Lortab is used for treating moderate to moderately severe pain. The medication, which consists of two different pain relievers (acetaminophen and hydrocodone), is often used for treating short-term pain but can also occasionally be used for chronic pain or migraines. Healthcare providers may sometimes recommend off-label Lortab uses, such as for the treatment of insomnia and coughing.
Lortab® (hydrocodone/APAP) is a prescription medication approved to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. It is available in several different strengths of tablets and as an elixir.
Most often, Lortab is used to treat short-term pain, such as pain due to a surgery, injury, or dental procedure. Occasionally, it is used to treat chronic pain, migraines, cancer pain, or other types of recurring or long-term conditions that cause pain. It is often used (or rather, abused) inappropriately, as it contains a narcotic medication (see Lortab Abuse).
Lortab contains two different medications: acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer commonly found in non-prescription medications, such as Tylenol®. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic narcotic, opioid pain reliever. It 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 medications; it is not available alone.
Combining hydrocodone with acetaminophen helps improve the effectiveness of acetaminophen at relieving pain and may limit the abuse potential of hydrocodone (the maximum dose of Lortab is limited by the acetaminophen content). Make sure to carefully monitor your acetaminophen intake (including acetaminophen from other sources) while taking Lortab in order to avoid toxicity (see Lortab Drug Interactions and Lortab Dosage for more information).