How Does Lortab Work?

Lortab® (hydrocodone/APAP) is a prescription drug used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain in adults and children as young as two years old. It is a combination medication, as it contains two active ingredients -- hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen. Many people taking Lortab may wonder, "How does it work?"
 
Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic narcotic, opioid pain reliever that acts similarly to codeine. Hydrocodone is effective at decreasing pain and relieving coughing, but also causes drowsiness, mood changes, and mental "clouding." In the United States, hydrocodone is only available in combination with other medications; it is not available alone.
 
Acetaminophen ("APAP") is a pain reliever and fever reducer commonly found in non-prescription drugs such as Tylenol®. "APAP" is an acronym for one of the chemical names for acetaminophen.
 
By combining hydrocodone with acetaminophen, it helps improve acetaminophen's effectiveness at relieving pain and may limit the abuse potential of hydrocodone, as the maximum dose of Lortab is usually limited by the acetaminophen content.
 
(For more information on how this medicine works, click Lortab. This article provides a complete overview of Lortab, including information on its uses, general precautions, and potential side effects.)
 
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