Liquid hydrocodone, also known as oral hydrocodone, is a pain-relieving medication that combines the opioid narcotic hydrocodone and the non-opioid pain reliever acetaminophen. The two medications might be better known in the pill form, but they are also combined in liquid form for oral administration.
You might know liquid hydrocodone by the name, Lortab Elixir, which is yellow and in the flavor of tropical punch. It contains 7.5 mg hydrocodone bitartrate and 500 mg per 15 mL acetaminophen, with 7 percent alcohol.
Liquid hydrocodone is primarily prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. The hydrocodone works in the brain by attaching to the opioid receptors, which helps decrease the feelings of pain. It also can give you a sense of euphoria and relaxation. Used as directed short-term, this medication can help ease physical pain. Long-term use of this drug can cause your mental and physical body some damage, so it’s best if used short-term under the care of a physician.
The acetaminophen works by reducing fever and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
You should only take this medication as directed by your doctor. The dose of liquid hydrocodone is usually different for various patients, depending on different factors. Pay extra attention to the exact dose your doctor recommends, and take that dose, even if it doesn’t correlate with the typical dosage information.
There are various strengths of this medication so the dosage can vary depending on the strength. Also, your dose may be aimed at your particular medical issue, which can be different from someone else’s that depends on their condition.
A typical dose for children over the age of six and adults struggling with moderate to severe pain is one tablespoon every four to six hours as needed for pain. You should not take more than six tablespoons in a 24-hour period.
Note that you should not use a typical kitchen spoon for measurement, as this can be inaccurate. Using a tablespoon rather than a teaspoon for measurement can cause you to take more than directed. Ask your healthcare provider or purchase a dropper that assures you to measure correctly.
Yes, liquid hydrocodone has the potential to be habit-forming, which means that you can become dependent on or addicted to it. This is one reason you should only take as directed and don’t take it longer than your doctor recommends. If your pain subsides, you can stop taking this medication, even if your doctor prescribed it longer. Don’t take more of it than has been directed either, as this could cause an overdose, which could cause death.
Older people tend to be more sensitive to pain medications, so care should be taken to use as directed, only for the time frame your doctor recommends. You want to do all you can to prevent abuse, misuse, or addiction to liquid hydrocodone.
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As with most medications, there can be side effects that occur when you use the medicine. These side effects can include addiction and maybe even overdose. This is why it’s so important to take only as directed and report any significant side effects to your physician.
Common side effects of liquid hydrocodone or Lortab elixir include:
Since acetaminophen is an ingredient in liquid hydrocodone, beware of the danger of taking too much. The build-up of this drug can cause liver damage, so do not take more than what is recommended. It is recommended to keep doses of acetaminophen to under 4,000 mg per day. Lortab elixir also has alcohol in it, which can be toxic on the liver.
If you realize that you’ve missed a dose of Lortab elixir, go ahead and take it when you realize this. However, do not take the next scheduled dose. Rather, skip that next scheduled dose and then go back to the regular dose schedule.
For example, if you’re taking a dose every four hours, and you take your 8 am dose, but forget to take your noon dose, take it when you realize this. Then, wait another four hours before taking that next dose. You should never double up doses.
Here are some key points to keep in mind when taking liquid hydrocodone such as Lortab elixir:
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If you believe that you’ve become addicted to liquid hydrocodone or Lortab elixir, please know that there is treatment available to help you break free from it. Many people who become
RX List. Lortab Elixir. Retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/lortab-elixir-drug.htm#side_effects
Mayo Clinic. Hydrocodone And Acetaminophen (Oral Route). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/hydrocodone-and-acetaminophen-oral-route/proper-use/drg-20074089
Web MD. Hydrocodone – Acetaminophen. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-251/hydrocodone-acetaminophen-oral/details