Using Lortab for Pain Management

Using Lortab for Pain ManagementLortab is a drug that combines acetaminophen (the medication found in Tylenol) with hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is an opioid. Opioids are chemically similar to drugs derived from the opium poppy, like morphine or heroin.

How Pain Relievers Work

Opioid pain relievers like hydrocodone bind to opioid receptors which are present in the brain and central nervous system. These receptors affect how the brain perceives pain. Opioids do not directly affect the site of the injury or other disorder which is causing the pain to exist, but they decrease the brain’s awareness of it. The other main component in Lortab, acetaminophen, is not a narcotic, and works in a different way to inhibit some of the chemical changes that occur in the body when it is injured.

The manufacturers of Lortab combine hydrocodone with acetaminophen for two main reasons. The first is that the drugs may work in a synergistic way to provide more pain relief than would be provided by either alone. The second is that hydrocodone has high abuse potential. The presence of acetaminophen, which can cause serious side effects at high dosages, is thought to deter people from abusing Lortab.

Risks of Lortab Abuse

Chronic pain can greatly impact the quality of people’s lives, and opioid and combination drugs can provide much relief. They are not without negatives, however. Some of the cautions related to the use of Lortab include the following:

  • The dosage of opioid drugs needed to provide pain relief tends to increase because of the development of drug tolerance. Tolerance develops because users’ brains adapt to the changes caused by the medication.
  • The adaptations which lead to tolerance can also lead to drug dependence, in which withdrawal symptoms are experienced when the drug is not present in the body. Withdrawal symptoms from opioid drugs include pain. Those experiencing withdrawal symptoms from Lortab may not recognize the pain as a withdrawal symptom, but assume it is related to their underlying condition.
  • Drug dependence can lead to full addiction, in which users crave the drug and are unable to control their consumption of it. The physical dangers of addiction to Lortab include the significant potential of liver damage from the acetaminophen. Lortab overdose can be fatal.

It is wise for anyone who uses Lortab for pain management to be vigilant and alert to any signs of drug tolerance, dependence, or addiction. If you use Lortab and find yourself needing larger amounts of the drug to achieve previous effects, be sure to let your doctor know. Switching to another medication may be indicated. Physical dependence can be managed by a gradual reduction in dosage, but people who have developed a full addiction are likely to need further help in a drug rehab facility.

Lortab Rehabilitation Help

If you think you may be addicted to Lortab, we can help you find treatment that addresses both the addiction and the pain. Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline and let our trained counselors give you the information you need about rehab options. There’s a program that’s right for you. We can check your insurance coverage, if you wish, and answer any other questions you have. Call now. We’re available around the clock.