Compare Norco vs. Tramadol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Norco
(Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)

Ultram
(Tramadol)

Treats moderate to severe pain. Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) is a good option to treat pain as needed when over-the-counter medicines can't control the symptoms, but must make sure you don't take too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) to avoid liver problems or death.Treats moderate to severe pain. Ultram (Tramadol) works well to treat severe pain and mood changes. Although it's a little weaker than other opioids, it can still be addictive.
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Reviews & ratings
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5.03Norco
Reviews for Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)
67%
of people (All ages) say Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) is worth it
44%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
1194 reviews
Have you used Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Ultram (Tramadol)
61%
6% vs. Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)
40%
4% vs. Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)
16%
3% vs. Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)
642 reviews
Have you used Ultram (Tramadol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NorcoTramadol

The Norco FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Norco side effects »
  • Dizziness (not vertigo) 21%
  • Flushing 12%
  • Itching 11%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Dizziness 9%
  • Sleep difficulty 8%
  • Positional low blood pressure 3%
More Tramadol side effects »
How it works
NorcoTramadol
Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) is a combination pain medicine. Hydrocodone is an opioid (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception. Acetaminophen is a non-opioid pain reliever and fever reducer.Ultram (Tramadol) is an atypical opioid pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it alters certain brain chemicals to lower pain perception and improve mood.
Type of medication
NorcoTramadol
Pain reliever
Opioid
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Available as
NorcoTramadol
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for (click to learn more)
NorcoTramadol
Risk factors for serious side effects
NorcoTramadol
  • Current liver disease
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines with acetaminophen
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • Higher dose
  • Using other medicines that can cause seizures
  • History of seizures
  • Alcoholism
  • Eating disorders
Detailed risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
NorcoTramadol
  • Avoid alcohol.
No alcohol related info.
Food
NorcoTramadol
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Take Ultram (Tramadol) with food to avoid an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
NorcoTramadol
  • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
  • The acetaminophen component in Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) can hurt your liver. Using more than 4000 mg of the acetaminophen (or 12 tablets of Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) can cause serious harm to your liver. You may develop life-threatening liver problems that need a liver transplant. Don't take more than your doctor prescribes, and avoid other medicines that have acetaminophen when using Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen).
  • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
Pain
NorcoTramadol
  • Combination pain medicine with an opiod component (hydrocodone) and non-opioid component (acetaminophen or Tylenol) that takes advantage of different modes of pain relieve in a single pill.
  • This is a combination pain medication. It contains both an opioid medicine and acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Works best if you take it as soon as you start feeling pain. Starts working in 30 minutes and pain relief lasts 4 to 6 hours.
  • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't work well enough to relieve your pain, or if the side effects are really bad.
  • Relieves moderate to severe pain. It has been shown to work as well as other opioid pain medications.
  • It isn't used for short-term, as-needed pain relief.
Sleep
NorcoTramadol
  • Can help you fall asleep easier.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
NorcoTramadol
  • Combination pain medicine with an opiod component (hydrocodone) and non-opioid component (acetaminophen or Tylenol) that takes advantage of different modes of pain relieve in a single pill.
  • Provides quick relief for moderate to severe pain to improve quality of life.
  • Good for as-needed, short-term use, but may be helpful to manage more long-term pain problems if used at the appropriate doses and intervals.
  • Generally well tolerated by people, especially if taken with food to lower risk of stomach upset.
  • Lower rates of misuse compared to pure opioid medicines.
  • Can help you fall asleep easier.
  • Relieves moderate to severe pain. It has been shown to work as well as other opioid pain medications.
  • Compared to typical opioids, it provides unique pain relief and effects on your mood when taken regularly.
  • Has a lower chance of causing breathing problems compared to other typical opioids.
  • Doesn't cause as much constipation as other opioid pain medicines. Staying hydrated and taking laxatives can help treat this side effect.
Downsides and risks
NorcoTramadol
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common.
  • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Norco if you need.
  • All opioid containing medicines have the risk of physical dependence and possibility of withdrawal when used long-term.
  • The non-opioid part of Norco, acetaminophen (Tylenol), has a high risk of liver failure and death if you take more than the maximum daily dose. Be very careful.
  • Relies on the users to be aware of how much acetaminophen (Tylenol) they are using since it is a very common ingredient in many prescription and non-prescription pain medicines.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Some people think it's weaker than other opioid pain medications. It can also cause more upset stomach.
  • Like other opioid pain relievers, Tramadol has a high risk of addiction, abuse, misuse, overdose, and death. It should only be used for severe pain that requires daily, around-the-clock treatment once alternative treatments haven't worked.
  • It isn't used for short-term, as-needed pain relief.
  • It's a controlled substance regulated by the federal government. This means that your use of Ultram (Tramadol) will be tracked to prevent potential prescription abuse.
  • To get Ultram (Tramadol) in the pharmacy, you'll need to bring in a paper prescription directly from your doctor.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
NorcoTramadol
  • This is a combination pain medication. It contains both an opioid medicine and acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Works best if you take it as soon as you start feeling pain. Starts working in 30 minutes and pain relief lasts 4 to 6 hours.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid activities need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Constipation is common and may not go away while you're taking this medicine. Drinking lots of water and using laxatives can help.
  • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
  • Use it for the shortest time and at the lowest dose possible, to lower your chance of becoming addicted.
  • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't work well enough to relieve your pain, or if the side effects are really bad.
  • Starts working in one hour and works best if you take it regularly.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Take Ultram (Tramadol) with food to avoid an upset stomach.
  • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablets whole. They're designed to release the drug slowly and breaking, crushing, or chewing them could cause a serious overdose.
Learn more
More about NorcoSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TramadolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ultram (Tramadol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it