Lortab is a prescription opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. Like most other opioids, Lortab has a high potential for abuse and overall is often non-medically used.

Like many other opioids, Lortab is a combination drug. This means that it has more than one active ingredient. Specifically, Lortab contains a combination of an opioid pain reliever (hydrocodone) and a non-opioid pain reliever (acetaminophen). These two powerful pain relievers work together to create the analgesic effects of the drug.

This combination of drugs is used in several different other opioid painkiller formulations, including the following:

  • Vicodin
  • Norco
  • Lorcet
  • Hycet
  • Maxidone
  • Zydone

The generic version of these drugs are simply labeled as hydrocodone/acetaminophen and includes a dosage of each drug.

There is very little that sets these medications apart. Although they come from different pharmaceutical companies and have different names, the inclusion of the same two active ingredients makes them function similarly. Each of these products can come in different dosages with varying amounts of hydrocodone and acetaminophen.

What Is Lortab Used to Treat?

Lortab is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Each of the two active ingredients treats these problems in different ways: hydrocodone works by latching on to opioid receptors to block pain signals sent from the body to the brain.

Acetaminophen, which is the main ingredient in Tylenol, has a different mechanism of action — but essentially, it increases an individual's overall pain tolerance.

Together, the combination of an opioid and non-opioid pain reliever works to relieve moderate to severe pain.

Lortab Dosage

Lortab typically comes in the form of a pill; however, it is also prescribed in the form of a solution and is available in a variety of dosages. The most common pill dosage is 10/325. Each of these pills contains 10 mg of hydrocodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen.

This simple format of listing the hydrocodone dosage first and the acetaminophen dosage second helps you easily identify the amount of each ingredient in any Lortab formulation. For example, a Lortab 5/325 would have 5 mg of hydrocodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen.

Non-Medical Lortab Use

Since the main ingredient in Lortab is an opioid, this drug has a high potential for abuse and misuse. It is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States. People use Lortab non-medically for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To induce a feeling of euphoria
  • To promote relaxation
  • To relax inhibitions
  • As a sleep aid
  • As a performance-enhancing drug

Like other opioids, Lortab can be habit-forming and those who use it repeatedly risk developing a substance use disorder. Opioid use can cause structural changes in the brain’s reward network, which can cause addiction and difficulty stopping use on their own.

Lortab Side Effects

Lortab can have several uncomfortable side effects, even if used as prescribed. Potential side effects include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Itching
These side effects are relatively common, and you should speak to your provider if they are persistent.

Lortab Dangers

There are three primary dangers of Lortab use, whether the drug is used as prescribed or non-medically. These three dangers are the risk of addiction, the risk of overdose, and the risk of permanent liver damage.

Lortab Addiction

There is a very real risk of becoming addicted to Lortab, even when taken as prescribed. Addiction to opioids can lead to mounting problems in your social, occupational, and family life.

Diagnosing an opioid addiction should be done by a medical professional, but there are a few key signs that you can look out for if you’re worried about your Lortab use:

  • Loss of interest in activities outside of opioid use
  • Inability to cut down or stop opioid use on your own
  • Frequent drug cravings
  • Withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking opioids
  • Tolerance (you need to take more opioids to achieve the desired effect)
  • Large amounts of time spent using, looking for, or recovering from opioids
  • Opioid use getting in the way of your social, occupational, or familial responsibilities
  • Continued opioid use despite harmful consequences
  • Using opioids when it is hazardous to do so, such as while driving a car
If you are struggling with any of these symptoms, you may have developed an opioid use disorder. Seeking out professional addiction treatment is the best path to overcoming your addiction.

Lortab Overdose

Taking a dangerous amount of Lortab can lead to an overdose. Opioid medications slow down the central nervous system, which is responsible for maintaining the body’s automatic and life-preserving functions. A large dose of Lortab may lead to a loss of consciousness, slowed or stopped breathing, or ultimately, death.

Signs of Lortab overdose include:

  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Unresponsiveness or loss of consciousness
  • Blue fingers or lips
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Gurgling noise from the back of the throat
If you think somebody has overdosed on Lortab, call 911 straight away. If it is available, the medication Narcan (also known as naloxone) can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Liver Damage

The last danger of recreational Lortab use is liver damage. This serious side effect comes from the non-opioid ingredient acetaminophen rather than from the hydrocodone.

People who misuse and use Lortab recreationally often take much more than is prescribed and can quickly exceed the daily limits for acetaminophen use. The maximum daily recommended dosage of acetaminophen is 4,000 mg but taking this dosage daily can still lead to serious liver damage.

Extensive liver damage is often irreversible and can lead to serious medical complications and even death.

Street Value of Lortab

The street value of Lortab typically depends on the dosage of hydrocodone in the pill. StreetRx uses the RADARS surveillance system to crowdsource the street price of Lortab and other recreational drugs, which can help to inform people about the average cost of pills purchased on the street.

The street price of Lortab varies from state to state, but most people pay between $0.50 and $1.00 per mg of hydrocodone. For a 10 mg Lortab, prices are typically between $5 and $10 per pill. Since acetaminophen isn’t a recreational substance, the dosage of acetaminophen does not play a role in Lortab prices.

DEA: Hydrocodone Information

NIH: Hydrocodone Information