Norco Alternatives: What Other Substitutes Are There?

Last Updated: March 23, 2020

Authored by Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Comparing various alternatives is often important expressly when one begins to experience certain health complexities while using the medication. There are quite many reasons why one would want to compare Norco with other painkillers, mainly if they are opiate-based. Various prescription painkillers come with levels of potency, strengths, risks, and benefits when compared to one another. Alternatives may be uncertain, such as the type of medication that could proffer similar solutions. Comparing close components such as Norco vs. Hydrocodone may provide the same results in some cases.

Norco Vs. Other Hydrocodone-Based Drugs

Individuals who wish to make a switch from Norco pain med to other alternatives will find that there are quite a lot of options to choose from. Lorcet is as good as any other substitute, containing components of the medication in question. Some branded hydrocodone-based alternatives include Vicodin, Zydone, Lortab, Lorcet, Hycet, and Anexsia.

Before changing medications to hydrocodone-based alternatives, one must ask a few necessary questions to ensure that it is the right thing to do. Is Norco a narcotic? The uncertainty and how to gain access to more or less potent alternatives are some reasons for these comparisons. In some cases, opioid comparisons will depend on indication-specific dosages as well as the frequency of side effects.

Norco Vs. Vicodin

The Norco 5 325 vs. Vicodin are particularly popular alternatives based on the dosage indication. However, many users are not so sure about the differences between these drugs. What is the difference between Vicodin vs. Norco in relation to their composition?

As far as composition goes, both medications are similar. They both contain hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a known narcotic, while acetaminophen is a non-narcotic pain reliever.

Vicodin is composed of 5mg hydrocodone (H) and 500mg of acetaminophen (A), while Norco comes in three levels of concentration:

  • 5mg (H) and 325mg (A)
  • 7.5mg (H) and 325mg (A)
  • 10mg (H) and 325mg (A)

Is the Norco stronger than Vicodin? The Norco 5/325 vs. Vicodin comparison clearly shows that they are both equally matched. In another perspective, the side effects of both drugs may also differ owing to the composition differences. Hydrocodone side effects will be felt more when using the medication in question than with Vicodin since the medication has two higher opioid strengths. Vice versa, the possible side effects of Acetaminophen would be experienced more with Vicodin.

doctor comparing two medications

Norco vs. Lortab

Is the Norco the same as Lortab? The application and potency of both drugs are also quite similar, as both medications come with the same major components. The comparison between Lortab vs. Norco is based specifically on concentration. Lortab is also a hydrocodone-based medication and consists of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen.

The most significant distinction between both opioid medications is that Lortab is available as 2.5mg hydrocodone and 325mg acetaminophen. The Norco dosage has more opioid strength than Lortab. This means that the effectiveness of hydrocodone would be more distinct in Norco. Lortab 10mg/325mg is often known by its imprint G037.

Norco Vs. Other Opioids

Norco effects have been consistently compared with other opioid painkillers. One of such comparisons is Dilaudid vs. Norco, both schedule II medications and equally potent. Dilaudid is a brand name for hydromorphone hydrochloride, also an effective medication for neutralizing mild to extreme pain. Let’s take a look at the most common opioid-based comparisons.

Norco VS Percocet

What is the difference between both highly potent narcotics? Based on its popularity, is Percocet stronger than the medication in question? Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen, and like the medication in question, it is prescribed for relief from moderate to severe pain. Both medications may serve as interchangeable alternatives for severe musculoskeletal pain.

Dosages can be adjusted by a medical professional to the severity of the pain. The difference between Percocet vs. Norco lies mainly in their composition. Percocet is available in the following strengths:

  • Percocet 2.5mg oxycodone and 325mg acetaminophen
  • Percocet 5mg oxycodone and 325mg acetaminophen

Hydrocodone is also used as a cough suppressant aside from its pain-relieving abilities.

Norco Vs. Tramadol

The appraisal between Tramadol vs. Norco has undergone numerous research and both have presented with close conclusions, except in ED patients suffering from acute musculoskeletal pains. A research on the efficacy of both opioids showed that Norco is superior analgesia for acute pain. Ultram is a brand name for tramadol and is available in both extended and immediate-release tablets.

