Saturday March 28th 2015

Mixing oxycodone with alcohol

Mixing oxycodone with alcohol

Are you considering mixing oxycodone with alcohol?

Weigh in on the risks and dangers of oxycodone get high here. We review what happens in your body when you mix oxycodone with alcohol. And we outline what can go wrong. Plus, we invite you to ask your questions about mixing oxycodone and alcohol at the end.

Oxycodone and alcohol effects

Some people mix oxycodone and alcohol to enhance the euphoric high of oxycodone by adding a sedative quality to the experience. In self-reported examples, people have reported some of these effects:

  • euphoria, a deep sense of well-being
  • dizziness
  • dream state
  • itchiness
  • relaxation
  • wandering mind
  • short attention span

However, oxycodone chemically reacts with alcohol and has additive effects in the body and brain when combined. In other words, the effects of oxycodone are increased by simultaneous use of alcohol and are similar to an overdose, or taking too much oxycodone. And vice versa. And not all the additive central nervous system effects are enjoyable. In particular, oxycodone hydrochloride may be expected to cause respiratory depression, hypotension, profound sedation, coma or death when used with alcohol.

Dangers of mixing oxycodone and alcohol

When alcohol is taken with oxycodone, dangerous side effects can occur. Why? Mainly because mixing alcohol and oxycodone can intensify the effects of both alcohol and oxycodone. And alcohol in particular can trigger additive central nervous system depressive effects when used with oxycodone. Some potentially dangerous effects of mixing oxycodone with alcohol include:

  • difficult breathing
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • impaired motor control
  • memory problems
  • overdose
  • slowed breathing
  • unusual behavior

Additionally, you may not have considered that oxycodone can enhance the effects of alcohol itself. Alcohol is a sedative and can make you sleepy, drowsy, or lightheaded. Drinking while taking oxycodone may result in trouble concentrating or lowered mechanical skill performance which can put you in danger (especially when driving or operating machinery). Plus, you can black out from drinking too much, or lose consciousness. Although it may not seem obvious, you are also at risk of falls or serious injuries when mixing oxycodone with alcohol. Older people are especially vulnerable to these risks.

Oxycodone and alcohol overdose

Risk of overdose on oxycodone increases when used concurrently with alcohol. This is because the combination of alcohol and oxy’s are “synergistic”, so that the effect of taking mixed drugs is greater than the effect one would expect if taking the drugs separately. Although oxycodone hydrochloride tablets should always be used with caution, safe or conservative doses of oxycodone include reduced dosage (1/3 to 1/2 of the usual dosage) when alcohol is also in your system in order to prevent overdose. Although some users report more dosing control by delaying drinking until oxycodone effects begin, the truth is that self-dosing when combining drugs is always risky.

Oxycodone and alcohol deaths

Alcohol is one of the most prevalent drugs used in combination with oxycodone that can cause death. In fact, death can even result if you drink alcohol in combination with the usual doses of oxycodone hydrochloride, especially the extended-release tablets. In order to prevent death from overdose or accident, you can make the decision to NOT DRINK ALCOHOL when taking oxycodone.

Is it safe to drink on oxycodone?

No. Mixing alcohol and oxycodone increases the intoxicating effects of both alcohol and oxycodone. To be sure, you can always ask your prescribing doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking oxycodone. Still, the FDA warns against mixing the two at all. Some drug labels for oxycodone products read:

Do not drink alcohol. Using alcohol with oxycodone hydrochloride may increase your risk of dangerous side effects, including death.

Mixing oxycodone alcohol questions

Do you still have questions about mixing oxycodone with alcohol or other substances? Please leave your oxycodone questions here. We try our best to answer all questions personally, and promptly. And if we don’t know the answer, we will refer you to someone who can help. Your experiences with mixing oxycodone and alcohol are also welcome.

Reference Sources: NIAAA pamphlet: Harmful Interactions, Mixing Alcohol with Medicines
Medline Plus: Oxycodone
PubMed: Oxycodone involvement in drug abuse deaths
FDA: Oxycodone hydrochloride oral solution medication guide
DailyMed: Oxycodone drug label

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37 Responses to “Mixing oxycodone with alcohol
4:02 am April 2nd, 2012

I take oxycodone slow release for back pain and drink alcohol often,i’m worried about my liver due to a blood test i had 2 weeks ago and i am going to stop drinking and i also want to lower my doses of oxycodone.I’v started drinking carrot and celery juice in the mornings. How long would it take for my liver to repair itself.Also is there anything else i can do to help my liver repair.

