Lorcet ® is a narcotic pain reliever used in patients who experience moderate to moderately severe pain.
Lorcet ® is the combination of two drugs, Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen and has similar properties to those of Codeine. Hydrocodone works by blocking the receptors in the brain that give rise to the sensation of pain. Acetaminophen is a fever reducer that works by elevating the threshold for pain and the combination of the two are used to achieve maximum results in pain relief.
Lorcet ® may become habit forming as both mental and physical dependence have been shown to occur.
Lorcet is the brand name for hydrocodone bitartrate, a semi-synthetic opioid derived from codeine and thebaine, both naturally occurring opiates. It is an analgesic drug that treats pain and is an antitussive which suppresses chronic coughing. Lorcet also contains acetaminophen.
The formula is also marketed under other names including Norco, Vicodin, Zydone, Maxidone, Lortab and Hydrocet. Lorcet is intended to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. Hydrocodone is derived from the opium plant and can be addictive. Lorcet is considered a Schedule II controlled substance in the U.S. because of its potential to cause dependence and to be abused. Lorcet is an oral preparation that comes in tablet, capsule and liquid form. Hydrocodone is the narcotic component that attaches to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, blocking pain. Acetaminophen is a non-narcotic pain reliever that decreases the formation of prostaglandins and increases pain-relieving power.
Possible Lorcet Side Effects
Constipation, upset stomach, nausea, dizziness and dry mouth are considered among the most commonly reported side effects. Less common, but more serious, side effects include allergic reaction, clammy skin, seizures, extreme weakness, unconsciousness, jaundice, bleeding, bruising, decreased appetite, hot flashes, rash, itching, swelling, hearing loss, decreased sex drive and muscle twitches. Because of the hydrocodone, Lorcet can also depress the central nervous system. Other side effects, which may attract some recreational users, include extreme relaxation, euphoria and drowsiness. Taking more than 4 grams of acetaminophen in a day can cause severe liver damage or failure. Lorcet can impair motor skills, affecting reaction time, and can cause changes in mood and though processes. Warnings on the prescription say care should be taken when driving or performing other tasks that require alertness.
Lorcet Tolerance, Dependence and Withdrawal
Taken as prescribed, Lorcet can be useful in the treatment of pain. Prolonged use can cause patients to develop a tolerance which requires them to take more and more to stop the pain. A tell-tale sign of dependence is a strong craving for the drug. Once addicted, withdrawal symptoms can set in. They include muscle and bone pain, insomnia, restlessness, diarrhea, vomiting, other flu-like symptoms and involuntary leg movements. Overdosing on Lorcet or other opiates can be fatal. Kicking a Lorcet addiction can be difficult. Many users delay treatment because of a fear of withdrawal. Numerous treatment options are available on an in-patient or out-patient basis for opiate dependence. They include hospital-based detoxification, rehabilitation, faith or therapy-based programs and rapid drug detox.