Norco Uses

Norco is most often used in the treatment of short term pain such as that from an injury, surgery or dental procedure. Sometimes, it will be used as a treatment for chronic pain such as that caused from cancer or migraines. Doctors also occasionally recommend Norco for off-label uses including coughing and insomnia.

What Is Norco Prescribed For?

Norco is a medication that is available only by prescription. It is used in the treatment of pain that is moderate to moderately severe. Norco tablets are considered to be "stronger" than other medications containing hydrocodone/APAP because they do not contain as much acetaminophen per dosage. This medication can be taken more due to the lower amount of acetaminophen in it. The reduced amount of acetaminophen in this medication allows for higher dosages then that of other hydrocodone medications.
Norco is often used as a short-term form of pain relief caused from surgery, dental procedures or injuries. Once in a while it will be used in the treatment of chronic pain, cancer pain, migraines, as well as other kinds of long term or recurring pain associated with chronic conditions or illnesses. This drug is often abused due to its narcotic properties. (click on Norco Addiction).

How Norco Drug Works

Norco is made up of two medications: hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a narcotic that is semi-synthetic. It is an opioid pain reliever. Chemically, hydrocodone is related to codeine. It has been found to be effective in easing pain and coughing but has also been found to cause mood swings, mental "clouding" and extreme drowsiness. In the US, hydrocodone can only be used when it is combined with other medications.
Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer that is often found in many over the counter pain medications such as Tylenol. When hydrocodone is combined with acetaminophen, it has been found to be more effective at easing pain and could reduce the potential for abuse. Acetaminophen limits the maximum allowable dose due to the potential for severe side effects such as liver damage. You should be very careful when taking Norco to limit the amount of acetaminophen you take from other sources (click on Norco Dosage to find out more).

How Norco Medication should be Used

There are some things to consider when determining how and when to take Norco:
  • This medicine is taken orally, usually every four to six hours for pain. It is available in the form of tablets.
  • Make sure that you do not take more than the recommended daily dosage, because this could cause an overdose and poisoning from acetaminophen and lead to liver failure.
  • Norco is usually either prescribed on a schedule or "as needed". As needed means that you should only take it if you're in pain, a scheduled dose means that you should take it whether you're feeling pain or not. Most doctors will prescribe it for "as needed", rather than on a schedule.
  • Taking this drug with food may reduce the chances of stomach problems.
  • In order for this drug to work the right way, it has to be taken as it was prescribed. You should never take more of this medication without talking to your doctor first. You should not stop taking it suddenly, especially if you have been regularly taking it for several weeks or more (click on Norco Withdrawal).

Uses for Norco Drug in Children

Norco has not been approved to use for children because it hasn't been studied enough among people in this age bracket. You should discuss the risks of using this drug for children with your child's doctor.

Other Off-Label Uses for Norco Medicine

Occasionally, your doctor might prescribe Norco for a medical issue other than pain. Norco uses that are off-label include:
  • Severe coughing
  • Insomnia or sleeplessness
Most doctors will not use this drug to treat the listed conditions because they feel that there are better medications to treat conditions like these.
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