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What should I know about Norco before taking it?

Before using Norco (hydrocodone and acetaminophen), you should know whether you are allergic to hydrocodone or acetaminophen, the active ingredients in this drug, or to any other drugs. You should also know whether your kidneys are working well enough to handle this medication. Because the kidneys are responsible for clearing this drug from the body, your doctor may need to adjust your medication dose. If you have breathing problems, liver problems, hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, prostate problems or other urinary problems, you should let your doctor know before you start taking Norco.

You also should know that taking Norco with certain medications, such as the following, may increase the risk of serious or life-threatening side effects:
  • alvimopan (Entereg)
  • imatinib (Gleevec)
  • any medication containing acetaminophen
  • the supplements St. John's wort, kava kava, valerian and SAMe
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • tricyclic antidepressants
In addition, alcohol or other medicines that affect your central nervous system or cause sleepiness—such as other opioid pain medicines, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medicines, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers or sedative hypnotics or antipsychotics—may increase serious side effects of Norco.

Before you begin taking Norco, give your doctor a complete list of all prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements you take. Do not take any new medicine or supplement while taking Norco without talking to your doctor first. In addition, certain medical conditions may increase the risk for side effects, so give your doctor a complete medical history before starting the medication.

You should know that Norco may make you drowsy and impair your coordination. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

Also, you should not take Norco if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Take Norco exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than recommended. Hydrocodone is a narcotic, and those with a history of drug or alcohol abuse should be particularly aware of the danger of dependence. Make sure your doctor is aware of this in your medical history.