Lortab Side Effects: Short And Long Term Effects Of Lortab Medication

Last Updated: December 18, 2019

Authored by Olivier George, Ph.D.

Pain is a common symptom associated with a wide range of medical conditions and injuries, and Lortab is a commonly prescribed medication for treating it. Since it is an effective pain reliever,  Lortab side effects and dependency risks are the problems many patients are dealing with. Millions of people in the U.S. are dependent on prescription opioids or suffering from side effects of Lortab. According to a study published in The Journal of Pain, the number of reported cases of painful health conditions. In America alone, it increased by almost 126.1 millions. This study also showed an increase in the usage of potent opioids for managing pain. However, a lot of patients still fail to recognize and determine health risks. Lortab side effects may have a severe impact on one’s health and should be known by a patient before starting the treatment course.

Common Side Effects Of Lortab

This medication contains a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It comes in different dosage strengths, such as Lortab 7.5 mg, and Lortab 10 mg. It is essential to notice that the higher the dosage, the greater the chance for side effects to appear. Common side effects of this painkiller are:


Frequent use of pills Lortab elixir can trigger anxiety in some people. Except a feeling of uneasiness and distress it may cause increased alertness, fear, and physical symptoms, such as a rapid heart rate.

Nausea And Vomiting

Another side effect of Lortab is nausea. Nausea is most commonly identified as stomach discomfort and sensation of wanting to vomit. For people who begin to use this painkiller, vomiting is known as well.

woman is going to vomit after Lortab

Upset Stomach Or Constipation

Lortab is likely to mess with one’s digestive system as well. For some people, it can cause an upset stomach while for others, it can cause constipation.

Mood Swings

Lortab side effects also include mood swings. Users may experience abrupt changes in mood; they may feel perfectly fine at one moment and irritated or annoyed at the other.

Blurred Vision

Low Blood Pressure

 measuring blood pressure after Lortab

There is a direct relationship between Lortab and blood pressure. This is because it contains hydrocodone, which causes an adrenal deficiency in users. As a result, they may experience health-related issues like low blood pressure.

Long Term Effects Of Lortab

Repeated use of drugs such as Lortab for prolonged duration can have severe health-related repercussions on the long-range. These include:

Increased Tolerance

Frequent use of this opioid is likely to result in the body getting used to the dose of the drug taken. As a result, it will stop responding to that amount after some time, and in order to get the same effect, the user will have to take a higher dose.

Acetaminophen Toxicity And Liver Damage

Like some other painkillers, Lortab also contains acetaminophen, which is known to cause liver damage in many cases. Repeated use of the drug can even lead to liver failure in extreme cases. The user will then need a liver transplant.

Sexual Problems

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This is a type of hearing loss in which the root cause hearing hallucinations in the inner ear. There are many causes for this – one of them being repeated use of Lortab on the long run.

Lortab Side Effects During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Lortab And Pregnancy

If an expectant mother takes a higher dosage of this drug than required, especially during the first trimester, she is likely to develop a physical tolerance to it, and may even become addicted to the drug. As a result, the unborn child can become physically dependent on the drug, which can pose serious health concerns after birth.
Lortab and pregnancy first trimester is associated with higher risk of developing a neural tube birth defect. This fact was mentioned in a study dedicated to periconceptional use of opioids and the risk of neural tube defects.

Moreover, the combined effects of Lortab and alcohol can be detrimental to the health of the mother as well as the baby.
Use of drugs such as Percocet or Lortab while pregnant can lead to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS). Babies who were born with either of these conditions show the following symptoms:

  • Shaking or tremors
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Sweating

doctor explains Lortab dangers to pregnant woman

Lortab And Breastfeeding

Nursing mothers should be very cautious when taking opioid-based painkillers, as the active ingredient in the drug can be transferred to the baby through breast milk.
Common signs and symptoms of opioid overdose in a baby include difficulty in breathing, increased drowsiness, and limping. All these signs indicate that the baby needs immediate medical attention.

Can Repeated Use Of Lortab Lead To Addiction?

Perhaps one of the most dangerous long term effects of Lortab is an addiction. This is because Lotrab contains hydrocodone, an opiate or narcotic similar to codeine, heroin, and morphine. The problem with hydrocodone is that there is always a risk of addiction, even if the user is taking the drug as prescribed by the doctor. There is also a risk of alcohol addiction related to this prescription drug, as it contains a small amount of alcohol.
The first step in the treatment process of this addiction is detoxification. Drug detox is necessary to remove all the compounds of this drug from the system. After that a drug test can be done to be sure that any components of Lortab is not staying in the system anymore.  If any signs of dependency were noticed, then the person should enroll in rehabilitation programs that can help individuals completely recover from their addictions, no matter how severe they may be.

Page Sources

  1. Mahsa M. Yazdy, Allen A. Mitchell, Sarah C. Tinker, Samantha E. Parker, Martha M. Werler, Periconceptional Use of Opioids and the Risk of Neural Tube Defects, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557737/
  2. John M. Tenayuca, Arbi Nazarian, Hydrocodone and Morphine Possess Similar Rewarding Effects and Reduce ERK and CREB Phosphorylation in the Nucleus Accumbens, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3418391/

Published on: July 30th, 2019

Updated on: December 18th, 2019

About Author

Olivier George, Ph.D.

Olivier George is a medical writer and head manager of the rehab center in California. He spends a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the traditional approaches for substance abuse treatment and assessing their efficiency.


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