12:12 am September 8th, 2012

Rachel, you should look into Chanca Piedra, which is stated to “combat a number of afflictions including … chemical-driven liver damage”.

6:44 pm September 28th, 2012


I have been prescribed oxycodone as a result of the removal of my four wisdom teeth. I took 5mg of oxycodone at around 8:45 AM and plan to consume alchohol the same evening. Should I not be consuming alcohol, how long after should I wait to consume alcohol?



2:48 pm October 17th, 2012

Hi Connor. Once the action of oxycodone has worn off (usually 4-6 hours after dosing), you can consider drinking in the hours that follow. But I would personally wait another 12 hours after the effects have passed before consuming another central nervous system depressant.

12:53 am December 29th, 2012

nathan been taking 2-3 Norcos 10 mg at once. Once a day ..everyday for two years..usually in the AM . I consume a pint of vodka in the evenings. My question is . I took two 5mg oxycodones at 11 am . And I plan to drink my usual. It’s 8 pm now. How likely is it to have a serious problem? I know its not safe but after this amount of time on being on opiates is it fatal?

10:39 am December 31st, 2012

Hi Nathan. Daily drinking and dosing on oxycodone is not a good idea, especially for your liver. Chronic use of opioids combined with drinking can lead to liver damage or failure. And given the amount of drinking…I think that the issue is really about learning what compels you to drink and use opiates. A serious problem will develop in the long term. But it sounds like you are already facing possible alcoholism or drug addiction.

In terms of risk of fatality, I’d suggest that you call your local Poison Control Center. The national hotline is 1-800-222-1222. They can provide you with more accurate information about overdose potential.

3:25 am March 29th, 2013

On two seperate occasions within a week, I drank a half glass of wine and 4 hours later took 1/2 tab of 5/325 Oxycodene,
Is there a need for concern?

5:23 am April 11th, 2013

Hello GG. Alcohol metabolizes much faster than oxycodone, and usually clears the system in a hour (per unit of alcohol). Given that you drank 1/2 unit of alcohol, the depressant should have cleared your system before opioid dosing. And it seems that you report no negative or adverse side effects. I’d suggest, however, that you speak with your prescribing doctor about drinking and taking oxycodone. Get medical clearance and a better understanding of the risks!

1:33 am June 3rd, 2013

I’ve read that addiction to oxycodone can vary by an individuals tolerance level based on how much or long they have been using. With that in mind my husband has been taking it for three years at 30 mg a day. Is it possible that he is not addicted? He shows signs of adverse effects and rejects the idea of addiction and will not allow me to speak to his dr.

8:47 am June 3rd, 2013

Hello Sandy. If he’s taking oxycodone as prescribed, he may physically dependent on it but not psychologically dependent. But his secretiveness and protectiveness signal that he may be getting more out of use than simple therapeutic effect. Have you noticed other behavioral signs that might indicate he’s addicted? Also, does he have medical need for the oxycodone?

2:46 pm June 18th, 2013

I lost my cousin six months ago following taking Oxydocone pain reliever with alcohol, he simply went to sleep and never woke up. The coroners report shows the cause of death was due to the Oxycodone/alochol mix but ruled accidental death. There is not enough awareness about the dangers of this drug. Lives ruined, families broken and trails of devastation left in its wake.

2:40 am September 6th, 2013

I’m taking oxy 15mg. Abusing them by insuffuration. Take around 90mg a day mixed with alcohol usually about 10-12 drinks. It’s all about your tolerance. If you are not tolerant to the medication, then your risk of overdose is greatly increased, especially when mixing with another downer. I’ve taken 60 mgs so far today and had about 5 beers but im completely lucid. Be smart and safe. Caution is opiates best friend.

11:31 am September 13th, 2013

Hi Enno. We do not condone or support mixing oxycodone with alcohol….ever. Given the pattern of use, it’s possible that you’re addicted to oxy’s and/or alcohol. You can call 1-800-662-HELP to seek treatment for possible opiate addiction. We wish you the best.

