Norco contains hydrocodone, an opioid pain medication. Because of its dangerous side effects, you should use it only as prescribed and you should never share this medication, especially if you know the person has problems with addiction.

Norco should also not be used if you have taken a MAO inhibitor within the past 14 days. Medications classed as MAO inhibitors include linezolid, rasagiline, methylene blue (injectable), and tranylcypromine.

Any narcotic medication can be habit-forming, even if you don’t abuse it. This is why you should only take it for the pain condition for which it was prescribed, such as after surgery or for an injury, and get rid of any excess medication when you are done using it.

What is Norco?

Norco is a combination medication containing both hydrocodone and acetaminophen, this is a mild pain reliever along with the stronger opioid. When it is taken as prescribed, you should experience few long-lasting side effects. Norco is prescribed to relieve pain that is moderately severe.

Acetaminophen is known to cause liver damage if it is taken in larger doses than recommended or if taken every day for an extended period of time. If you experience upper-abdominal pain, dark urine, itchy skin, lessened appetite, nausea, stools that are clay-colored or a yellowing of your eyes or skin, you should call you doctor immediately, as these can indicate you have already experienced damage to your liver.

If you become dependent on Norco, you may experience physical and psychological symptoms of dependence. Once this happens, if you stop taking it, you’ll also experience physical withdrawal symptoms.

Common Side Effects of Norco

Because Norco is a narcotic, you are likely to feel sedative effects.

Other side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Blurry vision
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Upset stomach

This list isn’t complete. Ask your doctor about any other side effects of Norco.

These side effects are less common and may be a cause for concern:

  • Weakness, increasing tiredness, no appetite, dizzy, nausea and vomiting
  • Liver problems (described above)
  • Infertility
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Loss of interest in sex, impotence
  • Bruising or bleeding easily
  • Mental confusion, odd behaviors or thoughts
  • Convulsions
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Feeling light-headed

If you have the following symptoms, you are experiencing serotonin syndrome, which requires immediate medical attention:

  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Sweating, shivering, fever
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Twitching
  • No coordination
  • Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting

Interactions of Alcohol and Norco

Mixing alcohol and Norco is dangerous.

Symptoms include:

  • Lack of perception
  • Poor judgment
  • Increased sedation effects from both alcohol and Norco
  • Lack of motor coordination
  • Lowered cognitive abilities (including planning, attention, understanding information)
  • Higher risk of seizures
  • Dangerous drops in heart rate and breathing rate (may lead to fatal brain damage)
  • Extreme vertigo and weakness
  • Feel extremely drowsy, may lose consciousness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety, paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Confusion
  • High risk of cardiovascular damage and liver damage
  • High potential for damage to respiratory system and other body systems
  • At higher risk of developing a substance use disorder (polysubstance abuse)
  • Users face higher death rates at earlier ages

Because Norco contains acetaminophen, you run a high risk of developing liver damage by misusing Norco or taking other medications with acetaminophen or other drugs which are filtered by the liver, including alcohol, at the same time. Additionally, the hydrocodone in Norco presents a high risk of abuse for those who take this drug for recreational purposes. And, taking Norco while you drink alcohol increases the risk of developing dependence for both substances.

Alcohol Poisoning and Norco Overdose

Addiction is a disease within the brain that develops when someone compulsively pursues drugs even though they know they are running the risk of harmful consequences. Addiction is also called severe substance use disorder and can completely take over a person’s life, crowding out career, family, and friends.

Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning. The chance for this is increased when you drink while also taking another CNS depressant, such as Norco.

Alcohol poisoning symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Slowed breathing
  • Pale or blue-tinged skin
  • Unconsciousness
  • Lowered body temperature

If you take cold medication with acetaminophen, you run the chance of an overdose. Taking more than your prescribed amount of Norco could create a danger of an opioid overdose.

Symptoms of a Norco overdose include:

  • (Acetaminophen)
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Sweating
  • Weakness, confusion
  • Pain in upper abdomen
  • Darkened urine
  • Yellowed skin or whites of the eyes
  • (Hydrocodone)
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Severe muscle weakness
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Very slowed breathing
  • Coma

If you are taking Norco for pain after surgery or an injury, do not drink alcohol. The alcohol enhances the effects of this narcotic pain reliever, leading to even more dangerous side effects.


From mild to life-threatening, alcohol withdrawal has a succession of symptoms that show up at different times.

  • (Within 6 hours)
  • Shaky hands
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • (48 to 72 hours)
  • Heartbeat races
  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Delirium Tremens (DTs – Hallucinations, Seizures)

Withdrawal from Norco begins within 6 to 12 hours after you last took the medication and can include:

  • Achy muscles
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts


In the hospital, treatment for alcohol poisoning is based on the person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), as well as the severity of their symptoms. Some treatments may include an IV to keep them hydrated and their blood sugar at normal levels, a breathing tube, a stomach pumping to remove any remaining alcohol from their stomach, and dosing with activated carbon to negate alcohol already passed through the stomach.

Long-term treatment for alcohol dependence includes either inpatient or outpatient treatment. Each client receives individual and group therapy to help them learn new coping skills. While in treatment, they will also learn relapse prevention skills. Each person has a treatment plan customized to their own needs.

Norco overdose symptoms:

  • Clammy, cold skin
  • Fingernails and lips have blue tinge
  • Slow, shallow or no breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Coma
  • Liver failure
  • Seizures

Treatment may be inpatient, allowing the person to work solely on treatment, which includes individual and group therapy. Addicts also learn how to live drug-free. Outpatient treatment is next and also usually offers individual and/or group therapy. Support groups allow the person to meet with people who are also in active recovery.