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Norco is a combination prescription medication that is composed of the narcotic hydrocodone and the over the counter analgesic acetaminophen. Norco is a brand name of this combination drug that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. The combination of hydrocodone with acetaminophen is available in many generic forms, and is known more frequently by more popular brand names such as Vicodin and Lortab. The differences in these combination drugs is the dosages and proportion of hydrocodone with acetaminophen. Norco contains less acetaminophen per dose than most other hydrocodone and acetaminophen combinations. Hydrocodone can give users a sense of euphoria, which makes it easy to abuse.

What Are the Street Names for Norco?

Norco is known on the street as its brand name “Norco”. However, there are more common names used for recreational users to identify hydrocodone and acetaminophen combination drugs. These names include “Hydro”, “Tab”, Vees”, “Vics”, and “Vikes”. Vicodin is the most commonly heard of and referred to brand name combination.

What Is the Federal Classification for Norco?

There are legitimate uses for this medication as a treatment, though there is a risk for abuse. However, there is a risk for high psychological dependence and moderate to low physical dependence, giving this medication a Schedule II Controlled Substance classification.

What Does Norco Look Like?

NorcoNorco is available in tablet form. There are two dosages available with the tablets having an oblong shape for both. Each dosage is available in two colors. Norco tablets contain the imprint “Norco” on one side of the tablet and a number on the other. When containing 7.5 mg of hydrocodone, Norco tablets are either white or orange, while the 10 mg hydrocodone dose is either white or yellow. Generic versions and other brand names differ in shape, color, and imprint due to the manufacturer.

How Is Norco Used?

Norco is taken orally in its tablet form when taken as directed for moderate to severe pain. However, recreational use varies. The tablets may be taken orally, but are typically crushed then snorted, smoked, or dissolved in liquid and injected. Those who abuse Norco may prefer snorting the crushed pills for a quicker and more intense high than they would get by taking the pills orally.

What Are the Risks of Using Norco?

Since this drug contains an opioid pain killer, Norco use carries the risk of abuse. Users may develop an increase in tolerance to the effects of this drug, meaning that they need to increase the dosage to get the same effects that they previously felt form lower doses. This can lead to a risk of overdose, which can be fatal. In addition to effects that develop from taking this medication with other medications and by those with certain health issues, there are some common side effects that may be severe in some individuals. These side effects may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Decreased respiration and heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Skin rash and itching

How Does This Drug Affect the Mind?

Like other opiates and opioid pain medications, Norco works directly on the brain to relive the symptoms of pain for which this product is prescribed. Users experience feelings of euphoria and relaxation, as well as reduced feelings of stress. After using this drug for long periods of time, the chemicals in the brain actually change to make up for the continued presence of the drug in the body. This is what leads to an increase in tolerance and the need to take more of this drug. Once the body adjusts to this drug, physical or psychological dependence may occur, leading to withdrawal symptoms if the drug is stopped, dosage is decreased, or if a dose is missed.

How Does This Drug Affect the Body?

Norco has depressant effects on the central nervous system and digestive tract. Heart rate and breathing are slowed down, sometimes to dangerous levels. It also decreases physical and motor functioning, making it dangerous to perform certain activities while taking this medication. Some users may experience an increase in energy and activity levels while using this drug, while others may feel more drowsy and relaxed.

What Are the Overdose Effects of Norco?

The combination of ingredients in Norco both carry a risk for overdose. Several symptoms may present themselves in cases of Norco overdose that include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Shallow, noisy breathing
  • Slow or no breathing
  • Blue lips
  • Weak pulse
  • Seizures
  • Liver failure
  • Coma

If an overdose is suspected, the patient needs to receive emergency treatment immediately.

Short Term Effects

Short term effects of Norco use include pain relief, feelings of euphoria, relaxation, reduced anxiety, improved mood, reduced mental and motor control, and drowsiness. Norco is determined to be safe and effective for short-term use.

Long Term Effects

For those who take Norco for long periods of time, the risk of dependence, overdose, and withdrawal increases. Urination problems may develop, as well as damage to the kidneys and to the liver. Tinnitus, hearing problems, and deafness may also occur with long-term use, especially in higher doses. Long-term users may experience symptoms of mental illness, including depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

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