- Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Hydrocodone
- Muscle aches
- Increased tearing
- Runny nose
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
- Goose bumps
Hycet withdrawal is the usual, predictable result of using this drug continuously for more than a few weeks, although it is possible to become physically dependent on Hycet after using this product for a few days.
The human body adapts to the presence of some substances, including the opioid drug in Hycet. Long-term use of Hycet causes some of these adaptations to become more permanent - the body begins to depend on a certain level of the opioids in Hycet to feel "normal." When opioid levels fall, the body struggles to maintain chemical stability, a process known as detoxification. The individual experiences detoxification through physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
The detoxification process causes withdrawal symptoms in someone who is opioid-dependent. He can initiate the detoxification process by missing a dose, taking an insufficient dose or using a medicine that lowers opioid levels.
Facts about this drug
FSC Laboratories make Hycet in a tropical fruit punch flavored liquid for oral administration. Hycet contains 7.5 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and 325 ml of acetaminophen in every 15 ml dose. The typical adult dose is one 15 ml tablespoon every four to six hours.
Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid pain reliever created from thebaine and codeine extracted from the opium poppy plant, Papaver somniferum.
Doctors prescribe to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain in adults and children over the age of 2 years. Recreational users abuse Hycet because of the euphoric feeling hydrocodone provides.
Recreational and non-medical use of Hycet increases the risk for developing dependence on hydrocodone. To use a drug for non-medical reasons means to abuse it to get high or to treat a condition other than the one for which it was prescribed.
Taking high doses or using Hycet chronically or for non-medical reasons increases tolerance to opioid drugs. Someone with high tolerance must take stronger doses of Hycet more often to achieve the same pain-relieving or euphoric effects. Low tolerance means the individual is more sensitive to the effects of Hycet.
Hydrocodone products are the most widely prescribed type of drug in the United States. In 2010, American pharmacists filled more than 139 million prescriptions for products containing hydrocodone. Perhaps due to its widespread availability, hydrocodone is also the most widely abused drug in the U.S.
Opioids like hydrocodone work on the central nervous system, or CNS, to relieve pain and cause euphoria. As the result, Hycet withdrawal causes symptoms associated with the nervous system, including anxiety and insomnia. The hydrocodone in Hycet also works on smooth muscles, like those in the intestinal tract, so Hycet withdrawal typically causes gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
Acetaminophen does not cause physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms when the consumer quits taking it.
Potential for Abuse
The hydrocodone in Hycet makes it a target for abuse, which increases the risk for dependence and eventual Hycet withdrawal. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, ranks substances according to their relative risk for abuse. For example, heroin is a schedule I drug because it gets consumers extremely high; Robitussin AC is a schedule V because someone would throw up before consuming enough to get high.
The DEA has classified Hycet as a schedule III drug, meaning it poses the same relative risk for abuse as anabolic steroids. To reduce this risk, Hycet is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Abuse and Addiction Rates
Prescription drug abuse is a widespread problem in the United States. In 2010, about one in every 20 Americans had used a prescription opioid for non-medical reasons. That same year, about 1.9 million Americans were addicted to prescription painkillers, compared with only 329,000 heroin addicts that year. Prescription drug abuse is now a bigger problem than illicit drug abuse.
Consumers in the United States take painkillers like Hycet at a tremendous rate, gobbling up more prescription analgesics than people in any other nation. Although Americans make up roughly 5 percent of the earth's population, this nation consumes 80 percent of the global opioid supply.
Facts about Withdrawal
Anyone can become opioid-dependent. Experiencing Hycet withdrawal symptoms is not necessarily an indication someone has engaged in criminal behavior - it is possible to become opioid-dependent while using Hycet as directed by a physician to treat a chronic medical condition.
Taking high doses or using Hycet continually for a long time increases the risk for physical dependence resulting in withdrawal symptoms when the individual stops using Hycet. Detoxification from opioid dependence produces flu-like withdrawal symptoms that last five or more days, with the worst symptoms appearing on or about the fourth day. Psychological symptoms associated with Hycet are demoralizing, leaving the individual feeling incapable or unworthy of recovery. The severity and duration of Hycet withdrawal symptoms depend on how long the individual took this medication and his usual dose.
To avoid Hycet withdrawal symptoms, people who have used this product continually for more than a few weeks should wean themselves from Hycet by taking successively smaller doses increasingly further apart. Many opioid-dependent people experience severe withdrawal symptoms even when trying to taper use; Hycet withdrawal symptoms may prevent many individuals from quitting this drug.
