Norco Medication for Chronic Pain
What is Norco
Norco is a combination of two drugs, acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is an opioid-based medication, while acetaminophen (commonly known by brand name Tylenol) is a mild pain reliever. When combined with hydrocodone, the pain-relieving effects are increased. It is most commonly used for moderate to severe pain.
Norco comes in pill form, and since it contains opioids, it is vital that you stick to your doctors required dose. This is an “as needed” drug in many cases, so follow your doctor’s instructions closely.
Risks and Side Effects
Common side effects include drowsiness, headache, upset stomach and constipation, along with blurred vision and dry mouth. However, if you experience more serious side effects such as shallow breathing or slow heartbeat, lightheadedness, confusion, seizure, easy bruising, easy bleeding, or liver problems, you should notify your doctor immediately.
It is also not recommended to take Norco if you are taking some type of sedative, as this can magnify the most problematic systems of the drug. Those taking MAO inhibitors will need to wait at least 14 days after stopping that medication before starting Norco. A doctor will also need to know if you have a liver disease or history of alcoholism or drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day. Other conditions where you should seek the advice of a doctor before taking Norco include bowel disorders, kidney disease, low blood pressure, history of head injury, and asthma with trouble breathing.
Breathing issues are most common in those who are severely ill or malnourished according to studies. Notify a doctor if you become pregnant, as Norco can harm the baby. If you plan to have surgery, you may need to stop taking this drug before the procedure. It is also not recommended to stop taking this medication suddenly as withdrawal symptoms can occur.
Precautions should be taken when taking acetaminophen alone, but additional care should be taken when on hydrocodone as it may cause drowsiness that may make it difficult and/or dangerous to drive a car or operate machinery.