Is Lortab an Opioid: What Kind of Drug is Lortab?

Lortab is a prescription drug that’s also commonly known as Lorcet, Norco, and Vicodin, although while those drugs are similar to one another, they may have some small differences. Lortab and drugs similar to it are controlled-substances, which means the U.S. DEA regulates them and they’re available only by prescription.

Is Lortab an Opioid: What Kind of Drug is Lortab?
Lortab is a combination medicine, which means it fights pain in two ways through the inclusion of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is an opioid so to answer “is Lortab an opioid,” it’s yes. Lortab also contains acetaminophen which is not an opioid but is instead a pain reliever found in medicine like Tylenol.

People often wonder is Lortab an opioid and what kind of drug is Lortab because of the increased amount of attention on opioids in the US right now and the opioid epidemic the country is facing.

One of the biggest issues with opioids is the potential for addiction and abuse, and since Lortab is an opioid, it’s no exception.

Lortab does have medical applications, however, and it’s usually prescribed to patients who are experiencing short-term pain, such as because of surgery or an injury. On occasion, it may also be prescribed to patients with chronic or ongoing pain, although less often.

The opioid element of Lortab, which is the hydrocodone, is the part of the drug that can lead to addiction, as acetaminophen is non-habit forming.

While acetaminophen isn’t going to lead to addiction, it does have its own risks. Namely, when you take too much acetaminophen, it can lead to liver damage or liver failure.

As well as wondering is Lortab and opioid or what kind of drug is Lortab, you may also consider how it works, at least the hydrocodone portion of the medicine.

The hydrocodone part of Lortab works like other opioids. Opioids are derived from morphine, although hydrocodone is semi-synthetic, meaning it’s made in a laboratory. When someone takes an opioid pain medicine, it decreases how pain signals are transmitted through the nervous system, which instead of blocking pain actually changes your perception of pain, or raises your threshold for pain.

Other opioids in addition to Lortab include codeine, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, and oxycodone.

In an effort to curb the overdoses and deaths stemming from the use of opioid painkillers like Lortab, the CDC recently released guidelines on how these drugs should be prescribed. There are an estimated two million people in the U.S. each year who abuse or misuse prescription opioids including Lortab.

The guidelines are aimed at primary care physicians since they tend to write the most prescriptions for opioid painkillers. The guidelines detail that opioids like Lortab should be used as a short-term treatment as opposed to a long-term option because the longer someone takes opioids, the more likely they are to become addicted. The CDC advises doctors to use caution, although these are just recommendations.

Any time you take an opioid, there is the potential to develop a dependence and tolerance, and the longer you use them, the more likely this is to happen. What this means is that if you have a physical dependence to an opioid like Lortab, you will have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it.

Tolerance and dependence are two intertwined concepts. First, tolerance happens when your brain and body become used to Lortab or another opioid, and you need to take higher doses to get the same effect, whether that effect is pain relief or to feel high. As you develop a tolerance and take higher doses, you’re putting yourself at risk not just for addiction, but also for an overdose or acute liver failure because of the acetaminophen in Lortab.

Dependence means that your body is physical dependence on the presence of the drug, and symptoms of withdrawal from opioids can include aches and pains, diarrhea, vomiting, insomnia, chills, and involuntary movements of your legs.

Addiction is a disease of the brain which is characterized by compulsions regarding the drug. Someone is addicted to an opioid like Lortab might experience cravings, the tendency to feel uninterested in things other than the drug, or their behavior or lifestyle might change. It’s also important to note that you can be physically dependent on opioids including Lortab without being addicted, and often physicians will use a tapering down schedule to get people off these medicines.

So, to answer “is Lortab an opioid, “ the answer is yes. It’s an opioid, which is hydrocodone, combined with acetaminophen, and using this pain reliever has the risks associated with opioids in general including addiction and dependence.

Is Lortab an Opioid: What Kind of Drug is Lortab?
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Is Lortab an Opioid: What Kind of Drug is Lortab? was last modified: July 26th, 2017 by The Recovery Village