Lortab and Norco are two common brand name, prescription-only medications. Both drugs contain hydrocodone, an opioid pain reliever, as well as acetaminophen, a non-opioid pain medication.

Similarities Between Lortab and Norco

Both drugs are taken by mouth and provide similar, pain-relieving effects.

Hydrocodone and acetaminophen are often combined into one product because each medication has properties that combat pain in different ways within the body.

Hydrocodone stops pain signals from transmitting, while acetaminophen blocks the formation of chemicals in the body that increases pain. This combination effect is why Lortab, Norco, and other opioid combination drugs are very effective for pain control.

Lortab and Norco are both prescribed for the management of pain that cannot be controlled with non-opioid medications. Use of either medication can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Any medication containing an opioid carries that risk, so it is important to only use the lowest effective amount of the drug for the shortest possible amount of time.

Side Effects of Lortab and Norco

Norco and Lortab can cause several adverse effects, due to the hydrocodone component. These effects commonly include:

  • Sedation/drowsiness
  • Decreased respiratory rate
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness

Although the opioid component is the more powerful painkiller and is known to be addictive, the acetaminophen component of these medications carries serious risks as well. Acetaminophen can cause damage to the liver when taken in large doses, especially in a person who already has liver problems. It is important to exercise caution when using Lortab and Norco due to the opioid-related risks as well as the risk of liver damage due to acetaminophen.

Differences Between Lortab and Norco

Although Lortab and Norco are very similar medications, there are key differences between them. The main difference between Lortab and Norco is that Lortab is currently only available as a liquid syrup, while Norco is supplied as a tablet. The ratios of hydrocodone to acetaminophen are also slightly different between the two medications.

What is Lortab?

Every 15 milliliters of Lortab syrup contains 10 milligrams of hydrocodone and 300 milligrams of acetaminophen. The usual dosage of Lortab for adults is 11.25 milliliters every four to six hours. Each dose contains about 7.5 milligrams of hydrocodone and 225 milligrams of acetaminophen. Lortab syrup also contains seven percent alcohol.

A measuring device calibrated for precise measurement of the dose is necessary to administer Lortab safely. Such devices are usually provided by a pharmacy that dispenses Lortab when a patient picks up their prescription.

What is Norco?

Norco comes in several different dose strengths in tablet form. The usual Norco dosage in adults is one to two tablets every four to six hours as needed for pain relief. The following list details the amounts of hydrocodone and acetaminophen contained in one tablet for different Norco strengths:

  • Norco 5/325: Five milligrams of hydrocodone and 325 milligrams of acetaminophen
  • Norco 7.5/325: 7.5 milligrams of hydrocodone and 325 milligrams of acetaminophen
  • Norco 10/325: 10 milligrams of hydrocodone and 325 milligrams of acetaminophen

Other Products Containing Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen

Other medications contain the same active ingredients as Lortab and Norco include the following:

  • Lorcet (also Lorcet HD and Lorcet Plus)
  • Vicodin (also Vicodin ES and Vicodin HP)
  • Several generic medications, including oral tablets and oral solution

Key Points: Lortab and Norco

When comparing Lortab and Norco, consider the following:

  • Both Lortab and Norco contain hydrocodone (an opioid painkiller) and acetaminophen (a non-opioid pain reliever)
  • Lortab only comes in a liquid form while Norco only comes in a tablet form
  • There are other brand name and generic products which contain hydrocodone and acetaminophen as active ingredients
  • Hydrocodone use comes with the risk of addiction, dependence, and misuse
  • Overdosing on the medications is possible
  • Acetaminophen can cause liver damage when taken in high doses
  • The combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen allows each medicine to be stronger than they would be on their own
  • It’s important to follow the dosage instructions provided by your doctor since there are risks associated with both the hydrocodone and the acetaminophen contained in these medications

If you live with an addiction to Lortab or Norco, contact The Recovery Village to speak to a representative about addiction treatment. At The Recovery Village patients are met with professional support and care, allowing them to focus on their treatment and sobriety. You deserve a healthier future, call today.

Dailymed. “Lortab (syrup).” November 2018. Accessed April 16, 2019.

Dailymed. “Norco (tablet).” October 2018. Accessed April 16, 2019.

Dailymed. “Vicodin (tablet).” December 2018. Accessed April 16, 2019.