Get Help & Answers Now

How can we help?

I'm ready to sign up! I have a few questions I want to refer someone Quiz: is Suboxone for me?

Lortab Side Effects: Common & Rare Risks to Look For

Peter Manza, PhD profile image
Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD • Updated Aug 14, 2023 • 9 cited sources

Lortab is a medication prescribed by healthcare professionals that combines acetaminophen and hydrocodone. People should be informed about its potential adverse events before deciding to take it. 

Side effects of Lortab include drowsiness, lightheadedness, constipation, nausea, or vomiting. More serious side effects can occur, such as fainting or seizures, though these are very rare. Contact your doctor if you experience any side effects from using Lortab.

What Are the Common Side Effects of Lortab?

Some common side effects of Lortab include the following:[1]

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and other side effects may occur. If you experience any concerning or persistent side effects while taking Lortab, you should contact your healthcare provider right away.

What Are Uncommon Side Effects of Lortab?

While constipation and dizziness are among the most common side effects experienced by patients taking Lortab, there are also some less frequent but more severe possibilities to keep in mind. 

Respiratory distress is a particularly concerning symptom that may be indicative of an underlying issue that requires urgent treatment. Other potentially serious problems include seizures, mood changes and hallucinations. 

If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives or a rash, it’s important to seek prompt medical attention.

Some more serious side effects associated with Lortab include the following:[2]

  • Respiratory depression (slow and shallow breathing)
  • Seizures
  • Severe allergic reaction (difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat)
  • Liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine or abdominal pain)
  • Adrenal insufficiency (fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite or weight loss)
  • Low blood pressure (dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting)
  • Serotonin syndrome (agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching or loss of coordination)

It’s essential to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these severe side effects while taking Lortab. Don’t wait and see. Seek out immediate care.

What Are Some of the Dangerous Interactions With Lortab?

There are many types of medications that opioids like Lortab should not be mixed with, as this can increase the risk of severe side effects and even overdose. Some medications that should not be mixed with opioids include the following:

  • Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Valium and Klonopin
  • Other opioids, such as morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl
  • Alcohol
  • Muscle relaxants, such as carisoprodol and cyclobenzaprine
  • Sedatives and sleeping pills, such as zolpidem and eszopiclone
  • Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine and cetirizine
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)

To ensure optimal health outcomes when taking multiple medications simultaneously, transparency with your healthcare provider is key. Disclose all prescribed drugs, over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements you’re taking before initiating any new treatment. 

You should also discuss any illicit or recreational substances you intend to take. Doctors aren’t the police, and your privacy is protected. They need this information to ensure you stay safe while taking Lortab or other prescribed medications.

When Lortab or other opioids are used alongside other medications without caution, one of the most concerning adverse effects could be respiratory compromise, leading to overdose and potentially permanent brain damage or death.[3] Remember that opioids are potent medications that need to be handled with care.

Potential Risks & Warnings for Lortab

There are several dangers worth noting about Lortab, including these:

  • Addiction and dependence: Lortab is an opioid medication that can be highly addictive. Regular use, even as prescribed, can lead to physical dependence. The risk of opioid use disorder (OUD) increases if the drug is taken in large doses or for an extended period.
  • Overdose: Lortab can cause respiratory depression, which is characterized by slow and shallow breathing. Overdose can occur if a person takes too much Lortab, resulting in coma or even death. Overdose risk increases if Lortab is combined with other substances, such as other opioids, benzodiazepines or alcohol.
  • Liver damage: Lortab contains acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage if taken in high doses or combined with alcohol or other medications that can harm the liver.[4]
  • Interactions with other medications: As mentioned earlier, Lortab should not be mixed with certain medications, as this can lead to dangerous drug interactions.
  • Withdrawal: If a person stops taking Lortab abruptly after long-term use, they may experience withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, restlessness, muscle aches, and insomnia. Withdrawal is very uncomfortable. Because of this, it often leads to relapse, as someone takes more Lortab to relieve the painful symptoms.

Again, it’s essential to take Lortab only as prescribed. Inform your healthcare provider of any concerning or persistent side effects you experience.

Getting Help for Your Addiction to Lortab

An addiction to Lortab is an opioid use disorder.[5] This is a chronic medical condition characterized by the recurrent use of opioids despite negative consequences on physical, mental, and social health. OUD can develop gradually over time as the brain becomes accustomed to the drug’s effects, leading to tolerance and then dependence.

Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT) is considered the gold standard in treating opioid use disorder. MAT employs powerful medicines like methadone or buprenorphine (Suboxone) to manage the symptoms of withdrawal as well as significantly reduce cravings associated with opioid use disorder. 

By stabilizing one’s dependency on drugs and diminishing the associated risks of withdrawal, it becomes easier to prevent relapses. This enables people who undergo this type of treatment plan to start making significant improvements to their behavior.

Additionally, behavioral therapy allows individuals with OUD to recognize detrimental thought patterns or habits contributing to their addiction.[6] They also learn healthy coping mechanisms, such as practicing better health habits or mindfulness meditation. All this helps to form the basis of a balanced, healthier life in recovery.

Many MAT programs combine the use of medications and therapy to provide a multidimensional approach to addiction recovery. At Bicycle Health, you’ll meet with your doctor virtually via our telehealth services. You can then pick up your prescription for Suboxone from your local pharmacy.

You can also participate in therapy and support group meetings online. This makes treatment for Lortab misuse and OUD easier to access than ever before. Telehealth addiction treatment has been shown to be as effective as in-person care, helping to make recovery treatment more accessible.[7,8,9]

If you’ve had difficulty maintaining recovery in the past, MAT can be life-changing for you. Reach out today to learn more about how you can get on the path to a brighter future.

Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD

Peter Manza, PhD received his BA in Psychology and Biology from the University of Rochester and his PhD in Integrative Neuroscience at Stony Brook University. He is currently working as a research scientist in Washington, DC. His research focuses on the role ... Read More

  1. Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen. StatPearls December 2022. Accessed April 2023.
  2. Hydrocodone. U.S. National Library of Medicine. January 2021. Accessed April 2023.
  3. Multi-Level Regulation of Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression. Physiology November 2020. Accessed April 2023.
  4. Hydrocodone. Drug Enforcement Administration. October 2019. Accessed April 2023.
  5. Opioid Use Disorder and Treatment: Challenges and Opportunities. BMC Health Services Research Accessed April 2023.
  6. Behavioral Therapies for Drug Abuse. American Journal of Psychiatry August 2005. Accessed April 2023.
  7. Addiction Treatment and Telehealth: Review of Efficacy and Provider Insights During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Psychiatric Services October 2021. Accessed April 2023.
  8. Use of Telemedicine in Addiction Treatment: Current Practices and Organizational Implementation Characteristics. International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications. March 2018. Accessed April 2023.
  9. Substance Use Disorders and Telehealth in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. December 2020. Accessed April 2023.

Download Our Free Program Guide

Learn about our program, its effectiveness and what to expect

Safe, effective Suboxone treatment from home. Learn More

Imagine what’s possible on the other side of opioid use disorder.

Our science-backed approach boasts 95% of patients reporting no withdrawal symptoms at 7 days. We can help you achieve easier days and a happier future.