It was on June 30, 2009 that the US Food and Drug Administration voted to remove Norco from the market because of its high likelihood of overdose. But even today, the drug is still being abused. For this reason, it is important to know everything we can about Norco.
To understand what Norco is, we should first learn more about acetaminophen and hydrocodone.
Hydrocodone is an opioid pain medication, sometimes considered a narcotic. Meanwhile, acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever. It increases the effects of hydrocodone.
Norco contains a combination of both drugs. This means it produces the effects of both, and can be quite deadly if abused. Before being removed from the market, it was commonly used to relieve pain ranging from moderate to severe.
It was noted that acetaminophen overdose was linked to over 400 deaths before the FDA’s decision; not to mention the 42,000 hospitalizations that occurred.
Since January 2011, manufacturers have been urged to limit the amount of acetaminophen in products to no more than 325mg per tablet.
If your doctor prescribes Norco, it is important to use it properly. Do not use it in larger amounts, or for longer than is prescribed. Hydrocodone can slow or stop your breathing, so be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. Do not use this drug recreationally.
Even at regular doses, this drug may be habit-forming. Do not share this medicine with other people, especially with those who have a history of drug abuse or addiction.
Other common names for Norco are Hycet, Lorcet, Maxidone, Lortab, Vicodin, Zamicet, and Zydone, among others.
Kidney and liver impairment are among the most common adverse effects of abusing Norco. However, even at pharmaceutical doses, the drug may still produce some side effects. Patients may feel dizzy, lightheaded, euphoric, or nauseous. But in less common cases, patients experience psychological side effects such as confusion, anxiety, fear, mood swings, and lethargy.
Other physical side effects include constipation, respiratory depression, hearing impairment, rashes, and itching.
If you produce allergic reactions to Norco, contact your doctor immediately. Signs of allergic reaction to Norco are the following hives, breathing difficulties, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat.
Although rare, there are also cases wherein Norco use may produce severe skin reactions—even those that are fatal. If you suddenly feel like you might pass out, or if you are having slow heartbeat, get emergency medical treatment. This is mainly caused by acetaminophen, and you will likely be advised not to take medicine containing it again.
Abusing any substance is never a good idea. But Norco in particular, produces a wide variety of effects because it is a combination of two drugs. Overdose can be fatal, and addiction is also a possibility.
With Norco overdose, you may experience muscle limpness, low blood pressure, coma, or even sudden loss of heart function, leading to death.
Because the drug produces different side effects, it is important to find a treatment facility that is equipped properly, so that the patient can recover during the detoxification process. Various withdrawal symptoms may occur if they are already dependent on the drug.
Finding the right rehab facility and program for your loved one is important. With your support and encouragement, they may find the strength to go through the detox process and live a sober life once again.