The contrast in efficacy lies in favor of the initial medication as a more potent alternative. Ultram is a schedule IV narcotic while the other is a schedule II controlled substance. How many Tramadols equals a Norco? This is relative to the condition and should only be prescribed by a medical doctor. The specified medication has a high habit-forming tendency than tramadol and Norco withdrawal can be experienced even on prescription in some cases.


The use of morphine as medication for moderate to severe pain is due to its potency as an opioid analgesic. A comparison of Morphine vs. Norco will likely show how closely efficient both medications are for pain relief. Both classes of narcotics stand as alternatives, serving similar functions.

bottle with morphine pills


Tylenol 3 vs. the opioid in question is a suggestible comparison and viable alternative for mild to moderate pain, with milder side effects. However, Tylenol 3 may be less effective, containing 360mg codeine and 3g acetaminophen. Tylenol 4 vs. Norco, on the other hand, has an unequal but yet more potent distinction.

Norco Non-Opioid Alternatives

Opioid medications are also one of the biggest causes of drug dependency. Alternatives such as equally potent opioid medications contain the same primary ingredient and, therefore, holds the same levels of dependency risks as well as probable side effects.

Those looking for over the counter alternatives for hydrocodone-based drugs can find them with ease, as there are vast numbers of non-opioid medications to choose from.


The over-the-counter medication, Tylenol, is a brand name for acetaminophen and is a non-opioid treatment option for mild to moderate pains as well as other functions. This medication does not require a prescription, and its side effects are very few.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories

These alternative medications are used in the treatment of mild to moderate pain, inclusive of arthritis, sprains, headaches, and others. These medications can be taken alongside acetaminophen for pain and inflammation. Some NSAIDs alternatives include Advil, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Voltaren, Naproxen, Motrin, and others.

Reasons To Look For Other Alternatives

Millions of people suffer from different forms of pain. Some of them are acute, while some are chronic and life-long. These pains can disturb even the most basic human functions, and this is why highly potent painkillers like opioids are often needed. For some people, these medications are the only way by which one can live a healthy life. Mental health patients often combine drugs such as Norco and Xanax as a treatment for pain and panic disorders.

The specified drug is a well-known opioid and narcotic, as well. The schedule II drug is very addictive, and many addictions usually start as a prescription. The medication is sold on order, while some people buy Norco online. The body adjusts to the medicine and continues to build a tolerance to it. After a while, the regular dosage may no longer be enough to provide relief for the pain. Higher doses are hazardous and can cause harm to the system.

woman lying in hospital bed

There is also the fear of testing positive for opioid use when going for an interview. People often ask how long Norco stays in urine. This varies with the condition. Those who experience extreme pain but are not keen on the Norco 10 325 high would also prefer an alternative with less euphoric effects.

It is quite easy to become addicted to the medication in question. The drug is dangerous, and an overdose can lead to death. The medication must be administered and managed by a medical professional.

In Case Of An Addiction

Opioids are very addictive and may present with very serious side effects even when taken according to prescription. Reports show that the death-toll on opioid abuse and addiction is still on the rise, hence the need to opt for other non-opioid alternatives.

For those who are dependent on opioids, one can easily find the best drug rehab centers in the state by online research or asking a medical professional for a rehab referral.  The addiction treatment strategies of a certified rehab institution will ensure a safe detoxification and complete restoration of physical and mental health.

Page Sources

  1. Turturro, Paris PM, Larkin GL. Tramadol versus hydrocodone-acetaminophen in acute musculoskeletal pain: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Ann Emerg Med. 1998 Aug;32(2):139-43.
  2. Opioid Overdose Crisis. National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  3. Christopher Eccleston, Tess E Cooper, Emma Fisher, Brian Anderson, Nick MR Wilkinson. Non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for chronic non‐cancer pain in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Aug; 2017(8): CD012537.
  4. Andrew K. Chang, Polly E. Bijur, David Esses, Douglas P. Barnaby, Jesse Baer. Effect of a Single Dose of Oral Opioid and Nonopioid Analgesics on Acute Extremity Pain in the Emergency Department. A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2017 Nov 7; 318(17): 1661–1667.

Published on: November 7th, 2019

Updated on: March 23rd, 2020

About Author

Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Nena Messina is a specialist in drug-related domestic violence. She devoted her life to the study of the connection between crime, mental health, and substance abuse. Apart from her work as management at addiction center, Nena regularly takes part in the educational program as a lecturer.


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