Norco is primarily used for treating short-term pain due to an injury, dental procedure, or surgery. However, it is occasionally used to treat chronic pain, cancer pain, and migraines. Healthcare providers may also sometimes recommend off-label Norco uses, such as for treating insomnia and coughing. Norco is currently not approved for use in children, as it has not been adequately studied in this age group.
Norco® (hydrocodone/APAP) is a prescription medication approved to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. Although it may seem counterintuitive, Norco tablets are "stronger" than most other hydrocodone/APAP products because they contain less acetaminophen per tablet. The maximum daily dose of hydrocodone/APAP products is limited by the acetaminophen content, and having less acetaminophen per tablet allows for a higher daily dosage of hydrocodone without exceeding the maximum acetaminophen dosage.
Norco is frequently used to treat short-term pain due to an injury, dental procedure, or surgery. Occasionally, it is used to treat chronic pain, cancer pain, migraines, 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 Norco Addiction).
Norco contains two different medications: hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic narcotic, opioid pain reliever. It is chemically related 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.
Acetaminophen is a fever reducer and pain reliever commonly found in non-prescription medications, such as Tylenol®. Combining hydrocodone with acetaminophen helps improve the effectiveness of Norco at relieving pain and may limit the abuse potential of hydrocodone (the maximum dose of Norco is usually limited by the acetaminophen content). Make sure to carefully monitor your acetaminophen intake (including acetaminophen from other sources) while taking Norco in order to avoid toxicity (see Norco Drug Interactions and Norco Dosage for more information).