Lortab is a prescription pain reliever that contains the opioid hydrocodone. Along with hydrocodone, Lortab contains acetaminophen, a common painkiller found in Tylenol and other over-the-counter medicines including Norco, Lorcet, and Vicodin.
Opioid overdoses are, unfortunately, common. Recognizing an overdose can be crucial to saving someone’s life. The overdose risks associated with Lortab use are particularly important to consider since hydrocodone and acetaminophen can both cause overdoses.
Signs and Symptoms of Lortab Overdose
Signs and symptoms of a Lortab overdose can be due to an overdose of the hydrocodone component, the acetaminophen component or both. Common signs of a hydrocodone overdose are:
- Decreased respiration
- Extreme sleepiness, which can progress to coma and death
- Muscle weakness
- Clammy skin
- Pinpoint pupils
Signs of acetaminophen overdose may not be obvious until two or three days after the overdose and are usually related to liver damage. These signs are:
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding easily
Lortab Overdose Timeline
The times it takes for a Lortab overdose to occur depends on the person taking the drug and varies from person to person. Generally, it can take one or two hours for an overdose from the hydrocodone component to be recognized. With especially large doses, that estimation is shorter. Acetaminophen overdoses may take a few days to be noticeable.
Lortab Overdose Statistics
As the opioid epidemic continues, Lortab and similar opioid-containing medications are overprescribed and misused recreationally. Lortab use can result in serious consequences — such as an overdose — if an individual is not careful, and sometimes, even then.
According to data from 2017 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 142,557 visits to emergency rooms related to opioid overdoses in the United States. This was an increase of almost 30% from the previous year.
Lortab Overdose Deaths
Across the United States, opioids are responsible for thousands of deaths. In 2017, according to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were a factor in approximately 47,600 overdose deaths. Increasingly, many of these deaths are due to powerful synthetic opioids that were not associated with a prescription. Although the number of deaths due to Lortab specifically are not available, it is safe to say that opioid-related overdose deaths are quite common.
What to Do if You Suspect an Overdose
If you suspect that someone may have overdosed on an opioid-like Lortab, it is important that they receive medical attention immediately. Medical professionals can administer treatment to reverse the opioid’s effects and address acetaminophen toxicity if necessary. Since opioid overdoses can lead to respiratory depression, the brain may not be receiving enough oxygen, and this can cause coma or death very quickly. Calling emergency services may be life-saving in overdose situations.
Remain calm if you suspect someone has overdosed and call 911. If the person can communicate, try to find out what drugs they took so you can inform medical personnel when they arrive.
Lortab Overdose Treatment
Opioid overdoses require swift medical attention to counteract the depressive effects on the central nervous system. The administration of naloxone, an opioid-reversing compound that binds to opioid receptors to block an overdose at its source, should be a priority if available. Individuals who overdose should be taken to a hospital for careful monitoring and treatment. Once in a hospital setting, an individual who overdosed on Lortab has a strong chance of surviving the medical emergency.
If you or someone you love struggles with Lortab, contact The Recovery Village. Call today to speak to a representative about the Lortab misuse taking place, and how The Recovery Village addresses addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Opioid misuse is life-threatening and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Dailymed. “Lortab (syrup).” November 2018. Accessed April 28, 2019.
Scholl, L. “Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths[…] United States, 2017.” December 2018. Accessed April 28, 2019.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Vital Signs: Trends in Emergency Departm[…]6 – September 2017.” March 2018. Accessed April 29, 2019.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.