Reprexain is a combination medication of hydrocodone bitartrate and ibuprofen. Hydrocodone is a synthetic opioid derived from codeine. It functions as a potent, short-acting pain reliever and antitussive (cough reliever). Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) and pain reliever. The ibuprofen in Reprexain is not known to be addictive or contribute to withdrawals, though its presence contributes to the potency of the drug.
Reprexain is prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. It offers similar pain-relieving effects to hydrocodone/acetaminophen combinations like Vicodin without the high potential for liver toxicity.
Reprexain and other synthetic opioid medications are highly addictive. Drug dependency and drug-seeking behavior can evolve from regularly taking Reprexain. As patients become opioid-dependent with frequent treatment, it can make discontinuing use difficult.
Taking higher and more frequent dose of Reprexain typically leads to more severe withdrawal symptoms. Opioid withdrawals are primarily characterized by flu-like symptoms that are intensified by severe drug cravings. Common symptoms of opioid withdrawals include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, excessive tear production, agitation, excessive yawning, runny nose, rapid heart rate, and fever. Additional symptoms may include chills, depression, anxiety, muscle aches, difficulty sleeping, profuse sweating, and high blood pressure (hypertension).
Early withdrawal symptoms from Reprexain withdrawals can begin within 6 to 12 hours from the time of last dose. This period tends to be the most difficult for patients to get through. The trademark signs of early opioid withdrawals are watery, teary eyes and excessive yawning.
As withdrawals progress, flu-like symptoms begin to set in. Muscle aches, runny nose, and excessive sweating are common. The patient may be easily agitated, and experience increased anxiety along with difficulty falling and staying asleep. Other symptoms may include elevated blood pressure and rapid heart rate as the body adjusts to Reprexain no longer being present in the blood.
At approximately the three-day mark, late-stage opioid withdrawals begin. The patient may experience increased drug cravings, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and stomach cramps. For most individuals, flu-like symptoms recede after about a week. What remains is often a long struggle against residual anxiety, depression, and the urge for recurrence of use.
Withdrawals from Reprexain are best managed by a return to healthy lifestyle habits and proper nutrition. For the body and brain to recover efficiently from an opioid-dependent state, they need fuel in the form of proper nutrition and healthy experiences. As flu-like symptoms subside, it’s important to start incorporating light exercise into daily routine. Exercise primes the brain to repair damaged neurons through the expression of critical proteins like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF).
The liver is primarily responsible for metabolizing Reprexain and other opioids. The micronutrients in broccoli and dense leafy vegetables provide vital nutrients to the liver. It’s also important to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest, both of which are easiest to accomplish in medical detox.
Although it’s possible for most patients to undergo opioid detox at home, it’s most effectively conducted in a hospital setting. During medical detox, the patient’s vitals such as heart rate, respiration, and temperature are monitored by hospital staff. Fluids can be administered via IV to ensure proper hydration. Meals are delivered so the patient doesn’t have to go through the motions of shopping and preparing food.
Several medications may be administered to help lessen the severity of specific withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea. Anxiolytics and anticonvulsants may be prescribed for the management of anxiety and various other complications of withdrawals.
The biggest benefit of medical detox, however, is the use of opioid replacement therapy to help mitigate the severity of withdrawals and drug cravings. Opioid replacement therapy involves gradually reducing the dose of stronger, short-acting opioids, and replacing them with longer-lasting, slow-onset opioids like buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. It produces a “ceiling effect” that partially satisfies cravings while making it difficult to feel “high” even from strong doses of hydrocodone and other more potent opioids.
Following medical detox, patients have the option of entering an inpatient or outpatient recovery program. Inpatient programs are typically a month long. Patients live at the facility and take part in daily therapy sessions with other people who are recovering from substance misuse. Outpatient programs meet around three times a week to discuss the recovery process and provide accountability to participants.
If you or someone you love is dealing with opioid misuse, The Recovery Village is available to answer any questions you may have.
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.