The generic form of Lortab’s main ingredient, hydrocodone, was the most commonly abused prescription opiate in 2008, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA. The abuse of Lortab and similar medications rapidly grew. The amount of hydrocodone seized more than doubled between 2004 and 2008.
Lortab was not designed for long-term use. It’s a pain medication that’s used on an as-needed basis every four to six hours for moderate to severe pain. Lortab combines two types of pain medication: an opioid, hydrocodone, and acetaminophen. Other brand names for this medication are Lorcet, Vicodin, Dolorex Forte, Stagesic, Norco and Hycet. Vicoprofen is a combination of hydrdocone and ibuprofen.
Addiction implies a psychological dependence on a drug. As the effect of Lortab wears off, abusers develop cravings for the drug. Attaining and using drugs becomes the focus of daily life. Abusers may resort to medication theft from ill relatives, doctor shopping, or fraudulent prescriptions.
Lortab Side Effects
The euphoric feeling comes with other effects. Lortab and all other opiates cause nausea, constipation and dry mouth. The dry mouth and constipation do not resolve with continued use. Lack of salvia has been associated with increased dental cavities and tooth loss in abusers. Opiates decrease breathing responses and the cough reflex, resulting in more lung infections in opioid abusers. Permanent hearing loss has been reported in some Lortab users.
Over time, opiates including Lortab interfere with hormone production. Levels of sex hormones such as testosterone and female leutinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones are decreased. Cortisol levels are also depressed. The hormone suppression results in low muscle mass and increased body fat. Women may have irregular menstrual periods. Bone mass is lost, increasing the risk of fractures. Abusers may experience depression due to low hormone levels.