Lortab While Pregnant: Is it Safe and Potential Risks

Prescription opioids have gotten a lot of attention in the U.S. in the past decade, and most of that attention is far from positive.

Lortab is an example of one prescription opioid, and below we’ll cover the potential risks of Lortab while pregnant, but first provide an overview of what it is and how it works.

Lortab While Pregnant: Is it Safe and Potential Risks
Lortab is a controlled substance, and it is available by prescription, but it’s not intended ever to be purchased or used without a doctor’s consent. It’s a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, with hydrocodone representing the opioid element of the medicine. Lortab can be prescribed in several varying strengths and is available in tablet or liquid form, which is known as Lortab elixir.

It’s intended for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe pain, and because of the fact that it does have the potential for abuse and dependence, it should be taken exactly as directed.

The hydrocodone aspect of Lortab acts as other opioids do by binding to opioid receptors in the central nervous system and flooding you with dopamine that serves to mask the pain. The inclusion of acetaminophen makes this even more effective as a pain reliever because it blocks chemically-induced pain signals.

While Lortab is excellent at relieving pain, it also has many general risks associated with it, even if you’re not using Lortab while pregnant. For example, hydrocodone can lead to severe respiratory depression resulting in coma or death. Acetaminophen, while it’s not habit-forming, can also lead to liver damage or acute liver failure.

There are different reasons people might be using Lortab while pregnant. One example is using it without knowing you’re pregnant. Another is because you’re addicted to Lortab and physically dependent. This would not only make it mentally hard to stop, but also could be physically dangerous because of the potential for withdrawal.

Using any opioids when pregnant can be dangerous for mothers and babies, and this includes Lortab.

First, the FDA classifies hydrocodone as a Category C drug when someone is pregnant and using it. This means that while there is not enough evidence to make a clear determination, it can be harmful to the fetus. There have been studies conducted on animals showing the potential for birth defects when someone using hydrocodone while pregnant.

One of the things that often occurs when women use hydrocodone or other opioids during pregnancy is that their baby is born experiencing withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms of withdrawal from opioids like Lortab while pregnant can include excessive crying, tremors, and fever. There has also been some evidence that taking hydrocodone during labor can lead to respiratory problems after birth.

When a woman takes hydrocodone for a prolonged period and then tries to stop using it while pregnant, she can also experience withdrawal symptoms including sweating and anxiety. Another problem that occurs with using Lortab while pregnant is that the woman might not take proper care of herself, and this can include having poor nutrition or a lack of prenatal care.

The March of Dimes does outline some of the potential problems that can occur with the use of opioids in general while pregnant.

One of these is neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS, which is what was touched on above. NAS describes a situation where a baby is born addicted to opioids and then goes through withdrawal.

There may be a risk of birth defects and heart defects, and babies exposed to Lortab while in the womb may have lower birth weights or development issues.

If a woman is addicted to Lortab while pregnant, she is advised to seek medical help to stop using them because withdrawal can cause severe problems for her and her unborn child.

More research will need to be done regarding Lortab while pregnant, including whether it can be safe if taking for a brief period, although this is always a discussion that needs to take place with your medical care provider first and foremost.

Lortab While Pregnant: Is it Safe and Potential Risks
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Lortab While Pregnant: Is it Safe and Potential Risks was last modified: July 26th, 2017 by The Recovery Village