- Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Hydrocodone
Zydone contains a semi-synthetic opioid drug, derived from opium extracted from the poppy plant. Taking high doses or using Zydone for a long time may cause a person to become opioid-dependent.
Zydone withdrawal is the normal and predictable outcome when an opioid-dependent person stops taking Zydone. Some medications can also cause Zydone withdrawal in an opioid-dependent person.
Zydone withdrawal produces physical symptoms similar to the flu. These physical symptoms can be intense and last for several days. Zydone withdrawal may also cause psychological symptoms that can last much longer, especially if left undetected or poorly treated.
The human body responds to the presence of some substances by adjusting its own chemistry to maintain a safe chemical balance. Long-term use of Zydone can make these adjustments more permanent because the body learns to depend on a certain level of Zydone to feel "normal." When Zydone levels drop unexpectedly, the body struggles to maintain chemical balance in a process known as detoxification. The opioid-dependent person feels this battle for chemical stability through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Detoxification causes withdrawal symptoms in an opioid-dependent person. Missing a dose, taking an insufficient dose or using a medicine that lowers opioid levels causes detoxification. Doctors use naloxone to lower opioid levels in overdose patients.
Long-term use may increase the body's tolerance to Zydone. A person with increased tolerance must take higher doses of Zydone more frequently to achieve the intended effect.
Facts about Zydone
Zydone contains a powerful opioid drug, hydrocodone. Doctors in the United States prescribe more products containing hydrocodone than any other type of drug. In 2010, American pharmacists filled more than 139 million prescriptions for products containing hydrocodone, including Zydone. Hydrocodone is also the most widely abused drugs in the U.S.
Physicians prescribe Zydone to relieve moderate to severe pain. Recreational users abuse hydrocodone because of the pleasant euphoria it provides.
Using Zydone for non-medical reasons increases the risk for becoming dependent on hydrocodone. Using a drug non-medically means to take it to get high or to treat a condition for which it was not prescribed.
Zydone is available in three strengths of hydrocodone bitartrate: 5 mg, 7.5 mg and 10 mg. Each of these also contains 400 mg of acetaminophen.
Opioids, including the hydrocodone in Zydone, act directly on the central nervous system to relieve pain and cause euphoria. Hydrocodone also acts on smooth muscles, like those found in the digestive system. Because hydrocodone works on the nervous and gastrointestinal systems, withdrawal symptoms associated with Zydone detoxification will involve these systems and produce CNS and digestive symptoms such as anxiety and nausea.
Potential for Abuse
Zydone abuse increases the risk for dependence.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, ranks controlled substances for their relative potential for abuse. According to this system, a schedule I drug is associated with a much higher rate of abuse when compared to a schedule V substance. Heroin is a schedule I narcotic and Robitussin AC is a schedule V.
The DEA classifies hydrocodone as a schedule II drug, meaning it poses a relatively high risk for abuse. To reduce this risk, products containing hydrocodone are available only by prescription and only in combination with other less potent analgesics. Zydone complies with this requirement by adding acetaminophen.
Abuse and Addiction Rates
Opioid abuse is becoming common in the United States; about one in every 20 Americans used a prescription opioid non-medically in 2010. Widespread abuse results in high rates of opioid dependence and addiction. In 2010, about 1.9 million Americans were addicted to prescription painkillers; in comparison, there were only 329,000 heroin addicts that year.
More painkillers are consumed in the United States than in any other nation. Although Americans make up only about 5 percent of global population, this nation consumes 80 percent of the world's opioids.
Facts about Zydone Withdrawal
Anyone can become opioid dependent after taking Zydone continuously for a long time. Withdrawal symptoms typically start a few hours after the last dose of Zydone and last for five or more days. The worst symptoms usually appear on or about the fourth day. Left untreated, withdrawal symptoms disappear in time.
An individual can take action to reduce Zydone withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification process. He can use a variety of medications that address specific withdrawal symptoms, such as an anti-diarrheal or a psychoactive drug to calm anxiety. He may choose to take a replacement drug that mimics the effects of hydrocodone without producing euphoria. Lastly, he may relapse to Zydone abuse.
Zydone withdrawal causes physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that can interfere with recovery efforts. These symptoms are uncomfortable and discouraging, but usually not life threatening.
Zydone withdrawal symptoms often occur in two phases. The first wave of symptoms usually starts about 12 hours after the last dose of Zydone. Symptoms include agitation, anxiety, muscle aches and insomnia. In this early phase, the individual may experience watery eyes, a runny nose, sweating and excessive yawning. Later, other symptoms appear and can include stomach cramps, diarrhea, dilated pupils, goose bumps, nausea and vomiting.
Symptoms last five or more days, with the worst symptoms occurring on or about the fourth day.
While the detoxification process is not usually life- threatening, Zydone withdrawal symptoms may cause dangerous complications. One such complication is aspiration, where the individual vomits and then inhales stomach contents into his lungs. Aspiration may result in fluid in the lungs or respiratory infection.
Extreme or prolonged vomiting, sweating and diarrhea may result in dehydration. Without intravenous fluids, the individual may suffer electrolyte imbalances.
Relapse is the primary complication associated with Zydone withdrawal. Without medicine to ease withdrawal symptoms, many opioid-dependent individuals stop the physical and psychological discomfort of detoxification by taking more Zydone.
Without adequate and professional treatment, Zydone dependence or addiction can cause disability or premature death. Long-term Zydone use increases the risk for suffering side effects or drug overdose. Chronic substance abuse is associated with a higher incidence of infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and hepatitis B and C.
