NORCO®

 7.5/325 & NORCO® 10/325
(hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablet)

DRUG DESCRIPTION

NORCO® (hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen) is supplied in tablet form for oral administration.

Hydrocodone bitartrate is an opioid analgesic and antitussive and occurs as fine, white crystals or as a crystalline powder. It is affected by light. The chemical name is 4,5α-Epoxy-3-methoxy-17-methylmorphinan-6-one tartrate (1:1) hydrate (2:5). It has the following structural formula:

 

C18H21NO3•C4H6O6•2½H2O       M. W. = 494.49

Acetaminophen, 4´-Hydroxyacetanilide, a slightly bitter, white, odorless, crystalline powder, is a non-opiate, non-salicylate analgesic and antipyretic. It has the following structural formula:

 

C8H9NO2     M. W. = 151.16

NORCO®, for oral administration is available in the following strengths:

 

Hydrocodone Bitartrate

Acetaminophen

NORCO® 7.5/325

7.5 mg

325 mg

NORCO® 10/325

10 mg

325 mg

In addition, each tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, pregelatinized starch, and stearic acid; the 7.5 mg/325 mg tablets include FD&C Yellow #6 Aluminum Lake, the 10 mg/325 mg tablets include D&C Yellow #10 Aluminum Lake. Meets USP Dissolution Test 1.

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/27/2010

Norco Indications & Dosage

 

INDICATIONS

NORCO® is indicated for the relief of moderate to moderately severe pain.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Dosage should be adjusted according to the severity of the pain and the response of the patient. However, it should be kept in mind that tolerance to hydrocodone can develop with continued use and that the incidence of untoward effects is dose related.

The usual adult dosage is one tablet every four to six hours as needed for pain. The total daily dose should not exceed 6 tablets.

HOW SUPPLIED

NORCO® 7.5/325 is available as capsule-shaped, light orange tablets bisected on one side and debossed with “NORCO 729″ on the other side. Each tablet contains 7.5 mg hydrocodone bitartrate and 325 mg acetaminophen. They are supplied as follows:

Bottles of 30
Bottles of 100
Bottles of 500

NORCO® 10/325 is available as capsule-shaped, yellow tablets bisected on one side and debossed with ‘NORCO 539″ on the other side. Each tablet contains 10 mg hydrocodone bitartrate and 325 mg acetaminophen. They are supplied as follows:

Bottles of 100
Bottles of 500

Store at controlled room temperature 15°-30°C (59°-86°F).

Dispense in a tight, light-resistant container with a child-resistant closure.

Watson Pharma, Inc.
A Subsidiary of Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Corona CA 92880 USA
Revised: April 2003 FDA rev date: April 2003

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/27/2010

Norco Side Effects & Drug Interactions

 

SIDE EFFECTS

The most frequently reported adverse reactions are lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea and vomiting. These effects seem to be more prominent in ambulatory than in nonambulatory patients, and some of these adverse reactions may be alleviated if the patient lies down.

Other adverse reactions include:

Central Nervous System: Drowsiness, mental clouding, lethargy, impairment of mental and physical performance, anxiety, fear, dysphoria, psychic dependence, mood changes.

Gastrointestinal System: Prolonged administration of NORCO® may produce constipation.

Genitourinary System: Ureteral spasm, spasm of vesical sphincters and urinary retention have been reported with opiates.

Respiratory Depression: Hydrocodone bitartrate may produce dose-related respiratory depression by acting directly on the brain stem respiratory centers (see OVERDOSAGE).

Special Senses: Cases of hearing impairment or permanent loss have been reported predominantly in patients with chronic overdose.

Dermatological: Skin rash, pruritus.

The following adverse drug events may be borne in mind as potential effects of acetaminophen: allergic reactions, rash, thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis. Potential effects of high dosage are listed in the OVERDOSAGE section.

DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE

Controlled Substance: NORCO® is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance.

Abuse and Dependence: Psychic dependence, physical dependence, and tolerance may develop upon repeated administration of narcotics; therefore, this product should be prescribed and administered with caution. However, psychic dependence is unlikely to develop when NORCO® is used for a short time for the treatment of pain.

