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Norco Warnings and Precautions

Before you start taking Norco, warnings and precautions for the narcotic should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Norco may not be suitable for certain people, including those with liver disease or a history of alcohol or drug abuse. It is important to know that Norco could potentially cause slow or irregular breathing, constipation, dizziness, and drowsiness in some people.

Norco: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Norco® (hydrocodone/APAP) if you have:
  • Lung disease of any sort
  • A history of drug or alcohol dependence
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • Severe abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • A head injury or high intracranial pressure
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Addison's disease
  • An enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Norco Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Norco include the following:
  • Norco is a narcotic medication with significant potential for abuse. It is not a good choice for people who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse of any kind (see Norco Addiction). Do not take the drug more frequently, longer, or at a higher dose than prescribed, even if you feel your pain is not adequately controlled. If you feel you may be developing a problem with Norco, please seek help from your healthcare provider. If your pain is not adequately controlled, you should discuss this with your healthcare provider as well.
  • Norco can cause slow and irregular breathing. In severe situations, this may be life threatening. This may be especially dangerous in people with lung problems.
  • Norco contains acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Taking too much Norco, or taking Norco in combination with other products that contain acetaminophen, can cause severe liver problems or even death due to Tylenol poisoning. Norco may not be a good choice for people who already have liver disease.
  • The medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intracranial pressure. Norco should only be used with extreme caution in such circumstances.
  • Norco can interfere with the diagnosis of many conditions that cause severe abdominal (stomach) pain.
  • Narcotics such as Norco are likely to cause constipation. This side effect does not go away as you continue to take the drug. Usually, laxatives are necessary to treat and prevent constipation due to Norco (see Norco and Constipation).
  • Like any other narcotic, Norco can cause dizziness and drowsiness, and may increase the risk of falls in elderly people.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Norco affects you. Your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
  • Check with your healthcare provider before taking the drug if you have hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, an enlarged prostate, or kidney disease, as Norco may not be the best choice for you.
  • Norco can potentially interact with several other medications (see Norco Drug Interactions).
  • Norco is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Norco and Pregnancy).
  • Norco passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Norco and Breastfeeding).
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Norco Drug Information

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