There are a few ways to deal with Hycet withdrawal symptoms once they appear. Left untreated, Hycet withdrawal symptoms disappear and do not return unless the individual become opioid dependent once again. Someone can take multiple medications to ease specific withdrawal symptoms, including Imodium for diarrhea and vitamins to soothe muscle aches. These medications do not interfere with the detoxification process and these Hycet symptoms will eventually disappear forever.
She can take drugs that mimic the action of hydrocodone to stop the detoxification process and its associated withdrawal symptoms. She could also take more Hycet. Taking opioid replacement drugs or using more Hycet halts the detoxification process; the individual is still opioid-dependent and will experience Hycet withdrawal symptoms when she stops using Hycet.
Overwhelming, painful and demoralizing physical and psychological symptoms may interfere with recovery. While Hycet withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable and discouraging, they are not life threatening.
Hycet withdrawal symptoms appear in two waves, with the first set appearing several hours after the last dose of Hycet.
Early symptoms of withdrawal include:
Late symptoms of withdrawal include:
While Hycet withdrawal is not normally life threatening, the symptoms of withdrawal can cause dangerous complications. The individual may vomit then inhale stomach contents, a condition known as aspiration that can result in fluid in the lungs and lung infections. Extreme and prolonged vomiting, diarrhea and sweating can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
Relapse is the primary complication, especially for those who try to quit Hycet without drugs to relieve withdrawal symptoms or professional guidance to help with the psychological manifestations of detoxification.
Opioid dependence can have a devastating effect on someone's life; it can interfere with work, create problems within the family, result in criminal activity and imprisonment and result in illness, disability or death. Chronic drug use is associated with an increased risk for side effects, overdose or infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and hepatitis B and C.
The rise in prescription drug abuse has caused an increase in the need for treatment facilities. More than 23 million people in the United States needed treatment for substance abuse problems in 2010. Of those who needed it, only about 11 percent received help from a specialty facility staffed with personnel who had received advanced training in rehabilitation; the rest went to a general hospital or psychiatric unit, or attempted to overcome Hycet withdrawal alone, without the help of medicine or trained professionals.
Treatment occurs in two phases. The first phase of treatment is usually detoxification to lower hydrocodone levels and manage Hycet withdrawal symptoms. Rehabilitation including behavior modification usually follows. Rehabilitation teaches the individual how to avoid situations that might encourage drug use and gives him the tools he needs to refuse drugs when offered the opportunity to get high.
Some people try to overcome Hycet withdrawal alone, without the help of anti-withdrawal drugs or professional guidance. Doctors call this self-detoxification; the common man might call it "going cold turkey." Cold turkey refers to the skin's appearance during detoxification: pale, cold, clammy with goose bumps, resembling a frozen turkey.
Self-detoxification is prolonged, uncomfortable, demoralizing and associated with a high rate of complications including aspiration, dehydration and relapse.
The Thomas Recipe
Some concoct homemade treatment plans to reduce Hycet withdrawal symptoms. One remedy is The Thomas Recipe, which calls for a benzodiazepine such as Valium, Librium, Ativan or Xanax to relieve anxiety and help with sleep. The Thomas Recipe suggests Imodium for diarrhea, L-Tyrosine for malaise, Vitamin B6 and supplements along with hot baths for muscle aches and restless leg syndrome.
The Thomas Recipe eases symptoms but does not shorten detoxification or reduce complications, including relapse that can lead to overdose.
Returning to Hycet abuse after even a short period of detoxification increases the risk for toxic overdose. The detoxification process reduces a person's tolerance to hydrocodone; it is possible to overdose on a smaller amount than the individual used to take before experiencing even moderate Hycet withdrawal symptoms.
Someone can overdose on either the hydrocodone or the acetaminophen in Hycet, or both. Overdose of prescription painkillers like Hycet kill nearly 15,000 people every year in the United States. Acetaminophen overdose is one of the most common poisonings worldwide and is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States.
Hydrocodone overdose may cause respiratory depression, a condition where the lungs do not adequately exchange oxygen and other blood gases. Symptoms of respiratory depression include slow or shallow breathing, stopped breathing, and a bluish tint around the individual's eyes, mouth and fingertips.
