Mixing alcohol with vicodin

Ok, I’m recovering from my double hernia operation from a week ago today, and to ease the pain I’ve been taking vicodin 5mg/500mg tylenol. I’ve heard that mixing alcohol and vicodin is a dangerous thing, and so I’m pretty worried about when I should start drinking. Assuming there are no vicodin related interactions, I feel well recovered enough to handle drinking, and things such as drunken stumbling and falling down won’t likely be a factor, since I would be drinking in my apartment and it will be a pretty quiet night. Now my question is how long after stopping taking my medication should I wait until I start drinking? It’s 6:30 EST right now, and the last pill I took was at 7:30 last night (I only took one). Previous to that, I took two pills that morning at 10:30am, and before that one pill at 6pm the night before. Should I stay away from drinking tonight and wait until tomorrow night, or would I be able to go ahead and drink tonight without worry of a nasty interaction? Also, I’m just curious, but does taking vicodin with other drugs (particularly Marijuana) have bad results? Again, assume the previous conditions.

Most people will come on here and tell you that you shoudn’t mix period. And they are probably right. But, the reason you shouldn’t mix Vicodin and Alcohol is because MOST of the pill is APAP (Acetominophen, Tylenol). You’ve heard not to mix Tylenol with drinking, this is essentially the same thing. It puts quite a load on your liver. Only 5 milligrams of the pill is the opiate(hydrocodone). Anyway, IMHO you shouldn’t be worried at all. You haven’t taken a vicodin for a DAY, and you only took one. IANAD, but if I were you, I’d start drinking whenever you wish.
As far as marijuana goes, I don’t think there is any negative interaction between the drugs.

Thanks, kgriffey79, I realize that you are not an authoritative source by any means, but it’s reassuring to know a little more about the situation. If I do end up drinking tonight, it will be in a relatively small quantity, so really, I should have nothing to worry about.

From WebMD:

From experience I can tell you that you become very relaxed and drowsy. :o
I definately wouldn’t drive afterward…in fact I wouldn’t do much of
anything but lounge around the house.

The danger is not only from mixing alcohol with APAP. Mixing alcohol with opiates increases the effects of both, including respiratory depression and sedation. With the two mood-altering drugs in the system at once, the threshold for stopping breathing or nodding off then aspirating one’s vomitus and dying, goes up significantly.


Very true. I should have mentioned this, but didn’t because it didn’t sound like he was going to go on a pill popping mission(since he came here to ask here in the first place). Opiates really do mess with your respiratory system. Even without alcohol if you took too many pills, breathing would become more and more difficult.

Just out of curiousity, what kind of doctor are you, QtM?

The Mad Kind. :smiley:

Diplomate, American Board of Family Practice. I did about 18 years of mixed Family Practice (I dropped OB in 1990), along with special interests &/or added skills in cardiac stress testing, urgent care, addiction medicine, asthma managment, type II diabetes management, Medical Review Officer certification (urine drug screen expert/wizz quizzer), and chaired a few committees doing Peer Review (You did WHAT to the patient? Why?? This is SO not good. Re-education conference for you!!) and Quality Improvement (Motto: Kill as few patients as possible). For 18 months I’ve been doing Corrections Medicine, Maximum security prison (I’m here to give you what you need, not what you want. NO. You do NOT need vicodin). I’m currently looking to take a position supervising the medical management of 8000 new inmates a year.

Today for example, I informed a guy he has HIV, managed an endstage ischemic cardiomyopathy patient, splinted a sprained wrist, and treated some anal warts. And that was the first hour of my workday.

So basically a Jack of all trades.

I am soooooo glad i’m not you. I’ll take my line of work any day. Getting zapped by a 4 kV hipot is preferable any day. :smiley:

The patient has the anal warts, silly!

oh, QtM, you sooo tempt me to tell my story of my first patient in Surgical Clinic in med school (I’m an FP, too)- a perianal wart the size of a dinner platter on a butt the size of a card table. Alas, it takes a good hour, and you need to see my facial expressions to do it justice.

Well, yeah, duh. I wouldn’t care much about my own anal warts. I just don’t wanna look at any others’. Or even in that general direction.

Mixing alcohol with vicodin

If you do a couple lines with that, and smoke a big fatty, it’s called a Cocomo Cocktail :smiley:

The ONLY time one should EVER mix vicodin with alcohol is when one is faced with anal warts.

Needless to say, it is actually not even a good idea then.

Thanks, Qad, I needed a good laugh before bed time.

Speaking of vicodin and alcohol

So, it’s a “4 kV hipot,” now is it, Q.E.D.? Are you in dielectric breakdown test or just insulation reliability engineering?

Wonderful answers by people more informed than I.

However, I’ll toss in with a suggestion that, if you want to drink, stick with Ibuprophen for pain, at least for the specific day on which you plan to drink.

I don’t believe it. On Thursday in my phiso class my prof. just talked about this. Apparently vicodine and alcohol both cause the release of a large amount of the neurotransmitter GABA. The effect GABA has is that it slows everything down. When you mix them you slow things down a lot and sometimes breathing slows down enough that it stops.

I still can’t believe I just used something I learned.