Last updated on 12/21/2020
What is Norco?
Norco is a prescription medication that consists of two ingredients – acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is an opioid pain reliever that works on the brain to subdue the painful sensation. Acetaminophen is a less potent pain medication that increases hydrocodone’s effects.
Doctors usually prescribe this medicine to treat moderate to moderately severe pain in people who fail to get relief after using non-opioid medication.
Norco is available in the form of an oral tablet and oral solution, and it is a controlled substance because it contains an opioid element – hydrocodone.
The opioid component in this drug can slow your breathing. Never try using Norco in more than the recommended amounts or for longer than the prescription period. It is a habit-forming medication even if you use it as directed.
Avoid sharing this medicine with others, especially with people who have a history of addiction or drug abuse. Store it in a place where others can’t get to it.
Misuse of narcotic medications can result in addiction, overdose, or even death, especially in children and people who use this drug without consulting a doctor.
An acetaminophen overdose might damage your liver, which can be fatal. Inform the doctor right away if you experienced any undesirable effects after consuming Norco.
Immediately stop using this drug and inform the doctor if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes peeling and blistering.
What to know before taking Norco?
Try to refrain from using this drug if you are allergic to its ingredients or have recently taken alcohol, tranquilizer, sedatives, or other opioid medications.
Avoid consuming Norco if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the last 14 days. If you use this drug and MAO inhibitors simultaneously, a dangerous interaction might occur.
Various medications can interact with Norco, causing a severe problem called serotonin syndrome. Make sure to let your doctor know if you take medicines for Parkinson’s disease, depression, migraine, mental illness, headache, serious infections, etc.
Norco is not suitable for people with the following conditions:
- Blockage in the stomach or intestines
- Severe breathing problems, like asthma
Make sure only to use this medicine after consulting a doctor if you have any of the following medical issues:
- Sleep apnea or other breathing problems
- Liver disease
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Kidney disease
- Urination problems
- Head injury
- Gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid problems
Doctors don’t recommend using this drug during pregnancy because if you use Norco while pregnant, the unborn kid can become dependent. Children born dependent on narcotics require several weeks of medical treatment.
Norco can also pass into breastmilk and harm the nursing infant. Avoid consuming this medication if you are breastfeeding.
How to take Norco?
Consume this drug precisely as recommended by your doctor. Don’t try to alter the dosage or treatment duration. Changing the prescription can cause overdose or death. Inform the doctor if you fail to get pain relief after consuming the drug.
If you are to undergo surgery or medical tests, tell your doctor ahead of time about this drug’s usage. You might have to stop consuming Norco for a short time because it can interfere with medical tests and surgeries.
Avoid abruptly stop using this drug if you are consuming it for an extended period. Doing so will result in some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. When you are ready to terminate the treatment, ask the doctor to lower the dose gradually to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms.
Keep the mediation at a place that is at room temperature and lacks moisture and heat. Also, keep track of how much of this drug you are using. Tracking drug ingestion will ensure that you are using only the prescribed amount and not abusing Norco.
This medicine’s effective dose can vary from person to person. A doctor studies an individual’s condition and prescribes the adequate amount depending on the following factors:
- Patient’s age
- The problem they are facing
- The severity of the condition
- Other medical conditions they might have
- Other prescription or over the counter medications they might be taking
- How their body reacts to the initial dose
All these factors contribute to how Norco will work on your body. Make sure to follow your doctor’s guidelines because altering the medication’s amount can cause severe side effects.
The typical Norco dosage is as per the following:
Norco – 5mg hydrocodone and 325mg acetaminophen
- The typical dose is one or two tablets.
- Take it every four to six hours as required for the pain.
- The daily amount should not exceed eight tablets.
Norco – 7.5mg hydrocodone and 325mg acetaminophen & Norco – 10mg hydrocodone and 325mg acetaminophen
- The usual adult dosage is one pill.
- Take the tablet every four to six hours as needed.
- Don’t consume more than six Norco pills in a single day.
Taking an excessive amount of this drug can result in a fatal overdose. Seek emergency medical assistance or call Poison helpline @ 1-800-222-1222.
The initial signs of a Norco overdose include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, sweating, stomach pain, weakness, or confusion.
Additional Norco overdose symptoms include:
- Shallow or stopped breathing
- Blue lips
- Slowed heart rate
- Weak pulse
- Muscle weakness
- Cold and clammy skin
- Pinpoint pupils
- Extreme drowsiness
What to avoid while using Norco?
This drug can impair your reaction and thinking, so refrain from operating any hazardous machinery or driving till you are under this medicine’s influence. Norco can also make you dizzy and sleepy, making you more prone to falls and accidents.
Avoid drinking alcohol or consuming marijuana or other intoxicating substances while using this drug because these things can worsen this medicine’s side effects.
Consult a doctor before taking Norco if you are using any other cold, pain, allergy, or sleep medication. Most medicines usually have acetaminophen, so taking them with Norco can increase your risk of a fatal overdose.
Norco side effects
This medicine can cause a severe allergic reaction, so if you notice hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling on your body, make sure to get immediate treatment. Apart from an allergic reaction, this drug can also cause some minor to severe side effects.
While not everyone who uses Norco gets to experience these undesirable effects; however, your chances of facing the adverse effects might increase if you abuse this medicine by not following your doctor’s guidelines.
Common side effects
- Feeling dizzy
Serious side effects
- Trouble breathing
- Lack of appetite
- Swelling of the stomach area
- Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- Liver failure
- Swelling of mouth, throat, or face
- Skin rash
Stop taking the drug and let your doctor know right away if you face its severe side effects. You might also want to call 911 or visit the ER if the symptoms are intense.
What drugs can interact with Norco?
You can experience breathing problems or withdrawal symptoms if you stop or start taking specific medications. Inform the doctor if you are using an antibiotic, antifungal, heart, blood pressure, seizure medication, or a drug to treat HIV or hepatitis C.
Various medicine can dangerously interact with Norco causing severe side effects or even death. Ensure that your doctor knows about you using any of the following medications:
- Cold or allergy drugs
- Asthma / COPD medicines
- Motion sickness medications
- Meds for irritable bowel syndrome or overactive bladder
- Narcotic medications
- Sedative drugs – diazepam, Valium, lorazepam, Xanax, Versed, Klonopin, etc.
- Medicines that make you sleepy or slow your breathing – muscle relaxers, mental disorder drugs, sleeping pills, etc.
- Drugs that affect serotonin levels – stimulants, anti-depressants
- Medications for Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or vomiting and nausea
These are not the only medicines that can adversely interact with Norco. Try consulting a doctor before taking this drug if you are using any medication, vitamins, or herbal supplements.