More than 23 million people in the United States needed treatment for substance abuse problems like Zydone withdrawal in 2010. Only about 11 percent of those who needed treatment received it at a facility staffed with medical professionals trained in drug treatment procedures; the rest sought treatment at local hospitals or other facilities without specially trained personnel.
There are two components of treatment for opioid-dependence: detoxification and rehabilitation. The detoxification process lowers hydrocodone levels and addresses withdrawal symptoms, while rehabilitation focuses on changing behaviors associated with drug abuse.
Many opioid-dependent people try to overcome Zydone withdrawal alone, without the help of medicine to ease symptoms or the guidance of trained professionals. Doctors call this "self-detoxification" while others use the phrase "going cold turkey." Cold turkey refers to the skin's appearance during detoxification: pale, cold, clammy with goose bumps.
Self-detoxification is prolonged, uncomfortable, demoralizing and associated with a high rate of complications including aspiration, dehydration and relapse.
The Thomas Recipe
Some deal with Zydone withdrawal by taking multiple medications to ease physical symptoms. One treatment plan is known as The Thomas Recipe, which calls for valium or some other drug to calm anxiety and help with sleep. Imodium slows diarrhea. Vitamins, supplements and hot baths soothe body aches and L-Tyrosine with B6 combats overwhelming fatigue and malaise.
The Thomas Recipe reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms but it does not shorten the length of the detoxification process nor does it protect the individual from complications, such as relapse that could result in toxic overdose.
Returning to opioid abuse after detoxification increases the risk for toxic overdose. The detoxification process lowers the individual's tolerance to hydrocodone. As a result, someone can overdose on a smaller dose than he used to take before experiencing even minor withdrawal symptoms.
It is possible to overdose on either the hydrocodone component of Zydone or the acetaminophen. Acetaminophen overdose can happen when a person takes multiple products containing this common ingredient.
Zydone overdose can be fatal. Overdose from prescription painkillers such as Zydone kill nearly 15,000 people every year in the United States. In cases of suspected overdose, transport the victim to the nearest hospital or emergency care facility. Emergency department physicians will administer naloxone to bring hydrocodone to non-toxic levels. Nurses establish an airway to help the patient breathe, start intravenous fluids and watch for complications.
Drug Replacement Therapy
People who are not in immediate danger of overdose may participate in DRT, or drug replacement therapy. DRT drugs act similar to opioids so the individual experience detoxification and withdrawal symptoms, but DRT drugs do not cause euphoria. DRT drugs include methadone, buprenorphine and Suboxone.
DRT allows the individual to temporarily skip the detoxification process and engage in rehabilitation that teaches him how to live without Zydone. Once the individual modifies some of the behaviors associated with drug abuse, he weans himself from the DRT drug.
DRT advocates support this form of treatment because it allows participants to continue their daily lives while engaging in therapy, rather than spending a week or more in a detoxification clinic. Opponents fear it is simply trading one type of dependence for another, as many individuals have a hard time quitting the replacement drug. About half of all methadone users go on and off this replacement drug; about one quarter of methadone users eventually abstain from drug use completely and another 25 percent use methadone for the rest of their lives.
DRT is one type of MAT, or medication-assisted treatment. MAT is any treatment plan that includes medicine. Zydone dependence causes chemical changes within the body; MAT helps restore chemical balance while reducing the severity and duration of Zydone withdrawal symptoms.
MAT increases survival rates and helps infants born to opioid-dependent mothers. MAT helps people stay in treatment and improves employment rates. Medication-assisted treatment decreases illegal opioid use and criminal activities. It also decreases the risk for contracting or spreading infectious diseases.
Most specialty clinics and many hospitals offer inpatient detoxification using MAT. During standard detoxification procedures, doctors administer naloxone to initiate the detoxification process and then give the patient medications to ease the ensuing Zydone withdrawal symptoms. Nurses monitor for complications and make the patient as comfortable as possible through the long and difficult procedure.
While standard detoxification brings down opioid levels and relieves withdrawal symptoms, patients must still endure the grueling physical and demoralizing psychological aspects of Zydone withdrawal in a way that could interfere with recovery efforts.
Rapid detox is the most humane method of detoxification. During rapid detox, board certified anesthesiologists administer the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs along with anesthesia and sedatives. The patient rests in a comfortable "twilight sleep" and awakens with no memory of the detoxification process. This patient is ready for meaningful rehabilitation in a few hours rather than a few days.
The detoxification process is only one part of treatment and, by itself, does little to reduce chronic substance abuse. The rehabilitation phase helps the individual change behaviors associated with drug abuse to reduce the risk of relapse. Rehabilitation typically includes behavior modification along with individual, family and group counseling. Medications are also an important aspect of rehabilitation for many people, especially for those with co-existing mental disorders.
Opioid-dependence is a complex condition that affects everyone differently. No single treatment is right for everyone and many opioid-dependent individuals participate in several types of therapy. Effective treatment attends to the multiple needs of the person and not just his drug abuse.
Treatment needs to be readily available to encourage maximum participation. It is critical that the opioid-dependent individual remain in treatment long enough to restore neurological function destroyed by chronic drug abuse. The treatment counselor should assess the patient's progress continually, modifying the treatment plan as necessary to ensure it meets the patient's changing needs.
The counselor will typically require frequent drug tests to reduce the risk for relapse. The counselor may also request tests for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and tuberculosis and educate the patient on how to reduce the risk for contracting or spreading these diseases.