Lortab vs. Vicodin for Pain: What Is the Difference?

With all the prescription pain medicines available and the increasing amount of attention placed on the opioid addiction epidemic, many people have questions about opioid medications, including Lortab and Vicodin.

Some of these questions include “How do Lortab vs. Vicodin compare to one another?” and “What are the differences and similarities between Lortab and Vicodin?”

Lortab vs. Vicodin for Pain: What is the Difference?
Lortab is no longer available on the market. This medication used to be comprised of a combination of hydrocodone, which is an opioid, and acetaminophen, which is also known as brand name Tylenol. Lortab was frequently prescribed to patients to treat moderate to moderately severe pain.

Lortab tackles pain in two ways. First, the hydrocodone component acts as an opioid, changing the way the individual perceives pain. Then, the acetaminophen stops pain signals from traveling from the brain to the body. This dual action is one of the reasons Lortab is so effective in treating pain.

Hydrocodone, one of the base components of Vicodin, was previously listed by the DEA as a Schedule III narcotic drug. Recently, hydrocodone was reclassified as a Schedule II drug. This means that while there are approved medical uses for hydrocodone, it does also have a potential for abuse.

Like Lortab, Vicodin also contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Because of this, both medications relieve pain in similar ways.

Unfortunately, as with Lortab, there is quite a bit of non-medical use of Vicodin. Recreational Vicodin use is increasingly common in the U.S., and a significant percentage of Americans say they’ve used the drug without a prescription.

Hydrocodone, as with other opioids, binds to the brain’s opioid receptors. It then floods the brain and body with feel-good endorphins, masking pain and changing the way it’s perceived. This can also create a sense of euphoria and positive feelings, which is one of the reasons both Lortab and Vicodin carry the potential for addiction.

Because both medications contain hydrocodone, both Lortab and Vicodin depress the activity of the central nervous system. This means that brain activity slows down, creating the potential for overdose. Typically, people begin to feel the effects of hydrocodone within an hour of taking either Lortab or Vicodin.

As you can see, there are quite a few similarities between Lortab vs. Vicodin. In fact, they’re essentially the same medications, since they both contain a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. While both active ingredients are the same, there are a few slight differences between the two medications.

In Lortab, there may be differences in how much hydrocodone is part of a dose or the proportion of hydrocodone to acetaminophen, but the acetaminophen itself is the same across strengths at 325 mg. Usually, Vicodin will have differences in acetaminophen content. For example, the 7.5 mg of hydrocodone dose has 300 mg of acetaminophen. There are also slight differences in the inactive ingredients of Lortab vs. Vicodin.

Brand name Lortab is no longer available on the market, while Vicodin is.

Lortab vs. Vicodin for Pain: What is the Difference?
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