Mixing Vicodin and alcohol is not recommended by any health professional. There are a number of medicines and prescription drugs that are perfectly safe for treatment, hence their release to the general public. Alcohol, when imbibed in moderation, has even demonstrated some salutary effects according to some studies. However, alcohol does not mix well with several of these otherwise safe drugs for a variety of reasons. In the case of Vicodin and alcohol, the indications are that a mixture of the two can lead to much more than some irritating side effects. It can actually lead to death.
Vicodin is a market name for a drug also known as Hydrocodone. This drug is a synthetic mixture of two opiates which occur in nature – codeine and thebaine. It is primarily used as an analgesic. It has incredible pain-killing strength and is typically used for pain derived from bone breaks and severe muscular damage.
These details may seem sufficient to suggest that mixing Vicodin with alcohol is unwise. However, there is an aggravating factor in the way that this drug is packaged. To discourage recreational use of this drug and others, makers include high levels of paracetamol, which is also known as acetaminophen. This is a lesser painkiller that is sold over the counter in most drug stores. However, acetaminophen can cause liver toxicity and even be fatal in high doses. The amount of acetaminophen in a typical dose, however, is not enough to cause lasting damage.
If someone consumes alcohol when they take Vicodin, the situation becomes more complicated. While researchers still investigate the controversial effects of moderate consumption of alcohol, which may have salutary results, no one denies that alcohol has a depressive effect on the body’s organs, particularly the liver.
This effect on the liver is compounded when someone consumes Vicodin simultaneously. The liver fails to process the acetaminophen properly. There is a risk of hepatotoxicity. This can lead to complete liver failure and has even caused the need for liver transplant in patients. The mixture has also demonstrated damage to other organs, such as the kidney, stomach and heart.
There are other reasons to avoid mixing Vicodin and alcohol that result simply from Vicodin’s origins in opiate drugs. Any opiate-based drug has an adverse effect on thinking and psychomotor skills. There are possibilities, in severe cases, of respiratory difficulties, profound sedation, coma and even death.
Vicodin and alcohol do not mix but each of them has its own salutary properties when separate and used in moderation. If patients respect the individual effects of these substances, they should not experience any hardship. By following a physician’s guidance where it concerns these drugs, patients can enjoy the benefits of these substances without suffering any drawbacks.
I actually have some personal experience with this combination of drugs. In my early 20?s I had just had my wisdom teeth pulled and was taking Vicodin as needed. I was playing in a poker game in Tunica and decided to have a vodka and tonic water, not thinking it was strong enough to affect me while on Vicodin. I was completely surprised as it slurred my speech and made it difficult to perform motor functions. Even easy things such as counting out and betting chips were difficult for 30-45 minutes. My mind was pretty clear, but everyone at the table thought I was extremely intoxicated. I did manage to turn this into an advantage for me in the game, however I definitely did not order any more drinks.
I cant stop you from doing what you’re going to do, but please keep in mind this interaction will likely be much worse than either drug alone and be careful!