Symptoms of hydrocodone overdose include extreme sleepiness progressing to stupor or coma, flaccid muscles along with cold and clammy skin. Sometimes the patient may have a slow heartbeat and very low blood pressure. In cases of severe overdose, the individual may stop breathing, suffer a collapse of the circulatory system or cardiac arrest, and death may occur.
Acetaminophen overdose may result in potentially fatal liver damage. Acetaminophen overdose may also cause kidney problems, coma and bleeding problems. Early symptoms of an acetaminophen overdose that may harm the liver include nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating and general malaise. Signs of liver damage may not appear for 48 to 72 hours after the consumption of acetaminophen.
Overdose is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Transport all suspected cases of toxic overdose to the hospital. Bring the bottle of Hycet, along with all other medications to help doctors determine what the individual consumed.
Emergency department doctors will administer naloxone and the antidote to acetaminophen, N-acetylcysteine. Nurses will establish an airway to help the patient breathe, start intravenous fluids to stabilize electrolyte balances and pump the patient's stomach or introduce charcoal to absorb excess Hycet. Nurses monitor the patient's condition and render life-saving aide when necessary.
Drug Replacement Therapy
Opioid-dependent people not in immediate danger of overdose can participate in DRT, or drug replacement therapy. DRT replaces Hycet with methadone, Suboxone or buprenorphine. These drugs mimic the effects of hydrocodone without providing euphoria, so the individual does not feel Hycet withdrawal symptoms but he does not get high either.
DRT allows the individual to delay the detoxification process temporarily while he learns how to live without Hycet. After some degree of rehabilitation, he weans himself from the DRT drug.
Supporters say DRT allows participants to continue working and taking care of their families while engaging in treatment. Opponents think it is trading one addiction for another. Furthermore, DRT is not without its risks - methadone accounts for a third of opioid pain reliever deaths, even though methadone represents only a small percent of sales.
Many institutions now offer detoxification services. During standard detoxification, doctors administer drugs to lower hydrocodone levels along with multiple medications that address the myriad of Hycet withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient detoxification eases withdrawal symptoms and reduces the risk for complications but the patient must still endure the demoralizing experience of Hycet withdrawal.
Rapid detox is the most humane type of detoxification treatment available today. During rapid detox, board-certified anesthesiologists administer sedatives and anesthesia alongside the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs. The patient dozes in a comfortable "twilight sleep," blissfully unaware of the grueling detoxification process. After nurses stabilize the patient's condition, she is ready for meaningful rehabilitation.
Detoxification is only the first stage in treatment and by itself does little to change the behaviors associated with Hycet abuse. Rehabilitation helps the individual identify situations that could lead to relapse, gives him the tools to refuse drugs when offered, and to reduce environmental factors that increase the risk for drug abuse.
The goal of rehabilitation is to stop Hycet abuse and return individual to his normal life. Rehabilitation can curb criminal activity and improve occupational, social and cognitive functioning.
Even with professional treatment, relapse rates for drug addiction are 40 to 60 percent. Relapse is not an indication of failure, but relapse does mean the individual should return to treatment, modify his treatment plan or engage in a different form of treatment.
Rehabilitation can take place at an outpatient clinic or in a residential setting. Outpatient clinic care usually involves weekly or monthly visits with a doctor or counselor. Inpatient care involves a short or long stay in a residential setting lasting as long as six months or a year. Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective - some people stay in treatment longer under legal coercion.
Most forms of treatment include behavior modification along with individual, family and group counseling. Medications are an important part of treatment, as many people struggling with Hycet withdrawal also suffer co-existing physical or mental problems that may interfere with recovery efforts.
Substance abuse problems including Hycet withdrawal are complex issues that require equally complex treatment plans. Nobody experiences Hycet withdrawal in exactly the same way, so no single treatment plan is appropriate for everyone. Treatment must attend to the individual's multiple needs, not just her battle with Hycet withdrawal.
No matter what treatment the person chooses, it must be readily available to encourage maximum participation and improve completion rates. It is critical to remain in treatment long enough to fully detoxify the body and change those behaviors that may lead to relapse.
A trained counselor will develop a treatment plan based on an initial assessment of the patient's condition. The counselor will monitor the person's progress and modify the treatment plan to make sure it continues to fit the patient's changing needs.
Treatment plans may require periodic drug testing to reduce the risk for relapse. These lapses do occur, even during rehabilitation. Treatment programs may also test for infectious diseases and help the individual change behaviors that might increase his chances for contracting or spreading these diseases.
- HYCET Withdrawal