Hydrocodone is a powerful opioid pain medication, and it’s the active ingredient in the brand-name drug Hysingla ER. While hydrocodone is often used in combination with drugs with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, Hysingla is a single-drug formulation. Hysingla is an extended-release medication, intended to be reserved for opioid-tolerant patients or patients who can’t tolerate other treatments. Hysingla is for severe, ongoing pain and it’s not supposed to be prescribed for patients with acute pain on an as-needed basis. Hysingla ER should be taken once every 24 hours. Despite anti-misuse features, Hysingla ER does still come with a warning about the potential for misuse.
Patients misuse opioids because of the euphoric high these drugs can create as well as desirable effects, such as relaxation or sedation. With extended-release opioid medications, they are often misused by being crushed, chewed or dissolved. Then, the drugs can be snorted or injected. That delivers a rapid concentration of the drug all at once, as opposed to a gradual, controlled release. Hysingla is supposed to be very difficult to crush or dissolve, but it’s not impossible that someone could use this as a drug of misuse. When someone misuses Hysingla ER, they are putting themselves in danger. Hysingla ER can cause addiction and dependence as well as fatal respiratory depression. On average, 115 people die every day in the U.S. from opioid overdoses, and hydrocodone is part of the opioid epidemic.
Some people might mix alcohol and Hysingla ER to amplify the effects of the drug. For example, they might want more of a high or more of a relaxing or sedative effect. There’s also the potential that people inadvertently mix alcohol and Hysingla, without thinking of potential complications. Unfortunately, mixing alcohol and Hysingla or any opioid can be dangerous or deadly. Even on the mildest spectrum of side effects of mixing alcohol and Hysingla are extreme drowsiness and a lack of judgment and inhibitions. Someone who is mixing alcohol and Hysingla ER is more likely to put themselves or someone else at risk. They may also experience short-term memory loss, also referred to as a blackout. Alcohol and hydrocodone are described as having a synergistic effect on one another. This means the effects of each of these substances is increased when used in combination with one another.
Along with uncomfortable or dangerous side effects, mixing alcohol and Hysingla can be deadly. Alcohol can increase the concentration of Hysingla ER in the body, creating a dangerous amount of the opioid in the system. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, as is Hysingla. Both slow the functions of the central nervous system. The central nervous system controls vital functions like heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. When two CNS depressants are used together, the person may suffer from respiratory depression, which can lead to coma, brain damage or death. If alcohol and Hysingla are regularly used together, it can cause damage to not only the brain but also the heart, kidneys and liver.
Both alcohol and Hysingla ER are substances that are addictive and can lead to physical dependence. As well as the physical side effects detailed above, when they’re used together, someone is at risk for developing a polysubstance misuse problem. Being dependent on both alcohol and Hysingla at the same time, as well as addicted to two powerful substances, is almost always going to require a professional medical detox and addiction treatment. It’s complex to treat a simultaneously occurring addiction to alcohol and an opioid, requiring specialized treatment.
The Recovery Village can help you understand more about addiction, and how it can be effectively treated for ongoing recovery. Contact us for more information.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.