For Lortab 2.5/500 or Lortab 5/500 tablets, the recommended dosage is one to two tablets every 4 to 6 hours as needed, but not to exceed eight tablets in 24 hours. For Lortab 7.5/500 or 10/500, the recommended dosage is one tablet every 4 to 6 hours as needed, but not to exceed six tablets in 24 hours. For Lortab 7.5/500 Elixir, the recommended dosage is one tablespoonful every four to six hours as needed for pain, but not to exceed six tablespoonfuls per day.
The maximum recommended doses of Lortab are designed to limit the total usage of acetaminophen to 4 grams (4000 mg) a day or less. Higher doses of acetaminophen increase the risk of serious liver damage. Make sure to watch for any other sources of acetaminophen, including other prescription pain relievers and many over-the-counter products, such as Tylenol®.
To be safe, all other acetaminophen products should be avoided while you are taking Lortab, unless you are extremely careful to limit your total acetaminophen use (from all sources added together) to 4 grams per day. The acetaminophen content of Lortab is 500 mg per tablet (all strengths) or per tablespoonful (15 mL) for Lortab Elixir.
You should not take Lortab around the clock at the minimum interval between doses. For instance, even though it is okay to take a dosage four hours after a previous one, you should not take the maximum Lortab dosage every four hours around the clock, as this would exceed the recommended maximum daily dose.
Considerations for people taking Lortab include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet and elixir form. It is taken by mouth, typically every four to six hours as needed for pain.
- It is best to take Lortab with food, as this may help reduce stomach upset. Most opioids, including the one in Lortab, cause stomach upset.
- Lortab tablets can be broken in half if necessary.
- Be careful not to exceed the maximum recommended daily dosage, as this could lead to overdose symptoms or poisoning from the acetaminophen component, which can cause liver failure.
- Lortab is either taken "as needed" or on a scheduled basis. "As needed" means you will only take it if you are experiencing pain (if you are not in pain, you will skip the dosage), while "scheduled use" means you should take it on schedule, even if you are not in pain. Most healthcare providers prescribe Lortab on an "as needed" basis, rather than a scheduled basis.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not increase your dosage without your healthcare provider's approval. Do not suddenly stop taking Lortab, especially if you have taken it regularly for more than several weeks (see Lortab Withdrawal).
- If you are unsure about anything related to your Lortab dosage, please talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Do not stop taking the drug without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.