Jerry Kennedy
4:46 pm November 27th, 2013

My mail order refill of Percocet 10MG-325mg is delayed due to nit picking insurance stipulations and probably will not be processed for 2 to 3 weeks. When my on hand supply is finished in a week or less may I drink vodka to self medicate until refill is received in mid December? I stopped drinking 3 years ago when my Doctor prescribed Percocet.
This is a serious inquiry and I am not going to mix the two. I have contacted my Doctor & Pharmacy to expedite refill but to no avail.

Jerry Kennedy
5:12 pm November 27th, 2013

Sorry but Further, I suppose I was addicted to alcohol most of my adult life although I functioned in business, marriage and as a responsible homeowner. Now I get nothing from Percocet other than rheumatoid – osteo arthritis relief. no buzz No high just no pain. If however I miss a dose the arthritis discomfort is unbearable. The potential for alcohol dependency of course exists but I know that I can handle the cold turkey again.

8:39 pm November 27th, 2013

Hi Jerry. I have heard of clinical cases, like yours, of people who drink to self-medicate for physical pain. I would suggest that you look into alternatives for osteo arthritis relief instead of drinking. It seems like an extremely risky move, in my (non medically qualified) opinion.

2:00 am November 28th, 2013

My question was related to using alcohol temporarily in lieu of Percocet. My Doctor, my health care provider & my mail order by contract pharmacy are in a three way pi**ing contest holding up my meds due to t’s not being crossed & i’s not being doted. Within a few days over the holiday weekend I am enroute to being med less. What do you think about vodka as an alternative to percocet until all three are singing out of the same book? This is a serious question and really has nothing to do with drinking while taking Percocet. The pain continues while the meds are on hold.

4:55 am January 2nd, 2014

If I were to take 4 oxycocet’s after being completely wasted , and woke up the next day feeling like crap, would there be any long term damages to my innerds ?

8:36 pm January 2nd, 2014

Hello Bryce. Acute effects of oxycodone do not persist after the medication has been metabolized from the body. So, you’re probably in the clear…but check in with a family doctor or general physician if you suspect injury to your internal organs as the result of drug or alcohol overdose.

11:11 am January 4th, 2014

I took oxycodone for back pain relief and took a shot of tequila seven hours later. It has now been eleven hours since the oxycodone and three and a half hours since the tequila. Is it ok to go to sleep or should I wait?

1:52 pm January 22nd, 2014

Hello N. It’s difficult to advise on actions after mixing opioids with alcohol, especially without a full understanding of the context and your previous exposure to both CNS depressants. Oxycodone usually is active for 4-6 hours; alcohol metabolizes one drink per hour in the body. Please call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for more specific advice on your situation.

9:39 pm February 13th, 2014

This is on the extreme end of the spectrum but I just want everyone to be careful.
I’m sure you are taking it for the right reasons but I still would like to chime in and ask everyone to be careful.
My brother abused the drug oxycodone while drinking and passed away.
Fell asleep and seized to breathe.
Although he wasn’t taking it responsibly I would personally never take the risk knowing that.
Goodluck to all.

Paul Moore
1:51 pm June 18th, 2014

My good friend 70 years old is dying of cancer He hopes to live another 3 months. He loves to drink champagne with his heavy oxycotin dosages. Do you think this could kill him?

10:30 pm August 8th, 2014

I have injured my back and have been on oxycodone for a week. I’m doing much better and took the last oxy pill about 12 hours ago. At what point would I be safe to have an alcoholic drink?

4:14 am August 9th, 2014

I’ve been using Oxycodone since April, this year, due to a broken elbow and post-surgery complications. I don’t drink a lot, but I do describe myself as a “weekend alcoholic”. I don’t drink to have fun, I have fun drinking and being an obnoxious ass. Anyway, I mistakenly took my daily pill in the midst of rounds because my wife asked if I’d taken it yet. I was going to wait until the next day, but I was woozy enough to automatically obey her. About 2 hours later, I broke into a cold sweat and got so dizzy I HAD to get to bed. I have severe apnea. I was up ALL night, with air pushing into my face, and didn’t sleep again until the FOLLOWING morning. Falling asleep and never waking up was not a problem. I didn’t see anything about insomnia in your mixed-narcotic article. Why?

6:23 am August 9th, 2014

Hi Scott.

