Can You Take Norco While Pregnant?

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on August 16, 2023

Norco is an opioid medication used to treat chronic pain. However, women who are pregnant should avoid opioid drug use because it can cause severe health issues for both mother and baby.

Norco is not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Pregnant women should speak with their prescribing healthcare provider before taking Norco.

Norco is a brand name prescription opioid that consists of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. 

This opioid pain medication is used to help those suffering from severe to moderate pain. Because of sedation and feelings of euphoria which can occur when the drug is abused, some may take the drug, even while pregnant.

Dangers Of Taking Norco While Pregnant

The use of opioids can be damaging to the life of the mother and child during and after pregnancy. This form of drug use can lead to an increased risk of certain health conditions.

Birth Defects

Pregnant women taking high doses of this pain relief medication, whether it’s for pain or simply drug use, may find that severe problems can take place including certain defects. A baby may suffer from congenital heart defects leading to death.

Additionally, a birth defect known as gastroschisis in which an abnormality of the baby’s abdomen can lead to health problems. These are serious side effects of abusing Norco.

The risk of birth defects may become higher when the drug is taken during the first trimester. In later weeks of pregnancy, Norco can lead to stillbirth.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

Those who take Norco while pregnant may experience the serious dangers associated with taking the drug during pregnancy. When Norco is abused or taken during pregnancy, the fetus can be exposed to the drug due to how the opioid may penetrate the placenta.

In addition, women who are breastfeeding while taking Norco may pass the drug from the mother to child through breast milk. This can result in the child experiencing life-threatening withdrawal symptoms or an extreme withdrawal syndrome such as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

Some of the symptoms of NAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), include:

  • stillbirth
  • birth defects
  • preterm labor
  • maternal death
  • low birth weight
  • poor feeding
  • poor fetal growth

This withdrawal syndrome may take place in babies within 72 hours after birth.

Norco Overdose

Those who continuously take higher doses of Norco may experience an opioid overdose. High doses of Norco can result in profound sedation, creating difficulty breathing.

Other symptoms of a Norco overdose, per the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), include:

  • clammy or cold skin
  • heart attack
  • hypotension
  • low blood pressure
  • respiratory depression
  • coma

If an overdose is suspected, contact 911 immediately. Naloxone (Narcan) can be administered to help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Other Substances To Avoid While Pregnant

There are numerous drug interactions or allergic reactions which can take place when Norco is combined with other substances. Not only can this result in serious potential risks to your health, it is not advised during pregnancy.

Other substances to avoid, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), include:

  • fentanyl
  • codeine
  • oxycodone
  • alcohol
  • hydrocodone (Lorcet, Lortab, Vicodin)
  • buprenorphine
  • methadone
  • over-the-counter painkillers
  • tramadol (Conzip, Ultram)

These substances should not be combined with Norco. Before taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor.

If you or a loved one are suffering from an opioid use disorder (opioid addiction), please contact Ohio Recovery Center for information on our substance abuse treatment options.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  3. Drug Enforcement Administration
  4. Food and Drug Administration
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  6. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus
  7. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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