- Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Hydrocodone
- Muscle aches
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
- Goose bumps
- Nausea and vomiting
Xodol withdrawal happens when an opioid-dependent person stops taking Xodol. Xodol withdrawal causes physical flu-like symptoms that last five days or longer. Xodol withdrawal also causes psychological symptoms that can last much longer, especially if left undetected or improperly treated.
The human body can adapt to the long-term presence of Xodol by adjusting its own chemistry to maintain a safe chemical balance. With continuous use, the body begins to rely on a certain level of Xodol to feel "normal." When Xodol levels drop, the body struggles to maintain chemical balance; the individual feels this battle for stability through withdrawal symptoms.
Doctors refer to this process as detoxification. The detoxification process causes withdrawal symptoms.
A person is opioid-dependent if he feels withdrawal symptoms when he skips a dose of Xodol or if he takes a smaller dose than usual. Certain drugs, such as naloxone, reduce opioid levels and initiate the detoxification process.
Anyone who uses Xodol may become physically dependent upon it. Using high doses of Xodol or using this drug for a long time increases the risk for dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Non-medical use of Xodol also increases this risk; using a drug non-medically means to use it to get high or to treat a condition other than the one it was prescribed to treat.
Prolonged Xodol use may increase the body's tolerance to this drug; this means it takes more Xodol to achieve the same pain relieving or euphoric effect. Lowered tolerance means the body is more sensitive to the effects of Xodol.
Facts about Xodol
Xodol contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a powerful opioid pain reliever that acts similar to codeine. Hydrocodone is the most widely prescribed medicine in the United States. In 2010, pharmacists filled more than 139 million prescriptions for products containing hydrocodone, including Xodol. Hydrocodone is also the most widely abused drug in the U.S.
Doctors prescribe Xodol to ease a patient's moderate to severe pain. Some people abuse Xodol to get high because it produces a pleasant euphoria.
Hydrocodone works directly on the central nervous system, or CNS, to relieve pain and produce euphoria. Hydrocodone also works on smooth muscle groups, like those in the digestive tract. Because of the way hydrocodone acts on the nervous system and digestive tract, withdrawal produces CNS and gastrointestinal symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and tremors.
Acetaminophen interrupts the production of certain chemicals associated with pain. Working together, hydrocodone and acetaminophen change the way the brain perceives pain.
Xodol comes in varying strengths. Xodol may contain 5 mg, 7.5 mg or 10 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate. All Xodol formulas contain 300 mg of acetaminophen.
Potential for Abuse
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies controlled substances according to their relative risk for abuse, with schedule I drugs posing the highest threat for abuse and schedule V posing the lowest. For example, heroin is a schedule I drug and Robitussin AC cough syrup is a schedule V.
The DEA classifies hydrocodone as a schedule II narcotic, meaning it carries a relatively high potential for abuse. The DEA mitigates this risk by requiring a prescription and mandating that drug makers must always combine hydrocodone with a less potent analgesic. Xodol fulfills this requirement by combining hydrocodone with acetaminophen.
Abuse and Addiction Rates
About one in every 20 Americans used a prescription opioid for non-medical reasons in 2010. High abuse rates are causing high addiction rates. In 2010, there were about 1.9 million Americans addicted to prescription painkillers; there were only 329,000 heroin addicts that year.
Widespread abuse could be due to widespread availability - Americans take more painkillers than any other group. Although the United States represents only about 5 percent of global population, it gobbles up about 80 percent of the world's opioids.
Xodol withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable and discouraging, but usually not life threatening. Xodol withdrawal symptoms are typical of all opioids. Everyone experiences Xodol withdrawal slightly differently but most people experience both physical and psychological symptoms.
Opioid withdrawal tends to come in two waves. The first set of symptoms start about 12 hours after the last dose of Xodol and can include
More symptoms appear later and can include:
There are several ways to ease symptoms. One method of overcoming Xodol withdrawal is to wait - left untreated, symptoms will last five or more days with the worst symptoms occurring about the fourth day. Detoxification clinics administer anti-withdrawal medications to reduce discomfort. An individual might take a replacement drug that mimics the effects of opioids to ease Xodol withdrawal.
Finally, taking another dose of Xodol will stop the detoxification process and ease withdrawal symptoms. Without help, many individuals choose this option and relapse to Xodol abuse.
While Xodol detoxification is not normally life threatening, withdrawal symptoms may cause dangerous complications. Vomiting and then inhaling stomach contents into the lungs is the serious complication aspiration, which may result in lung infections or fluid in the lungs. Excessive vomiting and diarrhea may cause dehydration resulting in electrolyte imbalances.
Relapse is primary complication associated with Xodol withdrawal. Without medicine to ease withdrawal symptoms or rehabilitation to change the behaviors associated with drug abuse, the opioid-dependent individual is likely to return to drug use.
Without adequate treatment, dependence on Xodol may cause disability or premature death. Long-term use of Xodol raises the chances for experiencing adverse reactions or toxic overdose. Drug abuse is associated with an increased risk for contracting or spreading infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and tuberculosis.
