Norco and Vicodin are examples of prescription opioid analgesics which are used to remedy pain. It can be sometimes difficult to tell the difference based on what Vicodin looks like. These drugs both contain a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate and are both classified as Schedule III meds. Schedule III classification drugs, according to, are labeled by the government as such because once abused, these drugs would result to low to moderate physical dependence and/or high psychological dependence.

These medicines are both prescribed to be taken orally or in a tablet form. For adults, the usual dosage is one tablet every four to six hours, or as needed. Since these drugs are prescription medicines, there is a very high probability that addiction to the same can start at home.

The major distinction between Norco and Vicodin, according to, the ratio of acetaminophen to hydrocodone present in every drug. This fact is essential to remember and consider when prescribed since high levels of acetaminophen present in a drug may increase the risk of liver failure. The toxic and dangerous dose for acetaminophen is 10 g.

One of the components of both drugs, hydrocodone or hydrocodone bitartrate is a pain reliever used to treat mild to severe pain by altering the brain’s and the nervous system’s responses. The other component, acetaminophen, is also used to treat mild to moderate pain and belongs to the analgesic and antipyretics med class. Acetaminophen works by changing the body’s response to pain and also catalyzes hydrocodone’s effects. These two painkillers have similar components and are also both available in tablet forms, easy to be taken orally.

Since these drugs have opioid in their composition, according to DrugAbuse .gov, they should only be taken when prescribed by doctors. The differences between both drugs are on the dosage, ideal storing temperature, and percentage of compounds.

Below is a more in-depth discussion of the differences between the two.

A Better Look at the Differences between Norco and Vicodin

  1. Norco vs. Vicodin: Forms of the Drug

Norco tablets are available in three kinds — Norco 10/325, Norco 7.5/325, and Norco 5/325. Vicodin, on the other hand, is available in six kinds — Vicodin 10/660, Vicodin 5/500, Vicodin HP 10/300, Vicodin ES 7.5/750, Vicodin ES 7.5/300, and Vicodin 5/300.

Various Norco forms:

  • Norco 10/325: This particular variant of Norco has 10 mg hydrocodone bitartrate and 325mg acetaminophen.

  • Norco 5/325: This specific variant is composed of 5 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and still 325mg of acetaminophen.

  • Norco 7.5/325: This third variant contains 7.5 mg hydrocodone bitartrate and still 325 mg of acetaminophen.

Various Vicodin forms:

  • Vicodin 5 mg/300 mg: Being the most common type of Vicodin, this form has 300 milligrams of acetaminophen and 5 mg hydrocodone bitartrate.

  • Vicodin 5 mg/500 mg: This Vicodin type is made up of 5 milligrams of hydrocodone bitartrate and 500 milligrams acetaminophen.

  • Vicodin ES 7.5 mg/ 750mg: This particular form is composed of 7.5 milligrams hydrocodone bitartrate and 750 milligrams acetaminophen.

  • Vicodin ES 7.5 mg/300 mg: This particular Vicodin drug variant is made up of 7.5 mg hydrocodone bitartrate and 300 mg acetaminophen.

  • Vicodin HP 10 mg/300 mg: This specific type now contains 10 milligrams hydrocodone bitartrate and 300 milligrams of acetaminophen.

  • Vicodin HP 10 mg/660 mg: This particular type of Vicodin is made up of 10 mg hydrocodone bitartrate and 660 mg acetaminophen.

The HP and ES variants of Vicodin has added acetaminophen content, while HP has more hydrocodone content which explains why it is more potent and why the maximum dosage for both types are not the same.

  1. Norco vs. Vicodin: Storage Temperature Required

Norco tablets should be stored in a room with a controlled temperature ranging from 59 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Vicodin, on the other hand, should be stored in a room with a controlled temperature ranging from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Norco vs. Vicodin: Normal and non-toxic dosage

It should be noted that dosages shall be determined depending on the intensity and severity of the pain.

Acetaminophen should not be taken more than 4000 mg per day.

  • Norco: For adults, Norco should only be taken once every 4 to 6 hours, and not exceeding 8 tablets per day.

  • Vicodin: For adults, Vicodin 5/300 should only be taken once or twice every 4 to 6 hours, and also not exceeding 8 tablets per day. For Vicodin ES 7.5/750, consumption should only be limited to 5 tablets per day. For other Vicodin tablets, an adult can consume only 6 tablets a day, maximum, still with a gap of 4-6 hours.

Individuals who are hypersensitive to either acetaminophen or hydrocodone should avoid taking these tablets.

  1. Adverse Effects

If not administered properly, these drugs have the following side effects. The side effects are enumerated as follows:

  • Tiredness

  • Mental blurring

  • Shakiness

  • Exhaustion

  • Mental dependence

  • Erratic moods/mood swings

  • Issues associated with the central nervous system

  • Respiratory depression

  • Hearing impairment or complete loss of hearing

  • Skin allergies and outbreaks, pruritus, and numerous dermatological conditions

  • Genitourinary system conditions like Ureteral tremor and vesical sphincters tremor

  • Gastrointestinal problems like seasickness, unsettled stomach, and constipation

  • Fever, headache, inflammation, dry mouth, and increased sweating

Though some of these side effects don’t require any medication or any medical attention, however, if these symptoms persist for quite a long time, it’s best to seek medical attention.

  1. Warnings and Precautions

Since both drugs contain similar compounds, the points of precaution for both are also the same. These are a few warnings about Norco vs. Vicodin usage:

  • If you have taken the MAO inhibitor in the last 14 days, make sure not to take Norco.

  • If you have also taken alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, and other forms of narcotics stay away from both Norco and Vicodin.

  • If you abuse, misuse, or overdose on Norco and Vicodin, you might be addicted, or at worst, might die because of it.

  • If you overdose on acetaminophen, you might suffer from severe liver damage that might also result in death.

  • Before you take any of these medicines, be sure your doctor knows about your health condition. Tell your doctor if you have blood pressure, diarrhea, colostomy, kidney disease, ileostomy, head injury in the past, asthma, brain tumor, and the likes to make sure if it’ll be safe to take any of these drugs.

Lastly, if you suffer from severe constipation, bowel obstruction, or if you have a history of alcoholism, substance abuse, liver cirrhosis, COPD, sleep apnea, or further breathing illnesses, it is best to consult your physician before taking any of these drugs. Are you currently having issues with an addiction to Norco or Vicodin, or need more information?  If you are, learn today how Sunshine Behavioral Health can help.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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