Mixing oxycodone with alcohol

What are the effects of mixing oxycodone and alcohol? Can you die from oxycodone overdose? More here on harms and warnings for mixing oxycodone with alcohol.

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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
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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