Does Hydrocodone Make You Sleepy?

Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid drug, most commonly prescribed for pain management or cough suppression.

Also known as dihydrocodeinone, hydrocodone is synthesized from codeine, which is an opioid alkaloid found in the opium poppy plant.

Does Hydrocodone Make You Sleepy?

Codeine is converted into morphine in the body by binding to opioid receptors in the brain which signal pain. The primary function of codeine is to decrease discomfort. Since the pain is not entirely eliminated, codeine offers an additional benefit by causing sedation and drowsiness. It also depresses breathing.

Because codeine is a primary component of hydrocodone, the drug hydrocodone can, in fact, make you sleepy.

Individuals taking hydrocodone need to use extra caution or avoid the use altogether when they are taking other drugs. Serious to life-threatening adverse reactions can occur if hydrocodone is combined with any of the following types of drugs:

  • Anti-anxiety drugs* -used to treat anxiety disorders, phobias, panic attacks. Drugs include: Valium, Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, Serax.
  • Opioids** -used to treat pain. Drugs include: Vicodin, heroin, methadone, Suboxone, Morphine.
  • Anticholinergic drugs -used to treat urinary incontinence, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, and certain types of poisoning. Drugs include: Benadryl, Thorazine, Artane, Cogentin, Akineton.
  • Serotonergic drugs* -used for the inhibition of serotonin reuptake. Drugs include: cyclobenzaprine, methadone, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline.
  • Antipsychotic drugs –used to manage psychosis. Drugs include: Serentil, Prolixin, Loxitane, Haldol, Moban.
  • Depressant drugs* -used to manage conditions associated with mental disorders. Drugs include: Butisol, Liminal, Fioricet, Brevital, Intermezzo, Ambien.
  • Alcohol*

Items noted with an asterisk (*) have a major drowsiness side effect. The item with a double asterisk (**) is subject to respiratory depression being a major side effect.

Combining hydrocodone with any of these substances increases the risk of side effects; however, the risks are more pronounced for those indicated with asterisks since they independently cause marked drowsiness. If the risk of breathing suppression is present, the person taking hydrocodone could potentially stop breathing in their sleep, slip into a coma, or even die.

Does Hydrocodone Make You Sleepy?
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