Also Known As: Norco, Vicodin, Lortab, Lorset, Hydrocodone with acetaminophen, Codimal, Hydrocet, Vicodin hp, Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen
Hydrocodone or dihydrocodeinone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from either of two naturally occurring opiates: codeine and thebaine. It is an orally active narcotic analgesic and antitussive. It is available in tablet, capsule, and syrup form.
Hydrocodone is often compounded with other generally less effective non-opioid compounds such as paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) or ibuprofen, both often added to discourage recreational use (as paracetamol can cause potentially fatal liver toxicity at high doses), and to provide a possible synergy of analgesic effects between hydrocodone and the non-opioid compounds present. The particular niche in which hydrocodone is most commonly used is as an intermediate centrally acting analgesic. Abrupt discontinuation of hydrocodone (Vicodin, Vicodin ES, and Norco) may result in withdrawal symptoms.
Because of concerns about liver damage from protracted use of paracetamol (acetaminiophen) at high doses, four pharmaceutical companies (Purdue Frederick, Cephaoln, Zogenix, and Egalet) are developing extended-release capsules and other forms of hydrocodone by itself.