It sounds like you’ve experienced alcohol intoxication followed by oxycodone side effects. This article is crafted more for those who dose simultanesouly; from what I’ve read, insomnia is a side effect that can occur during drug or alcohol withdrawal. I wonder if it’s related to your body processing excessive amounts of alcohol? I’d suggest that you check in with a pharmacist, toxicologist, or and MD who specializes in addictions for some qualified answers.

4:22 am August 17th, 2014

I took 3 5mg ocxy pills and drank 1.65 bottles of white wine. I passed out and woke up in the morning running to the toilet puking. with extreme pounding headache. will not do that again.

1:37 pm September 10th, 2014

I chew 20mg oxys then usually have a night of drinking. The effect is bang, within 15 minutes.
I have found that I nod of while I am talking to people. I dont know if this is a good thing or not

3:20 pm September 10th, 2014

Hi James. I believe you know that mixing oxycodone and alcohol is not a good idea. Chewing turns the narcotic into an IR, and consumption of alcohol may also accelerate the release of the drug, resulting in high blood levels that may be potentially lethal.

3:41 am October 15th, 2014

I took 10 mg of Percocet and drank about 6 beers. I felt extremely nauceaous and felt hot and couldn’t cool down. I forced my self to sleep only to wake up with the same problem. I am not throwing up and I am still hungry and thirsty. Nothing has changed except nausea. It has been 3 days and the nausea has become more of disoriented feeling and I am very irritable but is more manageable now. And if it is silent my ears begin to ring like there is a bee or fly but not that loud. This is a very strange feeling and not sure if it has to do with the pills and drinking or if it was just a coincidence. I also just got over a cold that lasted for a week.

Craig K.
6:25 am October 18th, 2014

How soon can I expect to start feeling better after mixing alcohol and oxycodone? The symptoms have me felling miserable. Never again.

6:42 pm November 11th, 2014

Nauseated, can’t eat, mild ache in intestines, today is 3rd day. Could it be related to having taken 6 oxycodone 10-325 and having about 10 vodka drinks in one night, albeit over several hours?

7:52 pm November 13th, 2014

I have been taking 20mg oxycodone slow release tablets daily for a week. I dont have any today and want to take a shot or two of liquire to ease my pain. Is this okay?

5:05 am December 10th, 2014

One of my family members mixes alcohol, oxycodone and valium. What is this doing to their body and will it kill them eventually. I am really worried……

Dave S.
10:34 pm December 18th, 2014

I have a degenerative arthritic hip issue and have been taking ½ hydrocodone (750mg) twice nightly along with ibuprofen while performing as a food server in a busy restaurant. The team always takes a shot of tequila in transition when the restaurant closes and we go to “bar service only,” and I usually follow with a beer or two while closing shop for the next hour or so. This has been my regiment for almost half a year, and gets me through the shift with relative comfort, and marginal side effects.
History: If this were twenty years ago, I would simply take “twice as many, twice as often,” and drink until I’d drop. But my priorities have since shifted, and I prefer survival above my ultimate demise.
My surgeon has recently prescribed oxycodone (5mg) for the weeks leading to my total hip replacement. How might these compare to the hydrocodone 750s if I take one (1) twice nightly and proceed as described above?

9:48 am January 6th, 2015

I am fairly new to mixing pain pills with alcohol. I have started recently to enhance my high since I have a fairly high tolerance of alcohol. Tonight I took 10mg of oxycodone and have drank a bottle of wine (and still drinking…), I am getting really sleepy and starting to nod off. I just want to make sure I am safe to fall asleep, or should I try to stay awake to make sure I am ok. Also, will the 10mg of oxycodone show up in a drug test (urine) in the next 24 hours if it is the only pain meds I have taken in a few weeks?

2:40 am March 11th, 2015

I am enrolled in pain management and am taking 5 mg Oxycodone 2x daily along with 75mg Lyrica 2x and Meloxicam 15mg 1x and before bed I take Nortriptaline 25mg. Today I took my meds at 2pm and by 4pm I was still in pain so I drank a couple glasses of wine and it really helped the pain. I am not trying to get high I just want to manage the pain. When I do this i am not driving or doing anything that would endanger me or anyone else. I know I can ask my doctor but I thought I would ask here as well. I actually have taken narcotics before and have drank small amounts of alcohol for over 4 years now. Thank you for you consideration.

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