Harmful Interactions National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA

hydrocodone and alcohol

This Schedule II drug connects to your brain’s opioid receptors, creating a high that is all too easy to become hooked on. Abusing opioids comes with its own set of problems that are often exacerbated when you add alcohol to the mix. Some medications—including many popular painkillers and cough, cold, and allergy remedies—contain more than one ingredient that can react with alcohol. Read the label on the medication bottle to find out exactly what ingredients a medicine contains. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about how alcohol might interact with a drug you are taking. Individuals may double up on various substances as a way to augment the experience of each.

Even some herbal remedies can have harmful effects when combined with alcohol. If your loved one experiences breathing problems after combining hydrocodone and alcohol, call 911 immediately. Emergency workers may be able to prevent an overdose from resulting in long-term health complications.

Protect yourself by avoiding alcohol if you are taking a medication and don’t know its effect. To learn more about a medicine and whether it will interact with alcohol, talk to your pharmacist or other health care provider. Recently, naloxone has been spread widely among emergency responders, pharmacies, and even caregivers, to prevent deadly opioid overdoses. This drug is short-acting, but it temporarily reverses an opioid overdose, giving emergency responders the time they need to treat the individual. However, when other substances like alcohol are involved in the overdose, naloxone may be less effective.

Examples of Potentially Deadly Interactions

There are many brand-name medications that contain hydrocodone, but this chemical itself is an opioid painkiller. Originally thought to be less addictive than oxycodone, hydrocodone has since been moved up to Schedule II in the Controlled Substances List from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It is still very important in treating serious pain, but it has an elevated risk of addiction. Elderly people were most likely to experience respiratory effects after mixing opioids and alcohol, the report found.

  1. Administering naloxone may help to stop opioid-caused symptoms, but the person may still suffer due to excessive alcohol consumption.
  2. The more alcohol a patient consumes, the greater the risk for alcohol and medication interactions.
  3. This drug only works to stop opioid overdoses, not overdoses on other kinds of drugs.
  4. According to the World Health Organization, about 115,000 people died of an opioid overdose in 2017.
  5. However, medical professionals typically recommend, and warning labels on the medications reinforce, to avoid mixing opioid drugs like hydrocodone with other depressant drugs like alcohol.

We also look at treatment for a person who has taken both alcohol and opioids, treatment options for alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder, and how to find these treatment options. Hydrocodone is a highly addictive opioid drug that has earned the reputation of the most prescribed opioid painkiller in America. By any name — Vicodin, Lorcet or Lortab — you may receive hydrocodone for chronic pain, unmanageable coughing or after major surgery.

Examples of common medications known to interact negatively with alcohol

The more alcohol a patient consumes, the greater the risk for alcohol and medication interactions. Universal screening, careful prescribing choices, and patient education can help minimize the risks of combining alcohol with certain medications. People who take these substances together have an increased risk for engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving while intoxicated. It is dangerous to operate heavy machinery after consuming alcohol and opioids separately, and it is even more dangerous after consuming them together. There are reasons why medical professionals prescribing hydrocodone caution against drinking while taking these highly addictive opioid pills. Mixing hydrocodone (an opioid painkiller) with alcohol can lead to a host of severe health problems ranging from lack of motor control to heart failure and coma.

hydrocodone and alcohol

There is no specific limit to how much this could be because it depends on how large the dose is per pill or how the drug is consumed. If a person overdoses crack addiction on hydrocodone, it is extremely important to call 911. The person needs emergency medical attention to survive and mitigate long-term damage.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Increased preventative measures like education and family communication can lead to lower levels of substance abuse in teens, including those of prescription opioids and alcohol. Beyond the examples noted above, alcohol has the potential to interact negatively with many other commonly prescribed medications. The resources below can help alert you and your patients to important potential risks. This pamphlet lists medications that can cause harm when taken with alcohol and describes the effects that can result. The list gives the brand name by which each medicine is commonly known (for example, Benadryl®) and its generic name or active ingredient (in Benadryl®, this is diphenhydramine). The list presented here does not include all the medicines that may interact harmfully with alcohol.

Check with your doctor right away if you have anxiety, restlessness, a fast heartbeat, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, twitching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or see or hear things that are not there. These may be symptoms of a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Your risk may be higher if you also take certain other medicines that affect serotonin levels in your body.

Teen Drinking and Hydrocodone Abuse

Knowing this valuable information could save your life or that of a friend. When prescribed, hydrocodone can come in immediate-release or extended-release versions. Immediate-release hydrocodone treats pain very quickly, typically lasting between four and six hours. Extended-release versions are intended to treat chronic pain, and effects from these medicines can last up to 12 hours, giving full-day relief.

Fortunately, educating patients about the risks of combining medications with alcohol may help them avoid negative outcomes. Here, we describe briefly how alcohol and medications can interact, and we provide a few examples of common ethanol definition formula uses and facts medications that could interact negatively with alcohol. We provide links to resources to help you mitigate these risks, including a consensus-developed list of potentially serious alcohol-medication interactions in older adults.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol With Hydrocodone

When mixed with alcohol, acetaminophen breaks down into a toxic product that can lead to liver damage. Opioids work by binding to and activating opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, and other areas 10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication of the body. These receptors are a type of protein known as G protein-coupled receptors. By binding to the receptors, opioids block pain signals to the brain and produce an analgesic or pain-relieving effect.

No matter how long you’ve been taking hydrocodone and alcohol, you’re never far from hope. Call The Recovery Village today to talk with a representative about your options for treatment and start on the path to drug-free living. Do not suddenly stop or change your dose without first checking with your doctor. Check with your doctor right away if you have darkening of the skin, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, loss of appetite, mental depression, nausea, skin rash, unusual tiredness or weakness, or vomiting.

At first, mixing hydrocodone with alcohol can produce pleasurable effects such as slight drowsiness, numbness and euphoria. But while you’re riding this high, these substances are damaging your body in ways you cannot feel or see initially. When taken together, each drug exacerbates the effects of the other, and you will likely lose control of your motor skills and judgment faster than you thought possible. Both drugs are depressants, which inhibit your central nervous system. When this system is depressed, your heart rate and breathing can slow to extremely dangerous levels, increasing the likelihood of unconsciousness and coma.