Anexsia is one of several brand names of the generic combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate. Additional brand names for Anexsia include Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab, and many others. Acetaminophen and hydrocodone combined are categorized as a narcotic analgesic prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe pain and as an antitussive (cough suppressant). The theory of combining this narcotic and a non-narcotic analgesic is that they will alleviate pain using different channels and the side-effects of each drug will be reduced by the ability to consume reduced dosages of each drug while achieving the same effect. Anexsia is taken orally in tablet form.
Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opiate derived from codeine (opioid alkaloid found in the opium poppy). Hydrocodone is a moderate-strength analgesic with effects that are similar to those of morphine. It is nearly twice as powerful as morphine used by orally.
Acetaminophen is a non-narcotic analgesic (pain reliever) that is also categorized as an antipyretic (fever reducer). As a pain reliever, acetaminophen works by inhibiting nerve stimulation in order to elevate the pain threshold. Fever reduction is accomplished through the effects of acetaminophen on the hypothalamus.
Generic hydrocodone is prescribed predominantly in the United States. The International Narcotics Control Board reported in 2007 that 99% of hydrocodone produced was consumed in the United States as it has been taken off of the market in many European countries.
Some street names are universal for drugs containing hydrocodone and others are unique to the brand name of a hydrocodone combination drug. A few of the most common are:
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has classified Anexsia as a schedule II controlled substance. Anexsia, along with any and all brand names associated with hydrocodone, has been reclassified to schedule II. Prior to October 6, 2014, hydrocodone combination drugs came under the schedule III classification and hydrocodone alone had been classified as a schedule II drug. Due to the high rate of abuse and addiction of prescription painkillers that contain hydrocodone, any drug containing hydrocodone has been reclassified to schedule II.
Effects of Use
Short-term and immediate effects of normal dosage may include:
- Pain relief
- Cough suppression
Severe reactions and side-effects that may accompany Anexsia use:
- Liver damage
- Sensory impairment
- Loss of concentration
In 1920, hydrocodone was first synthesized by Carl Mannich and Helene Lwenheim in Germany. It was approved on 23 March 1943 for sale in the United States by the FDA. Acetaminophen, a by-product of coal-tar distillation was introduced into medical use in 1893. In 1955, Acetaminophen, under the brand name Tylenol was first sold in the United States.
In the late 1970’s, after hydrocodone became classified as a schedule II narcotic after the 1971 Controlled Substances Act, the hybrid hydrocodone and acetaminophen alternative became available. This allowed a wider consumer base as the combination was listed under schedule III by the FDA, the side effects were lessened with the combination, and the drug was seen as less harmful.
Originally the acetaminophen and hydrocodone combination was comprised of 5 mg hydrocodone and 500 mg acetaminophen. By the mid-21st century, prescriptions for drugs containing hydrocodone reach over 125 million a year. Reports of severe issues with these drugs, including liver failure and overdose, have prompted the FDA to change dosage requirements of the acetaminophen portion to 325 mg from 500 mg.
Signs of abuse
Anexsia abuse will present with a wide range of social, psychological, and physical symptoms.
- Problems at work (performance, attendance)
- Family (avoidance, irritability, undependable, mood swings)
- Obsession with procuring and consuming Anexsia
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
- Excessive tearing
- Mood swings
Symptoms of withdrawal also include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Nausea and vomiting
Withdrawal and Treatment
No one should try to detox from Anexsia on their own. It is best to contact medical personnel for information. While most of the withdrawal and detox symptoms are not life-threatening, the process needs to be monitored and supported. There may be some help with the detoxification process available to the patient such as the use of Clonidine to reduce the effects of withdrawal. They may also be able to provide other medications to reduce vomiting and diarrhea. The withdrawal process can take up to a week.
An over-looked potential consequence of withdrawal from Anexsia, or other hydrocodone/Acetaminophen combination drug, is that any relapse after withdrawal is dangerous due to the fact that once detoxed, the users’ threshold for the drug reverts back to a normal dosage. If the user begins consumption of the drug at the same pre-withdrawal heightened dosage, they are in danger of overdose.
Many people who have quit using Anexsia may still need long-term support and treatment post-withdrawal to stay clean and sober. This may include support groups, drug treatment, outpatient counseling, or inpatient treatment programs.
Anexsia withdrawal can be successfully managed by a specialized treatment facility. If you, or someone you know, have a problem with addiction please call any of our drug rehab treatment centers for further information. To locate a facility in your area that can provide the assistance you need, call 877-855-3470