Wondering how long it takes Norco to get out of your system?

Norco is a very powerful narcotic that offers a wide range of possible and sometimes alarming side effects.

Recently a relative of mine had been taking Norco for three days following minor knee surgery, and she just wasn’t herself. So after three days, she quit the Norco.

I wanted to know how long it takes Norco to leave a person’s system, so I asked Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers nationally, and author of “From Fatigued to Fantastic!”

He first explains, “Norco has the benefit of having higher levels of narcotic (oxycodone) relative to acetaminophen (Tylenol).

This is a plus, because as many people escalate their pain med dosing, they reach life threatening doses of the Tylenol before they get to narcotic doses that kill them.”

Dr. Teitelbaum then explains, “The level of Norco in the blood decreases by 50 % every 3-4.5 hours, so it is down to 25 % of the blood level at ~ 8 hours, but can be weeks to be totally gone. By 24 hrs it is down to ~ 1 % of the peak level, which essentially is gone.”

Side effects of Norco include depression, constipation, mood alterations, skin rash, difficulty breathing, vomiting, itching and confusion. Next time you reach for a Norco tablet, ask yourself if your pain is really that bad.

And even then, consider using a safer, natural alternative like white willow bark capsules. Post-surgical pain needs to be dealt with and must run its course.

But what about chronic pain?

Norco (and other narcotics) are highly addictive, and the longer a person is on Norco or other narcotics, the more agonizing are the withdrawal effects. Dr. Teitelbaum has this to say about pain:

“The drugs all poison different systems or stimulate others to get the desired effects — but also then cause side effects — often severe.

“This is because we do not realize pain is our body’s way of saying something needs attention — like the oil light on our car’s dashboard.

“If you cover up the oil light to fix the problem, the motor burns out.

The safer and more effective alternative, as discussed in Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw Hill), is to treat the underlying cause(s) of the pain (like putting oil in the car and fixing the oil leak, to extend the car analogy, so the oil light goes out).”

Dr. Teitelbaum says to treat pain with SHINE:

Sleep: 7-8 hours a night

Hormonal support: “Low hormonal function, even with normal labs, can markedly aggravate pain, and pain often decreases (or can even go away) when the low hormonal function is treated.

“This is especially common with low thyroid, and using bioidentical low dose natural testosterone was even shown to decrease fibromyalgia pain in women (the latter in a study by Prof Hillary White of Dartmouth).”

Infections/Inflammation /Impingement: These are major causes of pain.

“Fish oil, and high potency extracts of curcumin or ginger can be very effective anti-inflammatories — and are excellent alternatives to Motrin related arthritis/NSAID medications.

“Impingement — when a nerve or other tissue in the body is being pushed on or pinched. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common example, and usually goes away after six weeks with vitamin B6 at 250 mg a day, thyroid hormone support if needed, and a night time wrist splint — without surgery.”

Nutrition: “Because the Western diet has been highly processed, nutritional deficiencies are a common problem. In addition, bowel infections can cause poor absorption, and the illness itself can cause increased nutritional needs.

“The most important nutrients include: a) vitamins — especially the B vitamins (most at 25-50 mg/day), vitamin B12 (50-3,000 mcg/day), antioxidants (e.g.,vitamin C and E). b) Minerals — especially magnesium, zinc, and selenium and c) amino acids (proteins).

Exercise as able: If you don’t use it you’ll lose it; disuse can cripple the body.

Dr. Teitelbaum is a board certified internist and nationally known expert in the fields of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep and pain.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Shutterstock/Alexander Raths