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Lortab Side Effects, Signs of Abuse & Addiction Treatment

Last Updated: September 22, 2023

If you are in an immediate emergency, call 911. If you are looking for more information on substance abuse treatment and it is not a medical emergency, call our 24/7 LortabHelpline at 844-584-4185.

Lortab (acetaminophen/hydrocodone) is a medication prescribed for pain relief. Hydrocodone is an opioid, a pain-relief substance that works by activating opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. Because of the hydrocodone component, Lortab is a Schedule II controlled substance. This means that the effects of Lortab on the brain can cause serious side effects including abuse, addiction and dependence. Thankfully, Lortab addiction treatment is available.

Lortab Side Effects

As with other medications, Lortab side effects are possible. The side effects of Lortab can occur whether someone takes it as prescribed or if they’re misusing the medication. Lortab side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Slowed breathing
  • Itchiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth

Addiction and dependence are also possible side effects of Lortab. Lortab addiction symptoms and their severity can vary, but generally include:

  • Continuing to take Lortab for longer than intended
  • Unsuccessfully trying to quit or cut back on Lortab
  • Continuing to use the medication even when faced with negative side effects or outcomes
  • Other responsibilities are ignored because of a focus on getting or taking Lortab
  • A significant amount of focus is put on using or obtaining Lortab
  • Problems with relationships related to the use of Lortab
  • Developing a dependence, meaning Lortab withdrawal symptoms will occur if the drug is no longer used

Side Effects of Long-Term Lortab Abuse

The longer someone uses Lortab, the more likely they are to become addicted and dependent on the drug. Long-term Lortab symptoms can manifest as well, and they include:

  • Serious fractures
  • Breathing problems while sleeping
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Problems with the immune system
  • Chronic constipation, including increased risk of bowel obstruction
  • Heart attack
  • Tooth decay due to chronic dry mouth

Since Lortab contains acetaminophen, it is also important to be aware of the risks of that drug component as well. At high doses, acetaminophen can cause serious liver complications and damage, including acute liver failure or death. Detrimental effects from acetaminophen are more likely to occur before the effects of hydrocodone. The amount of acetaminophen that is safe to take can depend on various factors including your liver health, so it is important to discuss acetaminophen use with your doctor.

Lortab and Alcohol

It is important to avoid alcohol when taking Lortab. Both alcohol and hydrocodone are central nervous system depressants, so drinking while on Lortab may increase the risk of side effects or overdose. Serious side effects from mixing Lortab and alcohol include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Cognitive problems like impaired concentration, thinking and judgment
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed breathing
  • Unresponsiveness

Since Lortab contains acetaminophen, liver health is at risk, especially when Lortab is mixed with alcohol.

Signs of a Lortab Overdose

When considering a Lortab overdose, someone could overdose on hydrocodone or acetaminophen. Hydrocodone slows down the respiratory system when used, and when misused, breathing can slow so much that the person overdoses or dies. Signs of a Lortab overdose from hydrocodone include:

  • Shallow, slow or stopped breathing
  • Extreme confusion
  • Unresponsive to stimuli
  • Fingernails and lips may have a blue tint
  • Skin that’s cold and clammy
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Extreme vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness

If you suspect someone is overdosing on hydrocodone, give naloxone (Narcan) if available and call 911 right away. A hydrocodone overdose can be deadly. If you do not have access to a phone, you can contact Poison Control online.

Symptoms of an acetaminophen overdose are different from those of a hydrocodone overdose. This is because acetaminophen can be toxic to the liver in high doses, and symptoms may take hours or days to appear. Signs of liver damage after taking too much acetaminophen include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Extreme fatigue or weakness
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Itchy skin or rash
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Yellowed skin or eyes

If you think that you or a loved one could be misusing Lortab, seek medical treatment right away. Overdosing on Lortab is possible and could be deadly.

Symptoms of Lortab Abuse

Lortab is frequently misused because of the presence of hydrocodone. Prescription opioid abuse is prevalent despite efforts to slow down prescription frequency. Prescription drug abuse refers to a situation where someone is:

  • Using the substance only to achieve non-medical effects, like euphoria
  • Using the medication without a prescription
  • Taking it in any way other than how it’s prescribed, including taking it more frequently than prescribed or taking higher doses than prescribed

Outward signs of Lortab abuse might include:

  • Seeming euphoric or very relaxed
  • No sense of pain
  • Seeming drunk
  • Sedation
  • Developing a tolerance, or needing larger doses to get the same effects
  • Changes in mood or mood swings
  • Symptoms of anxiety or depression
  • Agitation or irritability
  • Withdrawing from loved ones or family members
  • Stealing Lortab or trying to get more from a doctor or medical professional
  • Financial or legal issues may start to arise

If you or a loved one shows symptoms of Lortab abuse, it is important to seek help for addiction treatment to reduce the risk of overdose.

