Mixing Lortab and Alcohol

Lortab pills spilling out of bottle next to alcoholic drink

Lortab is a drug that contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It is a common painkilling medicine that requires a prescription. Other medications that contain both hydrocodone and acetaminophen include Norco, Lorcet and Vicodin. Lortab is a Schedule II drug, which means that experts recognize that it has addictive properties, and patients are more likely to misuse it.

Lortab on its own has the potential to cause negative consequences, but mixing Lortab and alcohol is even more risky. Drinking alcohol while taking drugs, whether legally prescribed or not, can very often cause harm. If you are using a medication that contains hydrocodone or another opioid, avoid drinking while the drug is in your system. Combining Lortab and alcohol can more easily lead to illness, overdose and even death.

Effects of Mixing Lortab and Alcohol

Lortab on its own can have many side effects, including dry mouth, sleepiness and rashes. Drinking alcohol while on Lortab can more easily lead to overdose, so people who mix the two should watch out for:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Low heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Confusion
  • Muscle aches or loss of muscle control

These symptoms can indicate a Lortab overdose, so they should be taken very seriously. Anyone who thinks themselves or a loved one is going through an overdose should not wait to seek medical attention.

Dangers of Combining Alcohol and Lortab

Both Lortab and alcohol have depressive properties and can cause damage on their own, so when the two are combined, the amount of damage is often increased. Alcohol and opioids both dampen the body’s responses, and this effect can easily overwhelm the lungs and heart, leading to a decreased pulse and slowed breathing. Drinking while on Lortab increases the risk of liver damage, heart problems and mood changes, and can make withdrawal symptoms worse. Alcohol also lessens the body’s tolerance to drugs, and when a person is drinking, lower doses of opioids are needed before Lortab overdose and death occur. A Canadian study found that in 82% of opioid deaths, the person who died had also consumed at least one other substance, such as alcohol.

Someone who combines alcohol and Lortab is also putting themselves at an increased risk of becoming addicted to either or both substances. Addiction to drugs and alcohol works through similar pathways in the brain. Experiencing cravings for drugs may also make a person crave alcohol and vice versa. Drinking while on opioids can put someone on the path to alcohol addiction.

Getting Help for Lortab and Alcohol Addiction

People who struggle with misusing one type of drug often also have trouble with abusing other drugs or alcohol. If someone feels that they are misusing both Lortab and alcohol, they should seek out a comprehensive treatment plan that will address both issues.

The Recovery Village Ridgefield can offer both alcohol and Lortab addiction treatment. If you or someone you know is continually mixing Lortab and alcohol, it may be a sign of substance use disorder. Contact our team to learn more about how we can help you with detox, counseling, and family programs to address both alcohol and Lortab dependence.

DailyMed. “Lortab.” Updated November 18, 2018. Accessed August 9, 2019.

Jacob, Joanna C., et al. “Ethanol Reversal of Tolerance to the Antinociceptive Effects of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone.” Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, July 2017. Accessed August 9, 2019.

Singh, Ashok K. “Alcohol Interaction with Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Opioids, Nicotine, Cannabis, and γ-Hydroxybutyric Acid.” Biomedicines, March 2019. Accessed August 9, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.