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Is It Safe to Combine Oxycodone and Alcohol?

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  • Written By: Jackie Myers
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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It is not safe to combine oxycodone and alcohol. Patients should never drink alcohol while taking this drug, as serious side effects or death can occur when a narcotic pain medicine is combined with alcohol. The combination causes central nervous system (CNS) depression. Experts advise those taking oxycodone to read all medicine and food labels to be sure that the products do not contain alcohol.

Patients should tell their doctor or pharmacist about any allergies they have before taking oxycodone, as the drug may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions. Those with liver disease or diabetes are advised to use caution when taking oxycodone. This medication is known as a semi-synthetic opiate pain-killer, as are Percocet® and Oxycontin®.

Oxycodone provides relief of moderate to severe pain. It belongs to a class of drugs known as narcotic analgesics and works in the brain to alter how the body responds to and feels pain. This drug is commonly used for palliative care. In addition to easing pain, oxycodone relieves shortness of breath and helps patients to sleep better.

The side effects of this narcotic pain medication are drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Some patients taking oxycodone report experiencing mouth dryness and itching as well. Mixing oxycodone and alcohol together can increase the risks of drowsiness and nausea. Patients also experience memory loss and difficulty breathing from this mixture.

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CNS depression is another harmful result of combining oxycodone and alcohol together. The central nervous system becomes physiologically depressed, resulting in decreased heart rate and loss of consciousness. CNS depression of this magnitude could lead to coma or death and can only be treated in a hospital setting where circulation and breathing can be maintained.

Other dangerous combinations besides oxycodone and alcohol should also be avoided. Medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, and antipsychotic drugs can have potentially harmful interactions with oxycodone. Severe side effects include difficulty breathing and extreme drowsiness. Taking antihistamines with oxycodone also increases the risk of constipation and can result in difficulty passing urine.

Oxycodone can be as addictive as illicit drugs like heroin, which behaves similarly in the body. Only those prescribed oxycodone should take the medicine, and they should not share it with others. Patients should not take this medication any longer than recommended by their physician. In addition, extended-release oxycodone tablets must not be crushed or chewed because it will slowly disperse throughout the body.

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burcinc
Post 3

@anamur-- I absolutely agree with you. There are some drugs that can be taken with a few drinks but this is definitely not one of them. There is no flexibility at all when it comes to oxycodone and alcohol.

I have to take oxycodone because I suffer from chronic pain. I already experience so many side effects from this drug that I can't imagine mixing it with anything.

serenesurface
Post 2

@ddljohn-- I don't know. But I do know that if the dose is high, this combination can kill you.

One of my roommates in college died from combining oxycodone and alcohol. I don't know if she did it knowingly or nor although she was probably trying to get euphoria from the oxycodone. Apparently, narcotic analgesics are one of the most commonly abused drugs. All we know is that she was having difficulty breathing and asked us to call an ambulance. Soon after we reached the ER, they told us that they could't save her.

This was a very traumatic experience for me and to this day, let alone analgesic medications, I don't mix any drug with alcohol.

ddljohn
Post 1

Will combining oxycodone and alcohol cause liver damage?

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