Physical dependence, the condition in which continued administration of the drug is required to prevent the appearance of a withdrawal syndrome, assumes clinically significant proportions only after several weeks of continued narcotic use, although some mild degree of physical dependence may develop after a few days of narcotic therapy. Tolerance, in which increasingly large doses are required in order to produce the same degree of analgesia, is manifested initially by a shortened duration of analgesic effect, and subsequently by decreases in the intensity of analgesia. The rate of development of tolerance varies among patients.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Patients receiving other narcotics, antihistamines, antipsychotics, antianxiety agents, or other CNS depressants (including alcohol) concomitantly with NORCO® may exhibit an additive CNS depression. When combined therapy is contemplated, the dose of one or both agents should be reduced.

The use of MAO inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants with hydrocodone preparations may increase the effect of either the antidepressant or hydrocodone.

Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

Acetaminophen may produce false-positive test results for urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid.

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/27/2010

Norco Warnings & Precautions

 

WARNINGS

Respiratory Depression: At high doses or in sensitive patients, hydrocodone may produce dose-related respiratory depression by acting directly on the brain stem respiratory center. Hydrocodone also affects the center that controls respiratory rhythm, and may produce irregular and periodic breathing.

Head Injury and Increased Intracranial Pressure: The respiratory depressant effects of narcotics and their capacity to elevate cerebrospinal fluid pressure may be markedly exaggerated in the presence of head injury, other intracranial lesions or a pre-existing increase in intracranial pressure. Furthermore, narcotics produce adverse reactions which may obscure the clinical course of patients with head injuries.

Acute Abdominal Conditions: The administration of narcotics may obscure the diagnosis or clinical course of patients with acute abdominal conditions.

PRECAUTIONS

General

Special Risk Patients: As with any narcotic analgesic agent, NORCO® should be used with caution in elderly or debilitated patients and those with severe impairment of hepatic or renal function, hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, prostatic hypertrophy or urethral stricture. The usual precautions should be observed and the possibility of respiratory depression should be kept in mind.

Cough Reflex: Hydrocodone suppresses the cough reflex; as with all narcotics, caution should be exercised when NORCO® is used postoperatively and in patients with pulmonary disease.

Laboratory Tests

In patients with severe hepatic or renal disease, effects of therapy should be monitored with serial liver and/or renal function tests.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No adequate studies have been conducted in animals to determine whether hydrocodone or acetaminophen have a potential for carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, or impairment of fertility.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category C: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. NORCO® should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nonteratogenic Effects: Babies born to mothers who have been taking opioids regularly prior to delivery will be physically dependent. The withdrawal signs include irritability and excessive crying, tremors, hyperactive reflexes, increased respiratory rate, increased stools, sneezing, yawning, vomiting, and fever. The intensity of the syndrome does not always correlate with the duration of maternal opioid use or dose. There is no consensus on the best method of managing withdrawal.

Labor and Delivery

As with all narcotics, administration of this product to the mother shortly before delivery may result in some degree of respiratory depression in the newborn, especially if higher doses are used.

Nursing Mothers

Acetaminophen is excreted in breast milk in small amounts, but the significance of its effects on nursing infants is not known. It is not known whether hydrocodone is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from hydrocodone and acetaminophen, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of hydrocodone bitartrate 5 mg and acetaminophen 500 mg did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Hydrocodone and the major metabolites of acetaminophen are known to be substantially excreted by the kidney. Thus the risk of toxic reactions may be greater in patients with impaired renal function due to the accumulation of the parent compound and/or metabolites in the plasma. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.

Hydrocodone may cause confusion and over-sedation in the elderly; elderly patients generally should be started on low doses of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets and observed closely.

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/27/2010

Norco Overdosage & Contraindications

 

OVERDOSE

Following an acute overdosage, toxicity may result from hydrocodone or acetaminophen.

Signs and Symptoms: Hydrocodone: Serious overdose with hydrocodone is characterized by respiratory depression (a decrease in respiratory rate and/or tidal volume, Cheyne-Stokes respiration, cyanosis), extreme somnolence progressing to stupor or coma, skeletal muscle flaccidity, cold and clammy skin, and sometimes bradycardia and hypotension. In severe overdosage, apnea, circulatory collapse, cardiac arrest and death may occur.

Acetaminophen: In acetaminophen overdosage: dose-dependent, potentially fatal hepatic necrosis is the most serious adverse effect. Renal tubular necrosis, hypoglycemic coma, and thrombocytopenia may also occur.

Early symptoms following a potentially hepatotoxic overdose may include: nausea, vomiting, diaphoresis and general malaise. Clinical and laboratory evidence of hepatic toxicity may not be apparent until 48 to 72 hours post-ingestion.

