Zohydro ER Mixing It and Alcohol
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Alcohol should never be mixed with Zohydro ER due to the increased risk of complications and overdose. Adverse reactions to Zohydro ER that occur in greater than two percent of patients include nausea, fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, abdominal pain, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, and tremors. Other common symptoms include constipation, somnolence, headache, dry mouth, pruritus, peripheral edema, muscle spasms, and back pain.
Opioids like Zohydro ER have a high rate of fatal overdose when taken with benzodiazepines like Xanax. Other substances that should be avoided when taking Zohydro ER include serotonergic drugs like Prozac, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), other opioids, muscle relaxants, diuretics, and anticholinergic drugs.
Serotonergic drugs, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression, can lead to serotonin overload syndrome when used concomitantly with Zohydro ER. MAOIs taken with Zohydro ER can cause serotonin syndrome and opioid toxicity. Zohydro ER may enhance the neuromuscular blocking action of muscle relaxants, leading to increased respiratory depression. Zohydro ER can reduce the efficacy of diuretics, and anticholinergic drugs may increase the risk of constipation and urinary retention.
Zohydro ER is an extended-release formula of the common synthetic opioid hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is one of the most widely prescribed substances for the management of moderate to severe pain. More than 85 million hydrocodone prescriptions are written annually. Over 39 million people in the US receive treatment for chronic pain.
Zohydro ER is not indicated for the management of acute pain. It is only indicated for the long-term management of around-the-clock pain. Zohydro ER reduces the patient’s perception of pain by binding to specific opioid receptor sites.
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Mixing Zohydro ER with alcohol can inhibit the body’s ability to effectively process the drug. Concurrent use can intensify the adverse effects of both substances. Zohydro ER is primarily processed by the liver. The presence of alcohol can inhibit the liver’s ability to efficiently metabolize Zohydro ER. This can result in elevated blood plasma concentrations of the drug and extended clearance times. This increases the likelihood of severe respiratory depression and potentially fatal overdoses.
The adverse effects of alcohol can be made worse by concomitant use of Zohydro ER. Signs of alcohol overdose can include disorientation, hypothermia, cold, clammy skin, irregular pulse, seizure, choking, blue lips and fingernails, vomiting, loss of consciousness, poor coordination, respiratory depression, or loss of bladder control. Opioid overdose is characterized by most of these symptoms as well, with an additional symptom of pinpoint pupils that are unresponsive to light.
The combined use of alcohol and Zohydro ER dramatically increases the risk of blackouts, respiratory depression, overdose, coma, and death. If the patient survives, they may still be at risk for paralysis and permanent brain damaged due to extended oxygen deprivation. Zohydro should not be mixed with benzodiazepines, serotonergic drugs, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), other opioids, muscle relaxants, diuretics, and anticholinergic drugs.
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