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Esgic Abuse, Withdrawal, and Overdose

Esgic Abuse, Withdrawal, and Overdose | Just Believe Recovery PA

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If you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse and/or treatment, please contact Just Believe Recovery PA at (888) 380-0342. Our specialists can assess your needs and help you get the treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

Esgic is the brand name for a prescription drug that contains butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine. This drug is used to treat tension headaches and related symptoms.

Tension headaches, or stress headaches, occur when someone endures a lot of stress all at one time. Tension headaches cause an individual mild to moderate pain and tightness in a band around the sides, back, and front of the head.

How Does Esgic Work?

Esgic contains butalbital, which is in the barbiturate class of drugs. In current-day medicine, the prescribing of barbiturates has mostly fallen by the wayside.

Barbiturates have been replaced almost entirely by benzodiazepines, which are clinically more manageable and less likely to cause an overdose. Nonetheless, some combination medications, like Esgic, still use barbiturates.

Simply put, Esgic works by relieving tension. Butalbital, as a barbiturate, is potent and causes sedation that can reduce anxiety, induce calmness, and relieve tension. Esgic also contains acetaminophen, which is a pain-relieving and fever-reducing medication commonly found in Tylenol. Caffeine is added to improve blood flow throughout the body and increase the efficacy of acetaminophen.

Some formulations of Esgic also contain codeine, which is an opioid meant to boost the analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of the medication. Codeine is commonly found in cough syrups that usually require a prescription.

Esgic Abuse and Side Effects

The Drug Enforcement Administration in the U.S. has categorized Esgic as a Schedule III controlled substance. This scheduling means that Esgic has a moderate to high potential for abuse and can produce low to moderate levels of physical dependence and high levels of psychological dependence.

Esgic has been the target of drug abusers because of the butalbital and sometimes the codeine it contains. If an individual consumes doses beyond what they were prescribed, the drug can induce feelings of euphoria, comfort, and deep relaxation. Furthermore, the codeine it contains can increase pleasurable sensations and add a sense of reward.

Technically speaking, substance abuse occurs if a person consumes higher doses than prescribed, combines it with another drug, or uses the wrong method of administration, such as injecting or snorting. In addition, any and all use of a prescription drug without a prescription is technically substance abuse. Abuse of a substance increases the frequency of side effects and the risk of overdose.

Side effects of Esgic abuse can be mild to severe and include the following:

  • Depression
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • General weakness
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Itchy skin
  • Jitteriness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Liver pain
  • Mental confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Poor balance
  • Poor coordination
  • Rash
  • Sleepiness
  • Stomach aches
  • Tremors

Esgic Abuse, Withdrawal, and Overdose | Just Believe Recovery PA

Esgic Dependence and Withdrawal

If an individual uses Esgic for an extended period, their brain and body can become dependent on it. Physical or chemical dependence occurs when the constant presence of a drug causes the body to stop producing its own chemicals and instead rely on the substance.

If that person then tries to quit abruptly or reduce their dose too quickly, they will experience unpleasant, sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. In the case of Esgic, an individual can develop both barbiturate or opioid dependence, depending on if the formulation contains codeine.

Taking Esgic for a long time can also result in psychological dependence. This means that the individual will become anxious or panicked if they are unable to take or lose access to their drug of choice. Psychological dependence can also cause an individual to experience longer-term psychoemotional symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, well after physical withdrawal symptoms abate.

Withdrawal symptoms associated with the discontinuation of butalbital can include:

  • Agitation
  • Delirium tremens
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Nightmares
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures
  • Severe rebound headaches
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

It is crucial to understand that physical dependence on a substance is not in itself a bad thing. Anyone who takes a medication like Esgic for an extended period of time will become dependent. So, just because you aren’t abusing a substance doesn’t mean you won’t have withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit.

Barbiturate withdrawal syndrome can be life-threatening. As such, you should never attempt to detox unless you are under the supervision of medical professionals. If you want to quit taking Esgic or a similar medication, please get help.

We Believe Recovery Is Possible For Everyone.
If you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse and/or treatment, please contact Just Believe Recovery PA at (888) 380-0342. Our specialists can assess your needs and help you get the treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

Withdrawal symptoms associated with the discontinuation of codeine can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive tears
  • Excessive yawning
  • Increased pain sensitivity
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Muscle pains
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating

Codeine withdrawal isn’t as dangerous, but it can be extremely uncomfortable. An individual suffering through withdrawal often ends up relapsing on the substance to alleviate the symptoms. This is one of the mechanisms that make these substances so addicting and hard to give up.

Esgic Overdose

Both the butalbital and codeine in Esgic are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. They work by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which inhibits CNS activity. GABA, in turn, causes vital functions, such as heartbeat and respiration rate, to slow down.

Taking too many CNS depressants at once can cause an overdose and reduce vital functions to dangerously low levels. These effects are further enhanced if someone combines a depressant like Esgic with other depressants, such as benzodiazepines, opioids, alcohol, or other barbiturates.

Esgic Abuse, Withdrawal, and Overdose | Just Believe Recovery PA

Because they are both CNS depressants, most symptoms of butalbital and codeine overdose are the same. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of overdose, call 911 as soon as possible.

Warning signs and symptoms of Esgic overdose may include:

  • Bluish lips and fingernails
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Coma
  • Decreased consciousness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Extreme dizziness/vertigo
  • Mental confusion
  • Motor skill impairment
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Respiratory failure
  • Slowed or shallow breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Slurred speech
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Weak and rapid pulse

Acetaminophen Toxicity

Again, Esgic contains acetaminophen, which is highly toxic to the liver in large quantities. Although acetaminophen seems like a safe substance because it is sold over-the-counter, acetaminophen toxicity accounts for an astounding amount of emergency room visits for overdose and causes for liver transplantations each year.

Symptoms of acetaminophen toxicity include the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Coma
  • Convulsions
  • Diarrhea
  • Generalized weakness
  • Jaundice
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Uncontrollable vomiting

Treatment for Substance Abuse

Abuse of Esgic or another substance can cause a deadly overdose or lead to a devastating addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with Esgic abuse, we urge you to seek professional treatment as soon as you can.

Just Believe Recovery is a specialized addiction recovery center that offers a state-of-the-art, comprehensive approach to treatment in residential and partial hospitalization formats that employ evidence-based services, including:

  • Medical detox
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Family counseling
  • 12-step group meetings
  • Substance abuse education
  • Health and wellness education
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Art and music therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Aftercare planning
  • Alumni events

Call us today to find out how we support those who need it most through their struggles with addiction so that they can live the healthy, fruitful lives they deserve.

We Believe Recovery Is Possible For Everyone.
If you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse and/or treatment, please contact Just Believe Recovery PA at (888) 380-0342. Our specialists can assess your needs and help you get the treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

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