Xanax and oxycodone can only be taken together if deliberately prescribed by your doctor, because combining them can lead to oversedation, overdose, coma or death.
Xanax and oxycodone are two drugs that are frequently prescribed to people, and while they do have therapeutic benefits, there are also risks that can come with their use. The risk of adverse side effects may be even greater when you combine Xanax and oxycodone.
Here is more information about Xanax and oxycodone independently, as well as what would happen if you were to take them at the same time.
What Is Xanax?
Before answering specific questions about Xanax and oxycodone like “Can you take Xanax and oxycodone in the same day?”, it can be helpful to have a general understanding of what each drug is and what it does on its own.
Xanax is a benzodiazepine, and it’s prescribed to people to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax acts like the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, slowing the brain and central nervous system’s activity and creating a sense of calm and relaxation. Other side effects of Xanax may include drowsiness, dizziness or confusion.
Benzodiazepines like Xanax are considered central nervous system (CNS) depressants. This is because the mechanism they use to slow brain activity and treat anxiety also requires that they depress the CNS activity in general.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is an opioid pain reliever. This type of medicine has been in the national spotlight for several years because of the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic.
Opioids like oxycodone depress the central nervous system, and they have a high risk of abuse, addiction and physical dependence.
Oxycodone and other opioids bind to mu-opioid receptors in the central nervous system, triggering a flood of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine into the user’s brain. This stimulates the brain’s reward pathways and can lead to physical dependence. If you are physically dependent on an opioid and you suddenly stop taking it, you go through an unpleasant withdrawal syndrome.
Can You Take Xanax and Oxycodone in the Same Day?
The answer is generally no, and only exactly as prescribed by a doctor, but why is that?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that mixing Xanax and oxycodone can be dangerous or even deadly. For this reason, they recommend that doctors avoid prescribing Xanax and opioids together whenever possible. Further, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Black Box Warning against taking Xanax and opioids together. The CDC notes, however, that patients taking low-dose stable doses of benzodiazepines may be able to take an opioid for severe short-term pain if their doctor thinks it is appropriate.
Benzodiazepines and opioids are some of the most abused drugs in the world and the combination of these two types of drugs is highly risky. Taking Xanax and oxycodone in the same day increases the risk of an overdose. Both Xanax and oxycodone depress the activity of the central nervous system and vital functions like respiration. Because they are both central nervous system depressants, benzodiazepines may heighten the effects of opioids and vice-versa.
Research shows that many of the people who die from overdoses involving opioid painkillers were also using benzodiazepines. Some people may combine Xanax and oxycodone to get high, but others may do it inadvertently because they’re prescribed both, and they don’t realize the dangers of mixing them. Some of the symptoms of an overdose involving Xanax and oxycodone can include confusion, slow or shallow breathing, or unresponsiveness.
It’s unfortunately not uncommon for people to be prescribed Xanax and oxycodone or other similar drugs simultaneously. Their doctor might not explain the risks of combining them. Some people might get their prescriptions from different doctors or pharmacies, so nobody is aware the person is taking the drugs at the same time.
In addition to the risk of overdose or an emergency situation, it’s also important not to mix Xanax and oxycodone because it can raise your risk of addiction and dependence.
Summing Up — Xanax and Oxycodone
So, can you take Xanax and oxycodone in the same day? Only if your doctor deliberately prescribes them together. The drugs must be taken carefully because combining Xanax and oxycodone can lead to oversedation and ultimately, an overdose, coma or death. Both Xanax and oxycodone can slow breathing, and many of the opioid-related overdoses reported each year are linked to the simultaneous use of another type of drug like benzodiazepines.
If you or a loved one develop an addiction, contact The Recovery Village to speak to a representative about how addiction treatment can work for you. The Recovery Village personalizes treatment programs to fit every patient’s needs, ensuring that their addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders are addressed in a safe and supportive environment. Begin your journey toward a healthier future today.
Gladden, R. Matt; et al. “Changes in Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths by Opioid Type and Presence of Benzodiazepines, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine — 25 States, July–December 2017 to January–June 2018.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 30, 2019. Accessed June 15, 2020.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Prevent Opioid Misuse.” August 28, 2019. Accessed June 15, 2020.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Alprazolam Tablet.” July 1, 2017. Accessed June 15, 2020.
Dowell, Deborah; Haegerich, Tamara; Chou, Roger. “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 18, 2016. Accessed June 15, 2020.
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.