Long-term use of Lortab is not recommended.
Like most medications, Lortab has benefits and dangers for the people that use it. Lortab is a prescription medication used to treat moderate pain. It is also a frequently misused opioid that causes addiction when misused or taken in the long-term. What are the pros and cons of Lortab? What can you do if you develop a substance use disorder related to long-term Lortab use?
What Is Lortab?
Lortab is the brand name for a medication that combines hydrocodone, an opiate pain reliever commonly prescribed by doctors, and acetaminophen, a standard over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Together, these medications are extremely effective at counteracting pain.
Lortab addiction can occur when the drug is misused. Misuse may involve taking excessive amounts of Lortab or taking it in a way other than prescribed, including crushing it, snorting it, or crushing, mixing it with water and injecting it. While Lortab can help with chronic pain, it is not recommended for long-term use because of its addictive qualities.
Lortab works by providing a rush of endorphins to the brain that counteract pain. The problem is that over time, psychological and physical addiction to Lortab can develop. As the use of the medication increases and tolerance occurs, it takes a higher dose to achieve the same effect.
Lortab creates a feeling of relaxation in the person taking the drug. Those who take the drug are less aware of the pain they are in. When taken in higher doses, euphoria similar to being drunk can occur. Lortab can also put the person to sleep or make them very drowsy. Confusion, anxiety, itchy skin, nausea, vomiting and constipation are all additional side effects of Lortab.
However, Lortab has another dangerous side effect. When taken in high doses, the acetaminophen component of Lortab can seriously damage the liver. If the person is also consuming alcohol, the risks of liver damage and overdose increase. Overdosing on Lortab can be life-threatening and may cause a sharp drop in blood pressure, irregular breathing, respiratory arrest and coma.
Addiction treatment programs can help with Lortab dependence.
Addiction treatment programs are designed to help address Lortab addiction. Lortab, like many other opiates, is both physically and mentally addictive. Rehab includes management of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms as well as behavioral therapy techniques to combat psychological addiction to Lortab.
If a person is dealing with Lortab addiction, the signs can include:
- Off-label use of the medication
- Consistent cravings for Lortab
- Personality and mood changes
- Poor judgment and drug-seeking behaviors
- Damage to relationships with family and friends
- Withdrawal from loved ones or activities the person once enjoyed
Using Lortab long-term is dangerous for anyone. This medication is not meant for regular use without the risk of dependence or addiction.