When taking medications, understanding possible drug interactions is a vital but often overlooked component of a person’s health. Before you do so, you should know its potential side effects or dangerous reactions to other substances.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax (alprazolam) is a commonly prescribed and misused prescription drug. It’s classified as a benzodiazepine (benzo), and as such, it is most often prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Chronic anxiety is among the most common psychological conditions, which is one of the main reasons why Xanax is so popular.
When an individual uses Xanax, the active ingredient binds to the brain’s GABA receptors, mitigating neural activity, and relieving the symptoms associated with anxiety. Less commonly, Xanax is prescribed for disorders that involve seizures, insomnia, or detox from other depressants. Common side effects of Xanax include sedation, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and digestive issues.
Among the most severe risks related to Xanax are abuse, dependence, and full-blown addiction. For this reason, why physicians are advised to prescribe it for only short-term use. Moreover, it’s possible to become chemically dependent after just a few weeks of use, and Xanax can interact with other drugs and alcohol.
What Is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone (e.g., brand name Norco and Vicodin) is a prescription painkiller commonly found in many brand name drugs and is indicated for the treatment of moderate-severe pain. Hydrocodone is frequently combined with other analgesic formulations such as those that include the pain reliever acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol).
The Drug Enforcement Administration has scheduled hydrocodone is a controlled substance as it has a relatively high potential for abuse and addiction. The non-medical or recreational use of this drug and other prescription painkillers has risen drastically in recent years.
Hydrocodone works by attaching to specific receptors in the brain that depress central nervous system activity and reduce pain sensations. Unfortunately, due to their euphoric effects, it’s relatively easy to become addicted to hydrocodone and similar opioids.
Typical symptoms of hydrocodone use also include drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting, lightheadedness, and headaches. Other adverse symptoms include anxiety, fear, confusion, moodiness, lethargy, and cognitive impairment.
Can I Use Xanax and Hydrocodone Together?
Unless thoughtfully prescribed by a physician, you are urged never to take Xanax and hydrocodone simultaneously. There can be severe, even deadly consequences that result from combining these two drugs. As noted, both substances depress CNS activity, a system responsible for the vital functions that keep the body alive, including respiratory rate and heart function.
If a person takes more than one substance that impacts the central nervous system in this way, it can depress respiration to the point of oversedation. Next, the user may also slip into a coma or die from multidrug intoxication. Many overdose-related emergency room visits and 911 calls are the results of a person combining opioids and benzodiazepines.
These overdoses often occur because an individual uses Xanax and hydrocodone recreationally to get high. There is a significant risk of overdose and death when Xanax is used in conjunction with hydrocodone. Likewise, there is also a substantial increase in the risk of becoming dependent on one or both of these habit-forming drugs.
What Is CNS Depression?
The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord. As noted, it is responsible for the regulation of most bodily functions by transmitting messages between the brain and other nerves, and they are routed through the spinal cord.
CNS depressants are substances that decrease activity in the CNS. Many depressants, including Xanax, work by boosting GABA activity, a neurochemical that suppresses the transmission of messages between cells.
Mild symptoms of CNS depression include the following:
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Dizziness and disorientation
- Slurred speech
- Shallow breathing
- Reduced heart rate
- Blurred vision
Symptoms of severe CNS depression include the following:
- Depressed breathing
- Extreme confusion
- Impaired memory
- Nausea and vomiting
- Impaired judgment
- Bluish lips or fingertips
- Irritability and aggression
- Cold or clammy skin
- Intense mood swings
- Slowed reflexes
If a person is experiencing these symptoms, their life may be in danger, and emergency medical care should be sought immediately.
Getting Treatment for Addiction
Drug addiction is often a chronic, devastating disease that impairs the ability of the individual who suffers from functioning psychologically, emotionally, academically professionally, and socially. Research has found that drug addiction is most effectively treated through the use of a supervised medical detox followed by long-term therapy and counseling.
Our medical and mental health providers provide our clients with the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills that they need to recover fully from drug addiction, reclaim their lives, and experience the happiness and wellness they deserve!