Lortab and Vicodin are very similar and contain the same active ingredients, but they also have differences. Learn more about these similarities and differences on this page.

Lortab and Vicodin are two brand name opioids. They are both opioid painkillers and are only available with a prescription. Both of these drugs contain hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is the opioid component while acetaminophen is a non-opioid.

Article at a Glance:

  • Lortab and Vicodin contain hydrocodone (an opioid) and acetaminophen (a non-opioid)
  • Lortab is only available as a liquid while Vicodin is available as a tablet
  • Other brand names and generic products are available that contain the same  active ingredients
  • Use of hydrocodone carries a risk of addiction, dependence, misuse, and overdose. The results of overdosing can be severe and even fatal.
  • Acetaminophen can cause damage to the liver with high doses.
  • Due to risks associated with use or misuse of Lortab or Vicodin, follow the dosage instructions provided by your doctor

Similarities Between Lortab and Vicodin

Both Lortab and Vicodin work to control pain and are only to be taken by mouth.

Hydrocodone and acetaminophen are often combined into one drug because each medication has properties that counter pain in different ways within the body. Hydrocodone stops the transmission of pain signals, while acetaminophen stops chemicals that cause pain from forming. Having the two drugs in combination form allows for more pain control than either drug could provide alone.

Lortab and Vicodin are used to manage pain that cannot be controlled with non-opioid pain drugs. Since Lortab and Vicodin contain hydrocodone, an opioid, they can both cause physical dependence and addiction. All opioid-based medications are associated with this risk, which is why it is important to only take these drugs as prescribed and with the lowest effective dose and duration.

Side Effects of Lortab and Vicodin

Several adverse effects are associated with Lortab and Vicodin use, due to the hydrocodone component. These effects commonly include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Lower respiratory rates
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness

The acetaminophen component can cause problems as well. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage, especially in large doses, and can be magnified in people with existing liver problems. Since Lortab and Vicodin are associated with serious risks due to the hydrocodone and acetaminophen components, it is important to use these medications with extreme caution.

Differences Between Lortab and Vicodin

Lortab and Vicodin are very similar and contain the same active ingredients, but they also have differences. The most notable difference between Lortab and Vicodin is that Lortab is currently only available as a liquid syrup, while Vicodin is available only in tablet form.

What is Lortab?

Lortab is now only sold as a liquid medication. Lortab available in any other form is either counterfeit or expired.

Every 15 milliliters of Lortab syrup (about 1 tablespoon) contains 10 milligrams of hydrocodone and 300 milligrams of acetaminophen. The normal adult dosage of Lortab is 11.25 milliliters every four to six hours, which is about 7.5 milligrams of hydrocodone and 225 milligrams of acetaminophen per dose. Lortab liquid also has seven percent alcohol.

Precise measurement of the Lortab dose is necessary since it’s a liquid medication. A calibrated device is usually provided by the pharmacy dispensing a Lortab prescription.

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin comes in a few different tablet strengths. The usual Vicodin dosage in adults is one to two tablets every four to six hours, as needed. For the higher strength Vicodin tablets, the dose is one tablet every four to six hours, as needed. The following list shows the amounts of hydrocodone and acetaminophen contained in one tablet for different strengths of Vicodin:

  • Vicodin: Five milligrams of hydrocodone and 300 milligrams of acetaminophen
  • Vicodin ES (extra-strength): 7.5 milligrams of hydrocodone and 300 milligrams of acetaminophen
  • Vicodin HP (high-potency): 10 milligrams of hydrocodone and 300 milligrams of acetaminophen

Other Products Containing Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen

Other medications contain hydrocodone and acetaminophen, like Lortab and Vicodin:

  • Lorcet (also Lorcet HD and Lorcet Plus)
  • Norco
  • Several generic versions, including oral tablets and oral solution

If you or someone you know lives with an addiction to Lortab or Vicodin, contact The Recovery Village to speak to a representative about treatment. At The Recovery Village patients are provided with professional support and care, allowing them to focus on their treatment. A healthy future is possible, call today.

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Editor – Thomas Christiansen
With over a decade of content experience, Tom produces and edits research articles, news and blog posts produced for Advanced Recovery Systems. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Christina Caplinger, RPh
Christina Caplinger is a licensed pharmacist in both Colorado and Idaho and is also a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. Read more

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

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

Medical Disclaimer

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.