Oxycodone and Alcohol

by on May 14, 2012

As oxycodone is an opioid analgesic, taking it in combination with alcohol can lead to adverse effects. It is therefore advisable to avoid drinking alcohol whilst taking oxycodone. This is especially the case for patients who are at high risk of abusing this combination of substances.


Alcohol may interact with oxycodone by producing additive effects such as additive CNS-depression and impairment of judgment, thinking, and psychomotor skills. This can affect the patient’s ability to safely operate machinery, drive or perform other tasks for which alertness is required.

There is also the risk of more severe side effects, such as respiratory depression, hypotension, profound sedation and coma. According to some reports, overdosing on alcohol and oxycodone has resulted in death.

Other Side Effects

Drinking alcohol may also increase the risk and severity of other side effects associated with oxycodone. Side effects that oxycodone can lead to include dry mouth, constipation, vomiting, breathing problems, confusion, a slow heartbeat, convulsions, loss of appetite, feelings of tiredness, itching, sweating, nausea and cold, clammy skin. Therefore if the patient is already vulnerable to any of these conditions or symptoms he or she should think very carefully about combining alcohol with this drug.

Signs and Symptoms

To tell if a patient is suffering adverse effects from combining oxycodone and alcohol, there are several signs and symptoms to look out for. If the combination has heavily sedated the individual, he or she may complain of blurred vision, wanting to fall asleep, heaviness in their arms and legs, inability to concentrate and feelings of noxiousness, or they may be unable to speak at all. Look out also for symptoms of hypotension, such as fainting or the inability to walk in a straight line due to dizziness. If the patient is exhibiting any of these symptoms to a severe extent, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

Taking oxycodone and alcohol together is generally not worth the risk to the individual’s health. Patients who are concerned about their ability to avoid alcohol whilst taking oxycodone should consult their healthcare provider, who will be able to provide them with information and resources on cutting out alcohol.