Tylox is a drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is a compound consisting of oxycodone and acetaminophen (paracetamol). Oxycodone is an opioid drug used for pain treatment, and acetaminophen is an analgesic. Combining these two painkillers in a single drug reduces the quantity needed of each of them. This reduces the risk of harmful side effects associated with either of the compounded drugs.
As a narcotic, oxycodone is in the same family of drugs as opium, heroin and morphine, and it has the same addictive properties as these narcotics. It is a semi-synthetic drug based on thebaine. Thebaine is an ingredient extracted from the opium poppy. People who take Tylox can develop dependency quite quickly, just as they could if taking other narcotics, either legal or illegal ones.
Oxycodone is one of many semi-synthetic drugs that were developed from the opium poppy in the last century. While opium-derived drugs were universally recognized as excellent treatments for pain (morphine is still widely used in hospitals), their use over prolonged periods was problematical because of their addictive properties.
Pharmaceutical scientists set about trying to create drugs that had the same pain-killing properties but a lower addiction rate. Oxycodone was one of the drugs produced. It may not be quite as addictive as heroin or morphine, but it is still highly addictive, especially if abused.
Tylox is a Schedule II drug in the USA. Schedule II drugs pose a high risk of addiction and abuse. The issuing of prescriptions is tightly controlled. Automatic refills are not permitted, and patients may not phone or fax in their prescriptions. Additionally, patients must call to a pharmacy in person to have the prescription dispensed. Finally, only doctors can issue prescriptions for Schedule II drugs.
Tylox should only be used for short time periods. It is dispensed by pharmacies in tablet form. Patients should adhere rigidly to the doctor’s instructions on when it should be taken and how much to take.
Abusers are known to crush the tablets and snort them. They may also melt them and inject the residue. Both these methods of taking the drug are dangerous. On the street, Tylox, along with other oxycodone-based drugs, may be called:
- Hillbilly heroin
- Poor man’s heroin
Symptoms of addiction to Tylox
Tylox is a primary addictive drug. People can be dependent solely on Tylox or on Tylox and other drugs, including other narcotics or alcohol. Tylox can also be a secondary addictive drug, where people who are already addicted to other substances can begin to take it as well.
Symptoms can vary greatly, and are the same as symptoms of addiction to other narcotic drugs. They include:
- Rapid mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
Worsening of symptoms
Over time, users will suffer from impaired judgment, and lowered motivation. They will disassociate from family and friends, and may lose their jobs. Getting high becomes their primary daily motivation.
This phase of addiction coincides with financial problems for many addicts. They are spending more and more of their disposable assets to fund their addiction, while their ability to earn money is diminished as a result of taking the drugs. They will often turn to theft at this point.
Furthermore, with prolonged usage, symptoms become more severe. Physical symptoms, in particular, can become extremely worrying. If the user does not try to cut back or quit taking the drug, he or she faces the risk of dying, especially if he or she has started taking other drugs as well. Physical problems include:
- Respiratory problems
- Lack of coordination
- Muscular wasting
These symptoms are down to the oxycodone component of Tylox. Unfortunately, the acetaminophen component can bring about its own physical problems due to overdosing or prolonged usage. Paracetamol, or acetaminophen, is metabolized by the liver. Excessive intake causes irreparable liver damage, even to the point of death. It is for that reason that regulations governing the sale of paracetamol-based products were tightened.
The treatment is focused on dealing with the dependency on the narcotic element of Tylox. Most people are aware that all narcotics derived from the opium poppy are highly addictive. Before users or their medical advisers can tackle the dependency aspect, the user must undergo detoxification. During detoxification, all the narcotic substances will be removed through natural processes (excretion, urination, sweating) from the body. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur and these can vary significantly, but are often severe. Symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sweating and chills
- Muscular spasms
- Anxiety attacks
Specialist treatment centers are geared up to deal with detoxification, and can provide medical and psychological support during the process. After detoxification, they can provide expert help to reduce the risk of addicts relapsing. Quitting and staying clean without expert help is much more difficult.