Norco Side Effects And Nursing Implications

Last Updated: December 18, 2019

Authored by Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Individuals experiencing pain symptoms have several options to opt for when it comes to finding relief. Norco pain medicine has become a very common product among the US population, combining acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate for a more potent alleviation of pain symptoms. Hydrocodone remains one of the more commonly prescribed types of opioids in the country. Norco headache relief, joint pain alleviation, and the use of the product for other symptoms may yield side effects. Individuals who are looking to use the medicine should understand the side effects of Norco. While some Norco medication side effects may be mild, there are more serious adverse effects to be noted as well.

Norco Common Side Effects

Some side effects of Norco 5-325, as well as other strengths that the drug comes in, are more common among people who use the medicine than others. This section focuses on the more common Norc pills side effects that individuals tend to experience when they decide to use this particular drug to help them overcome pain symptoms.

Those who take Norco 5mg or any other strength may also experience these side-effects:

  • An upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Changes in mood
  • Anxiety
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea, sometimes vomiting
  • Vision may become blurry
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • A ringing sensation in the ears

In addition to considering these adverse reactions, individuals also need to consider Norco drug interactions. When this medicine is taken along with certain drugs, the Norco drug side effects may become more severe.

Specific Norco contraindications also exist, where the drug may lead to adverse effects if the person suffers from a particular health condition. For example, Norco and breastfeeding are a combination that is not advised, as chemicals from the drug may transfer to the breastmilk of a woman, which means the baby could be exposed to the drug.

younf man with nausea and stomach ache

Less Common Side Effects of Norco

Those who take a higher dose of the drug should consider some of the rarer adverse reactions. For example, Norco 10 side effects may be more severe and unpleasant compared to a lower dose. Some of the less common adverse effects of the drug may be harmful to the body.

In this section, lesser-known side-effects of the medication are discussed.

How Does This Drug Affect The Central Nervous System?

When looking at what is Norco used for – pain symptom relief, is usually the answer. The drug acts on the central nervous system to provide these benefits. In some cases, however, the medicine might cause potential issues with the central nervous system.

The central nervous effect is similar when comparing Norco vs. Lortab, and individuals should realize what symptoms may be a call for concern. An excessive feeling of tiredness should be noted, along with a more severe feeling of lightheadedness. The person might feel like they are going to pass out. Shallow breathing is another concern that needs to be taken seriously when looking at both the short and long term effects of Norco.

How Does This Drug Affect Neurotransmitters?

Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the body that serve essential functions. The use of this medication may cause an alternation in the balance of these neurotransmitters. The effects that the drug has on these neurotransmitters is why some might be at risk of abusing it – leading to questions about Norco street value, since it may then be distributed illegally.

middle-aged woman taking pills

The idea behind the recreational or illicit use of the drug may be to experience a Norco pill high. What people need to realize, however, is that the misuse of the drug (and sometimes even regular use), can lead to a Norco side effect known as serotonin syndrome. In this case, the level of serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain becomes dangerously high.

Serotonin syndrome has been associated with the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • A faster heart rate than normal
  • Fever
  • Agitation
  • Muscle stiffness
  • A loss of the person’s coordination
  • Shivering
  • Sweating
  • Twitching
  • Hallucinations

These are all signs that urgent medical care is required to treat the complication.

How Does This Drug Affect The Gastrointestinal System?

The use of opioids, including this particular drug, may also cause side effects with the gastrointestinal system. Various complications can develop when a person’s gut is affected by these side effects. When opioids cause issues with this particular system, it is often referred to as opioid-induced bowel dysfunction.

Possible symptoms of opioid-induced bowel dysfunction may include:

  • Hard stool
  • Incomplete evacuation when passing stool
  • Anorexia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Delayed digestion
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gastroesophageal reflux

Is Norco Allergy Possible?

Understanding the fact that Norco allergy occurs in some patients is essential. The allergy can develop during the Norco half-life, as the drug will remain more active in the system. Experiencing an allergic reaction to the drug can be dangerous. This is why issues like Norco and itching should be taken seriously.

Symptoms that may develop if a person is experiencing an allergic reaction after taking the drug may include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Hives
  • The individual’s face may become swollen
  • There may be swelling in the throat, which further makes breathing and swallowing difficult
  • The tongue and lips may also increase in some cases

woman with rash and hives

An allergic reaction to Norco needs to be treated quickly to avoid potentially life-threatening complications from occurring.

Risk Of Norco Tolerance And Addiction

The fact that Norco 7.5 side effects, as well as adverse effects linked to other doses, can alter chemicals in the brain does put a person at potential risk of substance abuse. Individuals also need to understand that Norco’s side effects long term can not only mean damage to internal organs like the liver but also lead to the development of addiction. In such a case, when the person stops using the drug, they will likely suffer from Norco withdrawal symptoms.

Additionally, a person’s body may also become tolerant to the dose of the medication that they are using. In such a case, the same treatment will not continue to provide effective results. Thus, at this point, the person may need to look at comparing the side effects of Norco 5 325 to that of a stronger dose. Unfortunately, when increasing the dosage due to tolerance, there is also a higher risk of addiction.

This is why the person might need to consider undergoing detoxification at one of the best drug treatment centers. These facilities are equipped with experts who understand what the side effects of Norco are.

There are different treatment approaches for substance abuse in people who are addicted. An initial consultation with an intake counselor will help determine what type of program will be best suited for the individual. In some cases, undergoing treatment through an inpatient setting might be required. This is usually when the addiction is more serious, and the patient needs to be monitored during the detoxification process, as well as when the person is at a high risk of relapse.

Page Sources

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  4. Wojciech Leppert. The impact of opioid analgesics on the gastrointestinal tract function and the current management possibilities. Contemp Oncol (Pozn). 2012; 16(2): 125–131.

Published on: June 16th, 2017

Updated on: December 18th, 2019

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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