Reprexain is a combination medication prescribed to patients to relieve short-term moderate to severe pain. Reprexain contains both the synthetic opioid hydrocodone and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ibuprofen. Each has their own set of side effects, though Hydrocodone is more likely to cause serious risk factors in the event of an overdose.
Side effects of hydrocodone can include constipation, dizziness, anxiety, dry throat, rash, constricted pupils, depressed respiration, and decreased level of consciousness. Other common side effects include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, lightheadedness, mood swings, difficulty urinating, and itching. Chest tightness may also be experienced.
The side effects of ibuprofen are typically much less severe. Most of ibuprofen’s side effects only occur when the person has ingested very high doses of the drug. Common symptoms of excessive ibuprofen use include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tinnitus (ringing ears), abdominal pain, drowsiness, headache, and nystagmus. On rare occasions, more severe complications can occur. These may include gastrointestinal bleeding, metabolic acidosis, hypotension (low blood pressure), rapid heart rate, liver dysfunction, cyanosis, and cardiac arrest. Other complications may include seizures, elevated blood potassium, slow heart rate, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), acute kidney failure, and respiratory depression.
Reprexain should not be mixed with other opioids or central nervous system depressants due to potentially life-threatening complications including severe respiratory depression. However, under close medical supervision, combination therapy may be allowed.
Reprexain is commonly used in the management of moderate to severe pain, especially when the patient will benefit from reduced inflammation. Ibuprofen has inflammation-reducing effects and provides relief to moderate pain. Hydrocodone can effectively treat moderate to severe pain.
Hydrocodone achieves its analgesic (pain-relieving) effects by acting directly on mu-opioid receptors in the body. By activating these receptors, the patient experiences less pain. Ibuprofen achieves its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the production of specific enzymes associated with the production of inflammation.
Reprexain offers an alternative to hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination drugs such as Vicodin. The acetaminophen in Vicodin is more likely to lead to severe liver complications and may be contraindicated in elderly patients or those with liver failure. Reprexain may be contraindicated for the treatment of traumatic injuries, especially in joint injuries where a healthy inflammatory response is necessary for proper healing.
Several substances should be avoided when taking Reprexain. These include alcohol as well as benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepine sedative/hypnotics, and anticonvulsants. MAO inhibitors should also be avoided due to potential metabolic conflicts. The combined use of Reprexain with other central nervous system depressants increases the likelihood of dangerous side effects.
Clinically significant respiratory depression is the primary risk factor when mixing Reprexain and alcohol. Alcohol may conflict with the metabolism of Reprexain in the liver, leading to elevated plasma concentrations of the drug and extended clearance times. This increases the potential for opioid toxicity and overdose. Concomitant use of these two substances may also intensify the side effects of alcohol, including liver toxicity, loss of consciousness, and blackouts.
Unless instructed by the prescribing physician, Reprexain should under no circumstances be used in conjunction with other medications. These especially include other substances that may further depress the patient’s respiratory drive.
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