What is the Difference Between Lortab and Percocet?

People often compare pain medications to determine the similarities and differences between different prescriptions. Two commonly prescribed and compared pain medications are Lortab and Percocet.

What is the Difference Between Lortab and Percocet?
Before comparing the specific difference between Lortab and Percocet, it can be useful to have an overview of what each is. Percocet is a controlled substance, and it’s only legally available by prescription for the treatment of pain.

This painkiller is potent and is part of the opioid class of drugs. The opioid component in Percocet is called oxycodone and it also contains acetaminophen, which is the generic name for Tylenol. Percocet is a brand name and as with other opioids, this drug binds to opioid receptors. The purpose of the medication binding to receptors is to numb pain by altering signals and create a feeling of euphoria. Opioids like Percocet can also slow the respiratory system, which is one of the reasons they can be dangerous.

Lortab is similar in several ways to Percocet. Lortab is also a combination prescription drug that’s a controlled substance, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The opioid component in Lortab is hydrocodone and like Percocet, Lortab is also combined with acetaminophen. The benefit of a combination drug is that it fights pain in two ways. The opioid components of these drugs change how someone perceives pain, while the acetaminophen blocks specific pain signals. Lortab is also a drug that has a high risk of improper use, dependence, and addiction because of the opioid element it contains.

While both Percocet and Lortab are meant only to be used by prescription, unfortunately, both are often used recreationally. The reason people misuse drugs like Lortab and Percocet is because of the euphoric high they produce. When someone uses opioids —particularly in high strengths or doses — they may experience feelings of euphoria, relaxation, a sense of well-being and sedation.

Another similarity between Lortab and Percocet is the fact that people should follow their doctor’s instructions very carefully when they take them, not just because of the opioids they contain, but because of the acetaminophen. Acetaminophen isn’t habit-forming, but it can cause liver damage when taken in large amounts and combined with alcohol or other medications. Taking too much of a medication that contains acetaminophen can lead to acute liver failure.

It’s important for people to be aware of how much acetaminophen is in their particular strength of Lortab or Percocet, the maximum daily dose of any medication that contains acetaminophen is 4 grams. Someone should never exceed 4000mg of acetaminophen in 24-hours.

Both Lortab and Percocet can be used as-needed and they both come in several forms including liquids, capsules, and tablets.

To compare the similarities and differences between Lortab and Percocet, it’s best to compare the differences between hydrocodone and oxycodone, since those are the primary active ingredients in each.

Both oxycodone and hydrocodone are intended to be taken orally and patients are advised to take both every four to six hours as needed unless they have the extended-release version. Both oxycodone and hydrocodone are considered strong pain medications that are similar to morphine, and both are synthetic which means they are made in a lab, although they are derived from natural opiates.

Generally, it is believed that there are no significant differences in the pain-relieving efficacy between oxycodone and hydrocodone, but there is some evidence showing hydrocodone may be more likely to lead to constipation, which is frequently a side effect of opioids. Another difference between Lortab and Percocet is the fact that Lortab and hydrocodone can be helpful to suppress a cough as well.

Another potential difference between Lortab and Percocet is that oxycodone may have a slightly higher potential for the development of addiction. Oxycodone tends to take effect more quickly which is why the abuse potential is higher, although it is important to note that both drugs are potentially habit-forming. There is also some belief that the risk of adverse side effects like hallucinations and seizures are somewhat higher with oxycodone as opposed to hydrocodone.

The difference between Lortab and Percocet is minimal. Both are combination medications consisting of an opioid and acetaminophen. Both have similar pain-relieving effects as well as related risks, but Lortab may post a slightly lower potential for addiction and a lower risk of severe side effects.

What is the Difference Between Lortab and Percocet?
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