Lortab Addiction Treatment

When someone is addicted to Lortab, they will likely require professional treatment. An opioid use disorder is difficult to manage without professional treatment. Lortab addiction treatment options include medical detox and inpatient or outpatient rehab. Some people may participate in all three, which is an example of continuum of care. Many Lortab treatment programs combine behavioral therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, with approved medications.

Inpatient Lortab Addiction Treatment

There are two primary types of addiction treatment. One is inpatient rehab and the other is outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab requires patients to check into a residential facility and live at the center. This time period can vary quite a bit depending on the facility and the patient’s needs. During Lortab residential rehab, 24-hour supervision from medical staff is provided.

A big advantage of inpatient rehab is the structure. It provides a sense of purpose throughout the day and eliminates outside stressors and triggers. In inpatient rehab, you can completely focus on your recovery free from the distractions of everyday life.

Outpatient rehab follows inpatient rehab. In some cases, a bridge to outpatient rehab may be appropriate. Programs like partial hospitalization can get a person accustomed to living in the outside world while still checking into the facility to undergo rehab on a regular basis until outpatient treatment is manageable.

Outpatient Lortab Addiction Treatment

Another Lortab addiction treatment option is outpatient rehab. Some patients start with inpatient rehab and gradually move into a lower level of care as they progress in their treatment. Other people, especially those with a less severe addiction, may start their treatment for Lortab addiction on an outpatient basis.

Outpatient rehab allows participants to continue living at home, or in a sober living house. In outpatient rehab, you start to reintegrate with the outside world and may be able to work or go back to school. Outpatient rehab requires a significantly lower time commitment each week than an inpatient program. Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) have more hours per week than traditional outpatient programs to provide a smoother transition between inpatient and outpatient care. Teletherapy may also be available.

Starting with outpatient rehab might be effective for someone with a mild or short-term addiction. For someone who used Lortab for a longer period or has a severe addiction, starting with outpatient rehab might not provide enough structure of medical oversight. There are a lot of different aspects of outpatient addiction treatment, and they have different focuses. For example, outpatient drug treatment might include professional therapy on a one-on-one basis. It could also be based on group therapy.

How Much Does Lortab Rehab Cost?

The cost of Lortab addiction treatment varies. Some factors that might play a role in the cost of treatment include whether it’s inpatient or outpatient, whether the program includes a medical detox and what type of amenities are offered. Generally, inpatient rehab will be more expensive than outpatient treatment. The cost of inpatient rehab will be higher if medical detox is included. However, the cost of continuing to be addicted to Lortab  can be more expensive. It can also cost someone their life.

Does Insurance Cover Lortab Addiction Treatment?

In many instances, health insurance offers coverage for addiction treatment. Coverage for addiction treatment and mental health services was expanded under the Affordable Care Act. An addiction treatment center can work with the person’s insurance to determine what’s covered and what isn’t. Some insurance might cover the entire cost of Lortab addiction.

If someone doesn’t have insurance or their insurance doesn’t cover treatment for Lortab addiction, other options are available.

Lortab Addiction Treatment Centers in Orlando

Some people may search for Lortab addiction treatment that’s far from their hometown or city and maybe outside of their state as well. While it can be intimidating to leave home, doing so has benefits.

Going to an out-of-state rehab allows a person to start completely fresh. A change of scenery can also help contribute to a change in perspective. Choosing an out-of-state Lortab addiction treatment can remove someone from the people, places and scenarios that surround their addiction.

When comparing addiction treatment centers, it’s important to look for programs that are comprehensive and can address the needs of the whole person and not just their addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment is one example. Many people with substance use disorders also have an underlying mental health disorder. During addiction treatment, that mental health disorder should also be treated in order to provide the best outcomes.

If you would like to learn more about Lortab addiction treatmentcontact Orlando Recovery Center. Intake specialists are available to help you or your loved ones begin their recovery.


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PsychDB. “Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).” May 3, 2021. Accessed March 7, 2022.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Preventing an Opioid Overdose.” Accessed March 7, 2022.

Drugs.com. “Drug Interaction Report.” Accessed March 7, 2022.

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Drugs.com. “Lortab.” September 21, 2021. Accessed March 7, 2022.

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The White House Archives. “Substance Abuse and the Affordable Care Act.” Office of National Drug Control Policy. Accessed March 16, 2022.

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