irritated eyes
  • Restlessness
  • Shivering

Geriatric patients are more likely to experience the above side effects than others. All individuals who experience the above side effects should contact their doctor and discuss if Lortab is still a good option for them.

Lortab also comes with a high risk of overdose. If you witness someone experiencing an overdose from Lortab, seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible. The symptoms of Lortab overdose may include blood in urine, change in consciousness, clammy and cold skin, chest pain, decreased awareness, extreme drowsiness, sweating, not breathing, no pulse, no muscle movement, slow or irregular heartbeat, and general illness & discomfort.

Starting & Stopping Lortab

Individuals with a Lortab prescription should take the liquid medication exactly as directed by their doctor. If they decide to change their dose or stop using the medication completely, they should consult their doctor before taking action. If someone with a physical dependence on Lortab stops taking the drug suddenly, they will likely experience side effects of withdrawal. Therefore, those who use Lortab but want to stop taking the medication should gradually decrease their dosage over time.

Have any more questions about Lortab or other prescription medications and treatment options? Contact our team of substance abuse treatment specialists by calling 866-345-2147.

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