Roxicet is a prescription and brand-name combination drug. Roxicet’s active ingredients include oxycodone and acetaminophen. These two ingredients affect people differently and allow Roxicet to combat pain in multiple effective ways. Oxycodone is an opioid. Opioids help with pain relief by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system and changing how pain signals are sent and sensed. Acetaminophen affects certain chemicals in the brain that create feelings of pain and inflammation. Roxicet is intended to be used as a short-term acute pain medication. It can be taken as-needed for pain ranging from moderate to moderately-severe. If someone takes Roxicet as prescribed, the risks are relatively low. However, if someone misuses Roxicet recreationally, they may become addicted, dependent or overdose on it. These outcomes can occur even if someone uses it as prescribed, but the risks are lower.
Roxicet is a Schedule II controlled substance in the U.S., as with most other opioids. Oxycodone is one of the most frequently misused opioids in the U.S. and is often involved in overdose situations. One reason for the problems related to oxycodone is how widely available it is. Before someone is prescribed Roxicet or another drug containing oxycodone, their doctor should go over their medical history including any history of substance misuse.
Since there are two different active ingredients in Roxicet, it’s important to discuss the dangers of mixing each with alcohol. First, there is oxycodone. As an opioid, oxycodone is a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol is also a depressant of the central nervous system. If someone mixes alcohol and Roxicet, symptoms can range from mildly uncomfortable to deadly. Some of the less severe side effects of mixing alcohol and Roxicet can include drowsiness, dizziness, feeling faint, sedation, memory impairment and blackouts, and impaired thinking and judgment. Also possible are nausea and vomiting. The more severe side effects of mixing alcohol and Roxicet can include low blood pressure, an irregular heart rate, fainting and respiratory distress. Since both alcohol and Roxicet are central nervous system depressants, when used together, the respiratory depression can become severe. In these instances, a person may slip into a coma, suffer brain damage or die.
While the risks of alcohol and oxycodone are severe on their own, alcohol and acetaminophen can also be a dangerous combination. Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter pain reliever that’s found in commonly used medications like Tylenol. While acetaminophen is considered a relatively safe drug, large doses can cause liver damage or acute liver failure. Research shows tens of thousands of people are hospitalized each year in the U.S. because of liver problems related to acetaminophen, and many of these cases are accidental. Acetaminophen is metabolized in the liver, and it creates a byproduct that can be damaging to the liver when large doses are used. Even without alcohol, acetaminophen can cause serious problems in the liver. When alcohol and acetaminophen are combined, it can further increase the chances of liver damage or failure.
The risks of mixing alcohol and Roxicet stem from both active ingredients and how they can potentially interact with alcohol. From mild symptoms like drowsiness or dizziness to severe symptoms like respiratory depression or liver failure, the combination of alcohol and Roxicet is a dangerous one. If someone is regularly combining alcohol and Roxicet, they may need specialized addiction treatment to deal with multiple simultaneous substances. It’s important if someone is combining alcohol and Roxicet for any reason that they seek help to stop before there are dangerous, long-term health effects or before they die.
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