In adults, hepatic toxicity has rarely been reported with acute overdoses of less than 10 grams, or fatalities with less than 15 grams.

Treatment: A single or multiple overdose with hydrocodone and acetaminophen is a potentially lethal polydrug overdose, and consultation with a regional poison control center is recommended.

Immediate treatment includes support of cardiorespiratory function and measures to reduce drug absorption. Vomiting should be induced mechanically, or with syrup of ipecac, if the patient is alert (adequate pharyngeal and laryngeal reflexes). Oral activated charcoal (1 g/kg) should follow gastric emptying. The first dose should be accompanied by an appropriate cathartic. If repeated doses are used, the cathartic might be included with alternate doses as required. Hypotension is usually hypovolemic and should respond to fluids. Vasopressors and other supportive measures should be employed as indicated. A cuffed endotracheal tube should be inserted before gastric lavage of the unconscious patient and, when necessary, to provide assisted respiration.

Meticulous attention should be given to maintaining adequate pulmonary ventilation. In severe cases of intoxication, peritoneal dialysis, or preferably hemodialysis may be considered. If hypoprothrombinemia occurs due to acetaminophen overdose, vitamin K should be administered intravenously.

Naloxone, a narcotic antagonist, can reverse respiratory depression and coma associated with opioid overdose. Naloxone hydrochloride 0.4 mg to 2 mg is given parenterally. Since the duration of action of hydrocodone may exceed that of the naloxone, the patient should be kept under continuous surveillance and repeated doses of the antagonist should be administered as needed to maintain adequate respiration. A narcotic antagonist should not be administered in the absence of clinically significant respiratory or cardiovascular depression.

If the dose of acetaminophen may have exceeded 140 mg/kg, acetylcysteine should be administered as early as possible. Serum acetaminophen levels should be obtained, since levels four or more hours following ingestion help predict acetaminophen toxicity. Do not await acetaminophen assay results before initiating treatment. Hepatic enzymes should be obtained initially, and repeated at 24-hour intervals.

Methemoglobinemia over 30% should be treated with methylene blue by slow intravenous administration.

The toxic dose for adults for acetaminophen is 10 g.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

NORCO® should not be administered to patients who have previously exhibited hypersensitivity to hydrocodone or acetaminophen.

Patients known to be hypersensitive to other opioids may exhibit cross-sensitivity to hydrocodone.

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/27/2010

Norco Clinical Pharmacology

 

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Hydrocodone is a semisynthetic narcotic analgesic and antitussive with multiple actions qualitatively similar to those of codeine. Most of these involve the central nervous system and smooth muscle. The precise mechanism of action of hydrocodone and other opiates is not known, although it is believed to relate to the existence of opiate receptors in the central nervous system. In addition to analgesia, narcotics may produce drowsiness, changes in mood and mental clouding.

The analgesic action of acetaminophen involves peripheral influences, but the specific mechanism is as yet undetermined. Antipyretic activity is mediated through hypothalamic heat regulating centers. Acetaminophen inhibits prostaglandin synthetase. Therapeutic doses of acetaminophen have negligible effects on the cardiovascular or respiratory systems; however, toxic doses may cause circulatory failure and rapid, shallow breathing.

Pharmacokinetics: The behavior of the individual components is described below.

Hydrocodone: Following a 10 mg oral dose of hydrocodone administered to five adult male subjects, the mean peak concentration was 23.6 ± 5.2 ng/mL. Maximum serum levels were achieved at 1.3 ± 0.3 hours and the half-life was determined to be 3.8 ± 0.3 hours. Hydrocodone exhibits a complex pattern of metabolism including O-demethylation, N-demethylation and 6-ketoreduction to the corresponding 6-a- and 6-ß-hydroxymetabolites. See OVERDOSAGE for toxicity information.

Acetaminophen: Acetaminophen is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and is distributed throughout most body tissues. The >plasma half-life is 1.25 to 3 hours, but may be increased by liver damage and following overdosage. Elimination of acetaminophen is principally by liver metabolism (conjugation) and subsequent renal excretion of metabolites. Approximately 85% of an oral dose appears in the urine within 24 hours of administration, most as the glucuronide conjugate, with small amounts of other conjugates and unchanged drug. See OVERDOSAGE for toxicity information.

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/27/2010

Norco Medication Guide

 

PATIENT INFORMATION

Hydrocodone, like all narcotics, may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery; patients should be cautioned accordingly.