More than 23 million American adults needed treatment for alcohol or substance abuse in 2010. Of those that needed therapy, only about 11 percent received treatment at a facility staffed with people trained in detoxification and rehabilitation procedures. The rest choose local hospitals or other facilities that do not provide specialized care for substance abuse.
There are two components to treatment for opioid-dependence: detoxification and rehabilitation. The detoxification process lowers opioid levels while rehabilitation focuses on the behaviors associated with substance abuse.
Some people try to overcome Xodol dependence alone, without the help of anti-withdrawal drugs or the expertise of trained professionals, in a process called self-detoxification. This is commonly called "going cold turkey" as a reference to the appearance skin takes on during the detoxification process: pale, cold, clammy with goose bumps, much like a plucked turkey.
Self-detoxification is associated with a high rate of complications, such as aspiration, dehydration and relapse.
The Thomas Recipe
Many individuals use homemade treatment plans to address withdrawal symptoms. One such concoction is The Thomas Recipe, which calls for valium to calm nerves and induce sleep and Imodium to halt diarrhea. Vitamins, supplements and hot baths soothe aching muscles while L-Tyrosine with B6 gives a burst of energy and curbs malaise.
While The Thomas Recipe eases withdrawal symptoms, it does not protect the individual from complications, such as relapse that could lead to toxic overdose.
Anyone who takes Xodol on a regular basis can overdose on the hydrocodone or the acetaminophen component of Xodol. Acetaminophen overdose frequently occurs because the individual took several medications that contained this common analgesic.
Returning to opioid abuse after any amount of detoxification increases the risk for overdose. Detoxification lowers the body's tolerance, so a person could potentially overdose on a smaller dose than he used to take before experiencing even moderate withdrawal symptoms.
Overdose is a serious, potentially fatal medical emergency. Prescription painkiller overdoses killed nearly 15,000 people in the United States in 2008, according to the CDC. In case of suspected Xodol overdose, contact poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go directly to the emergency department. Nearly half a million people go to the emergency department every year due to prescription pain relievers.
Emergency department doctors will administer naloxone to drop hydrocodone to safe levels. Nurses will establish an airway to help the patient breathe and monitor for complications. Nurses may pump the stomach or administer charcoal to absorb excess Xodol. Doctors and nurses will perform CPR and other life saving measures as necessary.
Drug Replacement Therapy
Those not in immediate danger of toxic overdose may participate in DRT, or drug replacement therapy. DRT drugs act similar to the hydrocodone in Xodol but do not produce the euphoric effects. DRT drugs include methadone, Suboxone and buprenorphine.
DRT allows the individual to participate in behavior modification to learn how to live without Xodol before attempting the detoxification process. After the patient engages in some amount of rehabilitation, he weans himself from the replacement drug by taking smaller doses further apart.
Some people find it difficult to stop using the replacement drug. About one-quarter of methadone patients use this replacement drug forever while another 25 percent eventually quit drug use altogether. The other 50 percent go on and off methadone for the rest of their lives.
DRT is one type of MAT, or Medication-Assisted Treatment. MAT refers to any substance abuse treatment plan that includes anti-withdrawal drugs. MAT improves survival rates, improves birth outcomes for pregnant opioid- dependent women and reduces the risk for contracting or spreading infectious diseases. MAT helps keep patients in treatment and reduces illicit opioid abuse. MAT also reduces criminal activities and increases employment.
Standard detoxification in inpatient clinics is another type of MAT. During standard detoxification, physicians administer naloxone and anti-withdrawal medications while nurses monitor for complications.
Standard detoxification reduces the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms somewhat, but the patient still battles several days of demoralizing psychological symptoms that could make her feel unworthy or incapable of recovery. Standard detoxification requires an inpatient stay that could last for several days.
Rapid detox is the most humane and efficient form of detoxification therapy 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 pleasant "twilight sleep." When she awakens, she will not recall the grueling detoxification process. She is ready for meaningful behavior modification in a few hours rather than in a few days.
Detoxification is only the first stage in treatment for dependence on Xodol and, by itself, does little to reduce long-term substance abuse. Rehabilitation is necessary to help the individual change behaviors associated with drug abuse. Rehabilitation usually includes behavior modification along with individual, family and group counseling. Medications are an important part of treatment for many, especially for those with coexisting mental problems such as depression.
Opioid-dependence is a complex condition that requires an equally dynamic approach to treatment. No one treatment works for everyone and many people engage in several types of treatment. Effective treatment addresses the wider scope of the individual's needs, not just her drug abuse.
Treatment must be readily available to encourage participation and completion. It is critical that the patient remains in treatment long enough to change behaviors associated with drug abuse.
The counselor is an important part of the rehabilitative process. The counselor will assess the individual's condition and develop a personalized treatment plan for that patient. The counselor will continually assess the patient's condition and modify treatment accordingly.
The patient may be required to submit to drug tests, as relapses do occur commonly during treatment. The patient might also be tested for infectious diseases and receive appropriate educational material to decrease his risk for contracting or spreading these diseases.