Lortab is the trade name of a narcotic pain reliever that combines hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that is synthesized using either codeine or thebaine, while acetaminophen is a common ingredient in drugs designed to treat mild to moderate pain.
In the combination present in Lortab, the acetaminophen enhances the effect of the hydrocodone.
When used according to manufacturer’s instructions, Lortab is ingested orally (either as a tablet or a liquid).
Individuals who abuse Lortab do so via a variety of means, including swallowing Lortab in pill form, chewing the drug, crushing and then inhaling it through the nose (similar to how cocaine or powder heroin is snorted) and even injecting the drug after dissolving it. is taken orally, chewed, crushed (then snorted like cocaine), or crushed (then dissolved in water and injected like heroin).
Lortab Side Effects
The following effects have been associated with the use of Lortab:
- Becoming drowsy, sluggish, sleepy or otherwise lethargic
- Feeling inordinately weak or fatigued
- Being dizzy or lightheaded
- Experiencing nausea and/or an upset stomach, to the point of vomiting
- Feeling anxious, restless and/or fearful
- Displaying diminished mental and physical abilities
- Suffering from urinary difficulties, hearing loss, and/or pinpointed pupils
- Having a dry mouth and slowed breathing
- Suffering from skin rashes and/or flushing
Drug Interactions for Lortab
Lortab may interact adversely with other drugs and medications, including the following types:
- Anti-seizure medications
- Drugs prescribed to counteract hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Some antacids
- Some antidepressants, tranquilizers and muscle relaxants
- Some cold medicines (especially those that contain antihistamines)
Lortab Abuse, Addiction and Dependency
As is also the case with Vicodin and other commonly abused prescription medications that contain the drug hydrocodone, Lortab is often abused by individuals who become hooked on the pain relief and mild euphoria that result from taking the drug.
Once the brain becomes used to the effects of Lortab, a state of dependency or addiction is said to have occurred. As the brain’s reward mechanisms adapt to the Lortab, failure to take the drug may result in intense psychological distress and physical pain (known as withdrawal symptoms).
Extended abuse of Lortab and other opiates will also cause the user to develop tolerance to the drug – which means that the user will have to take increasingly larger doses of the drug in order to experience the effects that previously accompanied much smaller doses. This, of course, significantly raises the risk of Lortab overdose among those who have become addicted to – and developed a tolerance for – Lortab.
Lortab Overdose Symptoms
Lortab overdose may present itself through the following symptoms and experiences:
- Slow, shallow or labored breathing
- Cessation of breathing
- Bluish tint around lips and fingernails
- Skin that is cool, clammy or overly moist (due to excessive perspiration)
- Decreased blood pressure and slowed heartbeat
- Lethargy, drowsiness, constipation, nausea, vomiting
- Unconsciousness (to the point of coma)
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