Alcohol and other CNS depressants may produce an additive CNS depression, when taken with this combination product, and should be avoided.

Hydrocodone may be habit-forming. Patients should take the drug only for as long as it is prescribed, in the amounts prescribed, and no more frequently than prescribed.

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/27/2010

Norco Consumer

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your health care professional. Always seek the advice of your health care professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your health care professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you.

HYDROCODONE/ACETAMINOPHEN – ORAL

(hye-droe-KOE-done/a-SEET-a-MIN-oh-fen)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin

USES: This combination medication is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Hydrocodone is a narcotic pain reliever (opiate-type) that acts on certain centers in the brain to give you pain relief. Acetaminophen is a non-narcotic pain reliever.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This medication may also be used to suppress a cough.

HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, you may take this drug with food, although doing so may decrease its effectiveness. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about alternatives for decreasing nausea (e.g., antihistamines, lying down for 1-2 hours with minimal head movement).

If you are using the liquid product, measure the medication with a dose-measuring spoon or device to make sure you get the correct dose. Do not use a household spoon.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Pain medications work best in relieving pain before it becomes severe. Once the pain becomes intense, the medication is not as effective in relieving it.

Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently or use it for a longer period of time than prescribed because this drug can be habit-forming. Also, if used for an extended period of time, do not suddenly stop using this drug without your doctor's approval.

When used for an extended period, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.

This medication contains acetaminophen. Do not take more acetaminophen than recommended (see Side Effects section).

Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Norco Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, flushing, vision changes, or mental/mood changes may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: slow/irregular breathing, slow/irregular heartbeat, change in the amount of urine.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: impairment or loss of hearing (especially with high doses for long periods).

If you do not have liver problems, the adult maximum dose of acetaminophen is 4 grams per day (4000 milligrams). If you take more than the maximum daily amount, it may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms of liver damage: severe nausea, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, stomach pain, extreme fatigue.

If you have liver problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist for a safe dosage of this medication.

An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other narcotics (e.g., morphine, codeine); or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe breathing problems (e.g., respiratory depression, hypercapnia), severe diarrhea (e.g., Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea, infectious diarrhea due to toxins).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, difficulty urinating (e.g., enlarged prostate, urethral stricture), alcohol use, drug dependency, heart problems (e.g., slow/irregular heartbeat, very low blood pressure), abdominal/stomach problems (e.g., gallbladder disease), lung disease (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), seizure disorders, serious head injury or brain disease, spinal problems (kyphoscoliosis), low thyroid disease (hypothyroidism), adrenal gland problems (Addison's disease), psychiatric problems (toxic psychosis).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

This product contains acetaminophen which may cause liver damage. Daily use of alcohol, especially when combined with acetaminophen, may increase your risk for liver damage. Avoid alcohol. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position.

Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the side effects of the drug, especially the possible decreased breathing and drowsiness effects.

This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. It is not recommended for use for long periods or in high doses near the expected delivery date because of the potential for harm to an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Based on information from related drugs, this drug may pass into breast milk. Due to the potential risk to the infant, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Norco Consumer (continued)

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medication because very serious interactions may occur: naltrexone.

If you are currently using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting this drug.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription products you may use, especially of: other medications for pain, cimetidine, isoniazid, MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin), anticholinergic drugs/antihistamines (e.g., hydroxyzine, oxybutynin, scopolamine).

Also report drugs that cause drowsiness such as: medicine for sleep (e.g., sedatives), tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine, or tricyclics such as amitriptyline), muscle relaxants, antihistamines that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine).

Acetaminophen is an ingredient in many nonprescription products and in some combination prescription medications. Read the labels carefully before taking other pain relievers, fever reducers, or cold products to see if they also contain acetaminophen. Consult your pharmacist if you are uncertain if your other prescription or nonprescription products contain acetaminophen. (Also see adult maximum daily dose information in Side Effects section).

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly. Symptoms of overdose may include: vomiting, slow breathing, slow heartbeat, cold/clammy skin, unusual sweating, loss of consciousness, severe nausea, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, extreme fatigue, stomach pain.

NOTES: Do not share this medication with others. It is against the law.

This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another condition unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in those cases.

To prevent constipation, maintain a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. If you become constipated while using this drug, consult your pharmacist for help in selecting a laxative (e.g., stimulant-type).

MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Different brands have different storage requirements, so consult your pharmacist for more information. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.